Great Players The Saints Could Have Drafted: Lem Barney
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 1967 NFL Draft.
In the first round, in the first draft in franchise history, with the 26th-overall pick, the Saints selected Alabama linebacker Les Kelley.
Not a good pick, to say the least, as Kelley played in only 3 seasons, with only minimal success.
Eight picks later, with the 8th pick of the second round, and the 34th-overall selection, the Detroit Lions took Jackson St. defensive back Lern Barney.
It was a great pick by the Lions, as Barney turned out to be one of the best defensive backs of the late 60's and early 70's.
A 7-time Pro Bowler, Barney was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1992.
In 11 seasons, all with the Lions, Barney compiled 56 interceptions, including 7 for touchdowns.
As bad as some Saints defenses were in the late 60's and early-mid 70's, Barney would have made them a lot better.