Ranking Saints draft needs: No. 4 OLB


A position-by-position look at the New Orleans Saints' draft needs, ranked in order of importance from 1-12:

Current depth chart:

Junior Galette, signed through 2015

Parys Haralson, signed through 2014

Victor Butler, signed through 2014

Keyunta Dawson, signed through 2014

Rufus Johnson, scheduled to become restricted free agent in 2016

Kyle Knox, scheduled to become restricted free agent in 2016

Draft possibilities: The Saints have a decent amount of depth here. But they could always find a way to make room for another dynamic pass-rusher. Players like Missouri's Kony Ealy, Auburn's Dee Ford and Boise State's Demarcus Lawrence could be intriguing possibilities in Round 1.

The Saints spent most of last season playing with a four-man front, with Galette and defensive end Cameron Jordan manning the edges. Haralson was used as more of a run-defending outside linebacker than a pass-rusher. However, the Saints will have more pass-rushing options this year with Butler returning from injury and Johnson having another year to develop after spending most of last season on the practice squad.

It will be very intriguing to see how Butler fits into the Saints defense. Hopes were high for the athletic pass-rusher last year when the Saints signed him in free agency after he had previously played under coordinator Rob Ryan with the Dallas Cowboys. But Butler missed the entire season after tearing his ACL in organized team activities.

Previous entries:

No. 12 Kicker/punter

No. 11 Quarterback

No. 10 Running back/fullback

No. 9 Safety

No. 8 Defensive line

No. 7 Tight end

No. 6 Offensive tackle

No. 5 Inside linebacker