Great Players The Saints Could Have Drafted: Dwight Stephenson
The 2016 NFL Draft gets underway on Thursday, April 28, in Chicago, Illinois.
Between now and then, we’ll be looking back at some of the past drafts by the Saints, and some of the better players they passed up on when it was their turn to pick.
Of course, every NFL team has had their “steals” and “busts” over the years, as the NFL Draft is such an inexact science, but it’s kind of fun, and at times, agonizing, to look back and see what players they could have, and maybe even should have drafted.
Today, we go back to the 1980 NFL Draft.
In the second round, with the 41st-overall pick, the Saints selected Notre Dame cornerback Dave Waymer.
Granted, Waymer wasn't a bad player, at all. He started 131 games over 10 years, so he was far from a bust.
But he wasn't a Hall of Famer.
7 picks later, with the 48th-overall pick, the Miami Dolphins took Alabama center Dwight Stephenson.
It was a terrific pick by the Dolphins, as Stephenson went on to become one of the best centers, and best offensive linemen, of the 1980's.
A 5-time Pro Bowler, Stephenson was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1998.
In 8 seasons, Stephenson appeared in 114 games, including 87 as a starter.
Stephenson's outstanding career was cut short by a knee injury in 1987.
In 1999, the Sporting News ranked Stephenson as one of the 100 Greatest Football Players.
Stephenson, who is viewed as one of the best centers of all-time, would have been an anchor on the Saints’ offensive line.