The Colts will head into free agency with over $40 million in cap space. That amount gives Colts GM Chris Ballard plenty of room to make a lot of the moves he wants to this off-season. Ballard does have a few decision to make in terms of the Colts own free agents but after that he has the opportunity to address some of the teams roster needs in free agency. Here is an early look at potential targets Ballard could look at to address the teams needs.
Romeo Okwara, defensive end
Romeo Okwara was the bright spark of a Detroit defensive line that has been pretty much below average all year. The former undrafted free agent out of Notre Dame had a slow start to his career starting just four games in his rookie year. He was cut after just two years with the New York Giants before being claimed off waivers by the Detroit Lions.
Okwara’s biggest strength appears to be his length and speed combination. He is a very active pass rusher off the edge, he’s shown the ability to bull rush and also ability to bend round the edge. Okwara can set the edge well against the run and isn’t just a situational pass rusher but a three down defensive end. He really turned up his pass rushing ability this year after a down year in 2019. Okwara is a very good athlete for his size, standing at 6’4” and 263 lbs, the Colts would likely deploy him at the defensive end position that Justin Houston played the last two years.
Ahkello Witherspoon, cornerback
The Colts secondary is very inconsistent, there’s games where they shut down the opponents receivers and then there’s games where they get destroyed down the field. The Colts have only Kenny Moore penned in at a starting cornerback spot heading into the 2021 season but after that there isn’t much certainty.
Rock Ya-Sin is coming off a very up and down year, Xavier Rhodes is set to be a free agent and Marvell Tell played sparingly in his rookie year only to opt out last year. The Colts could do with adding a reliable veteran cornerback to the group. Ahkello Witherspoon is a former third round pick from Colorado for the 49ers. Witherspoon plays in a similar 4-3 defense to the Colts relying more on a zone based coverage system.
He fits the Chris Ballard cornerback mould being tall, having good length and good ball skills (4 interceptions and 24 passes defended in his career). Adding Witherspoon to the Colts cornerback group would be a huge boost but would also spell the end for Rhodes in Indianapolis.
Corey Davis, wide receiver
Corey Davis was a former first round pick out of Western Michigan. Davis entered the league with massive expectations but he fell short of those when he only managed to feature in 11 games and only managing 375 yards receiving and no touchdowns. Since his disappointing rookie year he has managed to produce at a much better level.
Davis, although his high draft selection, has been a quite under the radar wide receiver for the Titans, especially since the addition of AJ Brown and the Titans offensive focus on rushing the ball with Derrick Henry. He has however still produced when it’s been asked of him and has still managed to average over 13 yards per catch for his career. If last season is anything to go off he is heading for a big breakout, hauling in 945 yards and 5 touchdowns which are both career highs for Davis. Davis’ main problem has been his injury problems as he has only managed to play in a 16 game season once. Davis fits what Ballard looks for in wide receivers with his 6’3” and 209 lbs and great speed. Adding Davis to the Colts wide receiver group would give Carson Wentz a fast big bodied wide receiver who can take the top off the defense and go up and get the ball in contested catch situations.
Gerald Everett, tight end
The Colts have a long term hole at the tight end position as Jack Doyle is 30 years old and has been battling injuries the last two years, Mo Alie-Cox has a very high ceiling but a limited sample in the passing game and his injury history pours doubt on his long term future. Also Trey Burton is a free agent and isn’t likely to return to the team next year. Enter one possible option, Gerald Everett. Everett is a former second round pick for the Rams in 2017, he is exactly the type of tight end the Colts need to add to their offense. Everett is a field stretching tight end who always seems to be around the ball and produced some good numbers for the Rams improving each year in the league. Everett would likely be rolled out in the Eric Ebron tight end role that the Colts were clearly lacking last year after his departure in free agency to Pittsburgh.
Joe Haeg, offensive tackle
The Colts offensive line is a top 5 unit in the league and widely regarded as a elite group. If the line does have a weakness, other than the glaring hole at left tackle, it is the lack of depth along the line.
The Colts could go into the free agent market to upgrade there lack of depth and a familiar face in Joe Haeg would do just that. Haeg is a former fifth round pick of the Indianapolis Colts in 2016 before leaving for the Buccaneers in the 2020 off-season on a one year contract. Haeg is a lesser known offensive tackle who has versatility in being able to pay both right tackle, left tackle and along the interior at guard.
Haeg was part of a unit that helped the Buccaneers rushed for 1,519 yards and passed for 4,626 yards and 59 total touchdowns. If the Colts do decide to upgrade the offensive line depth then a familiar face in Joe Haeg should be the guy.