New Orleans Saints draft capsule

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (12-6)
LAST SEASON: Extraordinary 2017 draft yielding offensive rookie of year Alvin Kamara and defensive rookie of year Marshon Lattimore propelled Saints back into ranks of contenders. Fell just seconds short of playing in NFC title game. QB Drew Brees, 39, showed virtually no sign of age, completing NFL-record 72 percent of passes. Offense ranked second in NFL, aided by resurgent running game. Lattimore and rookie safety Marcus Williams considerably improved pass coverage, and veteran DE Cameron Jordan had first All-Pro season, highlighted by 13 sacks, as defense improved considerably.

THEY NEED: DE, TE, OL, DT, WR, LB.

THEY DON’T NEED: RB, QB, S, CB.

POSSIBLE FIRST PICK: DT Da’Ron Payne, Alabama; DE Sam Hubbard, Ohio State; DE Arden Key, LSU; TE Hayden Hurst, South Carolina; WR D.J. Moore, Maryland; LB Rashaan Evans, Alabama.

OUTLOOK: During free agency, Saints tried to put themselves in position to draft best players available, regardless of position. Bolstered defense by signing S Kurt Coleman, CB Patrick Robinson and LB Demario Davis. Added WR Cameron Meredith and TE Ben Watson to passing game and sought to improve depth on offensive line with veteran Jermon Bushrod. However, Saints were unable to sign big-name DE or DT, so those areas could become draft priorities, particularly in light of coach Sean Payton’s recent comments that improving pass rush is “a must.”