There's no question the New Orleans Saints should go defense in the 2013 NFL draft. Question is, which area should they concentrate on the most? The defensive line or the secondary? How about linebacker?
After the Saints' dismal 2012 season—in which their defensive unit got embarrassed and saw defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo get fired—the Saints brought in Rob Ryan and his 3-4 scheme to fix their defensive problems, so of course the Saints are going to go out and get personnel that best suit the new scheme.
The Saints have already made some moves in free agency by bringing in some players that can help the them, like Victor Butler and Kenyon Coleman, but they still have some work ahead of them as it gets closer to the draft.
Let's take a look at some draft prospects who will fit with the Saints.
The linebacker out of Georgia would be a great fit as a pass-rusher under Rob Ryan's 3-4 defensive scheme. He would make an immediate impact being a part of the Saints' defense. He is an explosive player who can blow right by offensive linemen with his speed or use his strength and moves to beat his blockers.
Jarvis Jones is not only a great pass-rusher, he is also good at stopping the run. In his past two seasons at Georgia, Jones totaled 155 tackles, nine forced fumbles and 28 sacks.
Jones' addition would be a great help to the Saints' defensive unit. The way the defensive unit performed in 2012, Jones would definitely make the unit better. His aggressive style of play and speed would come in handy.
Jonathan Cyprien, strong safety from Florida International. Let's get out of the way the fact that Cyprien didn't play football at a big program. Yes, he showed he can excel against weaker competition, but let's not forget he has also shown his abilities against better competition like Texas A&M and Maryland.
During the Senior Bowl, the safety showed he belongs. He played aggressively, hustled in practice and showed scouts his coverage and hitting skills.
Cyprien has enough experience in the slot to make him a potential every-down defender. The six-foot safety showed he is durable with 45 collegiate starts in four seasons. Last season, Cyprien led his team in tackles (93) and interceptions (four).
He has decent speed and can cover a lot of ground with his athleticism. He has good ball-hawk skills, is a big hitter in open space and is capable of making the big plays. He can cover runs and blitzes with his aggressiveness, and he's also quick enough to defend running quarterbacks.
Alec Ogletree is one of the more athletic linebackers in this draft. At 6'3", 242 pounds, the linebacker from Georgia is one heck of a player. During his Pro Day, he demonstrated good straight-line speed, running a 4.6 40-yard dash.
Ogletree is a tackling machine. Even though he missed four games in 2012, he still racked up 111 tackles and three sacks. As a former safety prospect, he's good in coverage, which can definitely help the Saints out.
The linebacker has great range and athleticism, and he showed it on the field. He flew to the ball, making plays all over the field, and he was often the best defender on the field. That's saying a lot, being on a team filled with NFL talent.
If he joins the Saints, he can bring a quickness around the edge that will give opposing quarterbacks a hard time. Ogletree is also a ferocious hitter, and his aggressive style can help out with the Saints' run defense.
The LSU defensive end may be small in size—well, at least for the defensive end position—but there's no question Barkevious Mingo can play.
Mingo is fast, athletic and can bolster an anemic Saints pass-rush. Due to his size (6'4", 240 pounds), the Saints would probably switch his position from defensive end to outside linebacker.
Mingo has an explosive first step that will help him get by a lineman and get to the quarterback with ease, and he also has the strength to fight through blockers to make plays on run defense.
On his Pro Day, Mingo impressed scouts (including Saints scouts) with the athleticism he displayed as well as his performance in linebacker drills.