Best Saints By The Numbers: #36
All summer long, we’re going to list the best players in New Orleans Saints history to wear every number, 00-99.
The pick: Rueben Mayes
When deciding who is the best New Orleans Saints player to ever wear #36, the choice is limited to running backs Don McCall, Dick Davis, Vic Nyval, Andrew Jones, Greg Boykin, Stanford Jennings, Rueben Mayes, Derrick Ned, Lamar Smith, Corey McIntyre, Darian Barnes, Kyle Eckle, and Marcus Mailei, tight ends Don Burchfield and Bob Brown, and defensive backs Corey Harris and Michael Hawthorne.
Mayes, a running back, who played four years for the Saints, is the pick here.
After finishing his college career at Washington St., where he was an All-American, Mayes was selected by the Saints in the third round of the 1986 NFL Draft.
A native of North Battleford Saskatchewan in Canana, Mayes made an immediate impact, rushing for 1,353 yards and 8 touchdowns in his rookie year, while winning the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Award, as well as a Pro Bowl honor.
Injuries cost Mayes four games in 1987, yet he still managed 917 rushing yards and five touchdowns, while garnering another Pro Bowl honor.
The injuries continued to mount for Hayes however, as he was limited to nine starts in 1988, before missing the entire 1989 season.
Mayes returned in 1990, rushing for 510 yards and 7 touchdowns, before moving on to the Seattle Seahawks, where he played the last two years of his career.
In four seasons with the Saints, Mayes rushed for 3,408 yards and 23 touchdowns, ranking him 5th and tied for 6th, respectively, on the all-time franchise charts.
In six NFL seasons, the 5-foot-11, 200-pound Mayes 3,484 yards and 23 scores.