Great Players The Saints Could Have Drafted: Ezra Johnson
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 1977 NFL Draft.
In the first round, with the 7th-overall pick, the Saints selected Maryland defensive end Joe Campbell.
The Saints certainly could have made a better pick, as Campbell played only 3-plus seasons with the franchise, including only one as a starter.
14 picks later, with the 28th pick of the first round, the Seattle Seahawks took Morris Brown defensive end Ezra Johnson.
It was a terrific pick by the Seahawks, as Johnson was a very steady defensive end for the Green Bay Packers, Indianapolis Colts, and Houston Oilers, for the better part of 15 years.
A 1-time Pro Bowler, Johnson was a good pass rusher, accumulating 55 sacks from 1982, the first year the NFL recognized the sack statistic, until his retirement following the 1991 season.
In 15 seasons, Johnson appeared in 192 games, including 91 as a starter.
Johnson, who was one of the more consistent defensive ends in football throughout the 1980's, would have helped out the Saints' defense considerably.