So that's 3 sure Hall of Famers (Peyton, Marvin, Dungy) and one guy who definitely should get in (Edge) for the Colts. What about the rest of the team? Which Colts players are currently in the process of building as opposed to polishing their HOF resume?
Jeff Saturday, he's led the Colts line since he became the starting center in 2000 and has started 124 out of 126 games since then. He's a 3 time pro-bowler, two time first team all-pro and one time 2nd team all-pro. Behind Saturday the Colts have had one of the best offensive runs ever over the last 7 years. At 33 Saturday is nearing the end of his career, but he's been one of the top 2 centers each of the last 3 years, so he still should have some years in the tank. I think Saturday is a HOFer, but when there aren't good stats for a situation my homerism can come out.
Tarik Glenn, Already retired and replaced, but he deserves some major recognition. Tarik made the Pro-bowl in each of his last 3 seasons, following the traditional NFL lineman pattern of being elite for several years prior to being named to a Pro Bowl. Tarik broke tradition by retiring after 10 seasons at the age of 30, forgoing the second half of a top NFL lineman's career where he makes Pro Bowls and receives awards on reputation alone even after his play has declined. Tarik started 154 games of a possible 156 all but 16 of which (his rookie season at RG) as the Colts left tackle. He was responsible for Peyton's blindside for Manning's first 9 years in the league. During that time Manning was never sacked on more than 5% of his dropbacks. One out of every 20 times was the absolute most Manning was ever sacked. The average for Tarik's career was one in 30 pass attempts. In Tarik's final year Peyton Manning dropped back to pass 571 times and was sacked on only 14 of those for a league least 2.5% sack percentage. He wasn't a dominating run blocker and he drew too many false starts, but he was an amazing pass protector. There is no one I would rather have protecting my favorite QBs back than Tarik Glenn.
Reggie Wayne, Wayne proved to any remaining doubters last year that he was a #1 receiver, leading the league in receiving yards. Wayne has been in the league for 7 years and the first three were unspectacular while he learned the offense and developed his timing with Peyton. But after that Wayne took off, in the last 4 years he's put up 5,085 yards on 350 receptions and scored 36 touchdowns. Averaging 88 receptions for 1271 yards and 9TDs over that span. Four great years will get you two Pro Bowls and recognition as one of the elite WRs, but leaves Wayne far from the top of the leaderboards. Wayne will turn 30 this year and is just now reaching his peak so he can make quick progress up the lists. That he ranks 24th in receiving yards per game in NFL history also bodes well for his chances. He's currently just outside the top 100 in all 3 major categories. Matching his 4 year average next year will put him at 56th in receptions, 63rd in yards and 70th in touchdowns. Wayne would move into the top 25 all three by continuing his performance the last four years in the next three. Wayne is still in his prime and his putting him HOF type numbers. He'll have to sustain it for a while longer to have a shot
Dwight Freeney, few players have matched the rein of terror the marked the beginning of Freeney's career. Freeney recorded 51 sacks and forced 22 fumbles in his first 4 years in the league. His first 4 years alone put him just outside the NFL's top 100 in sacks. Freeney is 76th in career sacks and has made 3 Pro Bowls and been named 1st team all-pro twice. That kind of production and disruption made stopping Freeney the offenses number one concern. That, injuries and bad luck have lowered Freeney's sack totals the last two years. In 2006 after not reaching 11 sacks for the first time in his career, some called it a down year for Freeney and claimed he had not be effective. Freeney hadn't sacked the QB like he did in previous years, but he remained in their head and his footsteps still rang in their ears as Freeney led the league in QB pressures. If Freeney can return to full speed after his foot injury he will continue to terrify QBs across the league and some of those hurries will turn into more sacks.
Bob Sanders, the reining NFL Defensive Player of the year, two time 1st team all pro, the player whose return marked the start of the Colts defensive turnaround and Superbowl run. All this and he is just about to begin his 5th NFL season at age 27.
Health is clearly a question with a guy that has missed 25 games out of 64 and has yet to play a full 16 game regular season, but Sanders in the best safety in the league when healthy. He punishes runningbacks from the box and can run down WRs in deep coverage or punish RBs from deep coverage and run down wide receivers from the box. Sanders refuses to play at anything less than his hardest every day on every down. Phenomenally talented and driven the only thing standing between Sanders and the hall of fame is his health.