After Further Review: Top 10 Saints' undrafted free agents under Sean Payton

After Further Review: Top 10 Saints' undrafted free agents under Sean Payton

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - Finding quality contributors to the team from the undrafted ranks is arguably the most consistent attribute the Saints have had under Sean Payton other their prolific offense. The organization lives by the 'it makes no difference how they got here' mentality and have given UDFA's a legitimate chance to make the roster and contribute.

This is a list of the most impactful over the last decade. To qualify, the UDFA had to play his first professional game as a Saint. Thus, a player like Jabari Greer, whom they acquired as a free agent in 2009 after four seasons in Buffalo, would not be on this list.

10.) Jed Collins

Collins bounced around from practice squad to practice squad before finding a home in New Orleans. He became a steady lead blocker and capable receiver out of the backfield. He started at fullback from 2011-13. Of all the Payton UDFA's, Collins is the only one to ever make a Pro Bowl.

9.) Brian de la Puente

De la Puente stepped in during the 2011 season with the abrupt retirement of Olin Kreutz and held onto the starting center job for three seasons.

8.) Willie Snead

Snead looks like a keeper in the Saints' wide receiver group. Last season he fought his way onto the team in training camp to become the second leading receiver behind Brandin Cooks. Snead's clean routes and football IQ are the traits the Saints value and his production should rise even more in 2016. The longer he's in New Orleans, the higher he'll climb up this list.

7.) Delvin Breaux

On a list full of unlikely stories, Breaux's journey to the Saints easily tops them all. By now we know all about his journey from broken neck, to local indoor football leagues, to the CFL and finally to the NFL.  What no one was expecting was his shut-down corner attributes. Like Snead, a few more seasons like his first one and Breaux will ascend very high on this list.

6.) Khiry Robinson

His three-year stay in New Orleans just recently ended but Robinson was certainly worth the roster spot when he made his way on in 2013 after shining in a rookie minicamp tryout. His best season was 2014 when he was second on the team with 362 rushing yards.

5.) Chris Ivory

Ivory forced his way onto the roster with his physical style and even led the Saints in rushing in 2010. Eventually, the running back room got a little crowded and the Saints sent him to New York on a draft-night trade but Ivory certainly had an impact during his stay in New Orleans.

4.) Garrett Hartley

Hartley took over the Saints kicking duties midway through the 2008 season and held onto the job until week 13 of the 2013 season. Hartley kicked the biggest field goal in team history in the NFC Championship and hit three field goals in the Super Bowl. He ranks fourth in team history for field goals made and actually finished his time with the Saints with a higher accuracy rate than Morten Andersen.

3.) Junior Galette

It's hard to figure out why Galette still has so much animosity towards the Saints, considering he was rewarded handsomely twice with contracts in back-to-back seasons. Though he is now loathed by the organization and fan base, he unfortunately earned his way onto this list. He led the Saints in sacks in back-to-back seasons in 2013 and 2014 and had 22.5 sacks total in those two seasons.

2.) Lance Moore

I almost left Lance Moore off since he was technically brought in under Jim Haslett. However, his impact and his first pro game was under Payton. Moore became a trusted target of Drew Brees as the third receiver and even had over a thousand yards in 2012.

1.) Pierre Thomas

Thomas made the organization true believers in the undrafted free agent. His story was so unique in that he beat out a fourth round draft pick. The Saints deserve credit for having the guts to make that call. Thomas earned his spot and rose to one of the steadiest, most productive players of the Sean Payton era. He also became the best screen back in football during his tenure here. What's more, the Saints have not adequately replaced his skill set since they parted ways in 2015.

Honorable Mentions: Travaris Cadet, Tim Lelito, Josh Hill, Tyrunn Walker, Jonathan Casillas and Brandon Coleman.

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