The New Orleans suffered through a painful 2014 season and will be looking to bounce back from that disappointment immediately.
A big step in addressing that and starting the turnaround will obviously be through the draft, which takes place in a little over two weeks time.
Draft Plan Revealed?
After an off-season where Jimmy Graham was traded to the Seattle Seahawks and Kenny Stills was sent to the Miami Dolphins, with little coming into New Orleans in terms of replacements, you might think that offense would be a priority. You'd be oh so wrong however, as head coach Sean Payton just revealed the Saints' entire draft plan.
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The Saints have two picks in the first round of the draft, thanks to the Graham trade, and have five selections in the first three. And according to recent quotes from Payton, most of those will be used on defensive players who can make an impact straight away, rather than new targets for Drew Brees.
“It’s going to be important for us defensively in this draft to bring in some guys that we feel like can help us play right away,” Payton said, via the New Orleans Times-Picayune.
Defense is the Key
Whilst they are trying to recover from a 7-9 season, it does seem odd for the Saints to place such a heavy emphasis on the defensive side of the ball at this moment, especially after signing both cornerback Brandon Browner from the New England Patriots and Dannell Ellerbee from the Dolphins as part of the Stills deal.
The Saints hold the 13th and 31st pick in the first round and have been tipped to take edge rusher Shane Ray and corner back Kevin Johnson from Wake Forest by Matt Miller of Bleacher Report, while Charles Davis of NFL.com also went on the defensive route by predicting the Saints to land Bud Dupree and Byron Jones.
It also seems a bit odd that Payton would straight up come out and say that "we want defenders" like he did. The key to drafting is to make sure that other teams don't really know what you're going to do and make sure they don't try and organise a trade to jump ahead of you and pick the man you were after.