Despite a chaotic offseason, the New Orleans Saints are still expected to have a capable roster this coming season. Hopefully, if all goes well, they’ll continue their historic NFC South run of four straight division titles.
There’s no denying that gutting most of their impactful yet expendable veterans will leave holes in their roster, but they should be able to get around them with the upcoming 2021 NFL draft and potentially a few more free agency additions.
The New Orleans Saints had one of the best rush defenses in the NFL last season, and they’re expected to have a top-ten defense again this season.
Defensively, the Saints retained key players like Marcus Williams, Malcolm Jenkins, Demario Davis, and Cameron Jordan.
Sadly, they let go of cornerback Janoris Jenkins and linebacker Kwon Alexander. Sheldon Rankins and Trey Hendrickson left in free agency and then Malcom Brown was traded. Alex Anzalone left in free agency as well.
Those players leaving will have big implications for the Saints who will struggle to full replace their talent.
That said, ESPN’s Mike Clay still has the Saints with a top-ten defense in 2021. They were tied for 10th in the NFL with the Giants. Discouragingly, the Saints offense barely cracked the top 20 as the retirement of Drew Brees will linger until Jameis Winston shows what he’s capable of.
The Saints key rival, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, ranked second in both offense and defense, scoring first overall. Thankfully, both New Orleans other inner-division opponents were ranked under them.
As for the team’s defense, there will be holes that must be filled. The Saints need to address their cornerback problem. Whether it be with Richard Sherman or in the draft, snagging a No. 2 cornerback should at the top of their priority list.
Getting interior defensive line help will also be crucial. On top of it all, the Saints will either need more linebackers or really pray that third-round pick Zack Baun can step up after not getting much action his rookie season.