Wednesday, April 2, 2014
Analyzing Saints depth chart: Defense
By Mike Triplett
A look at the New Orleans Saints' projected defensive depth chart as it stands today:
DE1 –- Cameron Jordan, Tyrunn Walker
DE2 –- Akiem Hicks, Glenn Foster
NT –- Brodrick Bunkley, John Jenkins
OLB1 –- Junior Galette, Keyunta Dawson, Kyle Knox
OLB2 –- Parys Haralson, Victor Butler, Rufus Johnson
SILB –- Curtis Lofton, Ramon Humber
WILB –- David Hawthorne, Kevin Reddick
CB1 –- Keenan Lewis, Rod Sweeting, A.J. Davis, Trevin Wade
CB2 –- Corey White, Patrick Robinson, Terrence Frederick, Derrius Brooks
SS –- Kenny Vaccaro, Rafael Bush
FS –- Jairus Byrd
Thoughts: There aren't too many glaring holes here. I keep ranking cornerback as the Saints' top defensive need because they could use a more proven starter opposite Keenan Lewis. But they obviously have plenty of depth at the position.
Conversely, the Saints don't have much depth at safety. But if they sign a veteran corner such as Champ Bailey, they could use him as a pseudo-safety in nickel and dime packages. They could potentially do the same thing with White, who played safety in college.
The one position I really think the Saints need to address at some point in the draft is linebacker. They could use young backups who can play special teams right away and eventually push to replace veterans such as Hawthorne and Haralson.
And as coach Sean Payton said last week, teams are always on the lookout for more pass-rushing help -- though they should be improved in that area with Victor Butler returning from injury and Rufus Johnson having another year to develop.