(SportsNetwork.com) - New Orleans coach Sean Payton is an offensive guy but he's on record saying the Saints have "to bring in some (defensive) guys that we feel like can help us play right away."
Nebraska's Randy Gregory is the best pure pass rusher in this draft and likely would have been a top-five pick if not for a significant marijuana problem. Payton's desperation leads me to believe New Orleans might be willing to take the plunge at No. 13.
Other edge defenders in play could be Clemson's Vic Beasley or Kentucky's Alvin Dupree, although their compasses have being moving north in recent days. Washington nose tackle Danny Shelton is another name that could be hanging around when the Saints hand in their card.
New Orleans also acquired the 31st pick, along with a very good center in Max Unger, when they sent Jimmy Graham to Seattle. New Orleans should continue to hit the defensive side hard and Arik Armstead is a versatile player who can move inside and out on the line while helping with the pass rush. He's raw, though, and could be a boom-or-bust type.
With the 36-year-old Drew Brees in the last year of his contract, an heir- apparent at the quarterback position is also needed but packaging picks to go up for Marcus Mariota is unlikely.
2014 Record: 7-9
Top Needs: LB, DL, DB, OL
First Three Picks: No. 13, No. 31, No. 44
Number of Selections: 9 (1, 1, 2, 3, 3, 5, 5, 6, 7)
RECENT FIRST ROUND HISTORY: 2014 - Brandin Cooks (WR, Oregon State); 2013 - Kenny Vaccaro (S, Texas); 2012 - none; 2011 - Cameron Jordan (DE, California), Mark Ingram (RB, Alabama); 2010 - Patrick Robinson (CB, Florida State); 2009 - Malcolm Jenkins (DB, Ohio State); 2008 - Sedrick Ellis (DT, USC); 2007 - Robert Meachem (WR, Tennessee); 2006 - Reggie Bush (RB, USC); 2005 - Jammal Brown (OT, Oklahoma)