Seeing as the Saints still have a lot of holes to fill on defense let's talk about what they should do about them. If you ask me I would say we have gaping holes at defensive tackle, defensive end, outside linebacker, and nickelback. First I'm gonna talk about why we need help at each position, then say what we can do to address it in the draft, free agency, or the trade market.
Starting at defensive tackle. We only have 1 worthy of starting on our roster and he's not reaching his full potential without another quality guy next to him. There are several options we could look at this offseason, starting with trade possibilities. When I think of solid and sometimes disruptive defensive tackles that we could get our hands on, I see a couple of guys that used to play together. John Henderson or Marcus Stroud. Either of those guys would fit perfectly as an anchor that can be disruptive at the same time because they're both massive bodies who use their talents very well. Not only do they fill specific needs, but they are definitely obtainable. We have a trading chip that could interest them, and strangely that chip is Charles Grant. The Bills are moving to a 3-4 and they need a defensive end that can seal the edge and stop the run, there's Charles Grant. That's all he really does, and on occasion he can get to the quarterback. It's the perfect fit for Grant because he won't have to worry about sack production or weight as much because his job pretty much needs him to be big and not always rush the passer. While his paycheck may be big, the Bills can cover it up if their move to a 3-4 is successful, even though they had a great defense in a 4-3.
The Jacksonville trade would be a bit different because it would probably take more than just Grant to get John Henderson who is significantly better than Marcus Stroud. I would say to throw in Randall Gay because honestly he serves little to no help here (more on him in a sec). The Jags NEED a defensive end who can actually rush the passer and get some sacks. Grant showed that he still can do it, but needs to be heavily motivated. It could really pay off for the Jags because they need help in the secondary, and I think Gay should move to safety anyway because his corner cover skills have deteriorated. These possibilities are just a couple of many, but these make the most sense. Oh, I might as well throw in the possible Grant for Dorsey deal, also a strong possibility.
So that leaves the draft. There are oodles and oodles of really good defensive tackles in the draft, but I don't think any of the first round talent will fall to us at 32. So that leaves us with choices in the second round and back. While Terrence Cody has dropped off quite a bit, I don't think he's fallen far enough for us to get him in the second round, but there is a guy that could be available and would be a perfect fit. Cam Thomas out of UNC was part of that very physical defensive front that the Tar Heels had this year. He's a monstrous guy at 6'3", 330 pounds, but he moves well inside and can anchor down and hold a double team while Sedrick Ellis and Will Smith put pressure on the QB. Thomas may not be the pick in round 2 because there's always the possibility of Arthur Jones continuing to fall, who when healthy and motivated, is a first round talent that can pressure and stop the run. Other interesting prospects include D'Anthony Smith, Torrell Troup, and Gene Atkins. All in all, I think we will be very well set at the defensive tackle position come next season.
Part 2: DEs is coming soon. As for now, I expect you all to critique this and pick it apart. 3.2.1. GO!