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What Positions Does Owner Jim Irsay Consider the Colts' Biggest Needs?

Colts owner and CEO Jim Irsay spoke with some members of the media on Friday night and mentioned two positions that the Colts might need to target in the upcoming draft: safety and right tackle.

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On Friday evening, the Colts hosted the annual ChuckStrong gala to raise support for cancer research and to try to find a cure for the disease that Colts head coach Chuck Pagano fought and beat in 2012.  At the event, team owner and CEO Jim Irsay talked with some members of the media, and among the more interesting points of discussion was about what Irsay considered to be some of the top positions of need heading into the draft.

"Obviously there's needs at safety, at right tackle, possibly," Irsay said, according to the Indianapolis Star's Stephen Holder. "We'll see how (Gosder Cherilus) does in his rehab and how that goes. But we're going to look for the best player in the draft for sure."

The safety position is an easy one to list right at the top of any such list, as the Colts clearly need help there.  The signing of veteran Dwight Lowery late into the free agency period at least gives the Colts another solid starter option alongside veteran Pro Bowler Mike Adams, but the team could definitely use help there.  General manager Ryan Grigson spoke very highly of Alabama safety Landon Collins at his pre-draft press conference on Thursday, and while it's unlikely that Collins will fall to the Colts, you can be sure that they'll be looking to add depth at the position through the draft.

What is more interesting than the safety position is the other position that Irsay mentioned: right tackle.  Certainly, this wasn't a comprehensive list of what the Colts need, but it is interesting that of the two positions that Irsay brought up, right tackle was one of them.

The status of Gosder Cherilus is uncertain.  The Colts are just taking a wait and see approach when it comes to his recovery from injury and the hope is that he'll be back by June, but it's just not known at this point.  After a solid 2013 season, Cherilus struggled mightily in 2014 as he played through injuries before finally being placed on injured reserve right before the playoff run.  The Colts' brass has been very noncommittal about Cherilus' recovery and his status this offseason, as they've maintained their wait and see approach.  It's very clear that there are legitimate question marks at the position for the Colts.

I wouldn't read too much into Jim Irsay's comments, as I'm sure it wasn't meant to be an exhaustive list of everything the Colts need.  If that were the case, other positions such as the defensive line, inside linebacker, pass rush, or running back positions could have been included as well.  But I do think it shows a bit of the thinking in the owner's mind, and it further illustrates that the questions are real when it comes to the health and status of Gosder Cherilus.  That's certainly a question that the Colts will be contemplating on Thursday as their pick approaches.

Irsay also didn't rule out the possibility of the Colts trading in the draft.  "It's not an impossibility that we'd trade down of or trade up even," Irsay said, again per Holder. "So it'll be interesting as the day comes upon us."  While this time of year has so much talk that it can get overwhelming, one thing looks certain: it should be an interesting draft for the Indianapolis Colts, as they have nine draft selections, aren't ruling out pulling off a trade, have a clear need at safety, and will be weighing the questions surrounding their starting right tackle's health.  Without a doubt, Thursday night will be anything but calm for the Colts.