New Orleans Saints 2017 Team Needs
New Orleans may very well serve as a cautionary tale moving forward for how not to deal with an aging superstar quarterback. As good as Brees is, the team is hamstrung by his contract, and unlikely to be serious candidates for a Super Bowl appearance for another few seasons, if Brees plays that long.
Primary Needs: DE, CB, S
Secondary Needs: OG, DT, LB
Free Agency Strategy: The Saints have about $29 million in salary cap space and few significant free agents. Both Jahri Evans and Paul Kruger should be candidates to be resigned but in order to resign both players the Saints might need to cut an underachieving veteran like Kenny Vaccaro. The Saints need to bring in at least one defensive lineman (assuming they do not resign either Kruger or Fairley) and one other veteran that can start at their need positions. If they can fill two holes in free agency, and they should be able to, then they can focus their draft on choosing the best players available for the first 3-4 rounds, where they should be able to find contributors. Defensive tackles like Bennie Logan, Cam Thomas, or Tony McDaniel should be affordable options that offer some upside.
Draft Strategy: At 11 overall the Saints need to look at the best player available. Fortunately for the Saints that players will very likely be a cornerback. Teez Tabor, Marlon Humphrey, or Sydney Jones would each improve the talent and athleticism on a Saints defense that is in sore need of playmakers. If the team chooses to add a defensive end in round one and rely on the superior depth of this year’s cornerback class then Derek Barnett would be a strong choice as a pass rusher. In the second round cornerbacks like Adoree Jackson, Cordrea Tankersley, and Gareon Conley will all be strong options for the Saints. Budda Baker and Justin Evans would make a nice addition at safety, especially if the Saints cut Vaccarro or Byrd. Caleb Brantley might be an option at defensive tackle. In the third round defensive linemen like Delvin Godchaux, Dalvin Tomlinson and Montravius Adams are all options as is defensive end Daeshon Hall.