We’ve made it to number one! We have gone over the third and second top Saints draft classes since 2000. Now it is time to go over the first! 2016 resulted in some solid starts and superstars as well as 2006. However, 2017 takes the cake for me.
11th Overall- Marshon Lattimore
Marshon Lattimore has developed into one of the very best Corners in the game. He was not even supposed to fall to us as some mocks had him going as high as top 5. An early run on offensive talent saw the defensive talent in the draft drop and put Lattimore right into our lap. Lattimore has been stellar since the start. He won NFL Defensive Rookie of the year and has made two Pro Bowls. The Saints picked his his fifth year option as it looks like Lattimore is here for the long run.
32nd Overall- Ryan Ramczyk
Ryan Ramczyk was one of the best picks of the entire draft. However, he wasn’t who the Saints had originally targeted. The Saints were originally going to draft Reuben Foster out of Alabama who had slipped due to off the field issues. Thankfully Foster hung up on the Saints and Ramcyzk became a Saint. It is honestly a crime that he hasn’t been selected to a Pro Bowl because he has been one of the best tackles in the game since the start. He made the All-Rookie Team in 2017, the All-Pro second team in 2018, and the All-Pro First Team in 2019. Like Lattimore, the Saints picked up the potential future Hall of Famer’s fifth year option. Foster on the other hand, is on the road to being out of the league after more off the field trouble.
42nd Overall- Marcus Williams
Marcus Williams is another player who the Saints hit on. He has been the starting safety since his rookie year. He made the All-Rookie First team. Unfortunately, we all know how his rookie season ended in the Divisional Round against the Vikings, but he has ten career interceptions in 46 games. He is an underrated piece of this Saints defense. People forget he is only 23 and has the potential to go down as one of the greatest Safeties to play the game.
67th Overall- Alvin Kamara
Alvin Kamara was another home run pick for the Saints. He is one of the best Running Backs in the game already at age 24. He has been to the Pro Bowl in all three years of his career, was on the Second-team All-Pro in 2017, won NFL Offensive Rookie of the year, and Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Year. Kamara has 38 career touchdowns, 2,408 rushing yards, and 2,068 receiving yards in just three years. Unfortunately, he is entering the final year of his deal and the Saints will have a big decision to make shortly as Kamara will command top money.
76th Overall- Alex Anzalone
Alex Anzalone is quality starter at Linebacker. Unfortunately, he has been held back by injuries. In 2018 he started 7 games and appeared in all 16. He had 55 totals tackles, an interception, and three forced fumbles. In his rookie year, he suffered a season ending injury after just two games. This past season he suffered a season ending injury after four games. Anzalone has struggled with shoulder injuries since college. 2020 will be a big year for Anzalone as he heads into the final year of his deal.
103rd Overall- Trey Hendrickson
Trey Hendrickson is a really solid player. This past year will a little more playing time due to a Marcus Davenport injury, Hendrickson appeared in 13 games totaling 4.5 sacks and a forced fumble. He is a starting caliber play who is the victim of the Saints having too much defensive line talent. He is entering the final year of his deal, so he should get nice money no matter if it is from the Saints or not.
196th Overall- Al-Quadin Muhammed
Al-Quadin Muhammed’s round out the top of all the Saints draft classes. However, his stint in NOLA was short. He fell down the draft board due to off the field issues, sparking the Saints to take a shot on him in the 6th round. He played in just four games for the black and gold in 2017 before being released in 2018. However, he has found a home on the Colts where he has played in 31 out of 32 games over the past two seasons. He didn’t make it his second year in NOLA due to the Saints having and abundance of defensive line talent.
2017 gets the nod as the top of all the Saints draft classes due to the fact that the Saints drafted four potential Hall of Famers, and revived the franchise in a single weekend. The 2017 class is the back bone of this team, and has the Saints set up for long term success. Let’s not pretend like we weren’t robbed out of a Super Bowl during these players’ second season. As long as the front office handles the contracts correctly, we should see years of success in large part due to this draft class. Hold it.