The Saints love to move around the draft board.
Since Sean Payton came to town in 2006, he and general manager Mickey Loomis have engaged in a trade involving draft picks in every season with both men at the helm.
This has allowed New Orleans to move around the board and select the players it wants, but if there is a downside, it’s that the Saints have only made 53 draft picks since 2006, the fewest in the NFL.
Some of the deals have worked out well. Others have left something to be desired. Here’s a look back at a history of those deals and whether or not the Saints came out on the winning end:
Traded 34th pick to Cleveland for the 43rd pick (Roman Harper) and center Jeff Faine;
Traded 99th pick to Philadelphia for 108th pick (Jahri Evans) and defensive tackle Hollis Thomas.
These are arguably the best trades the Saints have made involving draft picks. Harper carved out a long and distinguished career in New Orleans and Evans has been a perennial All Pro.
Cleveland didn’t make out bad either, nabbing linebacker D’Qwell Jackson with the 34th pick. After spending seven seasons with the Browns, Jackson made the Pro Bowl last season with the Indianapolis Colts.
The Eagles took a different guard, Max Jean-Gilles, with the 99th pick. He appeared in 42 games before washing out of the league following the 2010 season.
Verdict: Win for the Saints.
Traded 58th pick to Detroit for 66th pick (Usama Young) and 145th pick (David Jones);
Traded 123rd and 163rd picks to Houston for 107th pick (Antonio Pittman).
There could have been some seller’s remorse here if the Lions had selected a player who made an impact, but they missed on defensive end Ikaika Alama-Francis, who finished his career in 2011 with one career sack.
New Orleans could have done worse with the 66th pick. Usama Young appeared in 52 games for the Saints in various spots in the defensive backfield, recording three interceptions and 93 tackles. He’s now with the Oakland Raiders.
David Jones, a cornerback, was cut by the Saints coming out of training camp.
To acquire Pittman, New Orleans traded away the picks that were used to select defensive back Fred Bennett and tackle Brandon Frye. Bennett intercepted five passes over his first two seasons but has not played since 2010. Frye never amounted to anything in the league.
Pittman was cut by the Saints in September to make room for Pierre Thomas.
Verdict: Give it to the Lions — but not by much. Maybe the roster spot for Thomas should put New Orleans over the top.
Traded picks 10 and 78 to New England for picks 7 (Sedrick Ellis) and 164 (Carl Nicks);
Traded picks 146 and 218 to Detroit for pick 144 (DeMario Pressley);
Traded future pick to Green Bay for pick 237 (Adrian Arrington).
The trade with New England worked out, but it could have been better. Ellis started 70 games over five seasons for New Orleans, serving as a defensive tackle, though his tenure is considered by many to be a disappointment.
The Saints, however, landed guard Carl Nicks with the 164th pick.
With the 10th pick, the Patriots selected linebacker Jerod Mayo, an All-Pro linebacker, and later picked Shawn Crable, who was a bust. Mayo has been one of the lynch pins of New England’s defense.
The trade with Detroit amounted to little for both teams. The Saints selected defensive tackle DeMario Pressley, who had no impact with the franchise, with the 144th pick. Detroit selected fullback Jerome Felton and defensive back Caleb Campbell.
With pick 237, New Orleans selected wide receiver Adrian Arrington. He hung around for a few years but never had much impact.
Verdict: To the Patriots. The Saints should have gotten more out of the seventh pick, but got great value in Nicks. Perhaps the overall haul is a loss, but not by much.
Traded pick 222 and 2010 pick 163 to Philadelphia for pick 164 (Thomas Morstead).
Morstead is one of the league’s better punters and has solidified that position for the Saints. Philadelphia ultimately traded pick 222 to the Colts, who selected punter Pat McAfee, who is also one of the better punters in the league.
Verdict: The Saints gave up two picks to get Morstead when they could have stood pat and landed McAfee. Still, Morstead has worked out. This is a win.
Traded picks 130 and 201 to Arizona for pick 123 (Al Woods)
Traded 2011 pick 121 for pick 158 (Matt Tennant)
Al Woods, a defensive tackle from LSU, was released by the Saints before the start of the season.
Arizona selected defensive end O’Brien Schofield and defensive back Jorrick Calvin with its picks. Calvin failed to make an impact, while Schofield recorded 101/2 sacks over three seasons with the Cardinals. He spent the last two seasons with the Seahawks.
Verdict: A win for the Cardinals
Traded pick 56 and 2012 pick 27 to New England for pick 28 (Mark Ingram).
It’s difficult to know what to think of this one. Ingram emerged as a viable running back this season and perhaps his limited production was because of his usage and a blocking scheme that was not favorable to his running style.
But, looking at how this worked out for New England, it’s hard to declare New Orleans the winners.
The Patriots packaged the 2012 pick with a third-round pick to move up six spots and selected defensive end Chandler Jones. With the 56th pick, New England drafted running back Shane Vereen.
Over 40 games, Jones has recorded 231/2 sacks for the Patriots and Vereen has emerged as a threat out of the backfield.
Verdict: Loss. The Saints probably wouldn’t have gotten the same haul since New England had to make another trade to land Jones, but the Patriots got the better package here.
Traded Chris Ivory to the Jets for pick 106; traded picks 106 and 109 to Miami for pick 82 (Jonathan Jenkins).
It’s too early to know what Jenkins is going to become. He’s had strong moments that could eventually lead to him becoming a consistent, impact player.
With pick 106, Miami selected tight end Dion Sims, who caught 36 passes for 284 yards last season. Pick 109 ended up with the Packers, who selected offensive tackle David Bakhtiari.
Verdict: Too soon to tell.
Traded picks 27 and 91 to Arizona for pick 20 (Brandin Cooks).
It is also too early to judge this one. Cooks had a solid rookie season before becoming injured, and should emerge as a key piece of this offense.
The value of this trade will be judged against Carolina’s Kelvin Benjamin, who was selected with the 28th pick. He caught 73 passes for 1,0008 yards last season for Carolina.
With the 91st pick, Arizona selected wide receiver John Brown, who caught 48 passes for 696 yards last year. The 27th pick was used to select defensive back Deon Bucannon.
Verdict: Too soon to tell.