The biggest run of free agents are over, with the only options involve scraping the bottom of the barrel. The 2018 NFL Draft is now in the books, so teams should have most of their primary holes addressed. For the New Orleans Saints, we’ve already looked at most of of the team’s post-draft needs, but Bleacher Report has taken it a step further and listed the “biggest flaw” for each of the 32 NFL teams after the draft. For the New Orleans Saints, it’s outside linebacker.
Demario Davis joined a linebacker unit that once again dealt with multiple injuries in 2017. He’ll bring stability to the position as a starter in 79 of the last 80 games with the Browns and New York Jets.
On the outside, A.J. Klein didn’t play the run or the pass well. Alex Anzalone’s collegiate track record as a talented but injury-prone player followed him into the league. He only played four games and landed on injured reserve with a shoulder injury.
The Saints hope oft-injured linebacker Hau’oli Kikaha will play a full season, but it’s not a safe bet. He’s appeared in 27 contests over the past three seasons.
The defense could use help, particularly on the weak side. New Orleans didn’t take a linebacker in the draft. General manager Mickey Loomis may want to take a peek at available free agents before training camp.
Do you agree with this assessment?
As Deuce and Ellias noted in the most recent episode of Who Dat Confessional, the Saints Linebackers are the least important group on the Saints defense. The Saints defense will focus on getting pressure to the Quarterback and making plays in the secondary.
I also couldn’t imagine Kikaha playing a lot of meaningful snaps as an Outside Linebacker. Alex Anzalone showed plenty of promise, but is admittedly an injury risk. If Anzalone cay stay healthy - which is a big “if” - I don’t see any reason why Outside Linebacker should be a primary concern this offseason.