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Old 03-26-2020, 01:45 PM
Ironshaft Ironshaft is offline
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Default Colts Roster prior to the Draft

My view of the roster prior to the draft:

DEFENSE:

NT / 1-Tech: Grover Stewart, Sheldon Day

Both are solid and average to slightly above average. I like the Day signing because I think he can deliver what the Colts need from him at a pretty low cost but neither of these guys are “loads” or “game wreckers.” Both will clog the lanes, eat up some blockers and hopefully keep the LBs clean while occasionally getting some pressure on the QB when single blocked (or perhaps not because neither are good at rushing the passer). The position could be upgraded but doing so in 2020 would be a luxury, not a requirement, IMO. Not every position on your defense can be superior.

DT / 3-Tech: DeForest Buckner, Denico Autry, Tyquan Lewis

Wow, the more I see of Buckner, the more I think our defense is going to take a big step forward this season. He was built for a 1-gap, 3-tech penetrating defense like the Colts (and 49ers) run. He is a “load” that will demand the double team or else he will wreck the play (and he might wreck the play even if you double team him on occasion). Autry has been good at the spot but Buckner is great. Having the two of them rotate on run downs to keep fresh legs and playing side-by-side on passing downs is going to transform the defense. Lewis has been a disappointment so far through two seasons and I hope he either can get the lead out or else he might/will be a “surprise” cut when getting down to the 55-man roster. I could see the Colts grabbing a NT/DT in the draft if they think the BPA value is there but the positions groups don’t scream out for an upgrade in front of other team neads.

DE: Justin Houston, Kemoko Turray, Al-Quadin Muhammad, Ben Banogu, Gerri Green

Houston delivered last season; it was a shame that he was about the only one on our D-Line to do so. That should not be the case this season with Buckner now in the fold and hopefully stronger play from the other DT position as well whether in run or pass situations. If we don’t sign Clowney, then I actually expect to see Muhammad as the other starting DE opposite Houston as the “run stop” specialist (Sheard role) on early downs getting replaced by Turray in passing situations. While neither Banogu nor Green performing terribly well in 2019, both hopefully will benefit from the “2nd year leap” and be stronger depth in 2020. The position group could benefit greatly from another top talent added to the mix to push Banogu and Green further down but in free agency, all that is left is Clowney and I don’t know that we would find a sure-fire upgrade at #34 / #44 in the draft over Turray/Muhammad/Banogu. With higher pressing needs on the team, I figure it is Clowney or no one added to the position group for 2020.

Linebackers: Darius Leonard, Anthony Walker, Bobby Okereke, E.J. Speed, Zaire Franklin, Matthew Adams, Skai Moore

I have confidence in four of our LBs: Leonard, Okereke, Walker and Speed in that order. I don’t mind Franklin, Adams and Moore as depth / Special Teams players but hope they only rarely see the field on defensive snaps. I think the sky is the limit for our top four guys and with a better NT/DT rotation, I think they are only going to get better in 2020 and that is a pretty good place to be with all of them still on their rookie contracts and performing well. I would be surprised if we see anyone added to the LB corps through the rest of free agency or the draft.

Safety: Malik Hooker, Khari Willis, George Odum, Roland Milligan

Yeah, we only have three safeties on the roster right now that I trust so this becomes my number one defensive draft need; safety depth. I like Hooker, Willis and Odum and think that Hooker and Willis can be long-term starters but there needs to be more depth behind them. I don’t trust Milligan at all. This need does not need a 2nd or 3rd round pick for depth but another drafted safety in the 4th/5th/6th with a priority UDFA added to the position group in 2020 would be a good way to round out our safeties. With better pressure from an improved D-Line, I hope that our safeties will have more freedom to take a few risks and make big plays in 2020.

Cornerbacks: Kenny Moore II, Rock Ya Sin, Marvell Tell, Quincy Wilson, some depth guys who don’t matter)

Kenny Moore is one of the best in the business when allowed to stay in the slot CB position. Put him on the outside and he is not nearly as effective. Rock and Tell played WELL as rookies and could very well be our starting outside CBs in 2020 but that is a lot to ask of a 2nd year, 5th round talent in Tell’s case. Wilson was solid his first two seasons but really regressed in 2019. I do not have confidence in his ability to be part of the solution going forward (I hope I am wrong but…). Other CBs on the roster (Nelson, Pitts, Porter) are camp fodder bodies whom I hope never take a defensive snap for the Colts. This position group could use another good body to push our young starters to either perform better or get replaced. I hope that one of our 2nd/3rd round pick is CB to be a 4th/5th quality body alongside Moore, Rock, Tell and perhaps Wilson if he can regain his form. To this I would also add a 6th round pick to be that 5th guy if Wilson fails to earn a roster spot.

[EDIT: Now that the Colts have signed Xavier Rhodes, the need to draft a CB early in the 2020 draft has lessened / disappeared. I would not be against it since I don't think Rhodes will be anything other than average at his age and recent performance shows but, hopefully, I am wrong and he is a stud.]

Defensive Draft Needs:

1. Safety Depth (4th/5th/6th round selection)
2. CB Quality Body (2nd/3rd round selection)
3. CB Depth (6th round selection)
4. Safety Depth (Priority UDFA)

OFFENSE:

Quarterback: Phillip Rivers, Jacoby Brissett, Chad Kelly

While I was a fan of going after a younger veteran QB (Carr or Bridgewater) who might be with the team longer, I cannot deny that Rivers brings the skill set and performance history that will immediately improve the offense. His poise, ability to make a decision and react to changing coverages is top of the class. However, the question is how much has he lost off his physical skills to then execute those choices and decisions? Having an improved O-Line over what he had in SD will help. Having a better running game than he had in SD will help. But at the end of the day, can he deliver the ball in the window that is needed to power the offense and the answer to that question is, “we will see.” We will be a better offense with Phillip Rivers than Jacoby Brissett but I do wonder how much better will we be?

Retaining Brissett and paying two QBs more than $21m this season is, IMO, a bad choice. I think we are going to do it because Irsay has fears but I am not a fan of it. Either Chad Kelly or a drafted rookie if the Colts leadership sees one that they have faith in to be the potential QB of the future will be the 3rd QB on the roster. It would not shock me to see the Colts draft a QB high (2nd round) or low (5th/6th round for development) nor would it surprise me that they don’t draft one at all. They have to have faith that he can be a starter and I don’t know if they will find that right combo of faith and value in 2020.

Running Back: Marlon Mack, Nyheim Hines, Jordan Wilkins

I like our three guys to do what the Colts need out of them. None are dominate or superior but all work well within the offensive system and can gain the yards needed within the system. I think with a better QB who can throw the RBs open on wheel routes, screens and quick outs to the flat are going to be MUCH more effective this season that in previous seasons and could eat up a large chunk of Rivers throws with a ton of YAC. No help needed here although, again, it would not surprise me to see a lower draft pick used here if the value chart lines up with the pick on a kid whom they think can be special.

Wide Receiver: T.Y. Hilton, Zach Pascal, Parris Campbell, Daurice Fountain, Chad Williams, lots of other camp fodder guys

T.Y. is still a WR1 in the NFL as he will prove again with a quality QB throwing to him. Pascal made a big step forward in 2019 but showed that he can probably cannot handle the coverage afforded to WR1 or WR2s in this league. I like him best as a 3rd receiver who can come in and create mismatches on safeties, LBs or slot corners. Campbell, Foutain and Williams all have skills and, hopefully, they can develop in 2020 to be good depth receivers but I don’t know that any of them have the skills to become a quality WR2 so that leads us to needing to draft someone with one of our 2nd round pick to take up that role. If we end up with a WR group of Hilton, 2nd round rookie, Pascal, Campbell and Fountain then I will be a happy camper. I think that is a group that can excel with a QB that knows how to throw them open.

Tight End: Jack Doyle, Mo Allie-Cox, Matt Lengel, Xavier Grimble

Believe it or not, I don’t hate where the TE position group is right now. Doyle and Allie-Cox make a reliable pair of TEs for the offense to work with to try and create mismatches. Both Lengel and Grimble have been in the league a while, shown to have at least average skills and will be in the first year of the Indy Frank Reich offense. There is hope that both could improve under the Reich system. Now, I am not opposed to drafting a stud TE in the 2020 draft because Rivers needs more quality options and in Reich’s offense, I think both the WR and TE spots are about valued equality but I would not be mad if we leave the 2020 draft having failed to draft a TE. Better QB will greatly increase TE productivity.

Offensive Tackle: Anthony Castonzo, Braden Smith, Le’Raven Clark, Andrew Donnal

I am so glad that Castonzo decided to come back and not just for one year but for two years. That is a HUGE win for the team as he is rock solid and a top ten OT. As long as he keeps at that level, we are good for the next two years. Smith has become one of the best RTs in the league and is way overplaying his draft status. He has also been rock solid and allowed the OT position group to be one of strength. They might very well be one of the top two or three OT pairs in the league. However, depth behind them is now a concern in case of injury. I had confidence in Joe Haeg being able to provide quality depth at either left or right OT; I do not have that same level of confidence in Le’Raven Clark. He has never been anything except average and average at the OT position in the NFL gets your QB killed and your RBs blown up in the backfield. Andrew Donnall is about the same as Clark but does provide some okay depth.

My son thinks that I am nuts to suggest that we need to use a 2nd or 3rd round pick on an OT in the 2020 “win now” Colts world because they will not contribute to the team immediately but that is probably exactly what I am suggesting. Once you build a superior offensive line, your next goal is to maintain a superior offensive line even in the face of injuries and the Colts do not have any level of quality safety margin. I think we need to provide depth now and plan for a future without AC and that means using a pick in 2020 to be that 6th O-Lineman (or perhaps unseat Glowinski at RG) and be groomed to take over at left OT once AC decides to retire.

Offensive Guard: Quinton Nelson, Mark Glowinski, Jake Eldenkamp, Chaz Green

Nelson is one of the best in the business; mainstay of the team for years to come. Glowinski had a great season in his contract season (2018) but has been nothing but average in every other year to include last year. He is the weak link of the Colts O-line and if we draft a kid early, I fully expect the rookie to beat Glowinski out for RG duties in 2020. He is not a liability but he is nothing but average. Neither Eldenkamp nor Green provide any quality behind the starters so I think we need to double dip in the 2020 draft for depth O-linemen; OT early and OG late.

Offensive Center: Ryan Kelly, Javon Patterson

Kelly is rock solid and a good offensive center. He will never be mistaken for top five at the position group but he a quality starter that can have a long career in the league (hopefully for the Colts). He is probably the 4th best O-lineman for the Colts (behind Nelson, Castonzo and Smith in that order) but he is a pretty high floor for those four horsemen of the run-pocalypse! (okay, that was bad). Patterson was never on the active roster but they did use a 7th round draft pick on his last year so he must have some skills. I just hope we never need to see them in 2020 because Kelly starts and plays every snap of every game.

Offensive Draft Needs:

1. Top OT for potential starting RG and OT depth (2nd/3rd round)
2. Wide Receiver (2nd round selection)
3. Interior O-Line Depth (4th/5th/6th round selection)



COMBINED Draft Needs:

Potential Starter Selections in 2nd or 3rd rounds (2-34, 2-44, 3-75):

Wide Receiver
Offensive Tackle
Luxury Pick (Nose Tackle, Defensive End, Cornerback, Tight End, Quarterback)

Depth Selections in 4th / 5th / 6th rounds (4-122, 5-160, 6-193, 6-197):

Interior O-Line
Safety
Cornerback
Luxury Pick (Nose Tackle, Tight End, Quarterback)


So, that is my take on the Colts roster prior to the draft. What is your take?

Last edited by Ironshaft; 03-26-2020 at 07:10 PM.
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Old 03-26-2020, 02:45 PM
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Nice work Ironshaft appreciate it
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Old 03-26-2020, 04:49 PM
YDFL Commish YDFL Commish is offline
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Remember Lewis's rookie year when ha came back from injury and saw some work at DE and played pretty well? Maybe a move to Sheard's DE spot is what can get him going?
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Old 03-26-2020, 06:26 PM
Ironshaft Ironshaft is offline
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Now that we have signed Rhodes, I would keep my "depth" draft section the same and instead of "Cornerback" in the 2nd/3rd round section list:

Luxury Pick (Nose Tackle, Quarterback, Tight End, Defensive End)

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Old 03-27-2020, 12:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ironshaft View Post
Now that we have signed Rhodes, I would keep my "depth" draft section the same and instead of "Cornerback" in the 2nd/3rd round section list:

Luxury Pick (Nose Tackle, Quarterback, Tight End, Defensive End)

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We got rid of Desir and replaced him with Rhodes... I wont be upset if we can get another corner as well.
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Old 03-27-2020, 12:49 PM
Ironshaft Ironshaft is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pez View Post
We got rid of Desir and replaced him with Rhodes... I wont be upset if we can get another corner as well.
I don't disagree; however, the Colts typically carry 5 CBs on their 53 man roster. Perhaps with 55 spots, that opens up a 6th spot but perhsps not. Ballards loves his pass rushers.

IMO, locks to make the roster at CB are: Moore, Ya Sin, Tell and Rhodes. The 5th spot is currently Wilson's so any high draft pick might just be a swap for Wilson.

Now, I don't mind Wilson getting replaced bur I think there are higher priorities on the 2020 roster like developmental QB, stud TE, stud NT or another DE prospect..as I listed.

But if Ballard picked CB in 2nd or 3rd, I would not be upset.

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Old 03-28-2020, 09:27 PM
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In Glowinski's first year, Andrew Luck was under center, and Luck was a consummate QB who seemed to have a sixth sense at detecting the blitz and making last moment adjustments.

In his second year, he was stuck with Jacoby Brissett, who was unable to recognize the blitz until the rusher was in his face.
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Old 03-28-2020, 10:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ironshaft View Post
I don't disagree; however, the Colts typically carry 5 CBs on their 53 man roster. Perhaps with 55 spots, that opens up a 6th spot but perhsps not. Ballards loves his pass rushers.

IMO, locks to make the roster at CB are: Moore, Ya Sin, Tell and Rhodes. The 5th spot is currently Wilson's so any high draft pick might just be a swap for Wilson.

Now, I don't mind Wilson getting replaced bur I think there are higher priorities on the 2020 roster like developmental QB, stud TE, stud NT or another DE prospect..as I listed.

But if Ballard picked CB in 2nd or 3rd, I would not be upset.

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Glad your on this board Iron... Good insight
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Old 03-29-2020, 08:48 AM
Ironshaft Ironshaft is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kray007 View Post
In Glowinski's first year, Andrew Luck was under center, and Luck was a consummate QB who seemed to have a sixth sense at detecting the blitz and making last moment adjustments.



In his second year, he was stuck with Jacoby Brissett, who was unable to recognize the blitz until the rusher was in his face.
That is a fair point; JB could make any O-Line / O-Lineman look bad with how long he held the ball.

It will be interesting to see this line with a more decisive QB again. We were like 10th in pass blocking in the league last year (3rd run blocking). My hope is that Rivers can get the ball out quicker and get pressured less. We will see.


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Old 03-29-2020, 08:50 AM
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Glad your on this board Iron... Good insight
Thanks. Lurked for most of last season but kept getting pulled into conversations. Glad to be here.

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