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Defensive Line Burning Questions Heading Into OTAs

Posted Apr 11, 2016

Intro: We are less than a week away from the Colts beginning their 2016 offseason program. Where do the questions start along the defense line in 2016?


INDIANAPOLIS – April on the calendar means work is about to start back up for the Indianapolis Colts.

With the team’s offseason program commencing on April 18, we start our burning question series.

This week, Colts.com will take a look at the “Burning Questions” surrounding all defensive position groups entering 2016.

Here’s a look at the defensive line questions heading into the offseason program:


It’s ankle and ACL rehab for Jones and Anderson, respectively.

As you would expect, Jones is further along than Anderson.

Jones’ ankle injury in the third preseason game of 2015 sent him to injured reserve.

Anderson’s torn ACL in early November halted such a promising rookie campaign and now has his availability for the start of Training Camp in serious jeopardy.

Without two starting caliber players, the Colts’ defense line was anchored by veteran Kendall Langford and a slew of youngsters who didn’t blink.

Not enough can be said for the season Langford had in his first year with the Colts.

With that experience the second half of last year, the Colts should feel good about their defensive line depth.

Healthy campaigns from Jones and Anderson would (obviously) greatly enhance that group.

Jones and Anderson on the field should give the Colts depth they’ve longed for in the defensive trenches.

STAT TO NOTE: Kendall Langford is tied with Julius Peppers for the most consecutive starts (128) among all active NFL defensive linemen.


  • What will the nose tackle position look like under new coordinator Ted Monachino?


At 6-2 and 310 pounds, David Parry doesn’t look like the prototypical nose tackle for a 3-4 scheme.

The Colts needed Parry in that position though last year and the team’s 2015 fifth-round pick served that role in 16 starts.

It was Parry beating out Josh Chapman and Montori Hughes to claim the starting nose tackle position.

After no offseason additions along the defensive line, Parry looks to again be the guy manning the defensive middle in 2016.

In Baltimore, where new coordinator Ted Monachino arrived from, the Ravens used a little wider body than Parry.

It’s not yet known what style of nose tackle Monachino desires from his own defense.

Parry showed in 2015 that a guy north of 330 pounds isn’t a must to have a successful defensive line.

STAT TO NOTE
: David Parry was one of two rookie defensive linemen (Atlanta’s Vic Beasley) to start all 16 games last season.

  • Where does defensive line fall on the Colts’ draft priority list?


Talk to virtually any NFL higher-up and they will laud the depth of this year’s defensive line draft class.

The defensive line class in 2016 is loaded.

Some Mock Drafts have had more than 10 defensive linemen going in Round One. That’s an incredibly high number.

For the Colts, the immediate need to find rookie defensive linemen is nowhere near as high as it was last year.

Guys like Anderson, Parry, T.Y. McGill and Zach Kerr have given the Colts a nice young defensive line group to where this need isn’t as pressing.

Sure, with so much quality defensive line depth in 2016, a pick up front isn’t out of the question.

However, the Colts won’t need two rookie linemen to come in and start like they did last year with Anderson and Parry.

STAT TO NOTE
: Despite missing the last seven games of 2015, Henry Anderson still finished 18th among 3-4 defensive linemen in stops last season (per PFF).

 

ICYMI: Quarterback Burning Questions

ICYMI: Running Back Burning Questions

ICYMI: Wide Receiver/Tight End Burning Questions

ICYMI: Offensive Line Burning Questions

 

 

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