Credit: Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images
ROUND 5: Carl Nicks
Carl Nicks had to wait until the 164th pick came up in 2008 before hearing his name called. And it was the Saints who were rewarded for their patience.
Whether it was character or something else, Nicks fell … and fell … and fell. Turns out he was a higher-round caliber player and New Orleans benefited.
When Jamar Nesbit was suspended for violating the league’s substance abuse policy in 2008, Nicks slid into the starting lineup at left guard. He didn’t relinquish the spot until he signed a lucrative free agent contract with Tampa Bay in 2012.
Nicks became one of the key players on New Orleans’ two best teams – the Super Bowl-winning 2009 group and the team that two seasons later, broke NFL records on offense.
While he’s no longer with New Orleans, the pick turned into a critical part of New Orleans’ turn around in 2009.
Runner-up: (*tie) Tyrone Hughes, Thomas Morstead