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Draft needs: New Orleans Saints

Rob Ryan AP

With the NFL Draft approaching, we’re taking a team-by-team look at the needs of each club. Up next is the one with the No. 27 overall selection, the New Orleans Saints. The Saints have seven total picks, with an extra fifth-rounder and no seventh (which makes for a quick getaway on Saturday afternoon).

Cornerback: The Saints upgraded the middle of their secondary by bringing big-ticket safety Jairus Byrd in to pair with last year’s first-rounder Kenny Vaccaro.

But the edges of the defensive backfield are another matter.

After releasing veteran Jabari Greer, they brought an even veteran-er Champ Bailey in. But Bailey’s play dropped precipitously last year with injuries, and unless he has a remarkable physical comeback after he turns 36 in June, they need more help here.

Keenan Lewis is solid on one side, but they could use a first-round talent to help him, and to allow Bailey to stay in a more limited role.

Outside linebacker: They made an incredible move last year under defensive coordinator Rob Ryan, and they sort of did it with mirrors.

Junior Galette was very good (12.0 sacks), and Parys Haralson is a solid run-stopper, but they could use all the pass-rush they can find. Victor Butler was supposed to be the answer last year, but a torn ACL kept him from fulfilling the promise he had flashed as a reserve in Dallas.

Ryan performed alchemy last year, but they need to give him more to work with if he’s going to keep them playing at a high level.

Wide receiver: The Saints are always going to be able to fling it around as long as Drew Brees is there, so the pressure to find a guy is less.

But with age and the departure of reserves like Lance Moore, they need to find someone who could knock the top out of a defense. In a draft deep at the position, they need to find someone to stretch the field in the future, in case they can’t reach a long-term deal with tight end Jimmy Graham.

Offensive line: They didn’t put up much of a fight when center Brian de la Puente left in free agency for Chicago. That might indicate they have faith in Tim Lelito, but it also means they’re really thin in the middle.

They could also stand some tackle depth, though Terron Armstead showed signs he might be able to handle the left tackle job for the near future. That allowed them to let Charles Brown depart in free agency, and keeping Zach Strief allowed them some stability up front.

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10 Responses to “Draft needs: New Orleans Saints”
  1. saints12013 says: May 3, 2014 9:35 AM

    I say CB or pass rusher cause there are less of them available especially at pick 27. WR is pretty deep and we might be able to get an Adams, Robinson, Moncrief, Latimer, or Matthews in the 2nd. I know we like Brandon Cooks and DeMarcus Lawrence. I think the best player available is the way to go.

  2. geauxsaintsforever says: May 3, 2014 11:06 AM

    Would we really like it if we could get one of the following: Brandin Cooks, Marqise Lee, Dee Ford, or Kyle Fuller. But I’m not too confident any of them will be there when we pick at 27.

    In no particular order, I think we should come out of the first 3 rounds with a CB, WR, and DE/rush LB.

    Then get some O-line depth later in the draft. Seems like some decent centers will be available in rounds 4-5, where we have 3 picks.

  3. mattryansnoodlearm says: May 3, 2014 11:47 AM

    This draft is so deep we will find a piece that we can just plug and play right away. Interested to see which direction we go, defense or offense.

  4. ultimatesaintsfan says: May 3, 2014 12:02 PM

    Every mock draft has Saints picking the CB outa Ohio St. I personally am not sold on liking him he is Malcolm Jenkins 2.0 and we know how his career at CB ended (moving to Safety). I really think we are a prime spot for 1 of these top teams in the draft to trade next years 1st + 2nd to get back into the 1st for a QB (I don’t see a QB going in the top 10 just for the 5th year option).

    Here is to watching the draft on Thursday only to seeing the Saints trade outa 1st round.

    Move the draft back to Saturday and Sunday!

  5. mdd913 says: May 3, 2014 2:17 PM

    Cornerback is a luxury pick. If you paid attention to the way Corey White played down the stretch last year you would understand that.

    Same for OLB. If you see a need at this position, I don’t know what to tell you, especially since you don’t seem to understand that the Saints don’t actually play a lot of 3-4 defense anyway.

    True needs are OL and WR. Fortunately those are deep positions.

  6. lesticles1983 says: May 3, 2014 2:42 PM

    Ultimate, I agree with your assessment the Saints do a little trading in the first. Just not for a QB. I really like what I saw from RG4 last preseason. I’m not too sold on this years crop of QB’s. However, I wouldn’t be all that shocked if they did some wheelin and dealin and picked up a DB and an OLineman in the first. Who Dat!

  7. sfsaintsfan says: May 3, 2014 3:49 PM

    Saints will very likely draft a CB, WR, Center, Scat Back/returner and an outside edge rusher, either a LB or DE. They might pick another O-lineman or possibly even a kicker with their final pick.

    Can the draft happen at the regular time next year? This new schedule is stupid.

  8. bcajun says: May 3, 2014 6:59 PM

    Odelle Beckham

  9. creeldawgster says: May 4, 2014 2:39 PM

    Saints should sign more in-state talent!! Santos from tulane is possibly the best kicker in the draft and is very young, therefore he could be with the team for many yrs like morten anderson was. Beckham probably wont be available at 27 but landry will be. Landry is by far a better pure wr than beckham. He is bigger and has better hands, and imo and many others, the best wr to ever come out of lsu. Also, lsu is called dbu by many and has produced some of the best db’s in the league. At present are patrick peterson, tyrann mathieu, and eric reid to name a few. Plus, players usually perform best in front of family, friends, etc… So why not take local talent over players of compariable skills from out of state?

  10. 737driver69 says: May 5, 2014 2:26 PM

    Yall need to stop these LSU thang, believe in Sean Payton. Who Dat.

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