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Stampede Blue’s Colts mailbag and revisiting answers from Week 3

NFL: Jacksonville Jaguars at Indianapolis Colts Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The Stampede Blue writing team would like to give Colts fans a chance to ask questions about the team. We are also open to ideas and suggestions for new content. We will share a mailbag post on the front page, on Twitter and on Facebook. Please share your Colts questions or story ideas and we will do our best to provide answers.

Thank you for taking the time to share your questions and ideas.

Highlights from Week 3 of the 2018 NFL Season

Q: Who do you think will lead the Colts in sacks this year? Do the Colts finish with more total sacks than our opponents?

A: It’s super early but I’ll say Jabaal Sheard.

Sheard is currently tied with Margus Hunt and Darius Leonard with 4 sacks this season.

Q: Do we have an actual WR2 or are we going with a WR2 by committee?

A: Ryan Grant is the WR2. He is our possession receiver who keeps the chains moving and find ways to get open on short routes.

Not anymore, Dontrelle Inman appears to have taken over that role at this point.

Q: Besides Nelson/Leonard, who will be the best player from our 2018 class?

A: Considering that Cain was lost for the season with an ACL injury, Tyquan Lewis is on the injured reserve, and Reece Fountain is working some things out on the practice squad, it’s a pretty difficult projection. However, I think that Jordan Wilkins could very well earn the “lead back” responsibilities in his sophomore season.

I clearly didn’t predict that Marlon Mack would return to the field with back-to-back 100 yard rushing games. I still like Wilkins a lot but this high octane offense seems built for players like Mack and Hines. I also still believe Wilkins could have a bigger role in 2019. Also, right now, the best player besides Nelson and Leonard is starting right tackle Braden Smith.

Q: Can Ballard quiet some of his harsher critics if this year’s rookie class plays well?

A: I think any NFL general manager will quiet critics when their rookies play well. However, I think Ballard’s job is broader than just how the rookies play or develop. I think he will be judged primarily on the development of the team overall and an identity that fans can get behind.

This rookie class has been incredible to this point. I would say that Ballard has bought some trust and time to keep improving the roster. The defensive identity is still missing but there is some pretty exciting offensive work being done.

Q: What positions do you think the Colts will target in the 2019 draft?

I believe Ballard will continue concentrating on the trenches. He will likely look to bring in a player or two to represent the future at each offensive tackle spot. He will also likely look at a pass rushing prospect early on if one is available. Finding another true animal at linebacker would also create a potentially potent situation for the defense. Imagine pairing Darius Leonard with a similar impact player at the position.

I still think a lot of attention will be focused on the trenches and expect pass rush and interior defensive lineman to receive attention. I believe at least one wide receiver will be targeted early, and possibly in the first two rounds. I also think that the secondary will receive quite a bit of attention and it could be similar to the peppering in the middle rounds that Ballard gave to the wide receiver and running back positions in 2018.