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Monday, May 5, 2014
Ranking Saints draft needs: No. 5 ILB

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:

Curtis Lofton, signed through 2016

David Hawthorne, signed through 2016

Ramon Humber, signed through 2014

Kevin Reddick, scheduled to become restricted free agent in 2016

Draft possibilities: Adding a dynamic young athlete who can cover a lot of open field and cover tight ends should be a top priority. Specifically, I think the Saints need more of a weakside-linebacker type than a middle linebacker -- their own version of Tampa Bay's Lavonte David or Carolina's Thomas Davis, even though those teams run a 4-3 and the Saints run a 3-4.

The Saints could use an athlete like that to rotate into the mix right away on defense and special teams. And they need to start developing some young players who can eventually replace veterans like Hawthorne and outside linebacker Parys Haralson.

Playmakers like Alabama's C.J. Mosley and Ohio State’s Ryan Shazier would be great fits in Round 1. However, the Saints would definitely have to trade up to get Mosley. And they might have to trade up to get Shazier, as well.

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