What is the most important position the Saints need to address in the upcoming NFL Draft? That is the question many are asking themselves when assessing New Orleans and their future outlook for the new season. A lot of valid thoughts are floating out there, and one can only imagine what the team walks away with by the conclusion of next weekend.
The draft is only part of the equation, as there are undrafted free agents to pursue in addition to an ongoing free agency. The Saints News Krewe got together once again to weigh in with their thoughts on the most important positional needs for the team ahead of the draft.
Kyle T. Mosley
The safe choice would be cornerback, but I will believe it's the linebacker position. All-Pro LB Demario Davis is 32. If New Orleans does re-sign Kwon Alexander, he will be returning off a significant Achilles injury. Zack Baun and Kaden Elliss have shown flashes of talent, yet both are inconsistent. Alex Anzalone is in Detroit, while Craig Robertson is a free agent.
New Orleans needs youth, but most of all, they need speed at the position. The speed of the opposition's running backs, tight ends, and wide receivers have to be neutralized at the second level with equally fast linebackers. Case in point, see Lavonte David and Devin White in Tampa. Alexander filled that void for the Saints until his injury on Christmas Day versus the Vikings.
Kentucky's Jamin Davis, LSU's Jabril Cox, and North Carolina's Chazz Surratt are excellent players that can fit into New Orleans' defense in 2021.
The biggest need for the New Orleans Saints to address in this draft is cornerback. Frankly, it's not even close. I'd like to see them address linebacker, defensive tackle, along with adding another pass rusher, wideout or tight end, and safety depth. You only have to think as far back as 2016 to remember how abysmal the Saints secondary was.
The additions of Marshon Lattimore and Marcus Williams in 2017 shored up much of that. Whoever played the corner spot opposite Lattimore was often still a defensive liability before they added Janoris Jenkins. Releasing Jenkins this offseason created such a critical void. This cornerback class looks deep in talent.
The Saints would be fools not to grab at least one with a high draft pick.
New Orleans’ glaring need post-free agency remains a CB2 opposite of Pro Bowl selection Marshon Lattimore. Following the release of Janoris Jenkins to get under the salary cap, the Saints re-signed P.J. Williams and kept Patrick Robinson around, but have yet to find a secure No. 2 option.
There remain a few veteran options in free agency like Richard Sherman and Josh Norman, but selecting a young CB to build for the present and future appears to be a no-brainer. Much of Who Dat Nation is familiar with Jaycee Horn, son of Saints great Joe Horn, but the top-ranked CB in the draft will unlikely fall to the Saints without the team trading up. Look towards Greg Newsome and Asante Samuel Jr. as options at pick No. 28 for the Saints to fill their biggest hole on the roster.
There are many cases for and arguments to be made regarding the Saints and their top needs at 28th. Of course, it's hard not to see the team trading up to get the player they want. They have eight picks in the draft, and it'd be shocking for them to make all of them.
Linebacker and cornerback certainly seem to be at the top of the wants chart, and there's even a case to be made for needing a wide receiver or defensive tackle. As long as New Orleans doesn't opt for something like an offensive lineman or running back, they should be fine.