- Mike Triplett, ESPN New Orleans Saints reporter
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A position-by-position look at the New Orleans Saints' draft needs, ranked in order of importance from 1-14:
Current depth chart:
Keenan Lewis. Age 28. Signed through 2017.
Brandon Browner. Age 30. Signed through 2017.
Kyle Wilson. Age 27. Signed through 2015.
Terrence Frederick. Age 25. Scheduled to become exclusive rights free agent in 2016.
Stanley Jean-Baptiste. Age 25. Signed through 2017.
Brian Dixon. Turned 25 on Sunday. Scheduled to become restricted free agent in 2017.
Delvin Breaux. Age 25. Scheduled to become restricted free agent in 2018.
Draft possibilities: The Saints shored up their starting lineup with the addition of Browner in free agency. And they have a lot of young depth here with some possible upside. So they don’t need to just fill out the roster with any warm body late in the draft.
But there is definitely room to upgrade the nickel cornerback spot since there are big question marks surrounding just about everyone outside of starters Lewis and Browner. So the Saints could draft someone in Rounds 1 or 2 who could rotate into the mix now and develop into a future starter.
Michigan State’s Trae Waynes (6-foot, 186) is a distinct possibility with the 13th pick in Round 1 if he falls that far. He’s got an excellent combination of size, length, speed and polish. The only concern with him is he’s a bit lanky and could play more physical.
Wake Forest’s Kevin Johnson (6-0, 188) is another solid, well-rounded cornerback who could possibly sneak into that 13th pick since he likely won’t fall to 31. Superbly athletic UConn cornerback Byron Jones (6-1, 199) also probably won’t fall to 31. And many analysts believe Washington's Marcus Peters (6-0, 197) is the most talented of the bunch, but character concerns loom large after he got kicked off Washington’s team last year.
It’s possible the Saints could consider Peters if he falls to 31 and they’re comfortable with his character after visiting with him. But that’s a big "if" since maturity and professionalism have been such a big emphasis for New Orleans in the wake of last season’s struggles.
LSU's Jalen Collins (6-1, 203) is a possibility at 31 or 44, and could be a bargain if teams shy away because of his foot injury. Other possibilities in that range could include Utah CB/S Eric Rowe (6-1, 205), Miami (Ohio) CB/S Quinten Rollins and the Florida State duo of Ronald Darby (5-11, 193) and P.J. Williams (6-0, 194; also a character concern).
Team has some depth, but might still look to upgrade talent in early rounds.