INDIANAPOLIS – Each week, readers of Colts.com can submit their questions to have a chance of them being answered in our Wednesday or Saturday mailbag.
With the abundance of questions in recent weeks, we will have two mailbags each week. This one comes via a weekend edition (here's the Wednesday version from this week).
Here is this weekend's collection:Dustin P. (Virginia)
Hi I've been a colts fan for awhile and I have a couple of questions!
- I noticed we don't really have that good a pass rush. And a good pass rush is important in the league now days. I saw that the new defensive coordinator said that is going to be very important this offseason and that Robert Mathis is going to be a big part! Do you think there is a chance that the colts could sign Courtney Upshaw from the Ravens and draft Lenoard Floyd in the first round of the draft?
- I saw that we signed Jamal Singleton to be the new running back coach do you think that means the colts are looking to draft Alex Collins in the 2nd or 3rd round of the draft?
Bowen: Edge rusher is always going to be something the Colts take a hard look at in free agency and the draft. Now, Upshaw has not been a very productive edge rusher, so I'm not sure how much he would come in and aid the pass rush. Floyd is a guy I've seen pegged for the Colts on a couple of past Mock Drafts. The Collins' question has been answered before in past mailbags. The Colts are obviously going to know him better than any team in the NFL but in no way do I believe the team hired Collins' position coach just to draft him.
Matthew V. (Chicago)
Looking at Mel Kipper's latest mock draft, he has the Colts taking Ryan Kelly, the center from Alabama, in the first round. Picking him at 18 seems a bit early for my liking. Lets presume that Kelly is still available when the Colts pick at 18. What are the odds that the Colts move back in the draft a few spots in order to pick Kelly, but also grab an extra late round pick. Looking at the three immediate following picks, (Buffalo, New York Jets and Washington) I think there all three would be willing to move up. However, there is a concern that Washington would also want to draft a center, moving beyond that may be a risk. What would the Colts be looking at in return for a team to jump up a few spots? Does the fact that the Jets and the Bills are in the same conference mean that the Jets may be willing to give up a little more in order to get a leg up on the Bills?
Bowen: For those that missed the latest compilation of Mock Drafts, you can find that here. I was certainly a bit surprised to see Ryan Kelly, a center from Alabama, slotted to the Colts at pick No. 18. Like Kiper mentions, it goes away from the normal "best player available" philosophy virtually every team follows come draft time. You rarely, rarely see true centers go as high as No. 18 in the first round. I'm of the belief that a quality center can still be found in the middling rounds of the draft. But yes, if Kelly was the guy the Colts wanted come Round One, I could see a move down into the 20-ish range. You know me, I'm a big believer in acquiring defenders in 2016.
Ryan S. (North Dakota)
I totally understand the OL need, you could see it with Luck and in the frustration in Gore. I understand the need for a CB too, but what are the chances Indy would take Elliott, RB (Ohio St) if he's still there with the first round pick, I love Gore, but looking to the future. Thanks for the mailbag.
Bowen: With the Combine less than a week away, the Ezekiel Elliott questions show no signs of slowing down. If Elliott has a solid combine (mainly shows the ability to consistently catch the football, which would stamp him being a three-down back), some draft pundits think he could climb into the Top 10-15. Ryan, if you've scanned past mailbags you will know that I'm not a fan of taking Elliott in Round One. I think he's a tremendous talent and will be successful in this league, however the Colts' needs are more pressing elsewhere. Finding a young running back in the draft is on my personal offseason to-do list. In Round One though is just a bit too steep for me.
Luke R. (Rochester, NY)
The 2015-16 season was a major disappointment to not only us as the Colts fans, but the coaching staff and the players. However, as I see it, it is what would truly happen if we didn't have Andrew Luck to keep holding us up off the ground. As I see it, all of our previous offseason picks to get to Super Bowl 50, including Andre Johnson, who caught 41 balls for barely more than 500 yards, Frank Gore, who was a real upgrade from our Trent Richardson days, but still under 1000 yards, and Trent Cole, who was basically useless in either pass rushing, run stuffing, or covering.
Coming into this season, though, there are certain chances to really upgrade our roster this time around, and make it to Super Bowl 51. Priority #1 would be to protect the man who is getting the $20 million contract, Andrew Luck. Whether this means grabbing Alex Boone, Evan Mathis, or instead opting for the best wide receiver available in the free agency, just like our draft pick (I'm joking of course). #2 would be CB, considering how little depth in our DBs we have. However, I think we need to go bigger than just small upgrades to our roster.
The question I have for you, is do you you think the Colts will try to go big in the free agency, like last year, or sit in the corner quietly and do nothing until the draft comes around (like the Packers last year), or a mix of both?
Bowen: The Colts are going to be involved in free agency but nowhere to the degree they have been in recent years. Their cap space just doesn't call for that in 2016. I still think the Colts have room for a couple of starting caliber players, while also securing key unrestricted guys. The Colts have to continue to find draftees who can contribute as rookies. If the Colts can complement another productive rookie class (especially defensively) with a couple of impact free agents, I would call that a successful offseason.
Stan C. (Minneapolis, MN)
Kevin, I have a question about the cornerback position. It's clear that Greg Toler will not be returning, and D'Joun Smith's injury-filled rookie year led to the position's depth being exposed (look no further than the NY Jets game, when the team had 5th and 6th stringers as their CB duo due to injuries).
However, the thought of taking one in the first round of the draft gives me a minor pause. Taking into account the likely absence of Vernon Hargreaves III and Mackensie Alexander, I don't feel like the rest of the cornerbacks are as valuable at that spot as some of the linebackers and NT prospects available. In addition, a first round CB practically abandons Smith, who has not had a chance to show the staff what he can do.
I am curious, what do you think are the odds that the Colts take a FA CB for a 2-3 year contract (like a Patrick Robinson or a Sterling Moore). Or (knowing Ryan Grigson's spending habits) trying to land a big name like one of the LA Rams' corners, Janoris Jenkins or Trumaine Johnson, on a relatively front-loaded contract that was more team friendly in years 3-4? That would fill the void across from Vontae Davis for a few years while giving Smith time to show what he can do and leaving the 18th pick open for a pass rusher or some other prospect.
Bowen: Stan, I really like this thinking. In past mailbags, I've been an advocate of the Colts exploring cornerback options at pick No. 18. I still am, but am definitely not ruling out the possibility of finding a starting cornerback via free agency. You mentioned several names that I think could fill that spot opposite Vontae Davis. It would give the Colts even more time to not rush D'Joun Smith or even Tevin Mitchel (a sixth-round pick of Washington last year, who spent last season on the Colts injured reserve after joining the team in August) into starting roles. If the Colts can find a starting cornerback and offensive linemen in free agency, I think that allows for a draft approach to truly be content with best player available approach at No. 18.
Josh K. (Fort Wayne, IN)
Hi! Big fan of the Colts mailbag. I always try to keep up with it especially during the off-season. Anyways, my question has to do with a possible raw player available for the league this coming year. Terron Beckham, Odell Beckham's cousin, is a physical monster. Terron is a 5'11" 230 pound beast that has been training at TEST Football Academy at the National Scouting Combine. Apparently he repped out 40 reps of 225 pounds (beating the previous combine record by 3 reps) and had a vertical jump of nearly 44 inches which fell a mere inch short of the highest jump at the previous combine. He has no college experience but did play in high school. Would this be the type of physical prospect that the Colts should be interested in? And if that is the case, what position should he play? Thanks!
Bowen: Well, I can't say I know too much about Terron Beckham. That size is a bit unique in fitting the NFL body type. I guess running back would be the frame that would call for someone of 5-11 and 230 pounds. Besides that, I don't really know where you would peg Beckham at this level. The Colts have never shied away from unique backgrounds in assembling a 90-man roster, so I'm sure they have done their due diligence in exploring this possibility, or will do so.
Trent R. (Greenfield, IN)
Hey Kevin. Looking at the upcoming free agency period, there are many questions that we need to answer, most prominent among those being the O-Line and the Defense. Looking at this years free agency, there are many good moves the Colts could make. Here are my top 5.
- Olivier Vernon, Dolphins Defensive End
It became very clear last season that the once legendary Colts pass rush is crumbling. While this may be a large hit to our cap space, Vernon is a very talented young player who could drop to free agency as Miami is making cap space. If he does become a free agent, he could be a huge upgrade for the defensive line and eventually turn into an amazing force in the trenches.
- Andre Smith, Cincinnati Bengals Right Tackle
With the Colts desperately in need of another offensive lineman, and Smith being a proven veteran at Right Tackle, the Colts could get a significant upgrade with this pick-up. Also, in the many Mock Drafts I have looked at, the Colts are projected to pick a OT in the first round. Signing Smith could free up many other options for the Colts first round pick, including more defensive players.
- Janoris Jenkins, St. Louis Rams Cornerback
As the Rams make the move to St. Louis, why not offer the talented Jenkins to a contract with the Colts. He would be a significant upgrade at corner opposite Vontae Davis and potentially create the lockdown CB duo the Colts need against the pass.
- Prince Amukamara, NY Giants Cornerback
Like Jenkins, Amukamara is a young, talented CB who would be a great fit opposite Davis. While he doesn't have the same close proximity to Indy as Jenkins does, he will likely have a smaller contract size than Jenkins.
- Danny Trevathen, Broncos Inside Linebacker
Trevathen has proven himself more than once in his four NFL seasons. While injury prone, he is amazingly athletic and has superstar potential. With Jerrell Freeman becoming a free agent, Trevathen would add a massive boost of athleticism and youth to the Colts front 7.
Please let me know what you think about the possibility of these free agents becoming Colts next season. Thanks and GO BLUE!
Bowen: Trent, let me start off by saying great research and I think you make compelling points throughout your list. I think numbers 3, 4, and 5, would be the best bets for the Colts. Numbers 1 and 2 are going to demand (deserving) major offers. I can't see the Colts matching those. With Jenkins and Amukamara, that would fill a definite need for the Colts with Greg Toler a free agent. I'm a guy that has cornerback pretty high on the offseason priority list and I'm content with it coming through free agency or the draft. Then with Danny Trevathan that will obviously depend on what happens with Jerrell Freeman. If Freeman choose the free agency route, that is going to push inside linebacker way up the offseason needs list. Trevathan is going to be highly coveted.
Leonardo B. (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
The Colts signed Cameron Clear. Is this a clue that Colts will bring back Fleener or Allen (not both)?
Bowen: To put it simply, no. With rosters growing to 90 players, carrying several tight ends on the roster this time of year is part of the norm. Last year, the Colts had five tight ends on their 90-man roster. Personally, I've always felt the decision of Dwayne Allen and Coby Fleener was an "or" type of choice. Both guys are likely going to want No. 1 tight end money and will probably warrant that type of market value from at least a couple of teams. I just don't see the Colts having the money to dish out two of those contracts at the tight end position. Plus, you have to think that both guys want to be in that No. 1 role going forward, something they both clearly can't do in Indianapolis.