Great Players The Saints Could Have Drafted: Fred Dean
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 1975 NFL Draft.
In the second round, with the 32nd-overall pick, the Saints selected Auburn center Lee Gross
Gross didn't turn out to be a good pick for the Saints, lasting only three seasons, without ever starting a game.
One pick later, with the 7th pick of the fourth round, and the 33rd-overall selection, the San Diego Chargers took Louisiana Tech defensive end Fred Dean.
It was a terrific pick by the Chargers, as Dean was one of the most feared pass rushers in the league throughout the late 70' and the mid 80's.
A 4-time Pro Bowler, Dean was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2008.
In 12 seasons, including 7 with the Chargers, and his last five with the San Francisco 49ers, Dean appeared in 141 games, including 82 as a starter.
The NFL didn't recognize sacks as an official stat until 1982, but in his final 4 seasons, Dean was credited with 28 sacks.
Dean, who is viewed as one of the best pass rushers of all-time, would have been a welcomed addition to the Saints defense.