Originally posted on isportsweb.com  |  By Mark Franz  |  Last updated 1/11/17

The New Orleans Saints had a very disappointing regular season. They finished the season as third in the NFC south division with a 7-9 overall record. Seven of their nine losses were by less than seven points. Statistically, their season was up and down. They finished as the number one overall offense, but 27th overall in defense. They recently fired five coaches, all either defensive or special teams coaches. They will need to continue to make changes in order to improve next season. Here are a few changes that they might look to make.

Draft a Linebacker

It is no secret that the Saints struggled on the defensive side of the ball this season. They were ranked 19th in defending the run and it hurt them late in games this season. The first player off of the board for the Saints will most likely be a defensive player, the question is which position. Inside linebacker is a strength of the upcoming draft that the Saints may look to capitalize on. They have the 11th overall pick and a quality linebacker like Reuben Foster out of Alabama may fall to them. Foster is an excellent inside linebacker that would drastically improve the run defense and may be an asset the Saints can’t pass up.

Bench Delvin Breaux

Delvin Breaux had high expectations heading in to the season. He had a phenomenal rookie season in which he was clearly one of the best defensive players on the team. In week one of this season, he caught a tough break suffering a broken leg. When he returned to the Saints later in the season, he was a non-factor. The Saints pass defense was just as dismal as their run defense, if not more so. They will need to evaluate every defensive position, especially cornerback. While it may be considered a little extreme, don’t be surprised if Breaux starts next season on the bench.

Draft a Pass Rusher

The Saints struggled mightily getting after the quarterback this season. They only recorded 30 sacks on the season which ranked 27th in the NFL. They have a fringe top ten pick that they could use to tap into the defensive talent of this draft class. An outside linebacker or defensive end known for rushing the passer would fit perfectly into the Saints scheme and could improve their defensive pressure schemes. Defensive end Derek Barnett out of Tennessee comes to mind. He is the all time career sacks leader at Tennessee. He will be able to line up opposite of Cameron Jordan and wreak havoc on opposing quarterbacks, exactly what the Saints need.

The Saints do not need to make too many drastic changes. They had the best offense in the NFL and many of the games they lost were very close. They will need to improve in many facets on the defensive side of the ball and once again trust in the leadership of Sean Payton and Drew Brees. If they can make the correct offseason moves, they may be poised for a turnaround next season.

 

MORE FROM YARDBARKER:
How to fix the San Francisco 49ers
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Kelce blasts ref for holding call during 2-pt conversion

Top 10 takeaways from NFL Divisional Playoffs

WATCH: Cook gets both feet in on amazing catch, Crosby kicks Packers into NFC title game

WATCH: Jason Witten catches first career playoff TD

Carroll dismisses notion that Hawks' title window is closing

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

WATCH: Packers DB destroys Cole Beasley with big hit

Aikman adds to Cowboys' QB conflict with Romo praise

Report: Packers hopeful Nelson could play next week

Jadeveon Clowney: Texans rattled Tom Brady

Report: Chip Kelly interviewed for Jags head coaching job

Report: Antonio Brown could become NFL's highest-paid WR

Best of Yardbarker: How to hop on NFL playoff bandwagons

Everything sports fans need to know about the Nintendo Switch

TailGreater: Picking the NFL divisional round games by hometown brews

The sports classic horror villains would play

Guilt-free guide to NFL playoff bandwagon fun

Box Score 1/13: Warming up for the playoff weekend

Complicated feelings for Tyreek Hill, others as playoffs progress

NFL Divisional Round watchablity index

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

A statistical look at the 56 years the Chargers spent in San Diego

Eight most disappointing NBA developments at midway point

Box Score 1/12: Everyone is moving to LA again

Saints News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Best of Yardbarker: How to hop on NFL playoff bandwagons

Everything sports fans need to know about the Nintendo Switch

The sports classic horror villains would play

Complicated feelings for Tyreek Hill and others as playoffs progress

NFL Divisional Round watchablity index

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

QUIZ: Name the 12 members of the San Diego Chargers in the NFL Hall of Fame

NBA referee hotline bling: Green reaches out to touch somebody

TailGreater: Picking the NFL divisional round games by hometown brews

Guilt-free guide to NFL playoff bandwagon fun

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker