New Orleans Saints: Top Positions to Address This Off-Season

The NFL combine is officially upon us. And all the scouts from every team are ready to watch these college athletes show off their skills that could land them a job playing on a professional football team. Every team has needs that they must address in the off-season if they want to have a chance to play in the postseason, but this article is to focus on the needs the New Orleans Saints must address in the NFL Draft.

The New Orleans Saints are coming into the draft with the 24th overall pick in the first round. It’s a good pick, especially since they haven’t had one since 2016, but it’s a pick that must be focused heavy on. Because if that player doesn’t pan out, they would be wasting a first-round pick on someone who they needed to play a big role for the team. Five of the biggest needs for the Saints are wide receiver, cornerback, linebacker, offensive guard, and quarterback. But some players stick out more than others.

Wide receiver has been a big need for this team for a while now. Star wide receiver Michael Thomas is definitely a big help for this team, but he cannot do it on his own. Thomas just set a new NFL record for catches in a season (149), passing Marvin Harrison’s record of 143 set in 2002. The 2020 draft class is deep with talented wide receivers waiting to make their mark on an NFL team. But only a few stand out as big names for this team to target. Players like Tee Higgins, Laviska Shenault Jr. Justin Jefferson and Brandon Aiyuk are the main names from recent mock drafts. While fans hope this team will pick up one of these players, the team also knows the other holes they must fill to get back to the super bowl.

The second biggest need for this team to work on would be at cornerback. Cornerback is a big job since they are tasked with trying to keep the other team from gaining big yardage. With only three cornerbacks on contract, the Saints could use some depth at this position. The draft may not be as deep with talent in this position as the receivers, but free agency is where they could find their next superstar player. Names like Byron Jones, James Bradberry, Darqueze Dennard, and Bradley Roby are players with good talent and have some years left on their resume.

Linebacker is a big job for any team. They basically run the whole defensive operation for each team. Run stopping, pass defense, putting pressure on the quarterback, they do it all. The Saints have decent depth at this position, but it wouldn’t hurt to add another player to solidify this position of need. A later round pick in the draft would be a good fit for this team. Draftees such as Willie Gay Jr, Erroll Thompson, and David Woodyard would be a nice addition for depth or special teams if they can prove their worth.

The New Orleans Saints starting left guard, Andrew Peat, is about to set sail in free agency, and this couldn’t be a better time for a replacement. He will be the type of player to demand big money but doesn’t have the type of resume to expect it from this team with the way he’s played the past few years. The free agency list is deep with talent and one of these players could suit up in the black and gold next season. Players like Joe Thuney, Graham Glasgow, and Quintin Spain would be legit players who could help keep the team’s 41-year-old future hall of fame quarterback up on his feet to keep the ball moving.

Speaking of quarterbacks, it’s about time the Saints address who will be the successor to Drew Brees. Upcoming draft prospects like Shea Patterson, Jalen Hurts, and Jordan Love would be some nice prospects to have and t learn under Brees until they get their shot at starting for an NFL team that has been playoff contenders the past 3 years. Or if they want someone they know can play in the NFL, free-agent quarterbacks such as Chase Daniel or Phillip Rivers would be nice additions since they already have NFL experience and the team can know what to expect if they pick up one of these players.

Each team has a lot of needs to address this off-season, and with other teams quickly coming out of the shadows as playoff teams, it is about time the New Orleans Saints solidify their Super Bowl chances before that window is closed. Who would you like to see the saints draft with their first-round pick? And who in your opinion would be an excellent off-season addition to grab off the free-agent market?

Where do you feel the New Orleans Saints should focus their draft? Leave a comment below.

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Follow Evan on Twitter @giampagliaevan.

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