The fourth round of the NFL Draft has produced a number of successes for the New Orleans Saints. Some of the franchise's finest offensive lineman and the NFL's all-time leading scorer were mined out of what is now the selection meetings middle round. NewOrleansSaints.com looks at the top five fourth round draft choices by the club all-time in this feature.
5. Joel Hilgenberg (C)
Hilgenberg was drafted 97th overall in the 1984 NFL draft out of the University of Iowa. Because of his ability to play both the offensive guard and center positions, Hilgenberg earned the name "Mr. Versatility" among the Saints faithful. He played in 142 games in his Saints career, starting 97 of them. In 2006, Hilgenberg was inducted into the New Orleans Saints Hall of Fame.
4. Joe Federspiel (LB)
The Saints selected the University of Kentucky's Joe Federspiel with the 99th pick in the 1972 NFL draft. Missed only one game in his 9 seasons with the Saints, totaling 130 contests and earning him the nickname "Ironman." In 1978 he set an unofficial team record with 157 tackles (115 unassisted), recorded 2 interceptions from his linebacker position, and was named the team MVP on defense.
3. Jermon Bushrod (T)
With the 125th pick in the 2007 draft, the Saints raised eyebrows by selecting Towson's Jermon Bushrod. After playing in only 3 games on special teams in his first two seasons, Bushrod was thrust into the starting rotation due to a season-ending hip injury to All-Pro left tackle Jamaal Brown in 2009. In 2009, he started 14 regular season games, and all 3 postseason games en route to the Super Bowl Championship. Bushrod has never missed a start in the two years since Super Bowl XLIV, serving as a leader both on and off the field. He was named to his first Pro Bowl squad in 2011.
2. Jahri Evans (G)
In 2006, the first draft following Hurricane Katrina, the Saints made big strides by drafting Heisman Trophy winner Reggie Bush with the second overall pick. However, the most important pick of that draft was in the fourth round when the team drafted Jahri Evans out of Division II's Bloomsburg. He has started every regular season (96) and playoff game (8) from 2006-2011. During the 2009 Super Bowl run, Evans played an important role in ensuring stability along the offensive line, one that had been altered due to injury. In only 6 years as a pro, Evans has become one of the most decorated players in the team's history. In 2009, 2010, and 2011, Evans was selected as a first team All-Pro, as well as a Pro Bowl starter.
1. Morten Andersen (K)
Taken with the 86th pick in the 1982 NFL Draft, Morten Andersen began his illustrious 25-year career with the Saints. Andersen spent 13 years with the Black and Gold, and was named to seven Pro Bowls and six All-Pro teams. Andersen holds the team record in points (1,318), field goals made/attempted (302/389), and PATs made/attempted (412/418). Andersen also holds numerous NFL records, including most career points (2,544). Andersen, known by many as "The Great Dane," was inducted into the New Orleans Saints Hall of Fame in November of 2009.