The Off-Season Outlook: Indianapolis Colts – by Rob Grimwood

Indianapolis Colts

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Notable Free Agents: 

  • Pierre Desir, CB
  • Clayton Geathers, S
  • Najee Goode, LB
  • Ryan Grant, WR
  • Margus Hunt, DE
  • Dontrelle Inman, WR
  • Mike Mitchell, S
  • Al Woods, DT

Despite starting the season 1-5, the Colts pulled off a marvelous bounce-back throughout the remainder of the season and found themselves being one of the hottest teams in the league until finally losing out to a more polished Chiefs team in the divisional round of the playoffs.

Out of the players listed to potentially leave Indianapolis this spring, I highly expect the Colts’ to at least successfully re-sign Margus Hunt, Pierre Desir, Clayton Geathers, and Dontrelle Inman. DE Hunt significantly improved the Indy D-Line this year and recorded had a career record-setting season with 30 tackles (13 for loss, 5 sacks with one forced fumble and a single fumble recovery).

desir
Photo Credit: Matt Kryger/IndyStar

Considering the drastic defensive improvements from the previous season (ranked 30th in 2017 to 11th in 2018), Head Coach Frank Reich and GM Chris Ballard will likely want to see the return of the players that made the season just gone such a success story. Although the defensive secondary is an area that needs improving this off-season, both Geathers and Desir are players that will serve as good quality depth pieces.

I expect one of the two wide receivers to be returning in a Colts uniform come September considering the lack of depth at the position and basing it on last seasons performances, Dontrelle Inman (9 games, 304 yards, and 3 TD’s) would seemingly be the one they stick with, salary depending I would assume. Ballard and Reich may have different ideas if they have their eyes on picking up a replacement receiver later on in the off-season process though.

Potential Signings and Draft Picks

Cap Space: $107.7mil (overthecap.com)

Ideal Targets:

  • Jadeveon Clowney, LB – Houston Texans
  • Earl Thomas, S – Seattle Seahawks
  • Le’Veon Bell, RB- Pittsburgh Steelers
  • Bradley Roby, CB – Denver Broncos

Other Targets:

  • Mark Ingram, RB – New Orleans Saints
  • C.J Mosley, LB – Baltimore Ravens
  • Landon Collins, S – New York Giants

There has been plenty of speculation linking the Colts to the superstar talent of running back, Le’veon Bell. However, Marlon Mack (75.7 yards per game average with 10 total touchdowns) performed admirably towards the tail end of the season and established himself as a more than capable out and out starter for them at the RB position. This may well be enough to quash any rumors of Bell landing in Indy this off-season, but the temptation of landing such a stud might oversee Mack’s performances last season.

mack
Photo Credit: Thomas J. Russo/USA TODAY Sports

The other areas of concern for Indianapolis include wide receiver on offense with pass rush and secondary key areas to improve on defense. Jadeveon Clowney would be a coup if Ballard and Co. were able to pull that off against their divisional rivals in Houston, but he will likely receive a renewed contract or franchise tag from the Texans. Former pro-bowlers Earl Thomas and Landon Collins would be experienced heads that would be welcomed at Lucas Oil Stadium in order to bolster up the secondary, something Indy will immediately benefit from.

C.J Mosely doesn’t fit the 4-3 scheme that Indy run, but if he was able to transfer his skills from Baltimore’s 3-4 scheme, the pairing of Mosely and future superstar Darius Leonard at linebacker is a mouth-watering prospect.

Draft Targets: Picks – 1.26, 2.34, 2.59, 3.90, 4.123, 4.129*, 5.154, 6.187, 7.218 

  • Greedy Williams, CB – LSU (with the 1.26 pick)
  • Byron Murphy, CB – Washington (1.26)
  • Jaylon Ferguson, DE – Louisiana Tech (2.34)
  • D.K Metcalf, WR – Ole Miss (2.34)
  • Julian Love, CB – Notre Dame (2.59)
  • Damien Harris, RB – Alabama (2.59)
  • Jamel Dean, CB – Auburn (3.90)
  • Chase Winovich, DE/LB – Michigan (3.90)
  • Kelvin Harmon, WR – N.C State (3.90)
  • Deebo Samuel, WR – South Carolina (3.90)

I imagine the Colts will look to address their defensive depth in the draft too, especially with the first round slated to be a defense-heavy order of service. If elite corner prospects Greedy Williams or Byron Murphy fall to 1.26, expect Indy to pounce without thinking.

Round 2 looks as if more offensive players will enter the fray – could be a great opportunity to grab a Kelvin Harmon/Deebo Samuel type receiver unless D.K Metcalf makes it into day two where the Colts have the 2nd pick of the day.

Also, expect Indy to strengthen along the defensive line this offseason at some point. As admirable as Margus Hunt, Jabaal Sheard, and Tyquan Lewis were in 2018, it’s a position which can always be added to.

by Rob Grimwood – @FFBritBaller

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