Six teams, including the Indianapolis Colts, are holding their mandatory mini-camp this week, with most others to follow suit shortly. This is a time for the teams to get one last look at their rosters before training camp, and so what better time to look at each team's roster than now?
That's precisely what Pro Football Focus did for ESPN, as they took the roster of each NFL team and ranked them from 1 (Seahawks) to 32 (Jaguars). The Indianapolis Colts fell near the middle of the pack, coming in at number 13:
2014 Ranking: 12
Analysis: Much like the Packers, the Colts receive a boost for being in great shape at the most critical position in the game. Luck may not be quite as good as the hype surrounding him most of the time -- he was only PFF's ninth-ranked quarterback in 2014 -- but he has elite highs and as much raw ability as any passer in the game. Running back Frank Gore and wide receiver Andre Johnson aren't long-term solutions, but both should represent immediate upgrades. There are issues on the O-line, where Anthony Castonzo is the only one of the starting five to rank above average.
The defense remains a work in progress, but has one elite player at a critical position -- the hugely underrated Davis. Teams throwing his way in 2014 had a passer rating of just 38.8, the lowest mark in the league.
With rankings like these, we see what has been evident over the past few years for the Colts - that having a great quarterback can mask a lot of flaws. Other than Andrew Luck, there's no explanation for this team to have won 11 games in each of the past three seasons, to have won two division titles, to have won three playoff games, and to have made the AFC Championship game in 2014. The roster isn't among the best in the NFL, but their quarterback is, and with having a top-tier player at the game's most important position the Colts perform better than their overall roster might indicate.
With that said, however, the Colts do have some other very good players besides Luck. PFF notes Vontae Davis, T.Y. Hilton, Dwayne Allen, and Robert Mathis, and when those four are on the field they're certainly very influential and play well, as do guys like Anthony Castonzo.
I do think that 13 seems a bit low for the Colts this year, but the defensive concerns are justifiable enough to bring the overall roster ranking down a bit, and PFF has concerns about the team's offensive line as well (naming three potential starters as positions that need upgrading). Either way, the Colts won't finish as just the 13th-best team in the NFL in 2015, and that's in large part due to their quarterback.