Now that the Draft is over, and what a Draft it was for the Indianapolis Colts, we can take a look at the remaining holes this team has, and what cheap pickups could help mitigate them. Over the years Ballard has been adept at finding value in free agency after the draft, where the price is at an all time low, with several clutch pickups, and he could very well do the same this year.
This situation is different though, as the Colts are most likely not looking like contenders this year, and therefore not a particularly enticing destination, but Chris Ballard does need to round out the roster with quality veterans.
Zach Cunningham, inside linebacker
A stout run defender who already played on two divisional rivals (Texans and Titans), Cunningham did not play much last season, totaling a career low 205 snaps, as he battled with injuries throughout the year. His calling card has always been his run defense, as he never was a great pass-rusher or a good coverage linebacker, even though last season was his best in that aspect. Cunningham would provide some much needed depth to the linebacker group, that lost Bobby Okereke in free agency and with Shaq Leonard’s status at the very least questionable.
Marcus Peters, cornerback
Yes, the Colts did get JuJu Brents and Darius Rush in the Draft, but they are both rather raw, and cornerback is perhaps the position with the steepest learning curve in the NFL. If the Colts are starting either Brents or Rush in Week 1, they are in significant trouble, and just an injury away from having to resort to the practice squad. Peters might be looking to play for a contender at this point in his career, but I would not mind having him on a cheap deal, as he would immediately become the #1 corner on the team.
Shaquill Griffin, cornerback
Same arguments as Peters, only that Griffin is three years younger and could fit in the team’s long term plans. Griffin was released by the Jaguars after an underwhelming second season, but he is still an experienced cornerback that showed he has the tools to be productive. For Griffin I would not mind a contract going longer than two seasons.
Rodger Saffold, guard
As might be the case with Peters, a veteran like Saffold might not be interest in going to a rebuilding team and playing with a rookie quarterback, but if the market is dry and the Colts manage to get a guy like him, he would inmediately help solidify the offensive line, and I personally would be much more comfortable playing AR5 and him not getting demolished every other play. I think a veteran like him has been missing after AC’s retirement and he would also help stable Ryan Kelly’s play.
A.J. Cann, guard
A player with nearly 7.000 career snaps, who has played for two division rivals and has been a reliable pass blocker for every season in his career other than 2021 where everything went wrong in Jacksonville. Cann would at the very least provide some much needed depth to the interior of the offensive line.