This will be a 'what if' post. Meaning: what if the team before the sSints had picked this guy and he had not fallen to the Saints. Who should we thank for this particular guy falling to the Saints?
Same rules apply. First picks between 1985 and 2010, and of course it must be a player at the same position being drafted before the guy the Saints drafted.
Saints did have often drafted the best guy at a position. Often they were worse than the guy that followed. Sometimes they were better. This does not really mean we should be happy the Saints picked this guy, but at least they didn't get the guy before him.
5: 1992 Vaugh Dunbar RB (#21). He sucked, but the guy that was picked before him even sucked more. That guy was Tony Smith (#19 Falcons) who only played 3 years and had only rushing stats for his first year. He was a total bust.
4: 2008 Sedrick Ellis DT (#7). He is not the guy Andrew hoped he would be. I had no idea since he was part of the team when I started watching. Any other guy. If you follow his twitter... he Likes big butts and he can not lie, but did you know I likes sacks more then Glenn Dorsey (#5 Chiefs)? Ellis has 12.5 sacks, Dorsey only 4. Now who is the biggest disappointment?
3: 1989 Wayne Martin DE (#19). He had a nice long run with the Saints and had a couple of good years in between totalling 82.5 career sacks. The DE he followed was Jeff Lageman (#14 Jets) and had a decent career but never stood out. He has 47 career sacks. Not really bad, but not good enough for a #14 pick!
2: 1994 Joe Johnson DE (#13). He has 52.5 sacks in his career which he mainly played for the Saints. While with the Saints he has gotten 2 Pro Bowl selections and 1 All-Pro selection. Before him John Thierry (#11 Bears) as drafted, who has gotten about 20 sacks less in about the same years played, but never was a Pro Bowl guy.
1: 2000 Darren Howard DE (#33). This is the only guy in this list that is a 2nd round pick. Never made a Pro Bowl and had 282 tackles, 62.5 sacks over his career, most of them with the Saints, 11 his first year. He is not the best player in this list, but compared to the guy he followed he is a lot better. Erik Flowers (#26, Bills) never has gotten to make his 1st round pick stand. He was on 5 different teams in his career before ending up in Canada. He recorded only 5 sacks in all his professional playing time. That is a 12 to 1 ratio. Pretty much makes Darren Howard the best Saints overall Next man up first pick.
Looking at this... It pretty much gives me a good feeling that when the Saints will get a D-Linemen/OLB at #15 they will get the best guy available at that position. And with the draft being deep at that position the guy will be good! (I hope... time will tell.)