FanPost

Evaluating the Colts biggest needs for the rest of FA and the draft

It still feels like the Colts have a number of holes to fill for 2020 and beyond. Let's go position by position and see what the biggest needs are. To do this, I am considering 2020 first and foremost but also taking the future into consideration. I'm going with a simple 1-10 scale with 10 being the biggest priority. Basically if we have a 1-2, you might bring in undrafted competition. 3-4 probably requires a late draft pick or prove it type of player. 5-7 is looking at the mid-rounds or decent/solid FA signing. 8-10 is reserved for rounds 2-3 (maybe 4) and/or a higher tier FA. One more note... a group could have a 2 for needs (like RB) but it doesn't mean they are better than a group with a higher number (like OL with a 5). Our RB group is not stronger than our OL group, but they have less needs at this point in my opinion. I'm skipping ST's as Sanchez is solid and McLaughlin is fine. Bring in a few undrafted kickers and let them compete with McLaughlin. Here we go:

QB- If just looking at 2020, we have no need. But we have to start planning for the future. I think you draft a QB fairly high, see how they develop in 2020, and then make plans in 2021 offseason based on that. I can't imagine NOT drafting a QB and fairly high for the most important position in sports. Need assessment- 8

RB- We have a very talented guy in Mack to lead us this year. Wilkins is a solid backup and Hines should be special in pass catching and special teams. Mack could leave after this year but there are always FA's and guys in the draft that could come in behind our dominant OL and play well. Need assessment- 2

WR- This is an interesting group. TY has been a stud but is in his last year and was wildly inconsistent last year. Campbell has talent but nothing proven so far and is coming off so many injuries. Paschal is solid but is probably ideal as a #4. Fountain has potential, nothing more. This group needs a #2 and maybe more. At the least, a 2nd round pick should go to WR. I would also love to see Anderson or Perriman signed if we want to see Rivers really flourish and plan for the future with TY getting older and only having 1 year left under contract. Need assessment- 9

TE- Doyle is still solid, but even with a new contract I don't know if he has more than 1 or 2 solid years left. Mo Ali-Cox is ok and could improve but there is no strong indication he will ever be starter level. Like RB, TE's can be found in the middle of the draft or through FA. We absolutely need another body and could certainly use a playmaker, but the priority is lower than other positions. Need assessment- 5

OL- Many say our starting 5 is great and we need depth. I would say we need competition at RG with Glow and let the loser be depth. Bring in someone to compete (and hopefully win) and let Glow, Clark and one other be our primary backups. Also AC could retire at any time, but he reflected this offseason and signed a 2 year deal saying he wants to play AT LEAST 2 years. If I am CB, there is no way I am spending a 2nd or even 3rd round pick on a tackle, unless he can play guard as well and push Glow while possibly developing into a future LT. Need assessment- 5

DE- You have to be excited about Houston coming off a strong season, Turray coming back from injury, Banogu entering year 2, Lewis possibly transitioning and Muhammad being a very serviceable rotational guy. I'd still add a "prove it" type of player to add to the rotation. If Turray is not healthy for any reason, this group doesn't look nearly as good. However if all goes as planned, we have an above average group. But we have to plan as if there will be challenges. Need assessment- 4

DT- I'm excited to see what Rivers can do with our offense but I am even more excited to see how Buckner impacts all 3 levels of our Defense. He should be (better be) a beast. Stewart was improving last year and that pair will be excellent on early downs. Passing downs you rotate Autry and maybe Lewis in as well. We could use another talent here via FA or the draft. Need assessment- 4

LB- I don't think there is a stronger position on this roster, maybe including OL. We have an absolute stud in Leonard, a solid starter in Walker and an emerging star in Okereke. Adams and Franklin are decent backups and Speed could either become a player or flame out, neither would be surprising. Bring in undrafted competition for Adams and Franklin but otherwise, little needs to be done here. Need assessment- 1

CB- I would have preferred to keep Desir and let him start opposite Rock. However Ballard and the coaching staff know infinitely more than any of us, so I trust there was a good reason for this move. They saved 7 mil from cutting him and I can only assume that will be used either to pursue one more solid-good FA at CB or another position of need. Time will tell. I really like Rock in year 2, Moore is solid in the slot. Tell surprised everyone last year... could he make the jump to starting opposite Rock? He was PFF's #3 rookie CB for what it's worth, but I don't like counting on him as a starter. Quincy Wilson? Yeah, probably not. The Colts have basically nothing else. I don't love spending a 2nd or 3rd rounder on a corner and letting them start opposite Rock. CB is a big need and it feels like the Colts are running out of options on who can fill that open spot on the outside. Need assessment- 9

S- This is a huge year for Hooker. He has been decent, but not what anyone expected from the 15th overall pick. Still he is at least an average FS with a ceiling to grow. Khari Willis was big for us in the 4th round. He should be an above average to good SS for the next several years. Odum has mixed reviews but the Colts seem to like him. Milligan? Meh. We need a backup FS to push Hooker a bit and fill in if he gets hurt. This feels like a low level FA signing or lower (5th-6th round) draft pick. Need assessment- 3

What's Next?- If you've stayed with me this long, thanks. The highest needs in my opinion are WR and CB at 9, QB at 8, OL and TE at 5 and DE and DT at 4. Based on that, here is what I do in free agency considering the Colts have 28 mil in cap space (and will want to save at least 10 mil of that for the draft and in season needs):

CB- Ronald Darby- 1 year 5 mil (perhaps more for incentives). He has been a solid corner but is coming off injuries. I think a 1 year deal is what he is looking at. He is only 26 years old.

WR- Breshad Perriman- 2 years 17 mil. He has 1st round pedigree, good size at 6'2, 215 lbs and ran 4.25 40 5 years back at his pro day. He may or may not develop into something more but I'd bring him in for competition and put all of his guarantees in year 1. I'd also strongly consider Robby Anderson but it will take more years and dollars and he just seems inconsistent.

FS- Damarious Randall- 1 year 6 mil. Another former 1st round pick. He has played slot corner, SS and FS. His best position is evidently FS where he can fill in for Hooker if needed. He could also utilize his slot corner experience if Moore gets hurt again.

We can fill a few needs with the rest of FA and no doubt can bring in some more competition and lower level guys as well. With the above accomplished, I am still going into the draft looking for a #1 or 2 WR of the future, the future QB (or at least potential QB), depth at the Oline, another CB to compete, a TE and DL help.

34-Tee Higgins, WR- Future stud who could provide an immediate impact

44- Jalen Hurts, QB- Has accuracy and athleticism. Could be groomed into a top notch QB. Was very good at 2 of the best programs in the nation and got better every year.

75- Cole Kmet, TE- Playmaker who should develop

122- Damien Lewis, G- Could push Glow and provide a solid interior backup

Rounds 5-7 the Colts should look for CB, DL and OL help.

What would you change and what big differences do you have in the needs of this roster?

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Stampede Blue's writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of Stampede Blue's writers or editors.