Indianapolis Colts Offseason Grade
OL Matt Slauson – Impact 6/10
Matt Slauson was a solid lineman that has battled some injuries in his career but always fought back to keep playing. His veteran leadership will be missed in the locker room.
CB Pierre Desir – A Impact 9/10
S Clayton Gathers – B+ Impact 8/10
G Mark Glowinski – A Impact 9/10
DT Margus Hunt – B+ Impact 8/10
K Adam Vinatieri – A+ Impact 10/10
OT J’Marcus Webb – B Impact 7/10
I love the decision to bring all of these players back. Desir and Hunt both had career years and showed they could be key pieces for this defense. Gathers and Glowinski’s are both starters for this team if they can stay on the field. Vinatieri keeps breaking records so if he wants to keep playing you let him.
Released/Lost in Free Agency
LB Najee Goode – Impact 3/10
WR Ryan Grant – Impact 5/10
S JJ Wilcox – Impact 5/10
The Colts brought back most of their free agents, but felt that these three weren’t essential to bring back. Goode is a player that could’ve helped out their special teams, but instead he inked a deal with Jacksonville. Grant had a disappointing season after signing a 1 year deal, so I could understand the reason for letting Grant walk. Wilcox could definitely help out in the secondary and special teams, however the Colts believed he was not needed.
WR Devin Funchess – C Impact 7/10
OLB Justin Houston – A Impact 10/10
RB Spencer Ware – B- Impact 6/10
Despite having the most money to spend in all of the NFL, the Colts weren’t very active in free agency instead they elected to retain their own free agents. For the additions they made in free agency I wasn’t very impressed. Spending $13 million for Funchess is definitely a head-scratcher, even though it’s for 1 year only. I felt they could have addressed the need for a wide receiver in the draft and spent the $13 million on other area’s or simply a different player at the position. They did sign a coveted player, however, in the former Chiefs pass rusher Justin Houston. He could definitely make a big impact for the Colts this season. Spencer Ware was a nice little pick up where he could fill in maybe if one of their rotational backs are banged up and he could also be very effective in the return game.
Pick 2.34 – CB Rock Ya-Sin, Temple – A Impact 8/10
Pick 2.49 – EDGE Ben Banogu, TCU – B- Impact 7/10
Pick 2.59 – WR Parris Campbell, Ohio State – B+ Impact 8/10
Pick 3.89 – LB Bobby Okereke, Stanford – B- Impact 7/10
Pick 4.109 – S Khari Willis, Michigan State – B+ Impact 7/10
Pick 5.144 – DB Marvell Tell III, USC – B- Impact 5/10
Pick 5.164 – LB EJ Speed, Tarleton State – C+ Impact 5/10
Pick 6.199 – DE Gerri Green, Mississippi State – B- Impact 4/10
Pick 7.240 – OT Jackson Barton, Utah – B- Impact 3/10
Pick 7.246 – IOL Javon Patterson, Ole Miss – B+ Impact 3/10
Chris Ballard continues to shine as the GM of the Colts. His draft day trades were on full display when he traded out of the first round and picked up extra picks. With his first selection Ballard finds perfect value in Rock Ya-Sin who was being talked about as a late first round pick.Ya-Sin is a big corner who can slide right in opposite Pierre Desir.
He then grabbed the defensive end out of TCU, Ben Banogu, who probably was taken a little higher than most expected as he still could use some work as an edge rusher. After taking defense with his first 2 picks Ballard decides to give his quarterback a weapon that could stretch the field by lining up at any spot in formation. Parris Campbell is quick and fast if you put the ball in his hands he will make people miss. Continuing with the emphasis on defense the Colts address the middle of the field taking Stanford standout LB Bobby Okereke. Okereke is fast and instinctive, but he does lack the ideal size which showed up on tape when going against blockers. Okereke is still a solid pickup in the third round. I’ve watched a ton of the Big 10 especially this season and every time Michigan State was on number 27 (Khari Willis) would always jump off the screen and make a play.
The Colts defense keeps improving even deep into this draft Ballard has made great value picks. The next three picks which also happens to be on the defensive side are all depth picks. Tell, Speed and Green will are all names to look for in camp battles. They could make an impact early on in special teams or stick on the practice squad. The last 2 picks in the draft were depth picks on the offensive line. The Colts have built up a solid line for Luck and the ground game so these weren’t need picks at all.
The first thing that Jumps out is how much Ballard prioritized retaining his own players. He re-signed 6 of his players all of whom made significant and positive impacts last season. The only head-scratching move was giving $13 million to Funchess, who maybe could have a breakout year like Ebron did last year, but I doubt it. Ballard greatly improved the defense in the draft, but again the draft is an educated crap shoot you never know what you’ll get. Chris Ballard has positioned this team as the early favorites to win this tough crowded division.