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Thursday, May 1, 2014
Ranking Saints draft needs: No. 8 DL

By Mike Triplett

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

Current depth chart:

DE Cameron Jordan, signed through 2015

DE Akiem Hicks, signed through 2015

NT Brodrick Bunkley, signed through 2016

NT John Jenkins, signed through 2016

DE Glenn Foster, scheduled to become restricted free agent in 2016

DE Tyrunn Walker, scheduled to become RFA in 2015

Draft possibilities: This is another position like safety where I don't see the Saints investing a premium pick unless they have an especially high grade on a certain prospect. They're already loaded with defensive line talent for both the short and long term. Jordan is a Pro Bowler. Hicks could join him someday soon. And Jenkins also has the potential to be a standout starter for years to come.

New Orleans also has good depth with veteran Bunkley and young backups Foster and Walker. ... It wouldn't be a shock to see them add a lineman at some point in the draft, because they do rotate so many bodies at the tackle and end positions. It's just not a position that they need to reach to fill.

I stuck with just the interior linemen for purposes of this list. I'll have a separate category later on outside linebackers -- including hybrid DE/OLBs like Junior Galette. I could definitely see the Saints adding an edge rusher like that in this year's draft.

Previous entries:

No. 12 Kicker/punter

No. 11 Quarterback

No. 10 Running back

No. 9 Safety