The Indianapolis Colts were quite busy this offseason, bringing in a number of new players through free agency, the draft, and rookie free agency.
That was something they needed, too, since their roster over the past few seasons hasn’t been very good. It also means that the influx of talent to this roster is viewed very positively by most analysts, as people realize that it was badly needed.
Earlier this week, ESPN’s Bill Barnwell took a look at the moves made this offseason by the four AFC South teams and gave them grades, and the Colts got the best grade of the division teams with an A-minus.
Barnwell says that the things the Colts did right were firing Ryan Grigson and hiring Chris Ballard, adding bulk in free agency to help the defense, and placing a defensive emphasis on the draft. He said that the thing the Colts did wrong was that they still need offensive line help, while he said that the thing the Colts should look for next is inside linebacker help. For his explanation on those areas, head here.
For the most part, I agree: the Colts had a very good offseason. The general manager change is obviously the most significant move that they made and, though it’s early, could wind up to be the best one they made too. Then when it came to constructing the roster, they did things the right way. They added a lot of help through free agency, but they were very intentional about the players they signed: they were guys who were younger and still have upside in the NFL. Furthermore, Ballard went to the draft to find a couple of playmakers (Malik Hooker and Quincy Wilson), which should hopefully allow the free agent signings to be more of role players and solid contributors.
As I’ve written before, I don’t think it’s as big of a deal as many national people do that the Colts didn’t address their offensive line as much (and even still, they signed Brian Schwenke and drafted Zach Banner), though I do agree with Barnwell that the inside linebacker position is one that the Colts could still look to upgrade.
A lot of people seem to like what the Colts did this offseason, and we can add Bill Barnwell to that list too. It sure is nice hearing about how good the Colts have done for a change, and hopefully we see the results pay off on the field. Either way, Chris Ballard is getting high marks as he begins his tenure with the Colts.