Some people are down on the Colts' moves because they didn't get to land more big name players and/or because they overpaid for players. What I didn't like was the price they paid for some of the players (this is not the point of the post), but I liked the signings because it fixed a lot of the Colts' needs. It fixed the offensive line with the signings of offensive tackle Gosder Cherilus, guard Donald Thomas, and it fixed the defense too, with Greg Toler, LaRon Landry. Some are still to be seen, as we don't know what kind of impact they'll have on the Colts: Ricky Jean-François, Erik Walden and Lawrence Sidbury.
And now that they filled most of their needs in free agency, the draft clearly will have a different meaning now, some players that they had on the Colts' board will likely get crossed out of the list now now.
Here I'll analyze both the free agency moves the Colts made and what player can they draft on the event on April.
Starting with the free agency moves...
Gosder Cherilus: Cherilus, 6'7'', 328 lbs., is a big and tough right tackle that's great in pass blocking, good in run blocking too and has a good bill of health too. For a offensive line that needed a lot of help in both pass blocking and run blocking, Cherilus was a nice signing and for a good price too, although right tackle wasn't a gigantic or huge position of need, but their previous right tackle Winston Justice was getting flagged at times getting injured, and struggling on run blocking, but Justice was good in pass blocking too, but he's not as good as Cherilus, and any help that comes in that line is welcome, and Cherilus is a major upgrade over Justice not only on the field but also in health issues. A funny fact is that both Colts' tackles were first round picks from Boston College (Anthony Castonzo, Gosder Cherilus)
Donald Thomas: Thomas, 6'4'', 305 lbs., is a better run blocker than pass blocker but the Colts' offensive line needs good run blockers too. Joe Reitz and Mike McGlynn struggled mightly in that area. Thomas will provide a much better run blocking in the interior, pushing and turning defensive defenders while opening holes for the ball carrier to get through. We often saw Donald Brown bump into the offensive line and get back and lose yards in the process because of the lack of holes created by the offensive line, but with the signing of Donald Thomas, this should change. Although Thomas struggled at times in pass blocking, the presence of a good run blocker in the interior can't be ignored.
Greg Toler: Toler, 6'0'', 192 lbs., is an underrated cornerback that was great in coverage last year who allowed a 51.5 rating last year, 3rd in the league, with second being slot cornerback Darius Butler, allowing a 39.5 rating. However, Toler's health isn't anything to be desired. He never played 16 games in a season and missed the entire 2011 season. But I still liked this move. The Colts needed a quality #2 corner to pair with Vontae Davis and Toler was one of the best cover cornerbacks in free agency.
LaRon Landry: Landry, 6'0'', 220 lbs., is a big hitter who can show good run support in the box. Although he isn't very good in pass coverage and he doesn't have a good health, Landry will bring physical ability that they lacked with Tom Zbikowski and make plays with his run stopping ability that the Colts need, since they struggled heavily in run stopping last year. Landry struggles at times making plays and missing tackles, but I believe that with these injuries that he suffered, he won't be as good as when he was younger. But I stil believe that he'll be a good presence in the box for run stopping.
Erik Walden: Walden, 6'2'', 250 lbs., was certainly overpaid. But I try to not make a big deal out of it. Walden wasn't good in pass rushing, was one of the worst outside linebackers in the past 2 years, but one can hope that with another coaching he can get better. I've seen people are saying that he's a good cover linebacker, so there's one positive about Walden
Ricky Jean-François: Jean-François, 6'3'', 295 lbs. may be the best defensive end on the roster right now, so I liked this move. If not for Drake Nevis getting injured for the second straight season, I would be all for him starting in Fili Moala's place. The defensive line last year lacked the ability of push and good run stopping, and Jean-François may provide that this season.
Lawrence Sidbury: Sidbury, 6'3'', 261 lbs., was a backup defensive end for the Falcons. Was a good rusher for a backup, and I think he'll be good depth for the outside linebacker position.
Free agency came, the Colts' draft board changed. After all of these signings, which player/position should the Colts draft?
In the first round I think they should go with best player available between a wide receiver, a guard or a pass rusher. Yes, they signed Donald Thomas, but they need another one and Larry Warford probably won't be there in the third round. But unfortunately Jonathan Cooper might not fall to them in the first round either, so they'll have to go with someone else. Damontre Moore might fall there so he would be a great pick. Or a good #2 wide receiver like Keenan Allen or DeAndre Hopkins.
In the third round I think they should go with a guard or a wide receiver (if they didn't draft one yet). Larry Warford, the short arms Justin Pugh, or Da'Rick Rogers or Ryan Swope for wide receiver
What position/player would you like to see the Colts drafting?