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Team needs: Indianapolis Colts

Stanford University Luck passes the ball against the University of Southern California during their NCAA college football game in Los Angeles Reuters

With the NFL draft approaching, we’ll examine the needs that each team has to address. First up is the team with the first pick, the Indianapolis Colts.

Quarterback: The Colts’ 2011 season was defined by the absence of quarterback Peyton Manning, whose offseason neck surgeries caused him to miss the season, and caused the Colts to be the worst team in football. The Colts’ 2012 season will be defined by the presence of a new quarterback, chosen first overall 14 years after Manning, who will lead the Colts, they hope, for a decade or more to come.

From all indications, Colts owner Jim Irsay decided during the 2011 season that he wanted Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck to inherit the franchise quarterback title from Manning, and that’s what the Colts will do with the No. 1 overall pick. Many observers believe Robert Griffin III is the better bet, but the Colts have looked locked in on Luck for months now. He’s going to be the pick.

Defensive tackle: New Colts head coach Chuck Pagano wants to create a very different defense than the one they’ve had in Indianapolis for the last decade, and the biggest piece to the puzzle will be finding a defensive tackle who can play the role that Haloti Ngata plays in Baltimore, where Pagano was the defensive coordinator before getting the Colts job. Indianapolis will be thrilled it if a big guy who can man the middle is there in the second round, where they own the 34th overall pick.

Wide receiver: Pierre Garcon has left for the Redskins and Reggie Wayne won’t last forever, so the Colts would like to draft a receiver who can become a target for Luck for years to come. If they go with a receiver in the second round, Stephen Hill of Georgia Tech or Alshon Jeffery of South Carolina are a couple of options.

Tight end: Last year’s top two tight ends, Dallas Clark and Jacob Tamme, are both gone. New offensive coordinator Bruce Arians likes two tight end sets, Luck loved going to his tight ends at Stanford, and Indianapolis would love to have a young tight end for Luck to go to as well.

Cornerback: The deeper we get into this the more it looks like it would be easier to list the positions that aren’t needs on the Colts’ Swiss-cheese like roster. But cornerback is certainly a spot where they’d like to upgrade.

With the first pick, Luck is the man Irsay has been targeting since before he even hired Ryan Grigson and Pagano. After that, Grigson and Pagano need to load up on building a team around Luck, with holes on the roster almost everywhere.

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39 Responses to “Team needs: Indianapolis Colts”
  1. chawk12thman says: Apr 10, 2012 1:06 PM

    Agree with the premise outlined here; Defense is going to take a back seat on all their picks this year as they have to shore up for Luck……

  2. RavenzGunnerz says: Apr 10, 2012 1:08 PM

    I understand the absence of Manning was a downer, but come on man, that defence was atrocious. You would think the people who had rings would have fought tooth an nail to prove their worth.

    But on the other hand, may be they tanked on purpose.

    Either way, it’s time the NFL established the draft lottery so that any team who miss the play offs has a shot at no 1.

  3. afty2001 says: Apr 10, 2012 1:09 PM

    As a die hard Colts fan, I believe they absolutely need a DT in the second round. Follow that up with WR and CB.

    I just don’t see Drake Nevis as the answer up front. He is undersized for a 3-4. Get a solid Nose Tackle to go along with Freeney, Mathis, and Redding. That is not a bad start.

  4. atrophiedambitions says: Apr 10, 2012 1:10 PM

    Could’ve saved yourself some work on this write-up and just put “everything”.

    One could legitimately argue that every position category NOT listed on this post is also a need for Indy (LB’s, OL, RB, DB…Kicker…).

  5. vikingsnorth says: Apr 10, 2012 1:10 PM

    I haven’t picked up on it very much this offseason, yet….. BUT I could see NFL fans excited to see the Colts struggle out of the gate, and relish in Peyton performing in Denver.

  6. permiepoo says: Apr 10, 2012 1:11 PM

    Probably would have been just as easy to write “Everything” and save us all a lot of time.

  7. atrophiedambitions says: Apr 10, 2012 1:12 PM

    Wait, so the Colts ARE switching to a 3-4? Correct me if I’m wrong, but they are starting with exactly ZERO players who fit any role in a 3-4 defense…except maybe safety.

    Good Luck, Luck! You’re going to need it even get on the to the field, let alone stay upright and healthy when you get there.

  8. henderski says: Apr 10, 2012 1:12 PM

    “Many observers believe Robert Griffin III is the better bet”. This makes it sound like a majority of observers when in actuality a smaller group believes this than the reverse.

  9. thefiesty1 says: Apr 10, 2012 1:13 PM

    How about a new owner? They got rid of everybody else. They should have been drafting some back up players 3-4 years ago to be able to step in as their team aged. Now it’s too late. Starting over from scratch while tweeting to show how important Irsay is has show that he needs to go, now.

  10. jgava19 says: Apr 10, 2012 1:15 PM

    Tanked on purpose???

    Just so you know, 7 of their losses were by one score. (8 or less)

  11. skinsrock says: Apr 10, 2012 1:15 PM

    “New Colts head coach Chuck Pagano wants to create a very different defense than the one they’ve had in Indianapolis for the last decade…”
    _______________

    What defense was that? They had the Bob Sander’s Defense… The Bob Sander’s is injured defense… and of course last year’s No Defense… so yeah, I would bet they would go in a different direction that doesn’t rely on a player that only played 35 percent of the time.

  12. mwcarolina says: Apr 10, 2012 1:19 PM

    my guess is the Colts get Luck in round one, then depending on who’s there they get either Coby Fleener (pass catching TE and Luck’s teammate), Alshon Jeffery (love his potential) or Stephen Hill or Kendall Wright (if he falls) or Randle.

    As for the DT, i personally think they should sign a free agent DT, same with the panthers, Franklyn may not be great, but i think one of those teams should sign him.

  13. mwcarolina says: Apr 10, 2012 1:23 PM

    One could legitimately argue that every position category NOT listed on this post is also a need for Indy (LB’s, OL, RB, DB…Kicker…).
    ——————————————————–
    well, they are switching to a 3-4, but i tend to agree on some things, they do need another RB, to help out Brown. i personally would like to see Benson there, but wont happen. As for the kicker, i disagree there. unless Vinatieri is cut (which would be a bad move), they dont need a kicker and if they do cut Vinatieri, i hope Carolina signs him because he’s great and he’s clutch.

  14. puckthefatriots says: Apr 10, 2012 1:25 PM

    Ravenzgunnerz… are you still clinging to the idea that the Colts tanked the season??…here is a fact that might sting…since 2002 Colts 8-0 vs Ravens(in seasons that they didnt tank)…Your next intelligent comment will be your first.

  15. plumbstupid says: Apr 10, 2012 1:28 PM

    This team needs LOTS of help in just about every area. If they were smart, they would trade the No. 1 pick to the Browns for a whole host of picks (a la St. Louis/Washington). I’m sure they will also get high picks next year (due to a disaster of a 2012 campaign).

  16. bullcharger says: Apr 10, 2012 1:28 PM

    The Colts will are looking at a similar record to last year. Another high first round draft pick and they’ll be ready to roll in 2013 as long as Luck is not a bust.

  17. grandpoopah says: Apr 10, 2012 1:30 PM

    Colts vs. Browns for the #1 pick in 2013.

  18. wrathofgodzilla says: Apr 10, 2012 1:31 PM

    @mwcarolina

    No one wants to pay Franklin what he’s asking for what he provides. That’s why the Saints signed Bunkley away from Denver.

  19. gacoltfan says: Apr 10, 2012 1:32 PM

    So a couple analysts think RG3 is better, but a large majority say you have to draft Luck, yet you use the word “many”?

  20. peytonsneck18 says: Apr 10, 2012 1:32 PM

    They signed playrs that are familiar with the 3-4D so they will be alright in a year or two and peyton n his salary n injury had to go, every team needs new blood after so many years, my colts will be alright, some of u others on here are browns,Seahawks, redskins and bills etc etc.fans so of course u want to colts to fail, cause misery loves company

  21. longdrive2011 says: Apr 10, 2012 1:33 PM

    Well there is no need for a reach. Just pick the best talent available and plug ‘em in.

  22. rtbragg5 says: Apr 10, 2012 1:35 PM

    What defense was that? They had the Bob Sander’s Defense… The Bob Sander’s is injured defense… and of course last year’s No Defense… so yeah, I would bet they would go in a different direction that doesn’t rely on a player that only played 35 percent of the time.
    ————————————————–

    Not a Colt’s fan but, I don’t understand all the Colts bashing. Okay, so their owner cuts a first ballot hall of famer, it happens. The team is obviously rebuilding. You can’t exactly rebuild with an AGING quarterback. Not to mention the money aspect. They had very little cap room. Seems to me it was more the Polian’s fault than Irsay’s. They (the Polian’s) missed on quite a few draft picks the last few years. So what the owner likes to tweet and stuff who cares?

    And how can anyone say the defense was built around Bob Sanders? He wasn’t on that team last year. If anything the defense was built around Freeney he was after all Dungy’s first pick when he took over the team. So if anything Freeney was/is what they wanted in that defense.

  23. william SCOTTY smith says: Apr 10, 2012 1:36 PM

    “Many observers believe Robert Griffin III is the better bet, ” and by many, of course, we mean four.

  24. tonyugoh says: Apr 10, 2012 1:53 PM

    This Colts team reminds me of the 07 Falcons and how they rebuilt. Obviously, different circumstances, but new coach, GM, qb, and many guys returning from an awful team. Now, I’m not saying the Colts will win 11 games like the 2008 Falcons did, but as long as Luck shows improvement throughout his rookie season, I don’t think they’ll be the worst team in the league. Keep in mind, teams rarely have the top pick two years in a row and even in Manning’s rookie season in 98, the Colts were bad but not the worst team in the league.

  25. colts01 says: Apr 10, 2012 2:06 PM

    Colts Defense played just as good as any other year in comparison only problem is we didn’t have the lead to where that defense could play their style. QB was the biggest issue for Indy bottom line. When your playing from behind that was not the Colts strength ever! ok maybe a few times. But look at the past 5 years or more and what that defense has averaged in yards and points given up…not much different then last year. Things that make you go hmmmmm

  26. descendency says: Apr 10, 2012 2:15 PM

    I can some it up in one word: “Everything”

  27. benacci says: Apr 10, 2012 2:23 PM

    Second round WR, third round TE then maybe a big ugly offensive dude and the other picks on defense.

  28. rabidbillsfan says: Apr 10, 2012 2:26 PM

    thefiesty1 says:
    Apr 10, 2012 1:13 PM
    How about a new owner? They got rid of everybody else. They should have been drafting some back up players 3-4 years ago to be able to step in as their team aged. Now it’s too late. Starting over from scratch while tweeting to show how important Irsay is has show that he needs to go, now.

    ————————————————-

    This has the most hysterical comment in PFT history. “Breaking News: The Indianopolis Colt decided to send owner Jim Irsay packing today. ‘Jim was a wild one’ Colt said, ‘Much like I was as a foal.’ It is belived that the Indianoplis Colt is targeting Donald Trump as the new owner, they are hoping to bang out a contract in the next few days.” Wow, just wow….. “In other news, Tim Tebow has fired God…”

  29. 6ball says: Apr 10, 2012 2:28 PM

    .

    Tackles, Guards, Centers and then more tackles……the Colts can allow Luck to go the way of David Carr.

    .

  30. kodakinvegas says: Apr 10, 2012 2:32 PM

    This is what happens when you A tank a season B Screw your STAR QB and C. Have Irsay tweetin all night and playing the bottle. It’s gonna be a ROUGH road Colts fans. We’ see ya in 5-10 years in LA. HAHA

  31. kodakinvegas says: Apr 10, 2012 2:36 PM

    This is what happens when A. You tank a season, B. Screw your star QB to save cash. C have Irsay tweetin all night and playing the bottle. It’s gonna be a ROUGH ROAD Colts fan. See ya in -5-10 years in LA. Hagaha. Watch for the Mayflower trucks

  32. jgava19 says: Apr 10, 2012 3:05 PM

    Kodak is an idiot. Just sayin.

  33. fatguystrangler says: Apr 10, 2012 4:17 PM

    To say the 2012 draft for Indy is crucial is certainly an understatement. Before cleaning house, the cupboard was pretty bare. With a complete regime change, there can’t be any wasted picks. I hope the new GM was as good as Polian at finding starters in the undrafted market, as well.

  34. ppdoc13 says: Apr 10, 2012 4:20 PM

    Their biggest need is at owner. Jim Irsay is a turd spelled with a capital T. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree and Jimmy is slowly but surely taking after his father, Bob the Red Faced Drunk.

    I figure it’ll be another 4 – 5 years and the attendance which sucked until Peyton Manning started winning will dwindle and Jimmy will start looking at LA as his next stop.

    Jim Irsay is a turd. And there ain’t much any fan of the Dolts can say that will change that fact.

  35. karlton2 says: Apr 10, 2012 4:24 PM

    Hey now, there’s no need to say kodak is an idiot.

    That’s because it was quite apparent.

  36. dstellhorn317 says: Apr 10, 2012 5:23 PM

    Real talk! Andrew Luck is the best player in the draft. RGIII has bust written all over him.

    Colts draft Luck 1st overall, then in Rd. 2 grab a WR , pass catching TE or O-lineman. Lucks gonna need somebody to throw the ball to besides Reggie and Collie. I dont see Avery being the answer as a #2. If a top WR doesnt slip go for the top rated O-lineman. Gonna have to give Luck time to throw the ball, don’t want a repeat of David Carr.

  37. gguffey says: Apr 10, 2012 6:53 PM

    I’m just making some random predictions, so don’t hate on me. First round will obviously be Luck, second will be TE (good possibility of Luck’s team mate), third will be a nose tackle. Rounds 4-7 will be a scramble for best players available to help w/special teams. I’m guessing they win 4-6 games.

  38. 4ever19 says: Apr 11, 2012 11:30 AM

    Teams fear the Janorius: Jenkins’ rep drops him to the 2nd round and my beloved Colts get the cover corner they’ve needed since, well, since the team moved to Baltimore in ’53.

  39. kronix7 says: Apr 22, 2012 9:04 PM

    Nobody must’ve told kodakindavis that’s Colts and Indianapolis signed a deal that will Keep the Colts there for the next 25 to 30 years. L.A. couldn’t keep an NFL franchise the last time they had one. ie the St Louis Rams. Although they get them back, just long enough for them to just lose them to another city again.

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