Saints' Black Friday shopping list includes draft class like 2006


A get-out-of-jail-free card for Dennis Allen: New Orleans' newest defensive coordinator was just promoted into a permanently hot seat. Last week, Rob Ryan became the fourth defensive coordinator fired by the Saints in less than seven years. Allen has a chance to survive, though, as he is the first to have a close bond with coach Sean Payton from before he was hired. Allen was a member of Payton's original coaching staff in 2006. ... While we're at it, kicker Kai Forbath could use one of these cards, too. Payton has had an even shorter leash with kickers, using 10 of them in 10 seasons.

A competitive defense for Drew Brees: What a shame it is for Brees to have spent most of his Hall of Fame career being hobbled by some of the NFL's worst defenses. There have been a few exceptions -- the 2009 Super Bowl defense forced 47 turnovers (including the playoffs). But those years have been few and far between. Too many other years have been like 2015, as the Saints rank second in the NFL in offense and 32nd in defense.

Another draft class like 2006: With the Saints about to miss the playoffs for the second straight year, they're officially in rebuilding mode. Nothing could help ease the transition more than another stellar draft class such as the one they had nearly 10 years ago, when Payton and Brees arrived. That class was so remarkable that six players remain in the NFL today (Jahri Evans, Zach Strief and Marques Colston in New Orleans; Reggie Bush, Roman Harper and Rob Ninkovich with other teams).