It's crazy to think that, for the Indianapolis Colts, the offseason is right around the corner. Normally, this is the time of year where the team's biggest problems are who they will face in the opening round of the playoff, whether they will get a first round bye, or whether they will rest their starters. Those are the biggest questions faced normally at this time of year for the franchise, but this year, it looks like the offseason will begin the day after the regular season ends.
Because it looks unlikely that the Colts will make the playoffs, let's turn our focus for a brief moment to the 2016 NFL Draft, where the Colts will get a better pick than normal this year due to missing the playoffs. At the moment, they are slated to pick in the middle of the first round. If you use the full season strength of schedule as a tiebreaker (including the opponents the Colts haven't played yet), the Colts would be in line for the 14th overall pick.
So basically, by missing the playoffs the Colts will probably gain about eight spots in draft position. I know plenty of Colts fans are happy about missing the playoffs because they will get a better draft pick, but I'd take the playoffs every time over eight spots in the draft. You draft in order to win the Super Bowl, and the best way to win the Super Bowl is to make the playoffs.
Regardless, it now does appear like the Colts will end up with their best draft pick since the 2012 NFL Draft (in which they selected Andrew Luck in the first round) due to missing the playoffs. Ironically, outside of that 2011 season, the last time the Colts selected this high was in the 2002 NFL Draft. That was following Jim Mora's fourth season in Indianapolis with a franchise quarterback in Peyton Manning after a season that began with such high hopes ended in a 6-10 disaster. Mora had some disagreements with the front office and he was gone after the year. Sound familiar? It should, as that same scenario seems to be repeating itself currently in Indy. I make this comparison for one reason: in the 2002 draft with that high pick, the Colts selected Dwight Freeney, who became one of their best and most important players as a star pass rusher. This year, the Colts also desperately need pass rush in the draft, so hopefully history will continue repeating itself in that way.
Anyway, at this point the Colts would hold the 14th overall pick in the draft. They have a lot of needs, but perhaps the first thing they need to figure out is who will be doing the drafting in the first place.