Writers for the SB Nation mother ship are not impressed with the Indianapolis Colts moves in free agency. They ranked the team 29th in the NFL in their off-season power rankings, which gauges what teams have done to improve in the new league year.
29. Indianapolis Colts
The only reason the Colts aren’t last is because they managed to trade down from the No. 3 spot in the draft and got the No. 6 pick, two second-round picks, and a 2019 second-round pick from the Jets in return.
Otherwise, what did they do? Not much. They took risks to get Andrew Luck some weapons: Ryan Grant, who failed (?) his physical with the Ravens, and tight Eric Ebron. Who knows, maybe the former first-round pick will rebound after a disappointing career in Detroit. They also curiously jettisoned defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins — just 25 and still really good.
It’s clear the Colts are going to build through the draft this year. At least they’ve got the picks to do it.
While it is fair to acknowledge that the Colts have not been super active in the early portions of the free agency signing period, it is also fair to say that they are in a very strong position to make moves down the road and may be able to do so without canceling out projected compensatory picks in the fourth and fifth rounds of the 2019 NFL Draft. When you throw in an additional second round pick in 2019, the team is well positioned for the long-term.
It wouldn’t be entirely surprising to see Chris Ballard land at least one more big fish in free agency, likely at wide receiver, and at least one linebacker to bring in “competition” during a defensive transition. It also wouldn’t be surprising to see Ballard use some of the draft capital that he has been adding in a trade to add pieces to the roster from teams who still need to unload players to create cap space.
There may still be good things coming for those who are patient through this process. Still, it is clear that the bulk of the heavy-lifting that will be done to improve this Colts roster will have to come through hitting a home run in the draft. Long-term outlooks and plans still require good moves to pan out.