Over the course of the past five seasons, there has been one playoff appearance and four 7-9 finishes for the new orleans Saints. The issues for this team have been the same for many years. The defense continues to be a big disappointment and has short-circuited the postseason plans of head coach Sean Payton and his team for far too long. But on Thursday evening in the City of Brotherly Love, the franchise has a chance to land a couple of talented youngsters that could aid the NFL’s 27th-ranked defense in 2016.

What the team needs

When it comes to the offensive side of the football, few teams in the NFL challenge you like the New Orleans Saints.

Quarterback Drew Brees continues to put impressive numbers. And even with the trade of wide receiver Brandin Cooks to the New England Patriots this offseason, this is a unit loaded with playmakers. While 2016 second-round pick Michael Thomas comes off a big rookie campaign, fellow wideout Willie Snead and tight end Coby Fleener had productive years as well. Mark Ingram spearheads the NFL’s 16th-ranked ground attack but the team just picked up the 16th-leading rusher in league history in the form of Adrian Peterson. We have already mentioned that the club has a chance on Day One to grab two standouts. The Saints have the 11th and 32nd overall picks in the first round. But the franchise also has a second and a two third-round picks as well.

Be it an edge rusher or some more help for the secondary, defense is understandably the priority for this club.

Top choices

Ohio State’s Marshon Lattimore, Alabama’s Marlon Humphrey and LSU’s Tre’Davious White are the frontrunners when it comes to the cornerback position in this draft. Lattimore’s college teammate, Gareon Conley, is also a highly-regarded prospect but is now dealing with a serious off-the-field issue.

You can look for the New Orleans Saints to probably have their choice between Humphrey and White as Lattimore doesn’t figure to get out of the Top 10. Then again, Payton’s team is armed with those two selections in the third round and could make a move upwards. You will recall that in 2015, the Saints allowed a NFL-record 45 touchdown passes and gave up the second-most passing yards in the league.

This past season, the club saw that number of aerial scores reduced to 27 but still allowed the most yards through the air in the NFL. Hence the interest in Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler this offseason. In any case, it would be a surprise to see this club not walk away with a top cornerback prospect on Thursday evening.