New Orleans Saints First Round Draft Choices: Donte’ Stallworth (2002)
The first round of the 2016 NFL Draft will be held on Thursday, April 28, in Chicago, Illinois.
Between now and then, we’ll be looking back at all of the drafts of the New Orleans Saints, from 1967-2015.
Yesterday, we looked back at 2001.
The 2002 draft was the 36th draft in the history of the Saints.
Actually, the Saints had two first round selections in the 2002 NFL Draft, as they netted a second one from the Miami Dolphins in a trade for running back Ricky Williams, but we're going to concentrate more on their first-overall pick that year.
The pick: Donte' Stallworth, a receiver from Tennessee.
A native of Sacramento, California, Stallworth, who was the 13th-overall pick of the 2002 NFL Draft, played four years for the Saints, from 2002-2005.
Stallworth had a couple of good years with the Saints, including his career-best season in 2005, but most fans just felt like he could have accomplished more.
The 6-foot, 197-pound Stallworth played in 13 games as a rookie, starting 7, while catching 42 passes for 594 yards, as well as a career-high 8 touchdowns.
Hampered by injuries, Stallworth saw less action on the field in 2003 and saw his stats decline because of it, as he played in 11 games, starting 3, while catching 25 for 485 yards and 3 touchdowns.
2004 saw Stallworth bounce back with a solid season, with 58 receptions for 767 and 5 touchdowns, before his career-best season of 2005, in which he compiled 70 catches for 945 yards and 7 touchdowns.
In August of 2006, the Saints traded Stallworth to the Philadelphia Eagles in exchange for linebacker Mark Simoneau and a fourth round draft choice in the 2007 NFL Draft.
In his one season with the Eagles, Stallworth was a disappointment, catching only 38 passes for 725 yards, although he did get into the end zone on five occasions.
After being in the NFL's substance abuse program, Stallworth signed with the New England Patriots in time for the 2007 season, where he accumulated 46 receptions for 697 yards and 3 scores.
After spending only one season in New England, Stallworth had just 17 catches for 170 yards and one touchdown for the Cleveland Browns in 2008.
His problems grew much more severe as well, when he missed the entire 2009 season after being suspended by the NFL following his conviction on DUI manslaughter charges, after striking and killing a pedestrian while he driving.
The NFL reinstated Stallworth in 2010, and he went on to play three more years, one each with the Baltimore Ravens, Washington Redskins, and a second stint with the Patriots, prior to retiring following the 2012 campaign.
In 4 seasons with the Saints, Stallworth played in 56 games, including 33 as a starter, accumulating 195 catches for 2,791 yards and 23 touchdowns.
In 10 total NFL seasons, Stallworth appeared in 115 games, including 60 as a starter, compiling 321 receptions for 4,837 yards and 35 touchdowns.
With their second first-round selection in 2002, the Saints chose Georgia defensive end Charles Grant, who turned out to be a solid pick, starting 108 games in 8 seasons with the team.
In the second round, the Saints selected Ohio St. center LeCharles Bentley, who played four seasons with the Saints, while being named to the Pro Bowl twice, before injuries cut short his outstanding, but abbreviated career.