By re-signing Tyjuan Hagler, the Colts will enter the draft with Hagler (WILL, SAM), Clint Session (WILL, SAM), Adam Seward (MIKE, SAM), Gary Brackett (MIKE), Philip Wheeler (SAM, MIKE), Michael Okwo (WILL), and Rufus Alexander (SAM, WILL) are the primary linebackers. Gone are Freddy Keiaho and Buster Davis, both were starters the last month of the 2008 season. Replacing them are Clint Session (moving from WILL to SAM) and Philip Wheeler, who will now start at SAM. Hagler used to be the starting SAM, and the Colts seemed to have very high hopes for him. But last year, as 18to88 so accurately put it, the Colts treated Hagler like "toxic waste."
The one element Hagler does bring to the table is speed, experience, and a little size. Hagler is roughly 6'0, and played a lot of time at WILL last season. He hits hard, supports the run well, and hustles.
As we stated a few weeks ago, the move to sign Seward, coupled with promoted Wheeler and cutting Davis, might be a sign that Colts are focusing a bit more on size as opposed to quickness. This is not to suggest Seward and Wheelers are "slow." They aren't. But while Buster Davis and Freddy KO lacked height, they had quickness, burst, and power. In close quarters, they could knock out a rhino. But, despite their hitting power, they just weren't good enough to support the run on a consistent basis.
John Ohser at Indy Football Report doesn't necessarily agree that cutting Davis is a sign the Colts are looking to get taller at linebacker. Maybe. But with most of the 5'11 and shorter LBers gone, and with two 6'2 backers added, it's hard to argue that the Colts aren't looking to get taller at linebacker.
I think we'll get a firmer answer in the draft, espeicaly if Polian goes for someone like Western Illinois' Jason Williams (6'2) or Wisconsin's DeAndre Levy (6'3). Regardless, depth at linebacker actually looks pretty good. Do you expect Bill to pick any linebackers?