Saints need depth on defense

Updated: February 27, 2004, 2:35 PM ET
By By Scouts, Inc. | For ESPN Insider

With free agency beginning March 3 and the draft just around the corner, Scouts, Inc., breaks down the biggest offseason needs for the New Orleans Saints.

Cornerback: Starter Fred Thomas and backup Fakhir Brown are unrestricted free agents whom the team likely will make an effort to re-sign, though neither is a shutdown corner. Things are roughly the same on the left side, where Ashley Ambrose and Dale Carter are nearing the end of the line. Carter is coming off a season-ending injury and won't be back unless he accepts a significant pay cut. The bottom line: New Orleans has a lot of bodies at the position, but there isn't much talent or legitimate depth. The team needs at least one, and probably two, starters to move forward with the sort of aggressive blitzing schemes it would prefer. Without at least one strong man-to-man cover corner added to the mix, the Saints will be stuck running the same play-it-safe schemes that got them nowhere last year.