A position-by-position look at the New Orleans Saints' NFL draft needs, ranked in order of importance from 1-14:
Current depth chart:
Zach Strief. Age 31. Signed through 2018.
Terron Armstead. Age 23. Signed through 2016.
Bryce Harris. Age 26. Signed through 2015.
Nick Becton. Age 25. Scheduled to become exclusive rights free agent in 2016.
Draft possibilities: The Saints are set with their two starters for at least another year or two. But there’s still a chance they could draft an offensive tackle as early as Round 1 -- especially if it’s one of the many college tackles who could also wind up playing guard in the NFL such as Iowa’s Brandon Scherff, LSU’s La'el Collins, Miami’s Ereck Flowers and Florida’s D.J. Humphries.
I have the guard position rated higher on this list. One way or another, the Saints need to address their offensive line depth at some point in this draft. They’ll eventually need to replace both Strief and starting right guard Jahri Evans.
New Orleans could also use an upgrade at the backup left tackle spot. Harris has been solid as a backup right tackle and sixth lineman in jumbo packages but struggled mightily last season when used as an injury replacement on the left side for the first time.
Scherff could be gone before the Saints pick at No. 13 -- and Collins could be, too. If not, either one might be the highest-graded player on the board when the Saints pick, which would make for an interesting decision.
Flowers and Humphries might be gone before the Saints pick at No. 31, though their athleticism and versatility would be very attractive if they fell that far.
Other possibilities with picks 31, 44 or the Saints’ two third-rounders include Stanford’s Andrus Peat, Pittsburgh’s T.J. Clemmings, Oregon’s Jake Fisher and Texas A&M’s Cedric Ogbuehi, who is rehabbing from a torn ACL but might be an ideal pick for a team like the Saints, who have nine draft choices to work with.