The 5 Best Players in New Orleans Saints History
The New Orleans Saints franchise was established in the National Football League in 1967, and over their 57-year history, there have been numerous great players that played in the “Big Easy”. Here are the 5 best players in New Orleans Saints history.
5. Jahri Evans, Offensive Guard (2006-2016)
Former New Orleans Saints offensive guard Jahri Evans was drafted by the New Orleans Saints in the fourth round of the 2006 NFL draft. Evans is widely regarded as one of the best offensive linemen in NFL history. Throughout his eleven-year tenure in New Orleans, Evans earned four first-team all-pro selections (’09-’12), a second-team all-pro nod (’13), six pro-bowl selections (’09-’14) and a member of the NFL 2010s All-Decade Team. Evans arrived in New Orleans in 2006 when former Saints head coach Sean Payton and former Saints quarterback Drew Brees joined the “Who Dat” nation. From 2006-2013, the pro-bowl offensive lineman started 122 consecutive games including the postseason. The former Bloomsburg Husky is currently in the New Orleans Saints hall of fame, and with his impressive resume, it’s possible the offensive lineman will see his way into the Pro Football Hall of Fame someday.
4. Marques Colston, Wide Receiver (2006-2015)
The Saints drafted wideout Marques Colston in the seventh round of the 2006 NFL draft out of Hofstra University. Colston stood at 6-foot-4 225Ibs and was the Saints’ top receiver for most of his tenure in New Orleans. Colston is the franchise’s all-time leader in receiving yards (9,759), receiving touchdowns (72), total receptions (711) and has the most seasons with 1,000 receiving yards in team history (6). The former Saints pass catcher never received an all-pro or a pro-bowl nod, but he did contribute to aiding the Saints to a victory in Super Bowl 44. In the Super Bowl, Colston garnered seven receptions for 83 yards.
3. Rickey Jackson, Linebacker (1981-1993)
Linebacker Rickey Jackson spent 13 seasons with the Saints after being drafted in the second round of the 1981 NFL draft out of Pittsburgh. Jackson was a five-time second-team all-pro (’84-’86, ’92-’93), a seven-time pro bowler (’83-’86, ’91-’93) and a four-time NFL forced fumbles leader (’81-’82,’84,’86) which is the most in NFL history. Jackson was a cornerstone piece for the New Orleans defense, as he was a member of the “Dome Patrol” linebacking core in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The members of the legendary unit were middle linebacker Vaughn Johnson, middle linebacker Sam Mills, outside linebacker Pat Swilling and Jackson. The group earned 18 combined pro bowl selections from 1986-1992, respectively. The former Saints linebacker is the franchise leader in forced fumbles (38) and fumbles recovered on defense (27). Jackson was the first Saints player ever to be elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2010.
2. Willie Roaf, Offensive Tackle (1993-2001)
Willie “Nasty” Roaf is one of the most accomplished offensive linemen in NFL history. Roaf blocked for the Saints for nine seasons and became one of the NFL’s greatest players, as he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2012. Roaf was the eighth overall pick in the 1993 NFL draft by the Saints and made an immediate impact on the offensive front. With the Saints, he was a three-time first-team all-pro selection (’94-’96), a two-time second-team all-pro selection (’97, ’00) and a seven-time pro bowl member (’94-’00). The former Saints lineman earned a spot on the NFL 1990’s All-Decade team and the NFL 2000’s All-Decade team and is the only player in Saints history to be on both teams.
1. Drew Brees, Quarterback (2006-2020)
Former New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees is arguably the greatest player in franchise history, as he is recognized as one of the greatest quarterbacks the NFL has ever seen. Brees came to New Orleans in 2006 after suffering a career-threatening shoulder injury that caused his five-year San Diego Chargers (now known as Los Angeles Chargers) tenure to end. Brees led the Saints to an NFC championship game appearance in his first year in New Orleans. The former Purdue Boilermaker led the Saints to their first Super Bowl appearance and victory in Super Bowl 44 by defeating five-time MVP quarterback Peyton Manning and the Colts. Brees throughout his fifteen-year Saints tenure led New Orleans to three NFC championship game appearances, seven NFC South division titles and nine playoff berths. The future first-ballot Hall of Famer is a Super Bowl MVP (44), two-time Offensive Player of the Year (’08, ’11), six-time completion percentage leader (’09-’11, ’17-’19), two-time passer rating leader (’09, ’18), seven-time passing yards leader (’06, ’08, ’11, ’12, ’14-’16) and a four-time passing touchdowns leader (’08, ’09, ’11, ’12). Brees finished his career with 80,358 passing yards (second all-time), 571 passing touchdowns (second all-time) and 7,142 completions (second all-time) with a 67.7 completion percentage.