Ranking Saints draft needs: No. 1 WR

May, 8, 2014
May 8
8:00
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A position-by-position look at the New Orleans Saints' draft needs, ranked in order of importance from 1-12:

Current depth chart:

Marques Colston, signed through 2016
Kenny Stills, signed through 2016
Robert Meachem, signed through 2014
Joe Morgan, signed through 2014
Nick Toon, signed through 2015
Andy Tanner, scheduled to become restricted free agent in 2017
Chris Givens, RFA in 2017
Charles Hawkins, RFA in 2017

Draft possibilities: There's no other position where the Saints could help themselves more in both the short term and long term. For the first time in forever, their offense is short on dynamic playmakers after they traded away runner/receiver Darren Sproles. They could use a receiver to rotate into the mix right away and eventually develop into a replacement for Colston.

The Saints could especially use a big-play threat like LSU's Odell Beckham Jr., Oregon State's Brandin Cooks or USC's Marqise Lee -- guys who could also help fill a void in the kick-return game. That's why I projected the Saints trading up for Cooks in this week's ESPN NFL Nation Mock Draft.

However, the Saints will have plenty of talented receivers to choose from in all shapes and sizes throughout the draft. If they stay put at No. 27, they could consider options like Indiana's Cody Latimer, Florida State's Kelvin Benjamin or Vanderbilt's Jordan Matthews.

Or they could wait until the second, third or fourth round and still grab a highly-rated receiver. That's where ESPN's Todd McShay said the real strength of the receiver depth lies. And most analysts agree that this is the deepest class of receiver talent they have seen in years.

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

No. 4 Outside linebacker

No. 3 Center/guard

No. 2 Cornerback

Mike Triplett

ESPN New Orleans Saints reporter

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