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[TheDraftNetwork] How to fix the Colts over the 2020 off-season

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https://thedraftnetwork.com/articles/how-to-fix-the-colts-over-the-2020-offseason

 

 

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How to fix the Colts over the 2020 off-season

BY: CARTER DONNICK | JANUARY 10TH, 2020

 

Out of luck: that seemed to be the theme of the Indianapolis Colts’ season.  

 

Whether it was Andrew Luck’s shocking retirement, the Colts terrible injury issues or even Indy’s woeful kicking problems, the organization struggled to get on the right track after a wildly successful 2018 season.

 

Put in a ridiculously tricky spot after their franchise quarterback called it quits, coach Frank Reich and general manager Chris Ballard did the best they could in an unfortunate situation, leading the team to a bumpy 7-9 record.  Now in Year 4 of Ballard’s tenure, the most important goal in the offseason must be to find a new franchise passer as Jacoby Brissett has proven he simply isn’t a long term answer.

 

Flush with over 100 million in cap space and armed with three top-45 picks, Indianapolis has the assets to make massive free agent and draft moves, although it remains to be seen if a notoriously cautious Ballard will risk going “all-out.”

 

Ultimately, if the Colts can upgrade their passing attack (a big if) with a new signal-caller and some upgraded outside weapons, their chances of returning to the playoffs in 2020 look awfully bright.

 

THREE CONTRACTS TO RENEW

Anthony Castonzo

Besides the QB position, addressing Anthony Castonzo’s future is the most critical part of the Colts offseason. The 31-year-old was arguably the team’s MVP providing effective pass protection and opening massive holes in the run game. Unfortunately, Castonzo has hinted at possibly retiring, which could leave a formidable Colts offensive line without a blindside protector. Add in the fact that the team may be playing with a rookie quarterback, and it becomes vital that Castonzo re-signs with the team. Let’s hope for Indy’s sake that Ballard can entice him to come back.

 

Jabaal Sheard

Jabaal Sheard is not nearly as vital as Castonzo, but on a team with few UFA’s and a whole lot of cap space, retaining a veteran edge presence is a smart move. The old phrase “you can never have too many pass rushers” is always true, and Sheard is a dependable defender who can consistently log 4-plus sacks a year.

 

Key RFA’s (Zach Pascal, Mo Alie-Cox)

With their absurd amount of cap room, it seems highly unlikely that the Colts priority restricted free agents wouldn't be kept, but it’s still worth noting here. Of their impending nine RFAs, wide receiver Zach Pascal and tight end Mo Alie-Cox should be the top names retained.

 

One to let go: Eric Ebron

Ending the year on injured reserve, Ebron’s second year in Indy didn’t go nearly as smoothly as his first. Without Andrew Luck, the tight end was barely used, with his stats and overall play dropping in a big way as a result. With inconsistent hands and less valuable than fellow teammate Jack Doyle, Ebron is an expendable piece that this new Colts team has no use for. Former basketball player Mo Alie-Cox can fill a similarly athletic role for a fraction of the cost, which makes letting Ebron go a no-brainer decision.

 

 

THREE KEY FREE AGENT SIGNINGS TO MAKE

 

Robby Anderson (New York Jets)

Of all the wide receivers that could be headed elsewhere this February, Robby Anderson’s combination of youth and likely availability make him the most intriguing. Stuck on a porous New York Jets team, the Colts would be smart to front-load a large contract at Anderson in hopes of him leaving the Big Apple to chase a better environment. Signing in Indianapolis could allow the team to finally nail down their revolving door at the second wideout position, while the acquisition would also mean that the team could focus more directly on the QB position come draft time.

Quinton Jefferson (Seattle Seahawks)

Chris Ballard loves his versatile defensive lineman and Quinton Jefferson is exactly that. He plays primarily a 3-technique (although able to shift all across the line); and could provide a perfect rotation partner with Denico Autry, improving the interior pass rush and limiting Grover Stewart’s pass down snaps. He’s not a very big name, but the Seattle Seahawk lineman could be one of the top values of free agency. Indy would be smart to try and prioritize him.

Shaq Lawson (Buffalo Bills)

Another piece to add to the defensive front, Shaw Lawson is a former first-round pick who finally started to come into his own this year with the Buffalo Bills. He posted 6.5 sacks in 2019 and provided strong value in a substitution role this past season. Lawson could even take a larger leap with more snaps in the upcoming season. With Jabaal Sheard getting older, Kemoko Turay coming off of injury and Ben Banogu still unproven signing a player like Lawson would serve the Colts well.

 

SWINGING FOR THE FENCES

Armed with extra second- and sixth-round selections, the Colts are in a position where they can take a few risks. This seven-round mock draft has them doing just that.

 

 

R1P13 Justin Herbert QB, Oregon

This pick might be swinging for the fences, but if any team is in a position to take a chance on Herbert, it’s the Colts. Possessing arguably the highest upside of any QB in this class, the Oregon product has all the traits you want out of a franchise passer. Consistency is an issue, but his arm talent and athleticism make him a worthwhile 1st Round gamble.

 

R2P34 Neville Gallimore IDL, Oklahoma

Having already taken a QB, the Colts' next two top needs are at wideout and defensive tackle. My ideal candidate for this spot, LSU WR Justin Jefferson, was just selected, which leaves OU DL Neville Gallimore as an excellent consolation prize.

An uber-athletic interior presence, Gallimore combines elite burst with an unreal motor. His consistency against the run may be an issue, but his pass-rush ability and overall quickness make him impossible to pass up at this point.

 

 

R2P44 Mekhi Becton OT, Louisville

You want size? Becton's got it. A gargantuan monster weighing roughly 365 pounds, the Louisville tackle is a freaky athlete and incredible mover for a player of his immense stature. With current left tackle Anthony Castonzo’s future up in the air, Becton would ideally be groomed for a year or two before taking over Justin Herbert’s blindside.

 

R3P75 Zack Baun EDGE, Wisconsin

A fast riser on boards, Baun is a versatile defender who had an uber-productive final season at Wisconsin. He isn’t an overly flashy player, but Baun’s polish and dependability would prove very valuable on a very young and inconsistent Colts defensive unit.

 

R4P112 Devin Duvernay WR, Texas

Unfortunately, the Colts were put in a tricky situation regarding the receiver position in this mock draft scenario. Duvernay provides solid value here, while his thick frame and natural running ability draw some deserving Deebo Samuel comparisons.

 

R5P142 Robert Hunt IOL, Louisiana

In a weak offensive guard class, Hunt is a straight mauler who could plug and play on the right side. With Mark Glowinski regressing in an extreme way last season, Hunt could theoretically have a path to immediate starter snaps. Tenacious with a mean streak and the ability to finish, if Hunt somehow fell to this selection it would be a steal and a half.

 

R6P173 Akeem Davis-Gaither LB, Appalachian State

A “jack of all trades” type, Davis-Gaither doesn’t really fill a need here but is simply too good of a value to pass up. Rangy and versatile from the linebacker spot, he adds great depth and prime special teams ability. Ultimately, with enough development, he could eventually take over a starting defensive spot.

 

R6P188 Antonio Gandy-Golden WR, Liberty

A prototypical “boundary” wideout, Gandy-Golden is a small-school star with ridiculous collegiate production. A size mismatch on the perimeter, his ability to win jump balls is nothing short of elite, while his body control and strong hands make him an excellent Day 3 flier. His overall athleticism, quickness, and lack of a route tree are all concerns, but Gandy-Golden is well worth a selection this late.

 

R7P204 Kindle Vildor CB, Georgia Southern

An aggressive, quick-twitch corner, Vildor is a bit limited athletically but provides great instincts and a top-notch compete level. He may not be talked about much, but the Georgia Southern defender deserves a selection on draft day.

 

 

 

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I have seen Gandy-Golden mentioned in a few places as a huge value pick. Know absolutely nothing about him :-/

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Go Wirfs, Epenesa, Kinlaw or Gross-Matos in round one and its a great draft... JB gets one more year to prove himself

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I don’t like taking a  Edge in the 3rd, if they resign Sheard and sign Lawson. I’d rather them draft a CB. And I still like J. Love more than Herbert at the moment. Where’s a TE? Not bad though. 

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3 hours ago, stitches said:

R2P44 Mekhi Becton OT, Louisville

You want size? Becton's got it. A gargantuan monster weighing roughly 365 pounds, the Louisville tackle is a freaky athlete and incredible mover for a player of his immense stature. With current left tackle Anthony Castonzo’s future up in the air, Becton would ideally be groomed for a year or two before taking over Justin Herbert’s blindside.


I like this pick, he has the tools just need to refine his game. 
 

I really don’t like Herbert though (Never trust an Oregon QB)

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Gallimore & Becton in the 2nd would be amazing.

 

Baun isn't a bad pick, because I think while he's not flashy, he's technically consistent and will give you a stable presence at DE. I can agree that if Sheard was re-signed and we brought in Lawson, it would be an odd pick. In this scenario, I would've preferred taking a WR like Quartney Davis with this pick instead, who is an amazing route runner and phenomenal technical skills, the polar opposite of his teammate Duvernay.

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Don't like that mock, at all.

 

Not necessarily opposed to Herbert at 13, but Gallimore is a one dimensional project that's insanely athletic, I'd go WR there, there's gonna be a ton of WR value on Day 2. 

 

AGG is an incredibly good WR, after the combine his stock is gonna take off. I'd imagine he ends up an early Day 3 pick if I had to guess. This draft is so stacked at the skill positions, if you're in need of a WR or RB you're set. 

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How many DEs does he expect us to carry? If we bring back Sheard, add Lawson, and draft Zach Baun that’s a very crowded DE room once Turray comes back.

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Yuk!

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