There was a moment there in 2012 where many of us thought the Saints were going to turn things around and make a post-season run. After losing four of their first five, the New Orleans Saints did a total reversal winning their next four of five.
After that point though, the season fell apart thanks to the team’s biggest 2013 need: the D-Line
The New Orleans Saints simply could not stop the run or offer any internal pressure which tormented them all season long. Sure, the outside edge was far better but two edge rushers alone won’t cut it in a “max-protect”/gut-running NFL world.
One of the biggest problems for the New Orleans Saints was Sedrick Ellis, and thank goodness he will NOT be back in 2013.
C’mon Saints fans, you gotta be with me on this one.
Ellis was a highly touted interior pass-rusher chosen 7th overall in the NFL draft back in 2008. He was supposed to have it all—the total three-technique package, and the pride of USC.
Ellis wound up being a monumental bust garnering just 0.5 sacks in his last 24 GAMES!(a paltry career total of 12.5 in five years)
What I would like to see here is Ohio State’s Jonathan Hankins fall into New Orleans’ lap at 15.
Hankins is another three-technique master who excels in BOTH pass rushing and run defending. Compared to the likes of Seahawks DT Brandon Mebane, Hankins possesses the coveted strength, speed and above average footwork that many teams look for in a DT.
Hankins can also play in two-gap systems which is a HUGE plus considering the Saints are moving to a 3-4 system in 2013.
I haven’t really read anything extremely derogatory towards Hankins. There’s some discussion about Hankins needing better leverage and discipline, but to be honest, these are things to come as a kid transitions to the NFL.
All in all, he looks like the type of player who could be an immediate impact player for New Orleans.
Got an idea on New Orleans’ biggest 2013 need? Let me know below and be sure to catch the rest of my ongoing coverage of the NFC below.
NFC North 2013 Team Needs:
NFC East 2013 Team Needs:
NFC South 2013 Team Needs:
ATLANTA FALCONS (next up)
CAROLINA PANTHERS (Saturday)
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (Saturday)