Best New Orleans Saints Draft Choices From FBS Schools: Ohio St.
Who is the best player the New Orleans Saints ever drafted from the Ohio St. Buckeyes?
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, Miami (Ohio), Marshall, Middle Tennessee, Navy, Nevada, New Mexico, New Mexico St., Northern Illinois, and South Alabama, in which the Saints have never drafted a player.
Yesterday, we looked at the best player the Saints ever drafted from Notre Dame.
Today, we spotlight the best player the Saints ever drafted from Ohio St.
When it comes to selecting the best player the Saints ever drafted from Ohio St., the choice is limited to offensive lineman LeCharles Bentley (2002), defensive back Craig Cassady (1976), linebacker Cie Grant (2003), center/long snapper Kevin Houser (2000), defensive back Malcolm Jenkins (2009), defensive back Rob Kelly (1997), linebacker Scott Leach (1987), linebacker Rick Middleton (1974), running back Jim Otis (1970), running back Antonio Pittman (2007), offensive lineman Kurt Schumacher (1975), and defensive lineman Will Smith (2004).
The pick is going to be Smith, a defensive lineman, who has played ten years for the Saints, from 2004-2013.
A native of Queens, New York, Smith, who was the 18th-overall pick of the 2004 NFL Draft, was a fixture on the defensive line for the Saints for ten seasons.
The 6-foot-3, 282-pound Smith played in 16 games as a rookie, starting 4, while making 30 tackles, including an impressive 7.5 sacks.
The 2005 season saw Smith get even more playing time, as he played in all 16 games once again, starting 9, while making 48 tackles, including 8.5 sacks.
In 2006, Smith continued his fine play, being named to the Pro Bowl for the first and only time is his successful career, after generating 10.5 sacks in 14 games, all as a starter.
Smith remained the starter at right defensive end over the next six seasons, averaging 40 tackles and 6 sacks, including the 2009 season, in which he got to the quarterback 13 times, a career-high, while helping the team win the Super Bowl.
In 2013, in the third preseason game of the year, Smith suffered a knee injury, which ultimately ended his fine career.
In 9 seasons in the NFL, all with the Saints, Smith played in 139 games, including 120 as a starter, accumulating 324 total tackles, including 57.5 sacks.
Sadly, Smith was shot dead following a traffic altercation in April. He was 34 years of age.