The 1992 New Orleans Saints season ended with a thud. The 4 playoff appearances in 6 seasons and Saints had yet to win a post season game. And with this latest effort fans saw a 16-point 4th quarter lead dissolve in the onslaught of a 26-point scoring spree by the Eagles. Clearly it was time for some changes.
The change that General Manager Jim Finks had in mind though came a complete shocker to Saints fans. All-Pro linebacker Pat Swilling, a major part of the heralded Dome Patrol was sent to the Detroit Lions in exchange for the #8 overall pick of the 1993 draft. It was with that pick the Saints took an offensive tackle from Louisiana Tech named Willie Roaf.
At Tech, Roaf had been one of the top prospects in the college ranks and it didn’t take long for him to start showing he was worth the high investment New Orleans had put up for him. Not only did he start every game that year at left-tackle but he played well enough to be named to the 1993 NFL All-Rookie Team. As a Saint he soon established himself as one of the NFL elite blockers by earning All-Pro Honors in 1994 and 1995 along with 7 consecutive Pro Bowl appearances from 1994 to 2000 while playing in the Saints first-ever playoff victory over the St. Louis Rams.
He finished his career with the Chiefs with another 2 All Pro seasons. By the end of his 13-year career he would be named All-Pro a total of 4 times and make the Pro Bowl 11 times. He was named to the Pro Football Hall of Fame All-1990s and All-2000s teams as well. Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2012 he was only the second true Saint (after Rickey Jackson in 2010) to earn that honor.