Great Players The Saints Could Have Drafted: Mark Gastineau
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 1979 NFL Draft.
In the second round, with the 52nd-overall pick, the Saints selected Oklahoma linebacker Reggie Mathis.
That pick didn't exactly work out, as Mathis spent only two seasons in the NFL.
Three picks later, with the 13th pick of the second round, the New York Jets took Arizona St. defensive end Mark Gastineau.
It was a terrific pick by the Jets, as Gastineau turned out to be one of the better pass rushers of the 1980's.
A 5-time Pro Bowler, Gastineau accumulated 74 sacks from 1982, the first year the NFL recognized the sack statistic, until his retirement following the 1988 season.
In 10 seasons, Gastineau appeared in 137 games, including 107 as a starter.
Gastineau, who compiled a career-high, and then NFL record, 22 sacks in 1984, would have certainly helped on the Saints' defense.