Losing Jones for the year was a big blow and has had trouble staying on the field, but should be a big factor going forward. Anderson was playing at a very high level early on, then his production slipped to some degree, before getting hurt. Parry was solid in the middle, but still have my doubts he has the size to be a dominant NT that a 3-4 needs. Langford had a really good year. the rest of the group all showed flashes and McGill stood out, late in the year. Winn is a free agent
Draft: If Jones returns, this really isn't a major need area, would like to see a bigger NT , to rotate with Parry, the depth is ok, could use an upgrade there
Mathis was brought along slowly and is still a very good player, but is not the elite player he had been. Walden has played well. Jackson and Freeman both had really good years, Jackson has been one of the better ILB's the past few years and Freeman was lights out down the stretch. Cole wasn't a big factor, but played better at the end of the year. Newsome was a bit of a mystery after a very good rookie year, wasn't much of a factor. McNary-Irving and Moore all had their moments when given reps. Werner has been a decent backup, but doesn't look like is is going to fullfill his potential as a 1st rd. pick. Freeman and Studabaker are free agent's and Freeman should be a priority to bring back.
Draft: the defense NEEDS difference makers/pass rushers, whether that be from the DE's, OLB's or a hybrid type player, this is priority #2. maybe #3 and #4. ILB looks to be in good shape, although if there is a good looking player in the middle rounds, would be nice to add some quality youth there. Mathis isn't getting any younger, could use several more players to be put in the mix at OLB , if Newsome takes his game up, that would be ideal. I think the Colts are going to try to get younger and some of the higher priced older players won't be brought back-like Cole.
Davis had a good year, but not elite. Toler has not played well for several years and has missed too many games, Butler is a valuable slot cover guy, it's to early to tell if Smith can be the answer. Brown has played well when given reps. Lowery and Adams have both been great additions and have helped solidify the secondary. Geathers looks like he could be a really good player, down the road. Anderson held his own when filling in and him and Guy are two of the better special teams players. Anderson,Lowery and Toler are free agents.
Draft: Toler most likely won't be returning, Smith could get the first shot and replacing him, unless a better option is found, either in free agency or the draft, CB is a major need area. Safety is a need area and will be for the next few years, with Adams and Lowery both nearing the end, if Lowery doesn't return, it will be a major need area
Adam had a great year and has shown no signs of slipping. McAfee, if not the best pure punter, is without a doubt, the best all around punter in the NFL...CANNOT believe he was not selected to the Pro Bowl. Overton is one of the best at what he does and Bray looked really good returning. Adam is a free agent and along with Freeman should be at the top of the priority list for next year.
Summary: This year was a mess from the first game, inconsisent offense- Luck missing alot of time and not playing very well-when he did play, the O-line's continued struggles, play calling........2 rookie starters on the D-line, players not playing up to their potential....as always-injuries. Despite the 8-8 record and missing the playoffs for only the 3rd time in the past 17 years, this team has a lot of piecies in place.
Major need areas: C-OLB-CB
need areas: G-T-NT-S