Earlier we looked at the New Orleans Saints draft picks from 2003 to 2007 and who was left in the first round after they made their selection. This go around the focus will be from 2008 to the present.
2008: DT Sedrick Ellis, USC (7th pick)
We started off part one of the series with a cringer so we can do the same for part two with this Saints selection. The bad part about this pick is that the Saints actually moved up to get Ellis.
Originally at the 10th spot, the Saints traded with the New England Patriots by simply swapping their first round picks and the Saints giving up a third round pick and the Patriots a fifth round pick.
Ellis' best year as a Saint was in 2010 when he had 44 tackles, 6 sacks, and 2 forced fumbles. His worst was this past season where he had 36 tackles as his sole stat number. The addition of Brodrick Bunkley and rookie Akiem Hicks ushered Ellis into free agency for 2013 and likely off of the Saints roster.
Notable players left on the board after Ellis: LB Jerod Mayo, OT Ryan Clady, OT Branden Albert, CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, CB Aqib Talib, OT Sam Baker, RB Chris Johnson, S Kenny Phillips.
2009: CB Malcolm Jenkins, Ohio State (14th pick)
I thought the Saints should select LB Brian Cushing with this pick, which head coach Sean Payton later said they'd have done if Jenkins hadn't been available. Instead they chose the former Buckeye to bid goodbye to the dreadful Jason David era.
Jenkins mainly saw work on special teams but was used in the famous play involving the pick six by Tracy Porter in Super Bowl XLIV. In 2010 he was asked to make the move to free safety taking over for an injured and rehabbing Darren Sharper.
He has been involved in several hustle plays such as chasing down Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Roy Williams in 2010, forcing a fumble, and chasing down Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Vincent Jackson in 2012 which kept Jackson from scoring. For his career Jenkins has 290 tackles, 2 sacks, 4 interceptions, and four forced fumbles.
Notable players left on the board after Jenkins: LB Brian Cushing, WR Jeremy Maclin, TE Brandon Pettigrew, WR Percy Harvin, OT Michael Oher, LB Clay Matthews.
2010: CB Patrick Robinson, Florida State (32nd pick)
When quarterback Drew Brees announced this selection at the 2010 NFL Draft a hush fell over Radio City Music Hall and caused many a Who Dat to ask, "Patrick who?!?" Trust me, I was among them when the Saints selected the speedy Seminole.
Robinson has been an enigma since joining the Saints because he will look completely lost on one series and get burned, but then have a flashy play that will make you think he's finally getting settled.
While only seeing limited playing time as a rookie, he had 38 tackles and 4 interceptions in 2011. In 2012 he had 64 tackles, 1 sack, 3 interceptions, and 1 forced fumble.
Notable players left on the board after Robinson: None; was final pick of the first round.
2011: DE Cameron Jordan, California (24th pick) and RB Mark Ingram, Alabama (28th pick)
The Saints pulled a major surprise when they selected Jordan and then traded up giving their 2011 second round pick as well as their 2012 first round pick to the New England Patriots.
Jordan has slowly come along since 2011 and had a breakout year in 2012 with 41 tackles, 8 sacks, and three forced fumbles. He is expected to thrive in defensive coordinator Rob Ryan's 3-4 scheme.
The jury is still out on Ingram who only played in 10 games for 2011 but had 474 yards rushing with 5 touchdowns. In 2012 some said he regressed a bit as he started all 16 games and had 602 yards rushing and 5 touchdowns. Both seasons had him averaging 3.9 yards per carry.
Notable players left on the board after Jordan and Ingram: DE Muhammad Wilkerson, OT James Carpenter, CB Jimmy Smith.
In the 2013 NFL Draft the Saints finally have a first round pick to use, but the big mystery is who they'll choose. Linebackers Jarvis Jones and Barkevious Mingo have been most associated with the team, as well as safety Kenny Vaccaro.
Of course the Saints could also choose to trade down in the first round if they see that their graded players have slipped from their grasp. But as anyone knows, there is no telling what the Saints will do or what curveball they will throw when pick #15 rolls around.