The 1981 Draft REtrospective and Relevance (1 Viewer)

Saintman2884

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With the Saints 2008 Draft coming up and with it 8 or 9 selections that will hopefully improve the team and bring us some depth and competitive fire we lost this past 2007 season, I was thinking that I should bring up a very good topic of discussion: The 1981 Draft. that draft was the best and still the best in our long storied history. It's impact lasted for almost 15 years and brought the nucleus of the success Mora had and to a lesser extent his predecessor, Bum Phillips. No matter what you may think of his coaching strategy, BUM WAS A DRAFT GENUIS. He did it in Houston and he did in this town too. He drafted Earl Campbell and he drafted his clone in George Rogers and some great outstanding Defensive players like Rickey Jackson, Jim Wilks, Tony clark, and many others who contributed to the break through glory years in the 80's.

But the 1981 draft was a testiment on how you draft the right way and how you get the right guys for the right positions. We filled a lot of needs in that draft and then some.

But what should not be left out is that this draft was the equivalent of hitting a home run at every bat of every time you go to play a game on one day. It was that good and we need to remember that cming up to the dratf. Bum knew how to draft, Payton has shown he can a bit too, but it takes 3-4 successful drafts to make a name for yourself. Loomis has had some good drafts, or mostly drafts with good people in them that have produced or become Pro Bowlers. He needs to hit another home run, and the guy is not Jim Finks, but he does have a good idea on what to do or have good people around him who are well advised to do the job. WE cannot screw up this time around. a Good draft is doing your homework and hoping for a bit of good luck and the player tunring out well.

1981 set the bar for how a great Saints draft can be and how it can shape a team for many many years to come.
 
OP

Saintman2884

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It got us Hoby Brenner, Jim wilks, George Rogers, Rickey Jackson, all four men would later earn All-Pro honors. RJ would go to be the best Saints player ever drafted, IMHO even better then Archie. He has 6 Pro Bowls berths, Wilks 1 or 2, Brenner has 1, Rogers had 2 with the Saints and won a SB with the Redskins in 1987 and several Pro Bowl appearances. So adding it all up the men we drafted all got about 12-13 Pro Bowls if you add them up in to one bunch. Thats how good of a draft it was and the thing is we passed on Lawrence Taylor who went on to be the all-time sack leader in New York.
 

Archie_4_HOF

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It got us Hoby Brenner, Jim wilks, George Rogers, Rickey Jackson, all four men would later earn All-Pro honors. RJ would go to be the best Saints player ever drafted, IMHO even better then Archie. He has 6 Pro Bowls berths, Wilks 1 or 2, Brenner has 1, Rogers had 2 with the Saints and won a SB with the Redskins in 1987 and several Pro Bowl appearances. So adding it all up the men we drafted all got about 12-13 Pro Bowls if you add them up in to one bunch. Thats how good of a draft it was and the thing is we passed on Lawrence Taylor who went on to be the all-time sack leader in New York.
The last statement shows how good that draft was. The Saints passed on future Hall of Famer LT to select the Rookie of the Year George Rogers (could have been better without the drugs) and they were still able to get Rickey Jackson who was not too far behind LT in performance.
 

bergeaux

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OK, yes we need to hit a home run on every pick. EVERY team and EVERY fan knows that. What lacks here is what was the magic of the 1981 draft. Why was every pick a home run? This thread lacks substance.
 

NeverGiveUP2

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While the defense and the dome Patrol of the 80's was incredible, I have often played the what if game... What if we had drafted LT rather than George Rogers... Probably would not have taken RJ but again just wat if... What if we had LT on one side and RJ on the other....


George "I want to gain 1500 or 2000 yards ... WHATEVER COMES FIRST" Rogers was good for a short while... and the defense was incredible I know... but what if???
 

'79 Saints

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O.K., here you go... the entire 1981 Saints draft class, including Dave Wilson who was drafted #1 in the supplemental draft:

1 1 George Rogers RB South Carolina
2 29 Russell Gary DB Nebraska
2 51 Rickey Jackson LB Pittsburgh
3 57 Frank Warren DE Auburn
3 71 Hoby Brenner TE USC
5 112 Louis Oubre G Oklahoma
5 128 Jerry Boyarsky NT Pittsburgh
6 139 Nat Hudson G Georgia
6 144 Johnnie Poe DB Missouri
6 166 Glen Redd LB Brigham Young
7 167 Kevin Williams WR USC
8 214 Gene Gladys -- Penn State
8 215 Kevin Evans -- Arkansas
9 222 Toussaint Tyler RB Washington
10 249 Hokie Gajan RB Louisiana State
11 277 Lester Mickens -- Kansas
12 305 Jim Wilks DE San Diego State
Dave Wilson

And to see every draft the Saints (or any other team has made)

http://www.nfl.com/draft/history/fulldraft?teamId=3300&type=team

And what made this draft special is there were 11 contributors out of this draft... nine became starters, 3 became key building blocks to the great defenses of the 80s, two were two of the most productive offensive players in Saints history...

Only the 1986 draft class comes close to this one.

I'd hesitate on putting the genius label on Bum, however... because after this draft, while he continued to draft good defensive players, he did a pretty poor job of drafting offensive talent and wasted a couple of 1st round picks on Earl Campbell and Richard Todd.
 

Archie_4_HOF

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, two were two of the most productive offensive players in Saints history...
Who in that list are you calling the two most productive offensive players in Saints history?

George Rogers??? Hokie Gajun??? Hoby Brenner???

You lost me on that comment.
 

DrudkhFan

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why were there so many picks back in the 80s, and why did we draft a punter in 1979!!!? IN THE FIRST ROUND PICK 11!!!!!!!!! I hope he was an amazing punter.

That 1981 draft is amazing how could we be that lucky.
 
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primadox

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Only the 1986 draft class comes close to this one.

I'd hesitate on putting the genius label on Bum, however... because after this draft, while he continued to draft good defensive players, he did a pretty poor job of drafting offensive talent and wasted a couple of 1st round picks on Earl Campbell and Richard Todd.
This is Tenordas posting under Primadox because I'm on her computer and too lazy to sign out and back in! :ezbill:

And Bum Phillips has to be given at least partial (and maybe a majority of the) credit for the 1986 draft as well. While Jim Finks did the actual drafting, he operated off the grades, notes, and scouting done by Bum and his staff.

1986:
1 6 Jim Dombrowski T Virginia
2 31 Dalton Hilliard RB Louisiana State
3 57 Rueben Mayes RB Washington State
3 60 Pat Swilling DE Georgia Tech
3 62 Barry Word RB Virginia
4 88 Kelvin Edwards WR Liberty
5 115 Reggie Sutton DB Miami (Fla.)
6 142 Bob Thompson WR Youngstown State
7 173 Gill Fenerty RB Holy Cross
8 200 Filipo Mokofisi -- Utah
9 226 Merlon Jones -- Florida A&M
10 253 Jon Dumbauld DE Kentucky
11 284 Patrick Swoopes NT Mississippi State
12 311 Sebastian Brown -- Bethune-Cookman

One of, if not the best guard in Saints' history, 2 multiple pro-bowl and top 5 running backs in Saints history, multiple pro-bowler Dome Patroler Swilling, Word who became a pro-bowl back for the Chiefs, and contirbutors in Fenerty, Sutton (a depressing story in the George Rogers mold except he went to prison and out of football before becoming a star, which I think he would have been), and Swoopes.

Bum made some stupid trades - some of them mind-numbingly stupid, but he indeed was a genius at evaluating college football talent.
 

Scott B

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While the 1981 draft was a good draft for the Saints, I wouldn't call it genius. Considering the amount of NFL Hall of Famers that were in that draft that Phillips didn't take, I'd venture to say that 1981 was one of the best years in regards to overall talent in the draft. Here is a sample of players that were available to the Saints that Phillips didn't take:

Lawrence Taylor
Ronnie Lott
Cris Collinsworth
Mike Singletary
Joe Delaney
Howie Long
Russ Grimm

when you consider some of the other players taken in this draft that were major players with Super Bowl teams in the 80's, this has to be one of the best draft classes ever. Genuis would have been taking LT in the first and Singletary in the second. Imagine that for the Dome Patrol.
 
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nextyear

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The last statement shows how good that draft was. The Saints passed on future Hall of Famer LT to select the Rookie of the Year George Rogers (could have been better without the drugs) and they were still able to get Rickey Jackson who was not too far behind LT in performance.
Not too far behind, IMHO Rickey was way better than LT. LT just played in a large market city and won a couple of super bowls.
 

'79 Saints

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Who in that list are you calling the two most productive offensive players in Saints history?

George Rogers??? Hokie Gajun??? Hoby Brenner???

You lost me on that comment.

Rogers and Brenner.

Rogers was NFL rookie of the year and was the Saints all-time leading rusher until Deuce passed him. Brenner is still the Saints most productive tight end in team history.

And FWIW, Gajan still holds the team record for yards per carry average at 5.0.
 

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