Team needs: Indianapolis Colts

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With the NFL Draft approaching, we’re taking a team-by-team look at the needs of each club. Up next is the team with the No. 24 overall selection, the Indianapolis Colts. The Colts are short a second-rounder (from the Vontae Davis trade) and a fifth, and are picking later in the order than many expected after last year’s surprising playoff season.

Guard: It’s tempting to put tackle in the top spot, but picking where they are, it’s not a certainty they could find an upgrade to the acceptable-not-great left tackle Anthony Castonzo in the Draft. And after spending huge free agent money on right tackle Gosder Cherilus, they can’t justify taking someone there.

But they can fix the pass protection from the inside out. Signing Donald Thomas was another early move, but getting some more help up the middle might allow them to improve, even with tackles that are closer to average than great.

Running back: The Colts have gotten by with a bunch of guys in the backfield, and at some point, they’re going to have to give quarterback Andrew Luck a little more help. New offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton is willing to run, and they need a little more personnel in the backfield.

Cornerback: After acquiring Davis last year, the Colts have used the fringes of free agency to check off boxes. They signed Greg Toler during their first-day drunken-sailor act, and he’s been good when he’s been well. But he’s not so good that they can ignore this position.

Outside linebacker: After saying goodbye to Dwight Freeney, the Colts need to add a pass-rusher to complement Robert Mathis. They gave Green Bay’s Erik Walden too much money (but good for him), but need an upgrade there as well. They talked about his ability to set the edge, but they need someone to sack the quarterback.

Wide receiver: Reggie Wayne is still great, and T.Y. Hilton emerged as a playmaker. And though they signed Darrius Heyward-Bey, they need to think of the long-term here, and find someone who will take up the torch when Wayne’s no longer there.

The Colts are in an interesting spot. They have a young quarterback on a cheap rookie contract, which gives them flexibility to do so many things. And credit to general manager Ryan Grigson for knowing what he needed, and moving aggressively to fill needs in free agency so he could draft for talent.

But with a pile of salary cap room, they spent on guys who were fortunate to receive the deals they did. While they filled a lot of lines on the depth chart, not all of the guys they signed this spring are difference-makers.

Luck could prove to be the ultimate deodorant, and keep an ordinary cast of characters competitive. But if they can’t find him some consistent help up front, it’s going to be hard for him to play at a high level, when he’s spending so much time on his back.

32 responses to “Team needs: Indianapolis Colts

  1. Thank you. Someone tells the truth about Erik Walden (can’t believe my beloved Colts snapped him up at all much less for such big money) and DHB. They still need help at Oline, Dline, LB, DB, WR – in that order. They are set at QB and TE and can get by at RB.

  2. How about letting this team play a few games before passing judgement on players you have no idea will play like together.

  3. Colts are only going to be a better team than last year. The emotion of coach paganos leukemia last year was big in the run to making the playoffs and will be hard to duplicate. The increase in talent and a few smart draft picks can go a long way in matching last years 11-5 record.

  4. I like Vick Ballard as the clear cut starter at RB. And even without Wayne I think Hilton, Heyward-Bey, and Donnie Avery could be above average with Luck. So try to find that elusive shut-down corner and keep adding pass rush!

  5. I remember when Edgerrin James was drafted after Peyton was brought to the Colts. That was a match made in Heaven. Ever since Edge, the colts have been a finesse team. Time to get Luck a good everydown back.

  6. Guard and OLB have to be 1A and 1B. Mike McGlynn might be the worst starting guard in the AFC, maybe the whole NFL. He let Luck get hit a lot last year. Can’t let it happen two years in a row, either get Cooper/Fluker/Pugh/Warford in the draft or sign Brandon Moore.

    There are lots of high-potential OLBs in this draft, but they all seem to have some sort of issue. Jarvis Jones might have spinal stenosis and runs slow. Damontre Moore ran slow and seems a bit immature. Ziggy Ansah, Dion Jordan, and Barkevious Mingo are very athletic but didn’t produce a lot of sacks. Tank Carradine is coming off ACL surgery. I think one of them will fall to the 24th pick, but will they be the best player if that happens?

  7. Some of their F.A. signings were AWFUL. They blew a LOT of cap on Cherilus, Walden and Heyward-Bey.

    I was so hopeful the Colts could right their ship, but that was brutal. Do they ever break down any game tape???

  8. Sounds like the same spot Peyton Manning was in. Superior QB surrounded by inferior talent.

  9. kevingreene160sacknoHOFclub says: Apr 19, 2013 9:37 AM

    I like Vick Ballard as the clear cut starter at RB. And even without Wayne I think Hilton, Heyward-Bey, and Donnie Avery could be above average with Luck. So try to find that elusive shut-down corner and keep adding pass rush!

    I like you reasoning, but Donnie Avery is a Kansas City Chief. The other two potential WRs are LaVon Brazill and UDFA Griff Whalen, Luck’s old teammate.

  10. Colts will be fine. They will get a lot of people back from IR who should be solid contributors on the Dline which will help the horrible run defense.

    There is also plenty of tape on Donald Thomas at NE to show that he can be a solid starter with better pass protection skills than McGlynn.

    The biggest omission in this team needs report is the fact that the Pep is the new OC. Luck protection won’t be near as horrendous as last year under Arians. I love BA but his system will kill your QB just ask big Ben.

  11. The COLTS are the best team in the AFC, getting sweated by PATS fans because the owner “used to drink”, what a joke! The NFL schedule makers are so afraid of this team trouncing the Patriots, Ravens and Jets (all teams that royally suck anyway!!) that they didn’t even put them on the colts schedule (and their was a big sigh by the ravens!!! But not even close to the big sigh that RGIII let out when he found out he wouldn’t be exposed as the fraud he is by Andrew Luck!!!!……yea that’s right homies…I’m gonna pop some tags…..GO COLTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  12. Yeah Avery is in KC but as much as he dropped the ball DHB can’t be any worse, DHB has more size and better speed. The Colts did make sum questionable moves in FA but the season hasn’t started and people r saying they were bad moves. WAIT TILL AT LEAST MID-SEASON TO JUDGE! People wanna question the RT Gosder’s health he missed 4 games his entire career! Grigson got thr exact players he wanted in FA’s. Walden got more $ than he’s prolly worth but if he don’t work out cutting him wouldn’t have the type of impact cap wise as say Kruger. When it is all said and done he drafted a stellar rookie class in 2012 and was EOY (I know Pioli was a couple years ago and were he’s at) so imo he has earned sum le-way with his FA class!

  13. i agree with ufanforreal, chemistry and how players gel can go along way towards production. i like the fa acquisitions and in the draft if we get a couple to fall our way the roster should shape up well.

    i hope jarvis jones falls to us at 24 and the colts go with a rb (stepfan taylor) a wr (da’rick rogers) and in the latter rounds get some prospects like ty powell. if the value isnt there at 24 trade down and pick up warford and the o line just become that much more solid.

  14. The article got it right on the positions, not so much on the names mentioned.

    Really hope we draft a Guard. We definitely need that.

    First of all Castonzo was the most consistent performer out there last season. Granted it was a horrid OL but still he’s not a bad tackle.
    McGlynn is the one horrendous guy who shouldn’t be on that roster at all.

    Then there is the constant whining about the FA moves. Let them play first and then judge them.
    The Walden contract is a baffling one but let’s not forget that Grigson has structured all these new contracts in a way that won’t hinder them in the long term.

    People should give Grigs a chance and don’t write off these signings so early on. He has definitely won that chance after last year and the team turnaround.

  15. Most teams in the NFL have needed just about the same positions filled: Guard/Tackle, Wide Receiver, Linebacker and Cornerback. That means if you are one of the not in desperate need players, you might slide a bit in this draft.

    Positions like Linebacker used to be plentiful in this league, now teams are having a hard time finding decent guys to play the position. Same goes for Cornerback. There is plenty of them, just not many good one’s. That might have something to do with teams now days having some very good Receivers to throw to. Most teams have 1-2 great Receivers each, making the CB position that much more important. Tight end is another strong position, which makes LB’s and Safety’s a big need.

    Drafts in the late 90’s early 2000’s had a big mix of talent, now it seems that the drafts are stocked very heavy on certain positions and not others. Especially this year’s Draft…
    It is strong on Receivers, Tackles, Safety’s and Defensive lineman, making the other spots harder to fill through the Draft process. I think that is why Free Agency was big this year. Teams stocked up now because of the shortage in good College players for 2013.

  16. The colts need help at EVERY position. With an 11-5 record the colts play a much tougher schedule this year and their o-line will be exposed. Luck will play half of this year from his back and the colts will not win more than 6 games. Meanwhile the best QB in last years draft class will win 12 games and lead the Washington Redskins to the promised land. Have fun colts fans watching your db’s get burned and your o-line inviting sacks on luck.


  17. andylucksneck please refrain from making asinine comments until your qb has rehabbed, lasts an entire season and the skins have a wr worth mentioning

  18. @andylucksneck says:Apr 19, 2013 2:27 PM
    Easy there illogicalvoicesays……..And at least our QB didn’t play part of a game on one leg

  19. Vincealexva – Peytonsneck 18 spends his entire day talking trash on the skins websites for some reason. That’s why all of us are now on yours.

  20. charge1 all im sayin is at least have some type of stats or logic to support how you think skins win 12 games? im not the fan that is just rah rah rah, i follow football on all levels closely and disregard hype based solely on bias

  21. Team needs: Indianapolis Colts:

    – Better Owner
    – Better Fans
    – Better Players
    – Better City

    Peytonsneck18, this one’s for you.

  22. dexterismyhero says: Apr 19, 2013 2:51 PM

    @andylucksneck says:Apr 19, 2013 2:27 PM
    Easy there illogicalvoicesays……..And at least our QB didn’t play part of a game on one leg
    Do we really have to mention that RG3 on one leg is better than the Displaced Baltimore Colts QB on two legs?

  23. @vincealexa
    The Redskins have resigned key players like Adam Carriker, Hall, Jackson (4 gm suspension), Polumbus, Davis, Golston, Rocca. The Redskins will be in the second season with Griffin at the helm. Running the read option with a healthy Griffin, and an offensive line that will be together for the third year straight provides continuity, and a system that is virtually unstoppable. The Redsk Your comment about a wr is just asinine. The Skins had one of the WR corps when it came to downfield blocking, and less you forget that the Skins rattled off 7 straight wins to close out the season last year with a healthy Pierre Garçon. The Skins have a pretty good schedule this year, and I believe that they have a very good chance at winning 12 games based on division schedule, and out of division schedule. We will see what happens, but the Skins are a far more complete team that indy, Griffin is a MUCH better QB than luck, and Redskins fans are the BEST fanbase in all of sports.


  24. Best fanbase? Maybe in trolling but who really cares about that. Worry about your porous secondary and your QB killing coach.

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