According to PFF, the Indianapolis Colts earned a B+ grade for what was a critical crossroads of an offseason for the organization—and one that saw more drastic change at the starting quarterback position again:
Offseason Grade: B+
Free Agency Grade: Average
Draft Grade: B+
Cutting bait with Carson Wentz after just one year — particularly given the involvement of Frank Reich — must have been a tough pill to swallow for the Colts, but once they had made that decision, getting the return they did from Washington and then snagging Matt Ryan as their starter was great business. They, arguably, upgraded at quarterback (at least in the short term) without damaging the roster too much. Acquiring Yannick Ngakoue brings a pass-rush specialist to the roster. Ngakoue has never had a PFF pass-rushing grade lower than 65 but is coming off a 28.6 run defense grade. The Colts have the bodies to let him be a designated pass-rusher only.
Grabbing Bernhard Raimann in the third round could be a steal, as he has the potential to be the team’s new starting left tackle, but they also have contingencies in Dennis Kelly and Matt Pryor.
Alec Pierce is a good receiver who has a skill set that perfectly complements Michael Pittman Jr., and Jelani Woods may be a work in progress but is an elite athlete at the tight end position who has sky-high potential. This was a nice haul for the Colts.
The Colts made the wise decision and accepted the ‘sunk cost’ that was already created a year ago from acquiring Carson Wentz for a conditional 2022 first round pick+ and did not let that mistake linger on for yet another season—to salvage any sort of false pride or ill-conceived reputation among league circles and the national media.
That’s what great leadership does: recognizes a mistake, realizes then that a clear change needs to be made, and moves the franchise forward despite some scrutiny—especially at the league’s most important position where the right team and culture fit is utterly critical.
It appears as though the Colts added a polished veteran leader in the building regarding Matt Ryan, who even if he wasn’t what he once was as a former NFL MVP, should provide greater consistency, stability, and accuracy at the starting quarterback position—which Indianapolis desperately needed following Wentz’s rollercoaster ride of a sole season.
However, that wasn’t the only significant moves the Colts made—as the team traded cornerback Rock Ya-Sin for elite speed rusher Yannick Ngakoue, and also (which PFF surprisingly failed to mention here) signed former NFL Defensive Player of the Year Stephon Gilmore to be the team’s new lockdown veteran CB1 going forward—who was PFF’s third highest graded cornerback in man coverage during 2021.
The Colts complemented their big name offseason acquisitions with a 2022 draft class which although may lack future NFL stars (but time will ultimately tell), has a number of potential high-end impact starters who should be able to initially contribute as rookies—including wideout Alec Pierce, tight end Jelani Woods, and offensive tackle Bernhard Raimann (and don’t quite rule out talented developmental safety Nick Cross either).
While the Colts weren’t quite the ‘teacher’s pet’ with an A+ here, they made good work to come out with a solid B+—having been without their first round pick to work with.