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Top 10 Draft Busts in Saints History: #2 Russell Erxleben

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.

I'm going to be 100% honest: after deciding who the final two busts were going to be, I flipped a coin. Erxleben was tails and the coin came up heads. That is how close these final two players are in terms of being a bust.

Erxleben went to the University of Texas as a kicker/punter combo. In college, he was known as one of the greatest kickers with a strong leg and great accuracy. He was even selected as an All-American punter three times while in college.

Coming out of college, he was selected by the Saints in the first round as the 11th overall pick in the 1979 draft. That's right, the Saints took a punter with their first pick. You can imagine the high expectations placed on him...and he flopped. The second highest drafted kicker ever only played five seasons with the Saints before staying on the market for and additional three years and being picked up by Detroit for one game, in which he made one 52-yard punt. Just to compare, Morstead already has much better stats than Erxlben had over his entire career.

The drafting of Erxleben was a horrible moment in Saints history that makes me want to go back in time and knock some sense into the front office. I don't care how strong a kicker's leg is, do not draft him with a first round pick... unless your name is Al Davis.

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