Saints Starters in the New 3-4 Defense

Derick E. Hingle-US PRESSWIRE

The Saints will use a 3-4 scheme change and a plethora of linebacker depth to climb out of the NFL history dumps on defense.

Sean Payton and the Saints have decided to switch their defensive scheme to a conventional 3-4, and rightfully ditch the 4-3 that landed them as the NFL's worst defense in history. There has always been contention that the Saints retain much more strength in their linebacker core, so this is no surprise.

With the additions of players like Curtis Lofton and Martez Wilson over the last few years, and potential rookie-ready draft picks looming, who will serve as the Saints front seven in the 2013 season?

Looking at the 2012 roster, the leading candidates for the tall task in 2013 look to be Jonathan Casillas (OLB), Jonathan Vilma (ILB), Curtis Lofton (ILB), Martez Wilson (OLB), Will Smith (DT) Sedrick Ellis (NT), and Cameron Jordan (DT) if all cap issues are handled.

But things can change quickly. The Saints will certainly pick up at least three more linebackers and three more defensive tackles in the offseason, both through the draft or free agency.

So how will the roster shake out and who will wind up being the starting front seven for the Saints defense in 2013? More important, will this abrupt scheme change be enough to turn the tides for the NFL's worse defense?

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