The time to make big-name additions to each team has come and passed as the 2018 NFL Draft has concluded and all that remains on the free agency market are players that no one wants. So after teams have improved all they could thus far, there are still weaknesses that could have been further improved. For the New Orleans Saints, NFL.com thinks that biggest weakness remains the group of linebackers:
Give Saints general manager Mickey Loomis credit for throwing as many darts as possible at this annual problem. Between Demario Davis, Alex Anzalone, A.J. Klein, Manti Te’o and Craig Robertson, the Saints should be able to field a workable trio to play between a sneaky-good Saints defensive line and a talented secondary.
They’re not wrong.
But for once, the Saints not only have a group of warm bodies, but a fair amount of quality and not just quantity. Demario Davis and AJ Klein are likely to serve as the primary pair of linebackers with the returning Alex Anzalone hoping to build on the promise he was starting to show before he went down with injury. Manti Te’o had a career year in New Orleans last year and Craig Robertson is a player that won’t embarrass you when pressed into action.
Across the NFC South, NFL.com named the secondary as the biggest weakness for both the Carolina Panthers and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. It was a little more complicated of an analysis for the Atlanta Falcons, as their weakness was the hangover from losing former Offensive Coordinator Kyle Shanahan:
I love the Falcons’ roster, aside from an offensive line that might top out as good, not great. There are no apparent huge weaknesses, and the defense as a whole is ready to fly. The biggest obstacle could be the memory of who’s no longer in the building. Every slow offensive half by the Falcons is likely to inspire more unfavorable comparisons between offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian and his predecessor. The 2016 Falcons’ offense isn’t coming back, but the team’s playoff push last season showed this squad has other avenues to win games. Atlanta doesn’t have to be record-breaking on offense to be right back in the title mix.
The Saints and Falcons are likely to have explosive offenses in 2018 – the NFC South is going to be fun.