Best Saints By The Numbers: #21
All summer long, we’re going to list the best players in New Orleans Saints history to wear every number, 00-99.
The pick: Dalton Hilliard
When deciding who is the best New Orleans Saints player to ever wear #21, the choice is limited to running backs Dalton Hilliard, Derek Brown, and Mike Bell, and defensive backs John Douglas, Carl Ward, Glen Scarpati, Reynaud Moore, Nate Ramsey, Ken Reeves, Greg Boyd, David Gray, John Krimm, Earl Johnson, Eric Allen, Earl Little, Robert Williams, Steve Israel, Dale Carter, John Craft, and Terrance Holt.
#21 has been a pretty popular number, but our pick is the most popular to wear it, running back Dalton Hilliard, who played for the Saints for eight seasons, from 1986-1993.
After finishing his college career at LSU, where he finished 5th all time in the SEC in career rushing touchdowns with 44, Hilliard was selected by the Saints in the second round of the 1986 NFL Draft.
Interestingly, Hilliard wore #40 in his rookie season of 1986, before switching to his more familiar #21 in 1987.
A Pro-Bowler in 1989, when he rushed for a career-high 1,262 yards and 13 touchdowns, Hilliard was the full-time starter tailback for the Saints from 1988-1990, while splitting time with Rueben Mayes prior.
A native of Patterson, Louisiana, Hilliard retired following after the 1993 season as the third all-time leading rusher in franchise history.
The 5-foot-8, 205-pound Hilliard rushed for 4,164 yards and 39 touchdowns, while compiling 249 catches for 2,233 yards and 14 scores in his eight career seasons, all with the Saints.
Hilliard is a member of the New Orleans Saints Hall of Fame.