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Who are the Colts’ most underrated players?

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The Colts have been getting a lot of media love this offseason. Chris Ballard has made himself the darling of just about every major local and national media outlet by providing unprecedented access and transparency throughout the draft and afterward. It certainly doesn’t hurt that he drafted two All-Pros last year and seems to have fixed a perennially bad offensive line.

While a few outlets have tried to create stories by pointing to Jim Irsay’s spending money on guitars instead of overpaying for free agents, most recognize that the Colts have made good moves to improve the team while re-signing their own and are primed to be very competitive in 2019. The team enters year two under head coach Frank Reich and should take steps to grow as their young core develops.

Despite all that love, there are some guys who are definitely getting overlooked. For that reason, I wanted to take a look at the roster and see who the most underrated players are on it. There are a few, so let’s dive in.

Anthony Castonzo

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Look, I love Quenton Nelson as much as the next guy. The man is a beast who helped remake the Colts offensive line last year. However, lost in his success and that of center Ryan Kelly and rookie Braden Smith’s is just how good Anthony Castonzo was last year. Castonzo has been a critical part of the offensive line since he was drafted, and has performed admirably despite a revolving door of interior offensive linemen he has been asked to lead and support.

While the entire group gets a ton of credit for the work they did protecting Luck and opening up running lanes in the 2018 season, it should be noted that it was the return of Anthony Castonzo in week 6 against the Jets that marked the start of the Colts five game streak without a sack allowed. While accolades fell on Kelly and Nelson for their work, Castonzo went largely unnoticed for his. Castonzo is recognized in the way that matters in terms of the team, however. He is currently the 4th largest cap hit on the roster.

There is no doubt that the team understands his value. Another year with the same group of men beside him should only make him a better player. Maybe then he’ll get the recognition he deserves as a key cog in the Colts’ offense.

Jack Doyle

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Make no mistake, fans love Jack Doyle. He has been Andrew Luck’s go-to target for a couple of seasons and somehow because he had a terrible fumble against the Bengals and then sustained season ending injuries, many have forgotten just how important Doyle is to the Colts’ offense. While the arrival of Eric Ebron provided an excellent red zone weapon that the Colts have been missing, if you had to label one of these two guys as the top guy at the position, it is Jack Doyle and it isn’t close.

Doyle offers a well-rounded and versatile playmaker who can block well and who can find the holes in a defense and convert on third down. He is the security blanket you want for your quarterback, but also the guy who can throw the necessary block to spring your running back for a big gain. Not only that, Doyle epitomizes the head down, hardworking attitude this Colts front office loves. While some might try to convince you Doyle is just a guy, his production, versatility, and mentality say otherwise.

Kenny Moore

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Unless your name is Zach Hicks, you probably weren’t giving Kenny Moore the credit he deserved before the Colts extended him this offseason. If you listened to Zach, props to you. If not? Lesson learned.

Moore was brought in as a free agent after being waived by the Patriots in his rookie season. The Colts snatched him up and have watched him work his way from backup to one of the scrappier players on the defense in his two years with the team. His hard work edged out Nate Hairston, who had a pretty darn good rookie season himself, and entrenched himself as a starter.

As the 2018 season went on, there began to be two players you could count on to make a play when the Colts absolutely needed one. One was Darius Leonard, and the other was Kenny Moore. Moore made several critical stops on 3rd downs to end drives and get the ball back in the hands of the offense. As a result, he was extended in the offseason.

While names like Justin Houston, Darius Leonard, and Malik Hooker will no doubt be the ones most pointed to by analysts in the coming season when talking about this defense, people would do well to watch out for Kenny Moore. His arrow is still pointing up.

Rigoberto Sanchez

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Okay, so I know that we don’t necessarily think much about the kickers on a team unless they mess up. That leads to them frequently being underrated, but in this case it is borderline criminal.

Sanchez quietly had an incredible season punting the football in 2018. His net punting average of 42.7 yards was good for 3rd in the league, and he consistently put the team in position to flip the field because of great directional punting. 28 of his 57 punts were either downed or fair caught, meaning he gave his team enough time to get in position to make plays on the ball and prevent a return. Only 21 of his punts were returned for a total of 93 yards.

Sanchez didn’t face quite the mountain Andrew Luck did in terms of replacing a legend, but Pat McAfee’s presence looms large still in Indy, and it was no easy task to step into those big boots. All he has done since arriving here is prove he belongs and that he is just going to get better. Time to recognize him for what he is, the league’s next great punter.

So who is your pick for the Colts most underrated player?