8) Indianapolis Colts
Quarterback: B | Philip Rivers, Jacoby Brissett, Jacob Eason
Backfield: A | Marlon Mack, Jonathan Taylor, Nyheim Hines, Jordan Wilkins
Receiving corps: B | T.Y. Hilton, Michael Pittman Jr., Parris Campbell, Zach Pascal, Jack Doyle (TE), Trey Burton (TE), Mo Alie-Cox (TE)
Offensive line: A | Anthony Castonzo, Quenton Nelson, Ryan Kelly, Mark Glowinski, Braden Smith, Le’Raven Clark, Danny Pinter
Of course, the key additions for the Colts have been the signing of veteran starting quarterback Philip Rivers, as well as the drafting of two top offensive rookies: USC wideout Michael Pittman Jr. (34th overall) and Wisconsin running back Jonathan Taylor (41st overall).
More under the radar veteran signings include the signing of tight end Trey Burton and fullback Roosevelt Nix as well.
The biggest question for the Colts though is at starting quarterback: Philip Rivers.
Behind a strong offensive line, armed with solid receiving options, and a power running oriented offensive attack with Marlon Mack and Taylor as a “1-2 punch”, the hope is that Rivers can regain closer to his 2018 form, when he threw for 4,308 passing yards and 32 touchdowns to a mere 12 interceptions.
If nothing else, the wily gunslinger isn’t afraid to take chances and push the ball downfield—which should lead to more big play ability for the Colts offense.
That being said, the 38 year old veteran quarterback is coming off a down season for his normally high standards, throwing just 23 touchdowns to 20 interceptions for the Chargers in 2019—but also played behind a relatively porous Bolts offensive line.
The Colts will have to hope that “Old Man Rivers” isn’t cooked after 16 NFL seasons, and to be fair, he does look poised to have a bit of a rebound season in Indianapolis—reuniting with head coach Frank Reich—who was his former offensive coordinator in San Diego.
The hope is that Rivers can be an average to pretty good starting quarterback again (think Top 15 or so), so a “B” isn’t necessarily a bad mark here—but it would be really nice if the veteran field general could give them more of a B+ or A- next year.
The other remaining questions include whether the Colts’ rookies such as Pittman and Taylor—who have dynamic, game-changing ability, can make an immediate impact.
Also, if blazing fast 2nd-year wideout Parris Campbell can break out after an underwhelming rookie season—limited largely by injuries.
And that’s the other key: health.
The Colts will need 30 year old Pro Bowl wideout T.Y. Hilton to be fully recovered from a torn calf among others injuries, as he missed 6 games last year. The team went 1-5 in his absence last season, as he’s been arguably their most valuable player offensively.
Also, although all five of their starting offensive lineman didn’t miss a single start last year, the Colts also don’t have much proven depth as backups—with Le’Raven Clark as the current lone veteran replacement. That unit’s overall health could once again be key for both continuity’s sake and with potential depth issues down the road—should injuries arise.
Overall, these grades seem relatively fair for the Colts, who do have the chance to become a Top 10 NFL offense once again—in what’s clearly been a retooled side of the football this offseason—as a major point of emphasis for improvement.