Previously, we have detailed previous draft regrets of what could have been for the New Orleans Saints, covering 1967-1990. Today, we look at 1991-1993:
1991–The Saints did not have a first-round pick, having traded it away and it hurt the development of an aging team. Bobby Hebert was embroiled in a contract dispute with Jim Finks and sat out the 1990 season.
Desperate for help at quarterback after John Fourcade opened the 1991 season in erratic fashion over the first three games and the Saints made a terrible deal with Dallas, trading their No. 1 pick and No. 3 pick in 1991 and a second-round choice in 1992 to the Cowboys for Steve Walsh.
Then, in the second round with pick No. 42 overall, the Saints missed on wide receiver Wesley Carroll of Miami.
Carroll played just two years in New Orleans and had just 36 receptions and three touchdowns. Three picks later, the 49ers selected running back Ricky Watters of Notre Dame.
Watters had a sparking 10-year career, amassing 91 touchdowns and made five Pro Bowls as a talented runner and receiver. He rushed for 10,643 yards and caught 467 passes and had 13 touchdown receptions.
1992–It was another miss in the first round in 1992, setting the stage for future failure. The Saints opted for running back Vaughn Dunbar of Indiana with the 21st overall pick.
Dunbar played in just 25 games with only eight starts in three seasons with the Saints. He had a total of 574 yards and three touchdowns while catching just nine passes for 62 yards.
With the next choice, Chicago took defensive lineman Alonzo Spellman with the 22nd overall pick. Spellman played 10 solid seasons in the league and had 43 sacks.
The Saints had no second round pick, another blow, and in the third round, New Orleans selected defensive back Tyrone Legette of Nebraska with the 72nd overall pick.
Legette played four seasons with the Saints, playing in 53 games. While he was a decent player, he moved on after four years.
1993–Amen! The Saints hit it huge with the eighth overall pick in the 1993 draft, selecting tackle William Roaf of Louisiana Tech. Roaf went on to be one of the greatest tackles in NFL history, playing nine seasons in New Orleans and 13 seasons overall.
Roaf was a first-team All-Pro in 1994 and 1995 and made seven Pro Bowls with the Saints. He was inducted into the Saints Hall of Fame and the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Later in the first round, New Orleans chose tight end Irv Smith of Notre Dame 20th overall. Smith was a solid, unspectacular player with the Saints over five seasons, catching 134 passes with nine touchdowns.
With the next pick after Irv Smith, the Vikings chose running back Robert Smith of Ohio State, whose dazzling speed earned him a pair of Pro Bowl berths as he rushed for 6,818 yards and 32 touchdowns.
In the second round, the Saints picked linebacker Reggie Freeman with the 53rd pick overall. Freeman was a bust, playing in just 10 games with the Saints and in the league.
If you wanted a linebacker with the Dome Patrol near its end, you could have had Darrin Smith, who went with the next pick after Freeman to Dallas. Smith had 11 interceptions and 24 sacks in a very solid career, which included being part of championship teams.