Starting April 4th and continuing through April 29th, Canal Street Chronicles will be counting down the top 10 draft busts and then the top 10 draft successes in Saints history. Feel free to to use these posts as a springboard for discussion about how awful or how great each draft pick turned out.
For an explanation on how our draft successes work, go here.
The best draft selection (outside of the first round) in Saints history? It just so happens to be the only Saint to be inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame. Rickey Jackson was drafted in the 1981 draft - the third and final person on this list to be taken in that '81 draft - in the second round with the 51st overall pick. Bum Phillips hit the freakin' jackpot. Right off the bat, Jackson earned his way onto the NFL's All Rookie team in 1981. And it didn't stop there.
Rickey played with the Saints for 13 seasons in which he earned six Pro Bowl appearances, seven first team All-NFC, four first team All-Pro and two second team All-Pro honors. He was able to earn a Super Bowl ring, but that's a sad story that I won't mention here.
Rickey notched 115 sacks during his tenure with the Saints, seven interceptions, a safety, and what I assume would be a gazillion* tackles (Before 2001, the NFL did not keep an official count on tackles, therefore gazillion is my best estimate). While a Saint, he was also an integral member of the Dome Patrol, the best linebacking corps ever, which included Rickey, Sam Mills, Vaughan Johnson, and Pat Swilling (who was No. 3 on our list).
And for one final bit on Rickey's awesomeness, I found something on Wikipedia that - if true - is so badass it is ridiculous:
In his entire 13 seasons as a Saint, Jackson missed only 2 games, and those 2 games were a result of an automobile accident he suffered in 1989. He played the remainder of the 1989 season with his jaw wired and wearing a special helmet, still managing to accumulate 7-1/2 sacks on the year.
The man is pure awesome. He left the Saints in 1994 and went to the 49ers. He would retire following the 1995 season after 15 years in the NFL and holding six records for the Saints. These records are below along with our complete list of Canal Street Chronicles' top 10 draft successes in Saints history.
Saints records held by Rickey Jackson - Source
(Records through the 1993 season, Jackson’s final season with New Orleans)
• [1st] Most Games – 195
• [1st] Most Sacks, Career – 123.0 (includes unofficial 8.0 sacks in 1981)
• [Tied for 1st] Most Seasons – 13
• [1st] Most Opponents Fumbles Recovered, Career – 26
• [1st] Most Opponents Fumbles Recovered, Season – 7 (1990)
• [Tied for 1st] Most Sacks, Game – 4 (at Atlanta, Dec. 14, 1986; at Detroit, Sept. 18, 1988)
• [2nd] Most Sacks, Rookie Season – 8.0 (1981; note: sack was an unofficial statistic prior to 1982)
Canal Street Chronicles' top 10 draft successes in Saints history
#10: Jim Wilks
#9: Frank Warren
#8: Morten Andersen
#7: Danny Abramowicz
#6: Tommy Myers
#5: Derland Moore
#4: Dave Wymer
#3: Pat Swilling
#2: Eric Martin
#1 Rickey Jackson
Are You Smarter Than The Experts?
Correctly predict the first 32 picks of the 2011 NFL Draft and you’ll win $10,000,000!
BEST ROUND EVER IN PRIMETIME
Enter at facebook.com/BudLight
Here We Go
Enjoy Responsibly ©2011 Anheuser-Busch, Inc., Bud Light® Beer, St. Louis, MO. ©2011 NFL Properties LLC. All NFL-related trademarks are trademarks of the National Football League. No Purchase Necessary. Contest open to U.S. residents (except CA) 21+. Contest begins 12AM CDT on 4/1 and ends 5:59:59PM CDT on 4/28. See Official Rules for complete details. Void where prohibited.