Who is the best player the New Orleans Saints ever drafted from the Stanford Cardinal?

From May 1 until the start of the 2016 NFL season on September 11, we’re going to list the best players that the Saints ever drafted from all 128 FBS schools, as of 2015.

Of course, there are a number of schools, including Air Force, Appalachian St., Arizona, Army, Baylor, Boise St., Bowling Green, Buffalo, Central Florida, Central Michigan, East Carolina, FAU, FIU, Hawaii, ULM, Miami (Ohio), Marshall, Middle Tennessee, Navy, Nevada, New Mexico, New Mexico St., Ohio, Rice, Rutgers, San Jose St., South Alabama, South Florida, and Southern Miss, in which the Saints have never drafted a player.

Earlier, we looked at the best player that the Saints ever drafted out of South Carolina.

Today, we spotlight the best player the Saints ever drafted from Stanford.

When it comes to selecting the best player the Saints ever drafted from Stanford, the choice is limited to defensive back Toi Cook (1987), linebacker Chuck Evans (1980), receiver Thomas Henley (1987), linebacker Jim Merlo (1973), and offensive lineman Andrus Peat (2015).

The pick is going to be Merlo, a linebacker, who played for the Saints for 7 years, from 1973-1979.

After concluding his college career at Stanford, Merlo was selected by the Saints in the fourth round of the 1973 NFL Draft.

A native of Sanger, California, Merlo contributed right away, appearing in all 14 games as a rookie, including 9 as a starter, while intercepting 3 passes.

The 6-foot-1, 220-pound Merlo was a reserve in 1974, and then missed the 1975 season, before becoming a full-time starter for the next three seasons (1976-1978).

Primarily a reserve in 1979, Merlo retired after that season, having never put on another uniform than that of the Saints.

In 6 NFL seasons, including one missed due to injury, all with the Saints, Merlo appeared in 88 games, while starting 54.

Merlo totaled 8 interceptions and 11 fumble recoveries.