We have detailed previous draft regrets of what could have been for the New Orleans Saints in the draft process from 1967-1981. Today, we take a look at 1982-84:
1982–Bum Phillips loved veteran players and his loyalty to them was obvious. In some cases, it paid off. In other cases (Leon Gray, Earl Campbell, Ken Stabler, Richard Todd), the results were certainly less than stellar.
One young veteran that Phillips did not value that he inherited was talented receiver Wes Chandler, whom he summarily traded to San Diego in 1981. To replace Chandler, Phillips drafted Lindsay Scott of Georgia with the 13th overall pick in the 1982 draft.
Scott was not the answer. He played just four seasons in New Orleans, starting just 22 of 49 games. Scott had just 69 catches and scored just one touchdown. It is safe to say that this pick was a bust, considering where Scott was picked.
If you wanted a good wide receiver to replace Chandler, why not Mike Quick of North Carolina State? He was picked seven picks later by Philadelphia. Quick played nine seasons for the Eagles, catching 363 balls for 61 touchdowns. He led the NFL in receiving yards in 1983. He was a first team All-Pro twice and a five-time Pro Bowl participant.
For that matter, three picks after the Saints picked Scott, the St. Louis Cardinals took tackle Luis Sharpe of UCLA, who went on to an outstanding 13-year career, making three Pro Bowls.
Phillips made up for the first round gaffe by picking guard Brad Edelman in the second round, who was a very solid player and had a Pro Bowl appearance. Defensive back Rodney Lewis, who made no impact, while Kenny Duckett and Eugene Goodlow were also chosen and were okay.
In the fourth round, Phillips picked a kicker named Morten Anderson 86th overall. You know the rest of that story.
1983–The Saints, thanks to one of many Phillips deals, did not have a first-round pick but in the second round, New Orleans tabbed guard Steve Korte of Arkansas with the 38th overall pick.
Korte was a good pick, playing seven seasons in New Orleans at center and guard. After picking Korte, Phillips touted him as a “modern day George Atlas,” invoking the name of a world famous body-builder.
With the pick after Korte, Buffalo chose linebacker Darryl Talley, who went to play 14 seasons for the Bills, making four Super Bowl appearances and reaching a pair of Pro Bowls.
The Saints took tight end John Tice and running back Cliff Austin in the third round. Tice was a very solid player while Austin made no impact.
In the fourth round, the Saints took nose tackle Gary Lewis of Oklahoma State. He did nothing, playing in just six games. Five picks later, St. Louis took defensive back Lionel Washington of Tulane and Lutcher.
All Washington did was go on to a 15-year NFL career, accumulating 37 interceptions in an outstanding career and he was a hometown hero whom the Saints passed on.
1984–Again, the Saints had no first-round pick, thanks to Phillips mortgaging the future for veteran players.
With the 42nd pick overall in round two, the Saints picked tall, athletic defensive end Jumpy Geathers from Wichita State. Geathers had an excellent 13-year NFL career. Unfortunately, only six of those seasons were with the Saints. He went on to play well and with Super Bowl champions in Washington before playing for Atlanta and Denver.
Phillips whiffed in the third round with his choices of safety Terry Hoage of Georgia and Tyrone Anthony of North Carolina. Hoage and Anthony each played just two seasons for the Saints. Hoage did have four interceptions in 1995 but he played 11 more seasons in the NFL, including eight interceptions for the Eagles in 1988. Anthony rushed for just 298 yards.
Phillips tapped into the right school but the wrong player in Hoage. Four picks after the Saints chose Anthony, the 49ers picked guard Guy McIntyre of the Bulldogs. All McIntyre did was play 13 seasons, win multiple Super Bowls and earned five Pro Bowl berths in San Francisco.