Drew Brees leaves a big void on the Saints offense, but their defense took the most hits during free agency. Starters and heavily-involved role players are gone at cornerback (Janoris Jenkins), defensive tackle (Malcom Brown and Sheldon Rankins), defensive end (Trey Hendrickson), and linebacker (Alex Anzalone). There’s plenty of talent remaining on top of the roster, but it’s going to take a team effort to make up for these losses throughout the depth chart.
Here’s my projection of what the Saints’ starting lineup might look like on defense, along with their immediate backups, before the 2021 NFL draft. With multiple picks in the early rounds, New Orleans is in a good position to replenish the unit, so we’ll update this model in a few weeks. Check out the starting offense as it may currently stand here.