Listing the greatest New Orleans Saints players in team history.
Top-100 New Orleans Saints of All-Time: 50-41
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 50-41:
50: Bobby Hebert, QB (1985-1992)
You don’t get the nickname, “Cajun Cannon” without being deeply rooted in New Orleans (and having a great arm). If you didn’t know by the accent, his journey from Cut Off to South Lafourche high school to Northwestern State should help tell the tale. Undrafted, Hebert came to the Saints in 1985 after incredible success in the USFL. Hebert brought the Saints franchise to the first four playoff games in their history. Hebert was also a Pro Bowler and is a Saints’ Hall of Famer.
49: Kyle Turley, T (1998-2002)
Turley is most well-known for the helmet toss play against the Jets in 2001. But Turley was an ultra-fierce competitor and a team-first guy. The San Diego State Aztec was the first-round selection of the Saints in 1998. Turley was also a rare player who was a 2-time All Pro but never selected to a Pro Bowl, citing the politics of the NFL. Turley was and continues to be an ambassador for player safety.
48: Johnnie Poe, CB (1981-1987)
A sixth-round draft choice for the Saints in 1981, Poe started every game he appeared in during all but one season in New Orleans. Poe put his prototypical size to good use and had a nose for the football, amassing 17 interceptions in his career (7 in 1983 alone). Poe was used as a special teams player in 1987, a polarizing year that was his first playoff appearance and also his last season in the NFL.
47: Lance Moore, WR (2005-2013, 2017)
Undrafted, Moore made the most of his opportunities. Only 5’9” in stature, Moore had incredible presence on the field and was a favorite target of Drew Brees. More is a Saints’ Hall of Famer and a Super Bowl Champion. Moore’s impact on the playing field was only eclipsed by his unforgettable touchdown celebrations.
46: Carl Nicks, G (2008-2011)
A Saints’ Hall of Famer, Nicks was one of the most dominant guards in team history. While only in New Orleans for 4 seasons, the Saints’ 2008 sixth round pick made the most of his time. Nicks’ career is littered with awards including Pro Bowls, All-Pro Honors, and a Super Bowl champion.
45: Roman Harper, SS (2006-2013, 2016)
Don’t let the premature grey fool you. Harper played fast and loose and was involved in some of the most iconic defenses in team history. Twice a Pro Bowler, Harper also finished his career as a Super Bowl champion and a Saints’ Hall of Famer. The very busy Harper also finished his NFL career with over 800 tackles and 11 interceptions.
44: Joe Federspiel, (1972-1980)
“Joe Fed” was the prototypical big, strong linebacker. Another Saints’ Hall of Famer, the former fourth-round pick was a cornerstone of the Saints defense for nearly a decade. Federspiel was also a model of durability, starting nearly every game he played.
43: Danny Abramowicz, WR (1967-1973)
An Archie Manning favorite, Abramowicz was a draft choice of the inaugural Saints of 1967. Abramowicz was the first franchise #1 wide receiver and played his way onto the 1969 All-Pro team – an incredible accomplishment for anyone on such a young franchise. Abramowicz is also a Saints’ Hall of Famer and a Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame.
42: Jonathan Vilma, LB (2008-2013)
Vilma was an important piece of the 2009 Super Bowl Saints, coming to New Orleans in a trade from the New York Jets a year prior. A “coach on the field”, Vilma was the vocal leader of the defense during his time with the Saints. Vilma added 3 Pro Bowl awards and a Saints’ Hall of Fame induction to his Super Bowl championship throughout his career.
41: Sammy Knight, S (1997-2002)
Hard-hitting and rangy, Knight was a fan favorite during his time in New Orleans. Knight compiled over 1.000 tackles in the NFL and was both a Pro Bowler and an All-Pro award winner during a career that landed him in the Saints’ Hall of Fame.
Be sure to keep an eye out for the rest of the top-100 list.