The New Orleans Saints have had their fair share of good draft picks over the years, drafting Saints legends such as Marques Colston, Rickey Jackson and Deuce McAllister. This week, we posted a poll asking fans “Who was the Saints best draft pick and why?” 11.4% voted for Deuce McAllister.
Who was the Saints best draft pick and why?— Canal St. Chronicles (@SaintsCSC) April 19, 2023
McAllister was drafted 23rd overall in 2001 by the New Orleans Saints to replace one of the franchises biggest draft blunders, Rickey Williams, who was traded away following the 2001 season. He played eight seasons in New Orleans, ranking second in rushing yards and tied for second in rushing touchdowns in franchise history.
After getting just 16 rushing attempts his rookie year, McAllister went on to record 1,000+ rushing yards in four of his next five seasons and score double-digit touchdowns in two of those.
In 2002, McAllister was arguably the best running back in the NFL. He logged 1,740 total yards and 16 total touchdowns, earning his first Pro Bowl appearance in his second year in the league.
He followed up his 2003 campaign with 2,157 total yards and eight total touchdowns, earning a Pro Bowl selection for the second straight season.
McAllister eclipsed 1,000 yards two more times in his career in 2004 and 2006, but the injuries kept piling up for the electric running back. He would play in 10+ games just three of his final five seasons and never completed a full 16 game season again.
In 2005, McAllister tore his anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee, ending his season after just five games. After a healthy 2006 season, McAllister tore his ACL in 2007, again missing double-digit games. He would comeback in 2008, but only registered 418 rushing yards in 13 games.
McAllister missed the entire 2009 season, the magical year that ended in the franchise's first Super Bowl victory. Luckily, the Saints legend was still rostered and retired a Super Bowl champion.
McAllister will always be remembered by Saints fans for his contributions on the field, but since his retirement, he has been as active in the New Orleans community as any other former Saint.
He created the Catch 22 Foundation, an organization dedicated to enhancing the lives of youth in the Gulf Region. McAllister also partnered with Jason White, a local business man, to launch FRYP, a fund raising platform for small businesses. FRYP collaborates with small businesses to create products to be sold online. This organization gives small businesses a platform to sell their goods and help raise more money and awareness for their business.
Deuce has worked with countless other charity and volunteer organizations to help the New Orleans community since his retirement in 2010.
McAllister was inducted into the Saints Hall of Fame alongside the late Tom Benson in 2012. His work on and off the field has been second to none, and he is one of the greatest Saints of all time.
But, the question still remains, is he the greatest draft pick in Saints history?
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