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With the start of the 2020 season upon us, I thought it’d be a good idea to look at the current team needs as they stand. Especially since TC is over. I’ll probably update this quarterly.

 

Ranked in order of importance

 

1. DE- Turray out at least 6 games means that unless Banogu has a huge leap, we have nothing next to Houston, who can’t play forever either.

 

2. Outside CB- The CB depth on this team frightens me. Rock is a 2nd year player who we’re expecting to break out but is still an unknown. We’re hoping for a bounce back year from Rhodes who was absolutely terrible last year. But the corners after that aren’t people I want to see start games in case of an injury.

 

3. TE- Burton is a risk because of his injury history which we all knew when we got him, and Doyle is in the final year of his deal I think, but he’s never been a premier TE (which I think Reich needs in his offfense). It’s supposed to be a great TE Draft next year too so maybe it’s time since it’s the only position Ballard has never drafted as Colts GM.

 

Those are the only pressing needs I see right now. There are a couple of other sneaky needs that aren’t dire based on current situations but could get elevated based on how the season plays out.

 

So drop your thoughts below guys!!

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DE is huge for me, this was kinda my final straw for Turray.

Next is LT, We have to draft Castonzos successor this year, it is much much harder to find a good LT in free agency then almost every other position.

TE is next, I really think our biggest offensive limiting factor this year will be TE with not a true one to vertically stretch the field has me nervous. 

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1. QB

2. TE

3. DE

4. CB

5. LT

6. WR

 

The thing that jumps straight up at me is that all but one of those are among the positions that are most important for success and they are  positions we have either current or near future need for. This is less than ideal when it comes to team building and if there is something that can sink this Colts team it's percisely this. Our strongest positions are some of the least valuable positions(G, C, LB, RB).

 

Ballard still has a lot of work to do on this team, even though for the immediate future (this year) I actually like the prospects of this roster. 

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This is a question that needs to be ask at the end of the season. 

Now if you think we are weak at a few positions that may be right but next years draft is next year and way too many variables between now and then to know the answers.

 

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Just my opinion, but it depends on a lot.

 

QB - if Rivers doesn't come back, QB is the obvious #1.

DE - if Houston isn't re-signed, DE is next. Turay and Banogu aren't close at this point to being a #1 three down DE

LT - unless we think AC might re-sign again, LT is next. We could wait one more year, but not sure I want a rook starting.

FS - i'm not banking on Blackmon as a FS, and if Hooker doesn't re-sign, FS is next

CB2 - if Rhodes doesn't work out, CB2 is next

TE - I know some will have this much higher, but with two 6-4 WRs and Doyle, just not sure we need to go early on a TE

 

WR, LB, and RB are all fine unless multiple WRs flame out. 

 

Personally I think Rivers is re-signed, and doubt we go QB next draft. I also think there's a strong possibility that Houston, Hooker, and Rhodes all come back. I also wouldn't be surprised at all if AC signals to the FO that he'll extend again for another year or two so long as Rivers does well and we're in the playoffs. If most of that happens, then I think DE moves up to #1 (even if ,Houston is re-signed), and TE moves up the list.

6 hours ago, crazycolt1 said:

 

This is a question that needs to be ask at the end of the season. 

Now if you think we are weak at a few positions that may be right but next years draft is next year and way too many variables between now and then to know the answers.

 

Thanks mom.

 

7 hours ago, stitches said:

1. QB

2. TE

3. DE

4. CB

5. LT

6. WR

 

The thing that jumps straight up at me is that all but one of those are among the positions that are most important for success and they are  positions we have either current or near future need for. This is less than ideal when it comes to team building and if there is something that can sink this Colts team it's percisely this. Our strongest positions are some of the least valuable positions(G, C, LB, RB).

 

Ballard still has a lot of work to do on this team, even though for the immediate future (this year) I actually like the prospects of this roster. 

As far as our strongest positions being least valuable, not sure I agree. The top paid OG (15M/year), is just a little off the 2nd highest T (which is AC) at 16.5M. Q is going to set the market, In other words, he's going to get more than most LTs. We're going to shell out a lot for Leonard, probably 17+. Thank god C and RB are devalued, but we're still paying Kelly 12.5 as the top paid guy. We're lucky Walker isn't great at pass D lol. He's one of the top ILBs in Ts per snap, and we're getting great value from the combo of him and Oke. 

 

I look at our FA contracts coming up in the next two years and it's pretty scary. 

 

 

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11 hours ago, EastStreet said:

 

 

As far as our strongest positions being least valuable, not sure I agree. The top paid OG (15M/year), is just a little off the 2nd highest T (which is AC) at 16.5M. Q is going to set the market, In other words, he's going to get more than most LTs.

That's just a happenstance of the current market. Next time the best OTs come to FA they will get paid more than the OGs or OCs. Overall the best OTs will be paid better than the best centers and guards and they are more valuable and good ones are a more scarce resource. 

Quote

We're going to shell out a lot for Leonard, probably 17+. Thank god C and RB are devalued, but we're still paying Kelly 12.5 as the top paid guy. We're lucky Walker isn't great at pass D lol. He's one of the top ILBs in Ts per snap, and we're getting great value from the combo of him and Oke. 

 

I look at our FA contracts coming up in the next two years and it's pretty scary. 

 

That's the thing I worry about. That we will end up paying up at positions that matter less for winning than the most important ones and that we are not set up or strong at any of the premier positions in football - QB, CB, WR, EDGE... Even OT in the long term is a question mark.

 

That's not to say that Ballard has not invested in those (2 second round picks + 3 late round picks for WRs, 2 second round picks + 3 late round picks for CBs, 2 2nds+ a 3d + late round pick for EDGE) but you still need to hit on those and we can't really say we've hit on any of them right now. 

 

I still think QB is by far our biggest  and most important need going forward. Until we know for sure we have our QB of the future we need to continue spending premier assets on that position. No other position comes even close to the value that QB provides and no other position has the ability to make you a consistent contender almost no matter what else is happening than a franchise QB. And right now we don't have a franchise QB. We can still be good with Rivers, but I can't help but feel like we are just treading water until we get our franchise QB of the future in the building. There is a small chance that Eason is it, but he has to show that at the very least to Reich and Ballard in practice(how Chiefs knew they can move on from Alex Smith). 

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7 hours ago, stitches said:

That's just a happenstance of the current market. Next time the best OTs come to FA they will get paid more than the OGs or OCs. Overall the best OTs will be paid better than the best centers and guards and they are more valuable and good ones are a more scarce resource. 

I disagree on LGs. The top guys are going to stay close to Ts. Q, when he re-signs, might end up being the top paid OL overall, and least until the next big contract is signed. Centers, yes I agree, but they're earning more and more too. We've been trending this way for a while as the league has become a passing league.

 

And I also disagree about the importance in general, comparing LG to LT. A guy like Q at LG can make a LT (or C) look a lot better than he really is. Along the same lines, a great LT can mask deficiencies of a LG and make him look better too.

 

7 hours ago, stitches said:

That's the thing I worry about. That we will end up paying up at positions that matter less for winning than the most important ones and that we are not set up or strong at any of the premier positions in football - QB, CB, WR, EDGE... Even OT in the long term is a question mark.

I agree with this, and have echoed it when talking about FA contracts coming up, and when drafting. A roster salary has to have balance, especially when talking about talent at the top paid positions. I think at CB we are fine currently given Rock is looking great and is on a rookie contract. WR too, unless you're not confident in the young guys. Edge, OT, and QB are all positions that concern me medium term. Both are positions where it's important to have one or more on rook contracts. 

7 hours ago, stitches said:

 

That's not to say that Ballard has not invested in those (2 second round picks + 3 late round picks for WRs, 2 second round picks + 3 late round picks for CBs, 2 2nds+ a 3d + late round pick for EDGE) but you still need to hit on those and we can't really say we've hit on any of them right now. 

We can't say we haven't hit either. This year will tell us a lot.

7 hours ago, stitches said:

 

I still think QB is by far our biggest  and most important need going forward. Until we know for sure we have our QB of the future we need to continue spending premier assets on that position. No other position comes even close to the value that QB provides and no other position has the ability to make you a consistent contender almost no matter what else is happening than a franchise QB. And right now we don't have a franchise QB. We can still be good with Rivers, but I can't help but feel like we are just treading water until we get our franchise QB of the future in the building. There is a small chance that Eason is it, but he has to show that at the very least to Reich and Ballard in practice(how Chiefs knew they can move on from Alex Smith). 

The chances of Rivers looking good and will be back IMO is 90+%. If I wasn't that confident, I'd feel your concern. I just think even at his age, he'll be more than fine for 2-4 years with our OL, running game, and receiving weapons (I'm confident in the WRs too).

 

Post Rivers, I'm concerned. Eason is a wildcard and I have no basis for confidence at this point. And IMO, as long as were in the playoffs and Rivers is not looking noticeably weak-armed, I really doubt we go QB next year. Our record should be pretty good, and we won't be in position to get a top 2 guy without giving up substantial capital. 

 

All that said, I can absolutely see Ballard looking at a guy like Carr or another early 30s QB who would fit our scheme well, and is looking for a new home behind a good OL. 

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I said I’d only update my needs ranking quarterly, but I’m very tempted to bump QB up the list. Doing my very best not to react after one games because some hiccups are expected with Covid affected offseason and no pre-season. But, man what I saw Sunday has me re-thinking some things.

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2 hours ago, Defjamz26 said:

I said I’d only update my needs ranking quarterly, but I’m very tempted to bump QB up the list. Doing my very best not to react after one games because some hiccups are expected with Covid affected offseason and no pre-season. But, man what I saw Sunday has me re-thinking some things.

The thing is... even if we think Rivers can give us another year, we have to realize that we are living on borrowed time with him. It should be plenty clear for everyone that Rivers is short term solution(if he's even a solution at all). The QB position is so important that the moment you don't have a long-term solution is the moment you should start searching for one and investing serious resources in order to get that player. And there is really nothing better for a young QB than to be behind a consummate pro and great vet and watch him work and watch how to conduct himself. I think this is the perfect time to get our QB of the future. 

 

This is why IMO, unless Eason is showing serious progress and potential and looks like the real deal in practice, drafting a QB we love and think can be our franchise QB of the future, is imperative.

 

BTW after watching that game, I'm ready to move CB to no. 2 on that list. There are just way too many question marks and straight up below par players on that unit. 

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59 minutes ago, stitches said:

BTW after watching that game, I'm ready to move CB to no. 2 on that list. There are just way too many question marks and straight up below par players on that unit

 
Yeah the scheme isn’t doing anyone any favors but the secondary as a whole us me confused. Your starters outside are two guys who are both better in man. I really don’t know if talent or scheme is the bigger issue to be honest. Guys are so wide open in the middle it’s hard to say what the issue is.

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15 hours ago, crazycolt1 said:

It makes no difference what defensive schemes are used without opposing QB pressure and sacks none of them work. 

You're not getting any pressure if your CB's are sitting back in soft zone and Minshew is almost instantly getting the ball out of his hands (2nd fastest avg time-to-throw). Changing up the coverage to cause more disruptions at the LOS for the receivers, throwing off Minshew's timing, and forcing him to actually go through his progressions instead of being able to immediately hit his first read would give our DL more of an opportunity to get pressure.

 

If you don't have a sufficient pass rush, you're going to make it harder for your DB's. If you don't have sufficient coverage, you're going to make it harder on your DL. We can't lay the blame on the lack of pressure when the DL had an average of 2.34 seconds to get to Minshew before he got the ball out of his hands, especially considering the 5 fastest sacks in week 1 were 2.26s, 2.3s, 2.37s, 2.6s, and 2.72s.

 

Also consider average yards of separation at the time of a catch:
- Conley: 6.14
- Eifert: 5.13
- Cole: 4.93
- Shenault: 3.1
- Chark: 2.54

 

League Avg: 2.84

 

*All noted stats via NFL Next-Gen Stats

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I would strongly consider signing FA safety Eric Reid.

 

Than we need to see about focusing on LT, TEs, and DEs for next season.  Worse case may have to see how the Cardinals are using Kelvin Beachum and offer a trade if we end up losing AC early mid-trade season.  Other potential upcoming FA's may look more into would be TB Bucs WR Chris Godwin, TE Gerald Everett, and DE Trent Murphy.  

 

I realized we just paid Kelly at center but oft-injured game-time availability has me wondering how our backup would do.  Am looking at Centers Daniel Kilgore (KC), Evan Brown (Browns) or Josh Andrews (Jets) as potential backup targets. 

 

As for the 2021 draft my early LT target to keep an eye on is Jackson Carman from Clemson in Round 1.  Again I am high on S Hamsah Nasirildeen (Florida St) who went back to school but should still be a first rounder.  TE Pat Freiermuth (Penn St) has me intrigued.  As for DEs had Edge Patrick Jones II (Pitttsburgh) on my wish list in Round 2.  Hilton's age on the end of his career had me looking at WR Nico Collins (Michigan) in Round 3.  Collins has solid hands and no history of drops.

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