A couple of weeks ago, Pro Football Focus ran an article highlighting the ten most improved position groups in the NFL this offseason as compared to a year ago. The Indianapolis Colts weren’t anywhere to be found on that list, but it got us thinking: what’s the Colts’ most improved position?
The Colts made several moves in the draft and a couple in free agency, but I think we can really narrow it down to two choices pretty easily: center and cornerback.
At center, the Colts added Ryan Kelly with their first round pick to replace Jonotthan Harrison as the starter up front. Harrison started several games last year after taking over for Khaled Holmes mid-season, but neither player impressed or did anything to warrant remaining the starter entering 2016. They both struggled, and the position continued to be an area of weakness just like it has been since Jeff Saturday left following the 2011 campaign. That’s part of the reason why the addition of Ryan Kelly should prove to be so significant, as he gives them a legitimate starter at the position who should be a long-term answer. Kelly is a good player in his own right, but the fact that he’s addressing an area of such huge need makes the addition even more valuable.
Similarly, the addition of cornerback Patrick Robinson in free agency could prove to be a big one because of who he’s replacing. Greg Toler has been the Colts’ starter opposite of Vontae Davis for the past three years, but he failed to impress and struggled in coverage far too often. It was evident last year that the Colts needed to move on from him, and they did just that by declining to re-sign him. Like Kelly, Robinson is a good player but the addition could prove to be even bigger because of who he’s replacing.
I think both the number two cornerback spot and the center position were upgraded by the Colts this offseason and that we will see significant and noticeable improvement. I’ll go with the center position as being the most improved because of what Kelly can bring to the table both now and for years to come, but both areas have been upgraded - and that’s a good thing.