“The New Orleans Saints hate LSU prospects.”
“The Saints never draft LSU players.”
We’ve all heard it. But can it finally stop now?
In the 7th Round of the 2018 NFL Draft, the Saints selected LSU’s own OL William Clapp. Bleacher Report gave Clapp a 5th Round grade:
William Clapp is a versatile, experienced prospect who can play at any of the three interior line spots. Center looks like his best fit, as his mental processing can shine and put others in a position to be successful. He’s a limited athlete but a diligent worker who plays whistle to whistle. Players who compete routinely will always find a home in the NFL to begin their careers. Clapp looks suited for a practice squad at worst in his first season and has a chance to crack an active roster as a depth piece.
Clapp makes the second player selected from LSU in the Sean Payton era, DT Al Woods in 2010 being the other. This won’t stop LSU fans from clamoring that the Saints still hate LSU players, but the facts just don’t back that up.
Seven players from LSU were selected in the 2018 NFL Draft. The Saints were one of those 7 teams. None of the other six (Patriots, Falcons, Raiders, Jaguars, Redskins and Panthers) picked more than one. It’s not like LSU players were flying off the board this year.
But the Saints have still selected only 2 LSU players since 2006. How does that compare to other schools in the SEC?
The Saints have selected 2 University of Florida players in the same time. Do the Saints hate Florida prospects? The Saints haven’t selected a single Ole Miss player in the Sean Payton Era. Or a single player out of Mississippi State. Do the Saints hate the entire state of Mississippi? The Saints have only selected 3 from the Alabama Crimson Tide and 3 from the Tennessee Volunteers since 2006. Is there really a bias here? Is 3 really that much more than 2?
The Saints don’t hate LSU players. The “but the Saints never draft LSU kids” statement is just misleading. Sure, maybe the Saints haven’t drafted a lot of prospects from their own backyard, but it’s not like it’s that different compared to other teams drafting LSU players or the Saints drafting players from other schools. LSU is just one of the 129 schools the Saints could draft out of, and there are only a limited number of picks each year.
It’s not that the Saints refuse to draft LSU players.
The Saints just prefer to draft Ohio State players.