A position-by-position look at the New Orleans Saints' draft needs, ranked in order of importance from 1-12:
Current depth chart:
Keenan Lewis, signed through 2018
Champ Bailey, signed through 2015
Corey White, signed through 2015
Patrick Robinson, signed through 2014
Rod Sweeting, scheduled to become restricted free agent in 2016
Trevin Wade, scheduled to become RFA in 2015
Terrence Frederick, RFA in 2017
A.J. Davis, RFA in 2017
Derrius Brooks, RFA in 2017
Draft possibilities: The Saints actually have a good deal of depth at the cornerback spot. But they’re littered with question marks: How much does newly-signed veteran Bailey have left in the tank? Can former first-rounder Robinson bounce back after struggling in 2012 and missing all of 2013 with a knee injury? Can White continue to develop after showing some highs and lows as a part-time starter last year?
Even if the Saints are confident in those veteran players, there's still a strong chance they will draft a cornerback high this year -- possibly as early as Round 1 -- since they need to develop some young talent at the vital position.
New Orleans would probably have to trade up to get one of the top three cornerbacks in this year’s class (Michigan State’s Darqueze Dennard, Oklahoma State’s Justin Gilbert and Virginia Tech’s Kyle Fuller). If the Saints stay put at No. 27, they might be able to land small-but-physical TCU cornerback Jason Verrett, whom I have projected to the Saints if they don’t trade up.
They could also consider Ohio State’s athletic Bradley Roby or Nebraska’s physical Stan Jean-Baptiste in Round 1. Or they could wait until Round 2 or later. Among the most intriguing prospects in that range is a small-school guy -- Lindenwood’s Pierre Desir.