The big free agency rush has come and gone, as has the NFL Draft. The bulk of the roster construction for each team has ended for the offseason, then, and teams are preparing for the 2017 season with the players they have.
So since most of the big moves have been made already, it’s helpful to begin looking at the rosters to see where teams might be strongest and where they might be weakest. NFL.com’s Gregg Rosenthal recently took a look at the biggest remaining question mark for each team, and for the Colts it seems that he thinks it’s defensive end:
New Colts general manager Chris Ballard looked at old GM Ryan Grigson's handiwork from the previous five years and basically said, "Yeah, this isn't going to work." Tinkering with the offense will have to wait, but Ballard has essentially erased an entire defense in one offseason. It's to his credit that finding the weakest spot is tough. Nearly every starting job on defense is up for grabs, with defensive end looking the most unfinished. Coach Chuck Pagano will try to get quality snaps out of Kendall Langford, Hassan Ridgeway and Margus Hunt, but there isn't a ton of upside here.
I’ll just say this right off the bat: that was a surprise. I haven’t really seen many people look at the Colts’ roster and single out the defensive end position as the weakest spot (ok, I hadn’t seen anybody do that yet), so it’s very interesting that Rosenthal thinks that’s the weakest area.
In one sense, an injured Kendall Langford who’s still working his way back from a knee injury, added to a second-year guy who flew under the radar last year (Hassan Ridgeway) and a guy who has been a bust since entering the league (Margus Hunt) doesn’t exactly seem too inspiring. But in another sense, you have a guy who had a really good 2015 season in Langford who hopefully can return to that form, plus a guy who has upside and potential in Ridgeway. And furthermore, the Colts don’t exactly limit their defensive linemen to one position, so with expanding the discussion to the rest of the line it’s possible that someone like Henry Anderson could wind up playing a considerable amount of snaps from the defensive end position too, and he’s also a guy to like if he can get back to 100% and his 2015 form. The Colts’ versatility and depth along the defensive line can help make up for any lingering questions about Langford, Ridgway, and/or Hunt.
None of this is to say that the defensive line will be great, but it should at least be one of the best units on the Colts’ defense in 2017. That’s why I find it strange that defensive end was the position listed. Really? The Colts’ pass rush was among the league’s worst over the past few years, and while they did add Jabaal Sheard, John Simon, and Tarell Basham, I wouldn’t say that the concern has gone away quite yet. Or at inside linebacker, one of the weakest spots on the team last year, the Colts signed Sean Spence and Jon Bostic and drafted Anthony Walker, but that’s not fixed either. The linebackers (particularly inside), in my opinion, are by far the biggest weak spot still on the team until they prove otherwise.
What do you consider to be the Colts’ biggest remaining weak spot?
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