INDIANAPOLIS – Each week, readers of Colts.com can submit their questions to have a chance of them being answered in our Wednesday mailbag.
Here is this week's collection: Eddie Clavell (San Juan, Puerto Rico)
Hi Kevin,thanks for great responses to all questions from us COLTS fans!!! My question is what are the possibilities of Duron Carter being our 3rd receiver, if any?? This player has a lot of "tools" from what I've seen in his highlight reels. He has height(6'5") hands,speed & elusiveness, yet I haven't seen much mention of him being an option to maybe beat out Moncrief. Thanks in advance from sunny Puerto Rico!!!
Bowen: We get our first Duron Carter question in a while. The intrigue of Carter is nearly universal among the Colts fan base. Let's not get too carried away though and pencil him in above Donte Moncrief. What Moncrief did as a 21-year old rookie should not be taken for granted. He's proven himself on an NFL stage and already has rapport with Andrew Luck. Carter has yet to play in an NFL game and still has to make the adjustment to the Colts offense, and Luck. Yes, the potential for Carter is noteworthy and this seems like the ideal environment for him to eventually thrive. However, I'd be surprised if he came in here and beat out Moncrief to start the season.
Blake Tipton (Fayetteville, Arkansas)
Wondering if this is a plausible mock draft for the colts based of current needs. 1st: Eric Kendricks 2nd: Tevin Coleman 3rd: Jaquiski Tartt 4th: Ali Marpet
Can't really go beyond that round but that's seems solid to me.
Bowen: The mock drafts are pouring in and they are extending well past the first round. The actual draft is less than a month away and that will highlight the end of the month. In Blake's mock draft we see the Colts going ILB, RB, S, OL in the first four rounds. I like what you've conjured up here with the final three picks but I'm not so sure on the ILB pick in the opening round. With the signing of Nate Irving, the Colts have three more than capable starters for two spots at the inside linebacker position. Kendricks would be a guy that could definitely start down the road, but do you really want your first round impact just to be mostly a special teams guys as a rookie?
Allen Ruston (Frankfort, KY)
I was wondering, how does it work when scouts are sent to pro days. How do they decide who goes where and to which events they go and which ones they skip? I figure the colts must have like a million scouts, so how does it work?
Bowen: A very good question, Allen. The pro day schedule can be very hectic with colleges all across the country holding their own events on the same day as others. The Colts scouting department has their bases covered in making sure they are present at the necessary pro days. What people might not realize is the coaching staff is also on the road for many of these combine type days getting their (sometimes initial) looks at the draft prospects. I would think with the Colts draft board being fairly set, they prioritized the most important pro days and therefore distributed their personnel/coaching staff based off that. Next up on the draft schedule will be up to 30 prospects visiting the Colts for in-house visits.
Matt Dewart (Fort Wayne, IN)
Will Lucas Oil Stadium be open for fans to go to on draft weekend this year? Also Kevin do you know how much tickets are if for the Chicago draft venue if I decided to go there?
Thank You for answering my question Matt GO COLTS 2SB50
Bowen: For all ticketing questions in attending this year's draft in Chicago, check out this link. Matt, the last time the Colts held a draft event at Lucas Oil Stadium was when they had the No. 1 pick back in 2012. I know the Colts are still finalizing draft events for fans this year. They do not plan to host an event at Lucas Oil Stadium but opportunities to watch the draft together with other fans are in the works. Those should be announced in the coming weeks.
Gavin Martin (West Virginia)
With all the worry about the second safety position why hasn't anything been said about Mcdonald? He played good in the preseason and is a really smart player\person.
Bowen: Some more good timing for a question about Dewey McDonald. Ryan Grigson touched on McDonald earlier this week and that information is here. Guys like McDonald and Winston Guy are two names that should get their chances this offseason. The Colts feel like they have a couple of talented young safeties so those two will be guys to watch when OTAs begin on April 20.
Chris Stavreti (Fort Wayne, IN)
In regards to the safety position, what's going on with Delano Howell? I know he's coming off a season ending neck injury but I still feel like he can be a valuable asset.
Bowen: Delano Howell was a free agent this offseason and the Colts did not sign him. I haven't heard Howell's name rumored for any teams around the league. The neck injury he suffered last preseason is clearly a major reason why. Anytime you are dealing with a neck injury and multiple specialists have to be involved, it's not an ideal situation. I don't think Howell has formally retired from the NFL but at this point, he is not on a roster for the 2015 season.
Lawrence Owen (Marion, IN)
I know the question of trading up in the draft has been asked many times, and I agree doing that is detrimental to the team being the draft is deep with talent. My question is this: If Collins or another major 'want' is not going to be there at the 29th pick, what would be the chances of the Colts trading down? Giving their 1st round pick for maybe a mid 2nd and 4th round? That seems more plausible to me and would give them more chances of filling needs with decent talent.
Bowen: I'm definitely a big proponent of trading down in the draft. However, it's so hard to decipher if that's a good move or not until you see the board fall on Thursday, April 30. For example, if you have 4-6 guys you still like at No. 29, teams are always looking to jump into the back end of that opening round so a trade option would make sense. Now, having said that, a first-round pick is valuable with the new CBA allowing for that fifth-year option on the initial contract. That's something to keep in mind when the decision arises on whether or not to trade back/up.
Craig Russelburg (United States)
I was so happy to learn that Jim Irsay flew to south Florida to personally inform Reggie Wayne of the Colts' intention of not offering him a new contract. That was a classy move on Mr. Irsay's behalf. In this day and age, I am lost trying to name one owner who has done what Mr. Irsay has done for Reggie. Can you think of anyone who has?
Bowen: Craig, off the top of my head I can't recall many owners doing that but I'm sure some have under similar circumstances. Jim Irsay is on record saying that Wayne is the closest player of any in Irsay's time as Colts Owner. The spot in the Ring of Honor is only a matter of time for Wayne, and Irsay himself might be 87's biggest supporter for future Hall of Fame candidacy.
Howard Mapes (Kendallville, IN)
Do you think that a defensive player will ever be named to the Colts Ring of Honor. I sometimes believe that the Defence is often overlooked. Thanks!
Bowen: Howard, I definitely think will be one. With Dwight Freeney and/or Robert Mathis nearing the end of their careers, it wouldn't shock me at all if they eventually found their names inside of Lucas Oil Stadium.
Tracy Denton (Elwood, IN)
My question is about Nate Irving, What exactly was his injury ? I have read that it was a torn ACL, another article said a partially torn MCL and another said a severely sprained MCL. Where is he on his rehab? Will he be ready for camp?
Bowen: Chuck Pagano said at the Annual League Meetings that Irving is rehabbing the ACL injury he suffered at the midway point of the 2014 season. Neither Pagano nor Ryan Grigson offered a timetable for Irving's recovery but a return around the time of Training Camp would probably be likely (that's a similar timetable Reggie Wayne had in 2013 with an ACL injury around the same part of the season). It definitely sounds like once Irving is cleared he will be in the mix for one of the Colts starting linebacker spots with D'Qwell Jackson and Jerrell Freeman.
Troy Click (Greenwood, IN)
Hi there Kevin. One of my best friends is a Patriots fan and keeps going on and on about how there going to beat the Colts this year. So I want to know what your opinion is of the Colts chances of beating the pats and becoming the AFC team to beat in 2015.
Bowen: I do think strictly based off offseason moves, the Colts have improved from their 2014 standing. As far as New England, I'm really curious to see what the makeup of their secondary looks like next year. That unit was so key in how they were able to really limit the Colts passing attack in their meetings last year. As of now, I do think the Colts have closed the gap on the defending AFC Champions and New England has to replace All-Pro corner Darrelle Revis. Now, no definite answer can be made until we see this Colts defense in action and ultimately when the two AFC finalists match up in their regular season meeting at Lucas Oil Stadium. Troy, that answer will come, but you will have to be patient (the 2015 schedule should be announced later this month).
Tom Boone (Wabash)
The colts may have gotten older with the FA signings but does this allow them to draft players they can develop in those positions or do you see the Colts continuing to Sign older FA's since resigning the 2012 class is going to be so costly?
Bowen: This is draft is very important to putting together another young core that will benefit you salary cap wise. One reason the Colts have been able to sign some of these free agents in 2015 comes because guys like Andrew Luck, Coby Fleener, T.Y. Hilton, Dwayne Allen, etc. are playing on their rookie contracts still, yet performing at levels higher than what the money might indicate. If the Colts can have a similar draft to the haul in 2012 (pretty high standards) that will allow them to still be able to acquire some impact free agents in offseasons to come.
John Frasure (Horseshoe Bay, TX)
Understanding the salary cap limitations for the next couple of years with Luck, Hilton, Fleener and Allen coming up soon, why haven't the Colts filled in the middle of the defensive line? We also haven't addressed the need at safety very well in my opinion. Are there still good options out there in FA or are we going to hope that Collins from Alabama falls to us (unlikely) in the draft and get a D tackle in the draft as well?
Bowen: John, both of these questions were addressed earlier in the week. The safety need remains a priority for the Colts as they continue to evaluate safety options on the open market. Ryan Grigson mentioned at the League Meetings how the Colts are hopeful to see development from some of their young defensive linemen. The draft is also an area where the interior talent is one of the deeper groups near the top end. You can't address every need in free agency so the Colts know how important it will be to bring in additional talent with their nine draft picks in 2015.
Sheron Fraser-Burgess (Indianapolis, IN)
My son, is a junior football player in Indianapolis. He is really interested in architecture as a field but is worried about being able to do both. I mentioned that Andrew Luck was able to do both at Stanford, of all places. Could you find how he was able to do it? Practically speaking how did he balance studio time and practice time? What about off season activities relating to the major?
Thanks so much for your time,
Bowen: Sheron, I will point you in the direction of a pair of articles on Luck that go into a little more detail on his architectural major at Stanford. The first one is an in-depth look at Luck returning for his senior season at Stanford. The other one includes a story from one of Luck's professors at Stanford. I think you will find both of these pretty informative and hopefully be able to paint a picture for your son on how student athletes at the collegiate level can balance such incredible standards on and off the field.
Jonathan Chandler (Edinburgh, IN)
Kevin as usual all the talk has been on the offense of the colts though I love reading any thoughts and stats about our new beefed up offense I would like to know what u think of the defensive moves the Colts have made they seem to be going in the right direction I believe they have signed sum great players to key roles I would like to here your opinion of this thank u and GO COLTS!!!
Bowen: Let's start up front with Kendall Langford. It looks like the Colts have found a younger, slightly bigger Cory Redding in terms of where Langford will fit in on the Colts defensive line. Signing a guy with a 3-4, trench, body type was key this offseason and the Colts feel they've found that in Langford. His durability (112 straight starts) is so key to me with all the injuries we typically see up front. Trent Cole ranks right up there with Langford in how important he will be in 2015. The pass rush need is clear, particularly with Robert Mathis rehabbing. Cole's presence off the edge is key for a Colts defense striving for a disruptive pass rush against the league's finest pocket passers. We talked a little bit about new inside linebacker Nate Irving above but to sum up, he will be in the starting inside linebacker competition once his ACL rehab is completed later this offseason.
Paul Madorno (Pittson, PA)
Hey Kevin, while most questions seem to be on the d side of the ball, did most people forget that the o side only scored 7 points against NE. It's time to get very serious about protecting Luck. Hearing anything about addressing the o-line in the draft with the first pick?
Bowen: This question comes in the same week where we published our third mock draft installment ahead of this year's selections, now less than a month away. In the collection of mock drafts posted on Monday, six of those mocks had offensive linemen coming to the Colts at No. 29. I was surprised to see such a run on linemen for the Colts from all across different "draft pundits." My only question is, is an offensive lineman that early a pressing need when you think of the need for more young talent on the defensive side of the ball? With OTAs on the horizon, the Colts will have 10 different linemen who have started games in the NFL competing this offseason. That competition, plus needs elsewhere, leads me to think the Colts could wait on a lineman come draft time.
Isak H. (Mexico City)
Hey, I just read the colts will have the 2015 Mr. Not-So-Irrelevant. Now, I have noticed that the colts draft gets tricky in the last two rounds. Do you think the colts will improve in that department with 4 picks in the two late rounds?
Bowen: Like you said, the Colts received the 255th overall selection in this year's draft via a compensatory pick awarded last week. So the Colts will have a total of nine picks in their 2015 haul with four of those coming in the final two rounds. When you get into the latter stages of Saturday of the draft, these final two rounds can be a bit of a crapshoot. Sure, Colts fans would like to see impact players in those rounds but that just rarely happens. While the Colts haven't had a ton of recent success in the sixth and seventh rounds, they have found some quality in undrafted guys. One thing to watch is if the Colts try to package any of those later picks to move up in the draft (a reminder that compensatory picks cannot be traded).