Chris Ballard has infuriated Colts fans by not making any big moves with some of the top free agents. But yet none of that should be surprising. Ballard has never been a guy to dip his toes near the big fish.
But signing by Samsom Ebukam, Matt Gay, Taven Bryan, and Gardner Minshew, Ballard found extreme value at positions of need. What other positions and players could the Indianapolis Colts target in the coming days and weeks?
Rock Ya-Sin - Cornerback
This one is almost too perfect and too easy. Ballard did not want to get rid of Ya-Sin in last year’s trade for Yannick Ngakoue, and bringing him back to be your CB1 opposite Kenny Moore and Isaiah Rodgers would form a solid secondary in the early stages of this rebuild. At this point in free agency, prices have come down considerably and Ya-Sin could sign a cheap multi-year deal in Indy.
Mecole Hardman - Wide Receiver
Many thought the Colts would be in on Parris Campbell’s return. But after the receiver took a $3 million deal, odds are they weren’t that interested. Indy could be looking towards a bigger role for Ashton Dulin after the receiver signed a two-year, $7.2 million deal. But Shane Steichen’s scheme focuses heavily on a vertical passing attack, and the best way to get vertical is with speed. Hardman brings that explosive speed and then some. An undersized receiver, Hardman was extremely productive for the Kansas City Chiefs and would be a perfect compliment to Michael Pittman Jr. and Alec Pierce.
DJ Chark - Wide Receiver
A 6’4” monster who runs a 4.3 40-yard dash? That sounds right up Ballard’s alley. Chark has had an up-and-down career thus far in the NFL, but the 26-year-old’s athleticism would improve any receiving corps. Chark hauled in 30 receptions for 502 yards and three touchdowns in 2022. He would be the perfect rotational pass catcher and allow Pittman Jr. to slide to the slot more often in 2023.
Connor McGovern - Center/Guard
With Ryan Kelly potentially on the move in the next few days or weeks, Indianapolis needs to find a replacement. While that replacement could certainly come via the draft, they could look to target Connor McGovern. McGovern is by far the top available center and would be an immediate upgrade at the position. At 29 years old, he is not a long-term option but he could be a useful veteran at the position.
Isaac Seumalo - Guard
Perhaps this is a bigger fish than Ballard is comfortable reeling in, but the Colts could have a leg up on the competition with Steichen at the helm. The former Eagles guard would immediately fill a need and be a plug-and-play starter at right guard. Signing Seumalo would raise the floor of the offensive line play, opening up more holes for Jonathan Taylor and helping protect whichever rookie quarterback is under center.