Best New Orleans Saints Draft Choices From FBS Schools: Louisville
Who is the best player the New Orleans Saints ever drafted from the Louisville Cardinals?
From May 1 until the start of the 2016 NFL season on September 11, we’re going to list the best players that the Saints ever drafted from all 128 FBS schools, as of 2015.
Of course, there are a number of schools, including Air Force, Appalachian St., Arizona, Army, Baylor, Boise St., Bowling Green, Buffalo, Central Florida, Central Michigan, East Carolina, FAU, FIU, Hawaii, ULM, and South Alabama, in which the Saints have never drafted a player.
Yesterday, we looked at the best player the Saints ever drafted from Louisiana Tech.
Today, we spotlight the best player the Saints ever drafted from Louisville.
When it comes to selecting the best player the Saints ever drafted from Louisville, the choice is limited to defensive lineman Joe Johnson (1994), defensive back Johnny Patrick (2011), and running back Howard Stevens (1973).
The choice, a pretty easy one, is going to be Johnson, a defensive end, who played 7 years for the team, from 1994-2001.
A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Johnson, who was the 13th-overall pick of the 1994 NFL Draft, had a successful stint with the Saints, being selected to the Pro Bowl twice in his career.
The 6-foot-4, 275-pound Johnson became an immediate starter at defensive end in his rookie season, making 36 tackles, including one sack.
Over the next four seasons, Johnson averaged 45 tackles and 7 sacks a season, before an injury took away his 1999 season.
Johnson returned in 2000 with a career-year, compiling 12 sacks, while being named to the Pro Bowl.
He was named to the Pro Bowl again in the 2001 campaign, he final one as a Saints, while he accumulated 53 tackles and 9 sacks.
Johnson left the Saints following the 2001 season, signing with the Green Bay Packers, where he played for two seasons, prior to retiring.
In 7 seasons with the Saints, Johnson played in 106 games, including 104 as a starter, compiling 306 total tackles, including 50.5 sacks.
In 9 total NFL seasons, Johnson appeared in 117 games, including 115 as a starter, accumulating 318 total tackles and 52.2 sacks.