New Orleans Saints: Defensive Preview – Better than you think
Having the second to worst ranked defense against opposing quarterbacks, and the middle of the pack ranked rushing defense, The New Orleans Saints had a lot to address this offseason, primarily to stop getting burnt by wide receivers. When the NFL Draft night came along, it was a huge success for the Saints, as they drafted two defensive backs, and two line backers, and a defensive lineman. With seven draft picks in total, the Saints drafted FIVE players for the defensive side of the ball. Talk about fixing whatever is broken!
With the corners in New Orleans very scarce, the Saints drafted Marshone Lattimore, who will be an instant starter. Lattimore is a dominant force against receivers and has even been compared to Darrelle Revis from a skill set and play style. While Lattimore is amazing at stopping the pass, he is also a run stuffing expert, along with a great wrap up tackler. Lattimore will be able to give Vonn Bell some help. If he gets beat, Lattimore will have the speed to recover back to the wide out. With their third pick, the Saints drafted a safety, Marcus Williams, who will be able to learn behind Bell. Williams is a center field ball hawk and has a knack for making the big play when needed. The Saints then drafted Alex Anzalone (LB from UF), Troy Hendrickson (DE from FAU), and Al-Quaddin Muhammed from UM). The Saints addressed multiple needs on the defense, attempting to get back to their earlier days when dominating the defensive and offensive side of the ball.
While the major keys to this defense, and allowing a successful season, are very young, the key players are well matured and have the chance to mentor and teach their teammates around them to a successful season. While the New Orleans Saints did everything they could to acquire key assets to the defense, they should also inquire about obtaining Darrelle Revis. This would add some relief and remove some pressure from Lattimore and Bell. With the current roster though, that Saints have improved their team significantly, yet their defense will still be ranked around the 20th spot for defense. With the help of more off-season acquisitions and help controlling the ball on offense, that Saints could easily jump in the rankings improving their overall chances at a playoff berth.