As we all know, 2022 was a season to forget in Colt’s history. Terrible offensive line play, inconsistency at quarterback, and coaching blunders were some ailments the team battled through this season. This upcoming offseason, general manager Chris Ballard has his hands full to build a competitive team in the AFC South. The Colts have some work to do this off-season.
Colt’s Rework Offensive Line
The worst part of this season was seeing the once highly touted offensive line look like a shell of itself. Starting with offensive tackle, Orlando Brown Jr. Brown was a stud while playing in Baltimore. Some question whether he’s a true left tackle, but his talent and tape speak for themselves. Brown’s price tag would be a big issue seeing as he would want a new contract under the left tackle position that can reach well over $16 million a year. Can he and Quenton Nelson play to match their salary hits, yes but where can the rest of the money go?
Offensive lineman Kaleb McGary would be a good fit for the offensive-line room. McGary plays tackle but could play right guard due to his pure strength and the inconsistency he sees when he plays speed rushers on the outside. Kaleb is a bit of a reach because of health issues. He’s much more effective than we have. We need depth and a starter at right guard and possibly center. At the point of contact, he is relentless but struggles when he goes against speed rushers.
Also, in the draft Indy should look to see if they can get some talent on the line during the first three rounds. Prospects such as Luke Wypler of Ohio State, Cooper Beebe of Kansas State, and John Michael Schmitz of Minnesota would be some of my players to keep an eye on. The Colts desperately need help up front, seemingly this should be priority number one. There is no need to repeat what Andrew Luck had to go through in his short but purposeful career with subpar line play.
Colts Quarterback Search
Enough is enough with the one and done rentals at quarterback. There needs to be a franchise quarterback brought in either by draft or free agency. Obviously, there is Lamar Jackson and Derek Carr but we need fresh blood because those two are long shots. The team goes for CJ Stroud at pick number four in the draft. This young man has a special talent. Although he is an Ohio State quarterback and they don’t transition well into the NFL, he is different. Stroud has the arm talent, the football I.Q. and the mobility to stretch plays. We need to build consistency within the offense, and we need a play caller for the future.
Solidifying Colts Defense
The Colts defense played outstanding this year. Signing free agent talent such as Stephon Gilmore and Yannick Ngakoue. Both played pivotal roles in making Indy one of the top half defenses in the league. Cornerback is a position that should be upgraded next season. If Indy bring in Marcus Peters or Jamel Dean, this will make the defense one of if not the best overall defense in the league. Shaq Leonard will be coming ack healthy, Zaire Franklin should be starting, and Grover Stewart should get better as well.
Indy has a good mixture of youth and wisdom on this side of the ball. They can get better and with Gus Bradley’s creative defenses, stars will be born. Depth should always be an option as well. Health is a luxury in the NFL and as seen last year with Leonard, someone will need to fill big shoes at any moment.
This team is not as bad as the record shows and just needs some new pieces in key spots. Chris Ballard has shown to bring in talent at a good price for the most part while in Indianapolis. No this is not a one-year turnaround type of season, but it can prove to be the beginning of something special. The best part about this all is our team is hungry, determined and young enough to stay together for some years to come. 2023 should be a season where we see the Colts get back to the form, they once were depending on some of these offseason moves talked about here.