Team Needs: Indianapolis Colts
NEEDS RATING KEY
5.0 - High priority. This is a position that is a glaring weakness and there is the likelihood that this team cannot compete next year without making a major addition here.
4.0 - Medium Priority. This is an area that is an obvious weakness, but the team isn't quite desperate to make a major move here possibly because they have some young potential. But this is an area that if the team cannot fix via free agency, will definitely use one of their picks in the first three or four rounds to supplement.
3.0 - Upgrade Potential. This is a position that isn't a weakness per se, but there is significant room for an upgrade. If the right player comes along they will certainly snag him, but if they don't fix this position with a major free agent addition or early round pick, then it's not the end of the world.
2.0 - Depth Need. An area where there is a need to add depth. Perhaps there is an aging veteran and they might want to start to look at grooming his heir apparent or replacement. Not likely to be a high priority and a position that more than likely will be address in the middle and late rounds rather than with a top pick.
1.0 - Future Need. This is an area that is not a priority, and doesn't initially appear as a need. But there is some room to develop some depth for perhaps two or more years down the line. This is usually an area that a team will look at in the late rounds if at all.
0.0 - Non-need. This is a position that is a strength of their team, they have a solid starter, capable depth, and/or a young player at the position that they like and want to develop. Very little possibility this area is addressed and would be the equivalent of a wasted draft pick.
Top 10 Needs
1. QB - 5.0
2. DT - 4.0
3. CB - 4.0
4. OC - 3.5
5. WR - 3.5
6. OT - 3.0
7. LB - 3.0
8. DE - 3.0
9. OG - 3.0
10. TE - 3.0
Quarterback - The Colts are moving on from Peyton Manning, and will use this opportunity with the top pick to select the QB of their choice to be the next franchise passer in Indianapolis. And it seems like they have managed to be in the right place at the right time with Johnny Unitas, Peyton Manning, and now either Andrew Luck or Robert Griffin passing through their doors. NEED: 5.0
Running Back - Down the stretch, Donald Brown started to show some of the thigns that the Colts envisioned he would when they drafted him No. 1 overall. His production coupled with the presence of Delone Carter, likely means that Joseph Addai at age 29 with a $5 million base salary in 2012 could be shown the door. If that is the case, then they might look to add another back into the rotation. NEED: 1.5
Fullback - The Colts never really made much use of the fullback position previously, and Bruce Arians system is more of a two-tight end offense than one that makes use of a lead blocker. But don't be surprised if they add a body off the street or in the late rounds to at least give them options here. NEED: 1.5
Wide Receiver - Both Reggie Wayne and Pierre Garcon are free agents, and whether or not they return is up in the air. They will probably try and bring back one of them. Garcon is probably a better fit if the Colts intend to operate a vertical offense like Arians had in Pittsburgh. If they can retain Garcon, then they have two potential starters here with him and Austin Collie. BUt they'll definitely be on the lookout for more playmakers at this position to add some depth. NEED: 3.5
Tight End - Dallas Clark proved to be a fairly mediocre tight end with Mannign out of the lineup, and it seems likely that he'll be swept out the door alongside many of the older vets. That leaves Jacob Tamme at the top spot, but he's also a free agent and they probably won't bend over backwards to re-sign him. This could be a position they target in the off-season to try and upgrade. NEED: 3.0
Offensive Tackle - Anthony Castonzo had an injury-riddled rookie seaosn, but flashed some ability the few times he was healthy. The big question is who will play right tackle next year. Their options on the roster are probably Jeff Linkenbach or Ben Ijalana. Ryan Diem is probably not going to be brought back. Unless they are committed to Ijalana here, this is probably an area that they will attempt to upgrade since Linkenbach was fairly average. NEED: 3.0
Offensive Guard - Mike Pollak is a free agent, joining Diem. But Pollak could return, especially since he offers the versatility to also play center. They could kick Ijalana inside here and hope he can fill in. BUt other than that, they really have no options and could attempt to make a splash in free agency by bringing over some road graders from the AFC North. NEED: 3.0
Center - The Colts want to keep Jeff Saturday, but in their front office, not on their roster. That opens a hole here. They could opt to bring back either Pollak or Jamey Richard as options, but don't be surprised if they look for a bigger, more physical option given the style of offense that they will likely switch to, which is going to be more ground-based. NEED: 3.5
Defensive Tackle - The Colts run defense has been porous for many years because of the weakness they have up front. Pagano intends to employ a hybrid 3-4/4-3 scheme, which will require a big, physical presence in the middle. Something they lack, and it will be one of the areas where they attempt to upgrade. A guy like Foala might fit at the other spot due to his size and quickness. NEED: 4.0
Defensive End - Dwight Freeney has not be very receptive to playing with his hand off the ground, so it's possible they move him. But given how precious good pass rushers are, and Freeney is still among those, they'll probably try and make it work for one year. Jerry Hughes might be a better fit in their hybrid scheme, similar to the one he played at TCU than he was purely as a 4-3 defensive end. Robert Mathis is a free agent and doubtful to return. Free agents like Jamaal Anderson, Eric Foster, or Tyler Brayton could add a solid run-stopping presence on the outside, something this scheme tends to like, so they could return. But with Freeney's future up in the air, and nobody being sold on Hughes, expect them to add another pass rusher at some point. NEED: 3.0
Linebacker - They will be looking for bigger, more physical run stuffers to play here. Philip Wheeler is a free agent, but he could work here. Pat Angerer also could be penciled into the mix inside. Gary Brackett's future is up in the air, since he'll be 32, coming off shoulder injury and will carry a base salary of $5 million next year. It's likely they will look at other guys that are better fits. NEED: 2.5
Cornerback - Despite the rebuilding that the rest of the defense will take, this position was their most glaring weakness in 2011, and they will have to make upgrades here if they expect to compete in 2012. If they cannot find a No. 1 corner in free agency, then they will likely look towards the draft. NEED: 4.0
Safety - They probably can live with guys like Antoine Bethea and Melvin Bullitt as starters, at least for a year, especially given their other needs on defense. But they'll probably add another safety via the draft that they can begin to develop. NEED: 2.0
Kicker - Adam Vinatieri turns 40 in December, and is not the same player he was a few years back. But he's a solid indoor kicker that is under contract, so it's really not a need as of now. They can afford to keep him for one more year. NEED: 1.5
Punter - Pat McAfee is a solid punter and one of the top kickoff guys in the league, so there is really no concern with him besides locking him up long-term after this season. NEED: 0.0
Return Specialist - Rookie Joe Lefeged was mediocre returner, so it's likely that if/when the team chooses to make additions at running back, wide receiver, or cornerback, they could target somebody with return potential. NEED: 3.0Back to Index
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