Best New Orleans Saints Draft Choices From FBS Schools: South Carolina
Who is the best player the New Orleans Saints ever drafted from the South Carolina Gamecocks?
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., Ohio, Rice, Rutgers, San Jose St., and South Alabama, in which the Saints have never drafted a player.
Earlier, we looked at the best player that the Saints ever drafted out of San Diego St.
Today, we spotlight the best player the Saints ever drafted from South Carolina.
When it comes to selecting the best player the Saints ever drafted from South Carolina, the choice is limited to defensive back Earl Johnson (1985) and running back George Rogers (1981).
The pick is going to be Rogers, a running back, who played for the Saints for 4 years, from 1981-1984.
After concluding his college career at South Carolina, where he won the 1980 Heisman Trophy Award, Rogers was selected by the Saints with the first-overall pick of the 1981 NFL Draft.
Rogers paid immediate dividends, leading the league in rushing with 1,674 yards, which set a new team record that still stands today, while being selected as the NFL Rookie of the Year.
A native of Duluth, Georgia, Rogers also scored 13 rushing touchdowns in 1981, as he went on to be named to the Pro Bowl.
After the strike-shortened 1982 season, one in which he rushed for 535 yards and three touchdowns, Rogers eclipsed the 1,000-yard plateau once again in 1983, compiling 1,144 and five touchdowns.
Splitting time with Earl Campbell in 1984, his final year with the Saints, Rogers gained 914 yards and two touchdowns.
A two-time All-Pro, Rogers was traded to the Washington Redskins prior to the 1985 season, where he played for three years, rushing for 2,909 yards and 31 touchdowns.
Over his four years with the Saints, Rogers rushed for 4,267 yards, which ranks second in franchise history, and 23 touchdowns.
In 7 NFL seasons, Rogers racked up 7,176 yards and 54 touchdowns.
Rogers was inducted into the New Orleans Saints Hall of Fame in 1992.
That 1981 draft, which was the first under new head coach Bum Phillips, is arguably the best in team history.