1. Outside Linebacker
The New Orleans Saints are in the process of transitioning to a 3-4 defense under the guidance of Rob Ryan. And it could be a difficult switch of they can’t add the necessary puzzle pieces this offseason. Will Smith could potentially play with his hand off the ground, but he’s a candidate to be a cap casualty. If Smith is cut loose, the Saints may need two new starting outside linebackers.
2. Defensive Line
Akiem Hicks may be able to play nose tackle, but it’s a role in which he has limited experience – and none in a 3-4 system. If Sedrick Ellis is not re-signed, they’ll also need a defensive end.
Roman Harper and Malcolm Jenkins are both coming off disappointing seasons and probably aren’t in the Saints long-term plans. Harper is due to earn over $11 million combined over the next two seasons, making him a candidate for release.