Let’s just jump straight to the point on this one: we should expect the Colts to address their cornerback position in the NFL Draft this weekend, and perhaps with multiple picks too.
The Colts have questions about the position, because really they only have one spot solidified. Vontae Davis is returning for a sixth season as the Colts’ top cornerback, and he has been a good player during his tenure. He has started 71 games (of a possible 80) and has made two Pro Bowls with the Colts. Davis is the top corner, but the Colts have been trying to find the guy that can play opposite of him for years.
For a couple of seasons, it was Greg Toler, but the Colts tried to replace him last year with Patrick Robinson. That didn’t work out too well either, and Robinson was cut this offseason by new GM Chris Ballard. Interestingly, however, the Colts haven’t added any cornerbacks in free agency despite a number of moves at other positions. Ballard admitted to 1070 the Fan’s JMV last week that they did have internal discussions about bringing in a free agent corner but ultimately decided against it. So you know what that means? It’ll have to be through the draft if the Colts want to seriously address the position this offseason.
Of course, we would be remiss not to mention Rashaan Melvin in this discussion. Melvin played in 15 games and started nine of them for the Colts last year, so he actually started the second-most games at the position for Indianapolis behind Davis - and he was quite solid. So I don’t think Melvin being the number two would be a terrible thing for the Colts, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t still address the position.
Beyond that, the Colts also have questions about their nickel corner position, which in today’s NFL is a very important one. Besides Davis and Melvin, the other corners currently on the roster? Charles James, Christopher Milton, Tevin Mitchel, Darryl Morris, Larry Scott, and Frankie Williams. In this regard, I think Morris would probably be the frontrunner to be the slot corner if the season started today, and he might be a solid player there too. Guys like Milton, Williams, and Mitchel could be players to keep an eye on for competition purposes too.
But I guess the way to phrase it is this: are you totally comfortable with Vontae Davis, Rashaan Melvin, and Darryl Morris as the top three cornerbacks in a scheme that very much emphasises cornerback play? What’s more, Davis’ contract is up after the season and it’s unknown whether the Colts will re-sign him (not to mention that the contracts for Melvin and Morris are also up after the season as well). So there’s really no way around it: cornerback is a HUGE need for the Colts in this year’s draft, and you could legitimately argue that it is the biggest need for them.
So I’d expect the Colts to heavily focus on the position this year. Perhaps that will be with their first round pick, but this is a really deep cornerback class. So even if the Colts don’t add a corner on day one, they very likely will on days two and three. We’ll almost certainly see the Colts address this big position of need, and perhaps multiple times, before the weekend is over.