Top-100 New Orleans Saints of All-Time: 30-21
That question is asked, and those debates happen every day amongst sports fans.
Trying to compare players of a common position and era are tough enough. Once you introduce grouping all positions together, regardless of when they played, what the talent pool was or what the rules were during their NFL careers, the answers get arbitrary.
We combined four sources to come up with our list of the Top-100 New Orleans Saints players of all time. Rankings for all players were averages comprised of contributions from pro-football-reference.com (Twitter: @pfref), Jeremy Trottier of the canalstreetchronicles.com (Twitter @ClutchWDN), Billy Gunn of the ‘Taking the Over with Billy Gunn’ Podcast (Twitter & Instagram: @takingtheover) and John Butler of canalstreetchronicles.com and the Saintjohnbutler YouTube channel (Twitter & Instagram: @Saintjohnbutler).
This is our list of New Orleans Saints 30-21:
30: Joe Johnson, DE/DT (1994-2001)
One of the best players to come out of Louisville, Johnson was selected in the first round of the 1994 NFL draft by the Saints. Johnson compiled All-Pro and Pro Bowl honors while in New Orleans and also won NFL Comeback Player of the Year after missing the entire 1999 season to a knee injury that threatened his career. That 2000 season saw him pile up a career best 12 sacks. Johnson is in the Saints Hall of Fame.
29: Derland Moore, DT/NT (1973-1985)
Honored by an appearance on the Saints 40th Anniversary and 50th Anniversary Teams, as well as the Saints Hall of Fame, Moore was a mainstay on the Saints defensive line for 13 years. The former 2nd-round selection was a Pro Bowl tackle and finished his career with 48 sacks despite often seeing double-teams.
28: Dalton Hilliard, RB (1986-1993)
Hilliard played his ENTIRE football career in New Orleans – Patterson High School, LSU and the New Orleans Saints. The local product was a versatile back and earned 2nd-team All-Pro and Pro Bowl honors while accumulating nearly 6,400 yards from scrimmage. Hilliard is a member of both the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame as well as the Saints’ Hall of Fame.
27: Joel Hilgenberg, C (1984-1993)
Another tenured Saint, Hilgenberg played his entire NFL career with New Orleans. Yet another member of the Saints Hall of Fame, Hilgenberg started nearly 100 games and was a pivotal piece of the Saints and the franchise’s new fund success, helping them reach their first 4 playoff appearances. “Hilgy” was also a Pro Bowler in 1992.
26: Tommy Myers, S (1972-1981)
Myers is considered one of the greatest safeties in Saints’ history. The perfect combination of coverage, hard-hitting and ball-hawking abilities, Myers was ahead of his time. An All-Pro, Pro Bowler and Saints’ Hall of Famer, Myers is still second in career interceptions for the Saints with 36.
25: Frank Warren, DE/DT (1981-1994)
Warren is yet another career Saint. After 14 seasons with New Orleans, Warren earned his way onto the Saints 50th Anniversary Team as well as the Saints’ Hall of Fame. The model of consistency, Warren played all 16 games in 10 different seasons and finished his career with 56 sacks and a very significant 283 tackles.
24: Alvin Kamara, RB (2017-Present)
Kamara, entering his 6th NFL season, is just 29 rushing yards away from being 3rd on the all-time Saints’ rushing leaders list. An incredible combination of speed, power and balance, Kamara can be effective between the tackles, but is most potent in open space. Kamara has averaged a gaudy 1500 yards per season from scrimmage and is well on his way to being the greatest back in team history.
23: Zach Strief, T (1997-2003)
The 6’7”, 320-pound tackle played all 12 years of his NFL career in New Orleans. A steal in the 7th round of the NFL draft, Strief would be an eventual All-Pro and Super Bowl champion. Strief was great both in pass protection and pulling in the running game. Notably, Strief’s number was called often in the Superdome, “64 is an eligible receiver.”
22: Mark Ingram, RB (2011-2018, 2021-Present)
The Saints’ all-time leading rusher, Ingram has been an offensive cornerstone of the Brees’ era offense. A first-round choice out of Alabama, Ingram brought his tough brand of football to New Orleans and has become a fan favorite since. Ingram, son of former Giants’ receiver of the same name, is also a 3-time Pro Bowler.
21: Dave Waymer, S (1980-1989)
A second-round selection out of Notre Dame, Waymer is the all-time Saints’ leader in interceptions with 37, one more than the previously mentioned Tommy Myers. Waymer and his leadership was an important factor in the Saints eventual success in 1987, playing in the franchise’s first ever playoff game. Waymer was also a Pro Bowler, All-Pro and is a Saints’ Hall of Famer.
Be sure to keep an eye out for the rest of the top-100 list.