A position-by-position look at where the New Orleans Saints stand heading into the 2015 offseason -- ranked from 1-12 in order of the team's need for upgrades or replacements.
Current depth chart:
DE Cameron Jordan. Age 25, signed through 2015. 2015 salary and bonuses: $6.969 million. 2015 salary-cap number: $6.969 million.
DE Akiem Hicks. Age 25, signed through 2015. 2015 salary and bonuses: $672,500. 2015 salary-cap number: $808,225.
NT Brodrick Bunkley. Age 31, signed through 2016. 2015 salary and bonuses: $4.5 million. 2015 salary-cap number: $6.1 million.
NT John Jenkins. Age 25, signed through 2016. 2015 salary and bonuses: $605,000. 2015 salary-cap number: $746,890.
DE Tyrunn Walker. Age 24, restricted free agent.
DE Glenn Foster. Age 24, scheduled to become restricted free agent in 2016. 2015 salary and bonuses: $585,000. 2015 salary-cap number: $587,334.
DL Brandon Deaderick. Age 27, unrestricted free agent.
NT Lawrence Virgil. Age 23, scheduled to become exclusive-rights free agent in 2016. 2015 salary and bonuses: $510,000. 2015 salary-cap number: $510,000.
This defensive line group was a big disappointment in 2014 since I thought they were the most talented collection of young players on the entire roster heading into the year. They weren't nearly disruptive enough -- especially as pass rushers -- with Jordan, Hicks and Jenkins taking a step back. Jordan and Hicks weren't bad, but the expectation for both of them was greatness.
I still love their talent and potential and expect bounce-back years from all three of those guys. And I even like the depth behind them with Walker and Foster.
But the Saints could certainly find room for another dynamic playmaker in free agency or the draft. And this could become the biggest need on the entire team a year from now, with Jordan and Hicks scheduled to become free agents after the season. The Saints will probably try to re-sign both, but that could get awfully expensive and competitive.
Bunkley's status is also in serious doubt with such a big salary. But it's possible he could stay in a rotation with Jenkins if he agrees to a significant pay cut for the second straight year.
ESPN scouting insider Matt Williamson's take:
"Cameron Jordan is a very good player. I thought he was emerging in the top-10 defensive linemen category a year ago. I don't know why he went backwards, but I bet he'll be OK. I would think you'll get more pass rush out of him than you did this past season.
"I'd say Hicks was a little disappointing, too, because I had very, very high hopes for him coming into this year as well. I thought their front five or their front line was gonna be really good this year. I still have hopes for Hicks and Jenkins, I think there's a lot of ability between the two of them. I still think Bunkley's a pretty good player; I'm sure he won't be back, but I think he can free up those linebackers and second-level guys. I don't see that as a huge need. As many needs as they have on defense, I think their front line is still good enough."