The Colts could use a lot of Luck next season. This isn’t just in reference to the golden boy quarterback from Stanford the team is destined to take with the first overall pick in the 2012 NFL draft. They could also use some flat out luck as well.
A couple balls bouncing their way or the opposing team’s charter plane being grounded wouldn’t hurt. The team had one of their worst seasons since Robert Irsay secretly hired a moving company to move the team to Indy in 1984. To make matters worse, the front office decided not to pick up Peyton Manning’s option at the beginning of the offseason and he bolted for Denver. This and a series of other huge holes are leaving Colts owner/Twitter must – follow Jim Irsay and the front office with a serious rebuilding project on their hands.
First things first, you need a great quarterback to be competitive in the NFL. Luck is considered by many draft analysts to be the best quarterback prospect to enter the draft since 1998 when Peyton Manning came in to the league. Many say he's a can't miss prospect. Even if he is the Rookie of the Year candidate as everyone says he'll be, Indianapolis will still have a tough time winning a lot of games. Even Manning went 3-13 in his rookie season. Plus, there a lot of other problems areas on offense that need to be addressed before the Colts can put a winner on the field.
If they want to score points they need to bolster the offensive line immediately. The line is the start of an offense and this where they are going to need to start. They do have a promising young left tackle in 2011 first round draft pick Anthony Costanzo. But, they need to build the rest of the line to help protect their rookie quarterback and make sure he has enough time to make reads without being slaughtered by some jacked up defensive end hungry for rookie blood. A decent running game wouldn’t hurt either. Center is a major soft sport now that Jeff Saturday has left for greener pastures and signed with the Packers. He was a mainstay at the center position and was the cerebral force behind the offensive line during Indy’s years of offensive dominance. Finding a solid replacement for Saturday is a must in the draft.
The Colts wide receivers have also seen some turnover this offseason, although it is not as bad as expected. Sure-handed veteran Reggie Wayne surprisingly resigned with the team. This will give Luck at least one reliable target. Speedster Pierre Garcon left for Washington but the Colts may have found fitting replacement in burner Donnie Avery. Slot receiver and fan favorite Austin Collie will be returning but he is one concussion away from being the wide receivers coach at BYU next season. All in all there are a few questions in the receiving corps but at least they at least have on reliable veteran that they can count on to help Luck grow and mature.
Drafting Luck is a great start for this offense that saw little to no production last year without their superstar quarterback. But, this will not be enough to catapult them right back to the top of the AFC South standings. If they wish to compete in the NFL they need to bolster their offensive line to protect him and help build a running game. Colts fans should be ready to have their patience tried for the next couple of seasons unless Andrew can bring the Luck that they so desperately need.