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Thursday, April 11, 2013

The Saints have to get the draft right

The New Orleans Saints have six picks in the upcoming draft. They have the 15th overall selection, then don’t get another until the 13th pick of the third round. Arguably, the team should use all six of its picks rebuilding what was a historically bad defense last year.
The architect the Saints hired to rebuild the defense is former Dallas Cowboy defensive coordinator Rob Ryan. He will implement a 3-4 defense. This means he needs players that can get to the opposing quarterbacks.

Ryan, Coach Sean Payton and general manager Mickey Loomis shouldn’t be looking a whole lot further than their backyard for the first round pick. LSU’s Barkevious Mingo is a logical fit for the Saints.

The criticism of Mingo is that he lacks the size to handle NFL lineman. However, his athleticism and foot speed cannot be denied. If he adds a little bulk and improves his pass rushing skills, he should be a can’t miss pick for the Saints. With so few picks this year, and such a horrible defense, the team can’t afford to squander any of its picks.

Most of the mock drafts have Mingo still available at 15. The wild card is what the New York Jets do with the ninth pick. Should he be gone, the Saints will be taking a look at Georgia linebacker Jarvis Jones or Texas safety Kenny Vaccaro. At least one of the three will be there, and any of them would go a long way in addressing the team’s needs.

The Saints could use some upgrades on offense as well, namely on the line. They should be able to find that help through free agency.

The Saints will be able to put points on the scoreboard, but if they can’t stop their opponents from doing the same, it won’t matter. Defense has to be a priority.

Cory Cason

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