NFL Draft 2013: Highlighting Contending Teams That Must Focus on Defense

Pete Schauer@@Pete_SchauerCorrespondent IDecember 1, 2016

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - NOVEMBER 25:  Cornerback Prince Amukamara #20, middle linebacker Chase Blackburn #93, outside linebacker Michael Boley #59 and defensive back Tyler Sash #39 of the New York Giants reacts after a play against the Green Bay Packers at MetLife Stadium on November 25, 2012 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images

They say defense wins championships and that moniker proved to be true for a handful of NFL teams who boasted outstanding offenses but lacked production on the defensive side of the football.

It's practically impossible to win a Super Bowl without defense (just ask the New England Patriots), which is why the following three teams need to focus on defense in the 2013 NFL draft in order to contend next season.


Tampa Bay Buccaneers

With Doug Martin emerging as one of the NFL's best RBs and Vincent Jackson always a threat to take over a game, the Buccaneers have the offense in place to make a run at the NFC South.

Now they just need a defense to complement the offense.

The Bucs may have ranked first against the rush, but they were dead last against the pass, allowing nearly 300 YPG and 30 TD.

Tampa's defense ranked 29th overall and could definitely use help in the secondary (obviously) and the defensive line, as the Buccaneers defense recorded a mere 27 sacks this season, which ranked tied for 29th.

Tampa Bay's brass should be looking cornerback and defensive line in the 2013 draft.


New Orleans Saints

When you have Drew Brees, Marques Colston, Jimmy Graham and Darren Sproles, the last thing on your mind should be offense.

Given the fact that New Orleans sported the NFL's worst total defense, it's obvious they'll be going after defense in the 2013 draft.

The Saints were dismal against the rush (No. 32) and the pass (No. 31) and should be looking for a premier pass-rusher and lockdown corner in the draft or through free agency.

With Sean Payton back at the helm next season, I have no doubt that Brees and the offense will again be tops in the league.

New Orleans needs an improved defense in order to contend with the Atlanta Falcons and the rest of the NFC South next year, though.


New York Giants

I've highlighted the G-Men's draft needs extensively in my mock draft and it all boils down to defense.

New York ranked an uncharacteristic 31st in the NFL in total defense, as the Giants were gashed on the ground and dissected through the air all season (28th against the pass and 25th against the rush).

With Corey Webster's dismal play down the stretch and the high probability of Osi Umenyiora leaving the Giants, GM Jerry Reese should be thinking defense with at least two of Big Blue's first three picks in the draft.

New York boasted an impressive 35 takeaways this season, but reached opposing quarterbacks for sacks just 33 times (No. 22), which is unacceptable for a defensive line that claimed its fame from putting QBs on their backs.

The G-Men's offense is set with Eli Manning and a solid receiving corp leading the way—now it's time to bolster the defense.


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