Selecting a quarterback in the first round of the NFL draft is a strategy most teams buy into. If you believe a particular quarterback prospect has franchise potential, you do whatever it takes to get him on your roster, even if it means forfeiting multiple future Day 1 picks.
The Jaguars, Jets and Patriots all went after their future starter in the first round this year. The 49ers and Bears took things a step further, sending away future first-round draft draft capital in order to make it happen. Whatever it takes, remember?
Apparently, the New Orleans Saints don’t buy into this method — or at least they haven’t needed to.
During his show OutKick the Coverage on Monday morning, OutKick founder Clay Travis pointed out a mind-blowing stat about New Orleans’ strategy on drafting quarterbacks. They’ll draft them, but not necessarily in the first round.
“The New Orleans Saints have not drafted a quarterback in the first round since 1971,” Clay said this morning “The last quarterback to be drafted in the first round by the New Orleans Saints was Archie Manning.
“If your mind is not blown hearing that stat right now. We don’t have stats of the day or anything like that, but when I saw this, my jaw dropped. All the way back to 1971. Peyton and Eli Manning have played … just think about all the things that have happened in the NFL in that time since.”
Folks, that is half a century. It has been 50 years since the Saints took a quarterback in the first round.
Of course, one of the quarterbacks battling for the starting job right now, Jameis Winston, is a former No. 1 overall pick. But he wasn’t drafted by New Orleans. Neither was Drew Brees, who was the team’s starter for 15 straight seasons.
To reiterate, it’s been 50 YEARS since the Saints took a QB in Round One. Considering Brees and Manning led the team for at least half that time though, maybe it shouldn’t be shocking.
Think about some of the other all-time great quarterbacks: Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Brett Favre and even his replacement, Aaron Rodgers. First-round picks have been taken to replace — or try to replace — all of them.
New Orleans will likely do the same in the near future. But if they do, it will come after a 50-plus-year drought. And that’s only if the trio of Winston, Taysom Hill and rookie fourth-round pick Ian Book all don’t pan out.
Be sure to check out the podcast from Monday’s edition of OutKick the Coverage.
Follow Clint Lamb on Twitter @ClintRLamb.