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Analyzing the Saints’ elite defense heading into free agency

(Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /

Hypothetical Defense

So, if I had a say in the Saints defense, it would look something like this

IDL: David Onyemata, Shy Tuttle, Malcom Roach, Mustafa Johnson, Forrest Merrill

EDGE: Cameron Jordan, Marcus Davenport, Carl Granderson, Jordan Smith

LB: Demario Davis, Zack Baun, Kevin Pierre-Louis

CB: Eric Stokes, Tay Gowan, CJ Gardner-Johnson, Zech McPhearson, Akhello Witherspoon, Darqueze Dennard

S: Malik Hooker, Malcolm Jenkins, Tariq Thompson, Brady Breeze, Tavon Wilson

This is definitely a step down from last year, but remember that the Saints are a) needing to spend resources on offense and b) are going to have to spend their offseason ridding the roster of players, rather than adding.

Rather, look at it this way: this version of the Saints is now much younger in the secondary, remain deep, and have a lot more resources in terms of draft capital/finances. This may not seem impressive now, but will the same be true if Stokes and Gowan are developed properly into starting cornerbacks on rookie contracts.

What about a mid-round pick like Smith or Thompson making good on their college production. This is a team that needs to have opportunities open for young players, since they won’t likely be a playoff team next year, and if they do that, they can rebuild this roster much quicker.

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