Top 5 New Orleans Saints Running Backs Of All-Time
Who are the top 5 running backs in the history of the New Orleans Saints?
Yesterday, we unveiled the five best safties in franchise history.
Today, we move back to the defensive side of the ball.
1)---DEUCE MCALLISTER---McAllister played 9 seasons for the Saints, from 2001-2009. After finishing his college career at Ole Miss, where he set school records for carries (616), yards (3,060), rushing TDs (36), total touchdowns (41) points (246) and 100-yard games (13), McAllister was selected by the Saints in the first round of the 2001 NFL Draft. A native of Ludlow, Mississippi, McAllister was the back-up to starter Ricky Williams in his rookie year, gaining 91 yards in only 16 attempts, before taking over as the starter in 2002, rushing for 1,388 yards and a career-high 13 touchdowns. Showing 2002 was no fluke, McAllister gained a career-high 1,641 yards, which ranks as the second-best single-season yardage total in franchise history, while scoring 8 touchdowns. McAllister had two more 1,000-plus rushing yard seasons over the next three seaons, before retiring at the end of the 2008 season. A two-time All-Pro, McAllister ended his nine year career with 6,096 rushing yards and 49 touchdowns, which both rank first in franchise history. The 6-foot-1, 230-pound McAllister was inducted into the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame in 2012.
2)---GEORGE ROGERS---Rogers played four years for the Saints, from 1981-1984. After concluding his college career at South Carolina, where he won the 1980 Heisman Trophy Award, Rogers was selected by the Saints with the first-overall pick of the 1981 NFL Draft. Rogers paid immediate dividends, leading the league in rushing with 1,674 yards, which set a new team record that still stands today, while being selected as the NFL Rookie of the Year. A native of Duluth, Georgia, Rogers also scored 13 rushing touchdowns in 1981, as he went on to be named to the Pro Bowl. After the strike-shortened 1982 season, one in which he rushed for 535 yards and three touchdowns, Rogers eclipsed the 1,000-yard plateau once again in 1983, compiling 1,144 and five touchdowns. Splitting time with Earl Campbell in 1984, his final year with the Saints, Rogers gained 914 yards and two touchdowns. A two-time All-Pro, Rogers rushed for 4,267 yards, which ranks second in franchise history, to go along with 23 touchdowns. In 7 NFL seasons, Rogers racked up 7,176 yards and 54 touchdowns. Rogers was inducted into the New Orleans Saints Hall of Fame in 1992.
3)---DALTON HILLIARD---Hilliard 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. A dual threat, Hilliard should be in everyone's top five. Hilliard is a member of the New Orleans Saints Hall of Fame.
4)---MARK INGRAM---Surprised? You shouldn't be. Ingram ranks third on the franchise all-time rushing list with 4,238 yards, and will likely move into the second spot during opening week. He also ranks third in career touchdowns, and has a better yards-per-carry average than McAllister, Rogers, Hilliard, Mayes, Chuck Muncie, Ricky Williams, and Reggie Bush. If anything, Ingram should be higher on the list. A first-round draft choice, an the 2010 Heisman Trophy winner out of Alabama by the Saints in 2011, Ingram made the Pro Bowl in 204. In 6 seasons with the Saints, Ingram has rushed for 4,238 yards, to go along with 32 touchdowns, while averaging 4.4 yards-per-carry. He had his best season in 2016, rushing for 1,043 yards and 6 touchdowns.
5)--RUEBEN MAYES---He played four years for the Saints, from 1986-1990. 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.