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Saints have two draft classes rank in the top 10 of the century

ESPN’s Aaron Schatz recently ranked the 12 best draft classes of the 21st century, and the New Orleans Saints made the list twice. Not only is New Orleans on the list twice, they found themselves in the top 10 both times. Their iconic 2017 and 2006 draft classes come in at tenth and first on ESPN’s list.

The 2017 class was the first to make an appearance at tenth overall. The Saints nailed all six of their selections in the first three rounds and those players became foundational pieces for the new era of the New Orleans Saints. Running back Alvin Kamara and cornerback Marshon Lattimore are arguably the best in franchise history at their positions.

The luxury to argue who’s the best player from this class between Kamara, Lattimore and former All-Pro right tackle Ryan Ramczyk is proof of how strong this class is. Free safety Marcus Williams and defensive end Trey Hendrickson were valuable assets before migrating to the AFC North.

However, the 2006 draft class came in as the best draft class of the century. Star running back Reggie Bush, Pro Football Hall of Fame candidate Jahri Evans and forever-underrated wideout Marques Colston were the headliners from the class. Evans has been a Hall of Fame finalist for the past two years and Colston remains one of the most slept-on wide receivers at his position. Safety Roman Harper was also a consistent starter for the Saints, as was right tackle Zach Strief.

The legacy of the 2006 offseason goes beyond just the draft class. Sean Payton and Drew Brees also joined the team that year. This was the beginning of the Saints’ Golden Age.

2006 was a talented year and many teams took advantage of it. The Saints class capped off the list, and the Denver Broncos started the list at No. 12. They selected Jay Cutler and Brandon Marshall in this draft. The Cincinnati Bengals made their second appearance on the list at seventh with a class, led by future Hall of Famer and Louisiana native Andrew Whitworth. A lot of teams got better in 2006, but none improved as greatly as the Saints did.

Story originally appeared on Saints Wire