"Certainly we're looking closely at our defense, and that would be a priority," Saints coach Sean Payton said Wednesday on WWL-AM in New Orleans, according to SportsRadioInterviews.com. "I would say this: When you start getting into that selection and you see magnets both offensively and defensively that are close to each other on the grade line, it's easy then -- if you feel real close about the players -- to go with one side of the ball or the other."
But there's danger in drafting for need only.
"The challenge is when you see the magnet that sits up there much higher than the defensive player," Payton said, "for instance, and then are you just strictly trying to draft a need player as opposed to maybe the best available player. And I think the key is just, what's the gap?
"And so when a player falls or you feel like you have a real high grade on a player, you have to pay attention to that."
The Saints have an offense built to win now. Those offensive prospects better rank much higher if the Saints pass on a quality defender. Ryan needs pieces now, not in 2014 or 2015. Quarterback Drew Brees, 34, isn't getting any younger, and the organization can't afford to waste a season while the defense rebuilds.