Matt Peterson tracks the offseason needs of every team in the league. Today’s franchise, the New Orleans Saints [full archive here].
Season Recap: After a somewhat slow start to the season, the New Orleans Saints exploded in the second-half, finishing the year with eight straight wins. Drew Brees broke Dan Marino’s record of passing yards in a season, and many people anointed the Saints as early Super Bowl favorites. The Saints easily took care of the Lions in the Wild Card round, but failed to beat the 49ers on the road. With Head Coach Sean Payton suspended for the 2012 season, the New Orleans Saints have a lot to overcome if they hope to be contenders in 2012.
1. Outside Linebacker: The Saints signed MLB Curtis Lofton to take over for Jonathon Vilma, who will likely be suspended for his role in the Bounty program, but questions still remain on the outside. Former Ram Chris Chamberlain was signed, but ideally as a depth player. The Saints don’t have a pick until the third round, so a player such as Zach Brown, Keenan Robinson, Sean Spence, or Nigel Bradham would be ideal fits.
2. Defensive End: New Defensive Coordinator Steve Spagnuolo loves having a rotation of ends to stay fresh throughout the game, enabling 100% effort every snap. Under “Spags”, you can never have enough D-lineman. The Saints need to add another body to the mix. Cam Johnson and Chandler Jones are names that are possibilities in the third round.
3. Defensive Tackle: Again, you can never have too many D-lineman under Spagnuolo. The Saints made a good signing in run-stuffer Brodrick Bunkley to start alongside Sedrick Ellis, but more depth is needed. With few high draft picks, it will be hard to get production from the rookies in 2012, but if a player such as Brandon Thompson or Kendall Reyes falls in the second round, the Saints could make a move up to grab them.