Grading the New Orleans Saints 2013 NFL Off-Season

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Coaches have been hired, free agents have been signed, rookies have been drafted. So how did the Saints do in 2013?

With free agency slowed to a crawl and the draft in the books, the 2013 NFL off-season action is pretty much complete. There are a couple of minicamps and some OTAs still to take place but the Saints roster as it stands now is pretty much what the Saints will start with once training camp kicks off.

So it's time to discuss their entire off-season performance and give this team an overall grade. We're talking about coaching losses and additions, new free agent players signed and others let go, the NFL Draft and subsequent undrafted free agency period. All of it.

Plain and simple, did the organization adequately address the needs of the team in 2013?

The Saints started the off-season by doing what any statistically terrible NFL defense should do and fired their coordinator. And because drastic times call for drastic measures, they hired Rob Ryan and switched to a 3-4 defensive scheme.

During free agency the team was tight against the cap and strapped for cash but I think they made the most of it. They didn't address offensive tackle as well as I'd like and missed out on Paul Kruger, probably to their disappointment, so it wasn't perfect.

I thought they quietly put together one of their better draft classes in the Sean Payton era, if not the best. No questionable trade ups and no head scratching selections; just a bunch of reasonable picks at positions of need.

All things considered, I'd give the Saints a B+.

Quite honestly, I can't remember being more anxious or more hopeful for an upcoming Saints season than I am this year. I'm confident the Saints offense will continue rolling smoothly as they have been for years, especially with the return of Sean Payton. I think all this team needs is a decent defense to be legitimate contenders. Not great, just decent. And with a new defensive coordinator and completely new scheme, I think they can become that.

Talk about it below and give the Saints a grade in our poll.

But wait, there's more:

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