With the additions of Jairus Byrd and Erik Lorig as well as the re-signing of some key players, the team needs are starting to shift. Not that their respective positions are necessarily set, but you have to feel better about where they stand. Below is the current “needs” the team has in order of importance, and the Saints will be well served to address them prior to the draft so they can select for depth as oppose to need. It’s never a good idea to draft for a need going into that exercise as that’s what causes you to reach for a player as oppose to letting the draft come to you and taking the best guy available regardless of his position.
1. Center: The Saints currently have zero interior depth and they don’t even have a starter at center. While Ben Grubbs and Jahri Evans are both Pro Bowlers and excellent guards, the only backups on the roster are Tim Lelito and Senio Kelemete. Interior line has to be addressed with probably two players in the draft, but the Saints need a starting center before they get there. They could still re-sign Brian de la Puente but have to be open to the possibility that he leaves based on the number of visits he’s made to other teams. The center market has been very poor so there’s a few starter quality guys still out there to be had (possibly) at a nice price.
2. Cornerback: The Jabari Greer release has left a void on the opposite side of Keenan Lewis. Right now the Saints have Corey White, who has shown some decent play but is best suited for the nickel role, and Patrick Robinson who is recovering from a major knee injury. Rod Sweeting is another guy they like but the Saints are very weak at this position behind Lewis. They need to get a guy that can start for them as I don’t believe White or Robinson can cut it full time. A starter is still very important here and we can’t rule out the possibility of the Saints using the 27th pick to get that guy. The corner market is pretty bare at this point, so the Saints would either have to take a low investment risk on a veteran that’s over the hill, or get a backup that maybe has the ceiling to improve into starter quality.
3. Wide Receiver: Marques Colston isn’t getting any younger and Kenny Stills, while far for fully polished, is the #2 guy now. While I like both players a lot, that’s not a two man receiving core that’s putting the fear of God into most teams. Behind them you just hope that Joe Morgan and Nick Toon could possibly turn around what was a miserable 2013 for both. The Saints have to add a guy or two to the mix here. Bringing back Robert Meachem is still a possibility, but I think the odds are highest the Saints will go with a receiver at 27. The Saints are also looking at Sidney Rice, which could be an intriguing addition.
Believe it or not, besides these three positions, I feel like the Saints’ roster is pretty set. I’m assuming tight end is fine, for now, with Jimmy Graham coming back in some contractual capacity. That doesn’t mean the Saints don’t need to add talent for depth and improve the roster, but I feel the Saints have starting quality at every other position and even pretty good depth already. I have to imagine the Saints are in a much better position than most teams at this point. Still, the three positions above are major holes at this point with limited cap room to patch them.
Any position you feel the Saints need to address as well?