It's been awhile, Stampede Blue!
So, I don't know about you, but all of this college football today has gotten me in the mood to talk offseason! However, I felt sort of bad about doing a typical mock draft during the regular season, so I have opted to predict every offseason transaction for the Colts (Note: This is done as I would do it if I was GM, not as a projection of what Ryan Grigson will actually do). Alright, enough chit-chat! Let's start with our own free agents!
Vontae Davis- He was, effectively, a 2nd round pick. He's struggled recently, but there is no reason to create a hole where there isn't one.
Pat McAfee- One of the best at his position. Pay the man.
Donald Brown- Brown apparently loves Indy, and I think he has earned a new contract (at the right price).
Adam Vinatieri- At this point, I believe that Vinny has done enough to earn a roster spot for as long as he wants to play. (He is definitely going to have to take at least a minor pay cut, however).
I'll also assume all of the Restricted Free Agents (Conner, Gordy, Reitz, Saunders) are retained.
Pat Angerer- He has lost a step due to injury and is just not a good fit in this scheme.
Antoine Bethea- What happened to Antoine Bethea? Whatever it was, he desperately needs to be replaced. He simply cannot cover anything lately.
Ahmad Bradshaw- Injuries.
Aubrayo Franklin- Sort of a stop gap. Chapman and Hughes should be ready to take over next year.
Darrius Heyward-Bey- I don't think this needs explaining.
Mike McGlynn- (See: Heyward-Bey)
Samson Satele- Please?
Brandon Spikes (ILB, New England Patriots)- He is a big-hitting, run-stopping 255 lb. linebacker, and I think he is a perfect complement to Jerrell Freeman. Spikes is fantastic as a run defender, as he is capable of taking on offensive linemen and shedding blocks. He isn't too great in coverage, but I'm hoping to beef up the secondary to compensate.
Jonathan Goodwin (C, San Francisco 49ers)- Center might be the single most important position for the Colts to fill this offseason. That said, I don't view spending big for someone like Alex Mack feasible. Also, I am still a believer in Khaled Holmes as the future at the position; however, he is not ready yet. For these reasons, I would sign the 34-year old Goodwin to compete with Holmes and probably start until the rookie is ready. Additionally, Goodwin has proven that he can still play at a high level, and he is familiar with Pep Hamilton's scheme because of Jim Harbaugh.
(I won't bother with minor free agent signings).
Round 2- Lamarcus Joyner (FS/CB, Florida State)
I officially have a man-crush on Lamarcus Joyner. I would go as far as to say that I would be thoroughly disappointed if he is not actually wearing a horseshoe next year. His movement and change of direction skills are absolutely elite, and his straight line speed is not too shabby, either. Watch his game against Clemson from earlier in this year; the dude is a one-man wrecking crew that is always around the ball. Because of his experience at both secondary positions, Joyner hits like a safety and covers like a cornerback (However, I like him as the replacement to Antoine Bethea at FS). When I watch him, I see a smaller, more disruptive Kenny Vaccaro that is only being knocked because of his size (5'8" 190 lbs.). Basically, if he was 6' 210 lbs., Lamarcus Joyner would be a top 5 pick.
Round 3- Loucheiz Purifoy (CB, Florida)
Purifoy's draft stock is currently on the way down, and I believe it is very conceivable that he could be had in round 3. He has first round athletic ability and length, and he sometimes shows flashes of shutdown brilliance. However, Purifoy is wildly inconsistent and very raw; he also can get burned. Still, I would love to see what the secondary wizard Chuck Pagano could do with Purifoy's raw talent. Also, as evidenced by the previous pick and this one, I am all about stocking up on secondary players. Greg Toler is injury prone, and, for whatever reason, the defense isn't the same without him. The Colts need depth. In the meantime, Purifoy can be a special teams ace, an offensive weapon (he does this, as well), and a quality depth player, while being groomed to replace Toler.
(TRADE! Colts trade a 2014 5th round pick and a future pick to acquire a 2014 4th round pick)
Round 4- Josh Huff (WR, Oregon)
I'm not nearly as concerned about the WR position for next year as everyone else. I believe Da'Rick Rogers will show us something, and with Dwayne Allen and even a half-speed Reggie Wayne back, the Colts will be fine in terms of weaponry. I'm also just not that impressed with this year's WR class. All of that said, better depth at the position is necessary. Huff is one of the more underrated players in the country because he plays in the run-dominant Oregon offense. He runs pretty good routes and is very fast. He also has reliable hands. A lot of people clamor for a bigger receiver, but mid-late round big jump ball receivers very seldom work out. Huff has good enough size at 5'11" 205 lbs. Give me speed every time.
Round 6- Josh Mauro (DE, Stanford)
There isn't a ton to say about this pick. As a Stanford fan who has watched plenty of Josh Mauro, I will confidently say that he will be a solid rotational defensive linemen at the next level. He's rather low upside, but I'll take good production and depth all day with 6th round picks.
Round 7- Jon Halapio (OG, Florida)
Surely the Colts have a round 7 pick somewhere after a mess of conditional pick trades, right? Jon Halapio is never going to be a flashy All-Pro player. However, he is a scrapper. He is nasty and just stands out on film as a run blocker (I actually discovered him while watching Damontre Moore film last year). Halapio is just a blue collar, hardworking player, and I would love to have him as a backup guard on this team.
Well, I'm glad I got all of that off my chest! That was certainly fun to write, and I hope you all enjoyed the article! Feel free to discuss, and thanks for reading!
And as always, Go Colts!