The New Orleans Saints have had a roller-coaster history. Founded in 1967, it took the team two decades to make a postseason appearance. However, since then, and especially so in recent years, the Saints have been a playoff mainstay and despite only having one Super Bowl to show for it, are contenders year in and year out. The NFL Draft has helped shape this reality.

Despite the teams up and down history, New Orleans has always had its fair share of great players. Some players like Willie Roaf and Archie Manning were high draft picks and expected to be stars but others, fell through the cracks only for the Saints to pick them up later in the draft.

5. Jimmy Graham

A basketball player at the University of Miami, Graham only played one year of football after graduating. Graham only caught 213 yards and five touchdowns that year for the Hurricanes which is why he fell to the third round (95th overall) of the 2010 draft.

However, at 6-foot-7 and 260-pounds with freakish athleticism for his size, the potential was clearly there and it definitely worked out for New Orleans.

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Graham made three Pro Bowls in five seasons with the Saints with his best season coming in 2013 when he caught 86 passes for 1,215 yards and a league-leading 16 touchdowns.

4. Carl Nicks

Health issues forced Carl Nicks into early retirement but in his six years in the NFL (four with New Orleans), Nicks was undoubtedly one of the best offensive tackles in the game. Nicks started 61 of a possible 64 regular-season games with the Saints and not only was he integral in protecting quarterback Drew Brees, but he also was named to two All-Pro teams during his short four-year stint.

Considering the Saints were able to grab Nicks in the fifth round (164th overall) in 2008, the value of the pick is clearly there when it comes to the 6-foot-5, 343-pound tackle.

3. Pat Swilling

The fact that Swilling only played half of his career in New Orleans is preventing him from being higher on this list but regardless, the 6-foot-3, 245-pound linebacker had his best season as a member of the Saints.

A 1986 third-round pick out of Georgia Tech, Swilling wouldn't get a chance to start until his second season. But, when he did, the pass-rush specialist showed he was severely undervalued in the draft.

Swilling's best season came in 1991 when he recorded 60 tackles, a league-high 17 sacks and six forced fumbles. For his effort, the former third-round pick was named the league's Defensive Player of the Year.

2. Rickey Jackson

The fact that the Saints had both Swilling and Jackson on the same defense in the early 90s is simply unfair. The 51st overall pick in the 1981 draft out of Pitt, Jackson was able to make an immediate impact in New Orleans recording 125 tackles in his rookie year.

In his 13 seasons as a Saint, Jackson accumulated an impressive 1,104 tackles, 128 sacks, 38 forced fumbles and seven interceptions and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2010.

1. Jahri Evans

While Nicks was a beast on the offensive line for the Saints in the early part of the decade, he might've been outdone by teammate Jahri Evans. Evans dominated Division-II football at Bloomsburg University in Pennsylvania but the lack of competition forced the 6-foot-4, 318-pound offensive guard to slip to the fourth round (108th overall) in the 2006 draft.

Evans played 11 of his 12 career seasons for New Orleans and in that time, was named a First-Team All-Pro four times — tied for most in franchise history.