Colts Mailbag

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Colts Mailbag Weekend Edition: Is Dalvin Cook An Option For The Colts?

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).

Martin G. (Topoclany, Slovakia)

Hi Kevin,

I wish you good day. I have been thinking about the draft and I would like to know what compensation could we get if we trade down in the 1st round for example 6 - 8 spots? Could we get extra 2nd round pick or something that value? I believe that it could be smart to trade down few spots and pick CB in 1st round a OLB in 2nd round and with additional pick we could get great RB and we could have 3 good players instead of 2. What do you think about that?

I wish you good luck in your work.

No.1 Colts fan from Slovakia!!!

Bowen: You have a pretty good idea of what a first-round trade could look like in April. Trading from the middle of Round One to the early 20s would likely give the Colts a second rounder. We get into more trade scenarios later in the mailbag, but I am typically a fan of moving back. However, it’s impossible to say with conviction “definitely trade back” until the board starts to fall in Round One.

Scott L. (Jonesboro, IN)

Hey Kevin,

I've read a lot about the positions everyone thinks needs upgraded on our defense, and the one spot I have seen left out is NT/DT. I can't help but wonder, if this position was addressed, wouldn't that help our LB'ers? If we had a guy up front that could take on double teams, and hold his own, it would give our LB'ers a chance to shine. Is this a position you see us looking at in the draft/FA?

Bowen: This is a really good question. When Ted Monachino was hired last year, Ryan Grigson mentioned how the scouting department had to sit down with the new DC to see if what he was looking for in defenders differed from Greg Manusky. There were some differences. Now, the Colts didn’t have a bunch of resources last season to take care of all their needs. Is nose tackle one of the lingering changes still to be addressed? David Parry has been this team’s starter at nose tackle for all 32 games over the past two years. But he is undersized, compared to most 3-4 nose tackles. I could see the Colts going out and making a move to bring in a run-stopping guy (alongside Parry) for running downs.

Kade M. (Texas)

I know the Colts have some serious needs on defense especially at pass rusher but if the elite pash rushers are gone before the Colts pick in the first round could you see them going with Dalvin Cook or Leonard Fournette if they are still on the board?

Bowen: If the truly elite pass rushers are gone when the Colts appear on the clock, then I could be talked into a running back. But only if other impact defenders (inside linebacker, cornerback) are gone, too. My defensive board would have to be really thin for running back to become the pick.

Ron H. (Dover, DE)

hi Kevin,

Thank you for answering our questions. It is always very insightful too get your view on things as well as seeing whee other fans are at in looking at our organization.

My question is regarding the draft. With quite a few of the playoff teams that will most likely be selecting in the back end of the draft I have been teetering with the idea of us trading back in the 1st round of the draft and acquiring an additional 2nd & 3rd rd pick and maybe a mid round pick in a later draft. From their I would go

1st Rd OLB

2nd Rd CB

2nd Rd (Additonal Pick) OLB (T.J. Watt. Has shown the pass rush ability like his brother. Of course we'll have to hope this will transfer to the pro level)

3rd Rd DL

3rd d (additional Pick) SS/LB (Josh Harvey-Clemons. 6'5 230 SS with experience playing in the box as a lineback and can cover TEs) Could start him off on passing downs and eventually convert over to a full time ILB like Jerrell Freeman did coming out of college)

What do you think of this outcome. The unspecified picks would be the best available players to that fit our needs and vision moving forward such as a pass rusher to develop along side another rusher, a corner to hold down the outside, and some depth along the DL. Thank you GO COLTS! BLUE FLOOD!

Bowen: I think a lot of people could get behind this sort of haul. My only question would be how far are you moving back in Round One? I’d guess pretty far if you are acquiring a second and a third-round pick. Do you really want to wait that far in Round One, possibly missing out on a franchise defender that could be there at No. 14 or No. 15 overall? I’m a big trade down guy, but the Colts really need a pillar defender to build around out of the 2017 NFL Draft.

Brian O. (West Memphis, AR)

Hey Kevin. I saw the colts signed CFL stud Alex Bazzie this week and I had a couple questions about the signing. First I've seen a lot of talk about how small he is and how we won't make it in the NFL. The first thing that comes to my mind is another too small edge rusher who just happened to turn into the colts all time sacks leader. How much of a difference in size is there between Robert Mathis and Bazzie. I've seen him listed at about 4 different weights and 2 different heights.

My second question is on the mechanics of the position. Is a 3-4 edge rusher's mechanics significantly different from the CFL to the NFL and if so what are the differences? Thanks alot for taking the time to answer the fans questions every week.

Bowen: 1. In the CFL, Alex Bazzie was listed at 228 pounds. He’s now reportedly up to 240 pounds. In case you missed it, check out this interview with his CFL head coach from earlier this week. He mentions the physicality of the NFL game being the biggest hurdle in Bazzie’s transition. 2. This goes along with what faces Bazzie in making the switch to the NFL. The CFL needs their defenders to play more in space, compared to what we see here in the States. Fields are wider in Canada, and that’s why we saw a guy like Jerrell Freeman be able to showcase that sideline-to-sideline ability in making a smooth transition to the NFL. It’s engaging blockers and shedding those guys in the run game where Bazzie will have a tougher time. The Colts can of course help Bazzie’s transition by keeping him away from the majority of run downs, if he does indeed make the roster and merits playing time.

Juan T. (Edinburg, TX)

With the additional to reserve Alex Bazzie for the next year. And he seemed pretty good based on the highlight but it's a highlight you know, just shows the good stuff. And well say we get Tim Williams for the updraft. Like would you be a fan of that? If that turns up to be well, I think we could get a huge difference in the pass rush for the upcoming years.

Bowen: I still think the Colts would be well served to add another edge guy in regards to a combination of Alex Bazzie and Tim Williams (Alabama outside linebacker). Bazzie is an intriguing prospect, but crowning him as an instant impact NFL-er wouldn’t be proper. If you were to draft an edge rusher in Round One, I think another staring caliber edge guy coming in via free agency would give the Colts a couple of options as they have a changing of guard at outside linebacker.

Anthony O. (Springfield, MO)

Hey Kevin,

It's been a minute since I've submitted a question to you. I was wondering what your outlook for next season is? I can see this team winning 10 games with the hardest games most likely being against the likes of the Steelers, Ravens, Seahawks, Cardinals, Broncos and maybe Bengals depending how well Green comes back from injury. If the Colts go back to dominating the division they could still take 10 games losing to the aforementioned teams which still wouldn't be bad. I like how the team is already set and feel of they draft a good pass rusher or 2, a CB to work opposite Davis and move Robinson into slot where he plays better, the defense would almost have that overhaul we are looking for. Morrison and Jackson did amazing to end the year, Melvin did great at CB too. We have a lot of outstanding rookies that I think will have great futures, I really don't see a ton of drafting needs to make the team complete besides pass rushing and bolstering the secondary and just in general add depth for health reasons. What are your takes on this coming offseason and potential for next season, do you see the team getting back to form?

Bowen: You look at the schedule and double-digit wins seem pretty attainable in my eyes. When you think of the AFC North and NFC West, you think of pretty good divisions. But the Colts only have three playoff teams on next year’s schedule (Houston, Pittsburgh and Seattle). On paper, it’s the easiest schedule in the NFL. If the Colts can go out and make some needed changes to their defensive personnel, I see this team as a double-digit win squad again. The division should again be competitive. The Titans have two first-round picks and the Texans will have J.J. Watt returning in 2017.

Theis S. (Denmark)

Hello Kevin!

Eager colts fan out of Denmark in Europe! Thank you so much for your work - it is really great for us people over seas as well!

Two questions:

1)Are there any plans involving the colts going to London again in the future?

2) there is a Danish OL(tackle), Andreas Knappe, playoff for the UConn huskies - do you see any chance for the colts to draft him late or maybe looking into him after the draft? I Think he has really good potential as a runblocker! Always into the second level and i think he is invited to the Collegiate Bowl.

It would be a dream with a danish player on my favorite team of all time and sports!

Bowen: 1. The Colts will not be heading to London to play in 2017. The NFL doesn’t reveal future plans for teams in London, but I would guess they want to get the entire league over there at least one time before going back to the Colts. Jim Irsay was a big fan of the Colts being in London this past year, so if an opportunity arose again, I’d guess the Colts would be a fan of playing over there for a second time. 2. I could see the Colts in the market for a later-round lineman in 2017. The Colts have never shied away from international players and they actually have had quite a few Connecticut Huskies on their roster as of late.

Bill H. (Connecticut)

The colts should trade Vonte Davis. His pff grade was a 49, and he's would free up around 8 mil. What can we get for him ?

Bowen: I beg to differ. The Colts do not have a clear cut No. 1 cornerback on this roster. Even with Davis on the roster, I still look at cornerback as a need for this team in 2017. Davis wasn’t at his Pro Bowl self this past year, but he’s still a top corner and fills a position the Colts have to have for their defense to succeed. Trading Davis would probably give the Colts a middle-round pick, maybe something in the third-round range.

Paul M. (Pittston, PA)

I see where Indy's secondary was rated #30th in the league this year. Yes Davis had a bad year,and rookie Green was terrible in coverage,but is it fair to rank the seconday that low? The Colts had no pass rush whats so ever. That puts a lot of pressure on the secondary.

Bowen: It’s hard for me to answer this one without sitting down with the guys at Pro Football Focus and hearing their evaluation of the Colts, versus the other defensive backfields. On the surface, I wouldn’t have guessed the Colts to be ranked that low. The lack of a consistent pass rush should definitely play a factor in such rankings. The unit had a bunch of injuries this past year and enters 2017 with some questions at safety and the future at cornerback.

Nick V. (Shafter, CA)

What's the colts cap space this year? is it any good? I think we should really target Jamie Collins or Nick Fairley to really help out our LB position. We should also look to pick up a decent CB since Butler is going into FA. I love Melvin and Davis but we need a better CB to give us depth. Now on offense, I love our receivers and I don't think much needs to be changed there, just growth from Dorsett and Rodgers, Hilton and Moncrief are such a strong duo. Our offense is all around very good, we should try to get Doyle back at TE, and as far as RB goes, we should really try to pick Latavius Murray up! I loved our running backs this year but there's no doubt they are getting old. I love turban and I say we keep him and drop josh ferguson and todman to free cap space and use that for Murray, he's very talented and it would give the Vet RBs a great chance to coach him up more and get a little bit of a break so they can go out there energized and tear it up! Let me know what you think or what other areas we should focus on. Thank you Kevin, appreciate al you do

Bowen: Per Over The Cap, the Colts have right around $50 million to play with in 2017. Let’s concentrate on the cornerback and running back positions with this question. When it comes to both of those positions, I’m more under the thinking that the draft route makes the most sense in addressing those needs. You really need to get younger at those positions through the draft. If you can find a younger RB or CB in free agency with the arrow still pointing up, go ahead and take a look. But I think the draft is the better avenue to explore.

Zach C. (Fort Dodge, IA)

Hey Kevin thanks for answering these questions. Do you think the Colts would look to sign JPP this offseason?

Bowen: I’m a little hesitant on that one. The Colts have a bunch of bodies along their defensive line. For me, the defensive needs reside more at linebacker and in the secondary. Jason Pierre-Paul is going to probably have a pretty good bidding war for him. The Colts cannot afford to get into too big of a bidding war when the needs are more so at linebacker/cornerback. Also, would Pierre-Paul be willing to make the switch to a 3-4 defense?

Jeffrey K. (Colquitt, GA)

Hey Mr. Kevin how are you today I got a few questions for you.

1.I made my own mock draft and I really want to know your oponion

Round 1.Solomon Thomas DE

Round 2.TJ Watt OLB

Round 3.Brandan Facyson CB

Round 4.Wayne Gallman RB

Round 5.Jamal Carter SS

Round 6.Best player available

Round 7.Best player available

  1. In a perfect world what do you think of us bringing in these free agents?

-Benie Logan NT

-Zach Brown ILB

-A.J Bouye CB

Those are some affordable guys to bring in along with bringing back some of our own free agents and we will stand a chance to compete against a tough NFC WEST & AFC NORTH teams next season

Thanks for your time Mr.Bowen

Bowen: On paper, this looks pretty good. Solomon Thomas was an absolute terror in some of Stanford’s biggest games this past season. My one real nitpick would be finding another edge guy. Can Thomas stand up at the next level as a 3-4 outside linebacker? If he’s going to be a down lineman in a 3-4 scheme, then you are only really addressing the edge rusher issue with one player (Watt). Under this scenario, I think you need one more true outside linebacker and you would likely have to bring back Erik Walden, too.

Bill T. (Indianapolis)

I'm have a theory, I hear people complaining about we can't get any good prospects to help our colts team, but as much as I hate to admit it, how many players want to come to a team that is not know for football, as in yes we play in the NFL we here it all the time but live here, how many young new prospects want to come to a city that most only know as the racing capital of the world, we don't get publicly like a Dallas team, New York, Pittsburgh, Denver, the dreaded New England teams, i just think these new prospects don't wanna come to our team cause it not popular enough, what does Indianapolis offer for them, in their eyes, regular indianaians know we have a lot to offer, but is it big enough to these guys that want to be big time names and stars, I'm not sure it does. As much as I hate it, I theorize that this is a major problem,

I'm not sure we can do anything to change that except get a big name business or activity downtown that is here all year long

Bowen: I’m going to disagree with you, Bill. Look at what the Colts did in 2015. They were able to bring Frank Gore, Andre Johnson and Trent Cole here after that trio had long tenures in other cities. Those three wanted to win and the Colts were the most attractive option to them. Remember, it’s not like these guys are going to pick up everything and immediately move here when they sign. Many guys still live elsewhere and just temporarily live in the city they play in during the season. Also free agency in the NFL isn’t as rampant as other sports. Teams just don’t let stars hit the open market very often. But also don’t forget how guys in their 20s look at the Colts. People in their young-to-mid 20s know the Colts as a winner and a perennial playoff team. It’s like a college basketball program that has a rich history but hasn’t been relevant on a national scale in the last 15-20 years. That history doesn’t resonate with recruits. The Colts should not, and do not, have a problem being an attractive place for free agents.

Stan C. (Minneapolis)

Hey, Kevin! Thanks as always for all your work. I've got a bit of a nuts-and-bolts question about scouting, paired with some thoughts on trading down for a better value selection in the first round.

One of the players that has been floated as a first round possibility is Alabama's Tim Williams. He has a sensational amount of pass-rushing ability, but Nick Saban rotated him exclusively to be an edge rusher so his actual playing time was limited heavily. His 3-down and run defense capabilities are complete mysteries, making him very tough to evaluate. We can't even go to the tape, because for his entire college career he never been a full-time contributor.

How do scouting departments deal with such one-sided prospects? Do they just hope that the small amount of drills they at pro day/the combine are enough to project such a big part of the skillset he will need at the next level? Can teams host prospects for workouts like they do in the NBA?

I would be far more comfortable with a player like Derek Barnett or even a fringe 1st/2nd round player like Ryan Anderson/T.J. Watt/Solomon Thomas with a more well-rounded skillset and slightly less explosive pass rush ability than gamble on a prospect with such drastically limited tape, no matter how impressive that tape may be. If Barnett is gone, I think the best-case scenario would be trading down with a playoff team. The pass-rushers drop off a bit after Garrett and Barnett, and if Fournette or Cook are on the board the draft slot right before Baltimore (and potentially Philly) becomes quite valuable. That gives us a great opportunity to sell our spot to a playoff team that thinks one if the elite RB's can put them over the top (GB, NYG, NE, etc). Even a 3-team trade that gets MIN into the room would work, if they were that desperate. Trading back into the mid/late 20s would likely leave one of the stellar CB's on the board/give the Colts a more reasonable place to draft some of the borderline 1st/2nd round rushers I mentioned. Thanks for your thoughts and apologies for my draft ramblings!

Bowen: I think the best way around trying to project guys like this comes from private workouts. The Colts have done it many times with a variety of products in working guys out on a one-on-one basis. That hands-on type look lets the staff put guys through specific drills that directly relate to the scheme they run. There’s obviously going to be some guess work, but you ask college coaches to try and get an idea of if this guy could do things that his collegiate system didn’t ask for on an every-down basis. With your trade talk, I completely hear your thoughts. It makes plenty of sense. No team should be afraid of trading back, even one like the Colts, so desperate for a franchise defender.

Devon R. (Maryland)

Do you think all the injuries have any relation to a poor training staff, or do you think it's just a combination of age and prior injury history? When we are healthy we hard hard to beat, but we're hardly ever health.

Bowen: In my mind, it’s nearly impossible to pinpoint injuries down to a specific reason. Injuries to me are so fluky. One guy rolls up on another guy and, boom, you have a serious injury. The Colts actually were pretty healthy this season when it came to putting guys on injured reserve. The Colts did hire a new strength and conditioning staff last January in an effort to try and squelch the nagging injuries from years past.

Matthew H. (Iowa)

Do you see Denzelle Good having an offensive role next year? At either tackle or guard

Bowen: This is a really good question. As of now, I would say Denzelle Good is on the outside of the starting lineup looking in. When Good returned to health late in the season, the Colts turned to rookies Joe Haeg at right guard and Le’Raven Clark at right tackle. Now, I think Good is probably knocking on the door to enter the starting lineup going into 2017. We know how attrition can arise at any point in the trenches. But right now, I think Haeg and Clark are the starters on the right side.

Matthew R. (El Paso, TX)

I know there has been a lot of talk about drafting for defense. I saw a couple names of possible FA this year that can help our defense. What are the chances of Colts signing Kawaan Short and Eric Berry if those two do not get resigned by Panthers and Chiefs?

Bowen: I imagine both of these guys returning to their current teams. They both mean a ton to their respective defenses. I would put defensive line slightly higher than safety on the needs list for the Colts. Therefore, I’d lean more towards Short. But if we are talking free agents the Colts could be in the running for, I think linebacker/cornerback are higher on the off-season priority list.

Jack K. (Burnt Hills, NY)

Hi Kevin,

1) Do you think the Colts should go after Jabrill Peppers in the draft and proceed to focus on defense for the rest of it?

2) Do you think they should go after a star OLineman like Kevin Zeitler then sign some members on the defense, or sign a defensive star (such as Eric Berry, Dontari Poe, or Kawann Short)and then some other defensive players?

Bowen: 1. I’m unsure of what the exact position is going to be for Peppers at the next level. If he’s a first-round guy where the Colts are picking, I don’t think he’s the perfect choice (because he’s not a pass rusher or a true cornerback). 2. Definitely defense over offense in this situation. I actually think the Colts could stay away from offensive line in free agency. Maybe draft one in the middle-to-late rounds and hope he’s another Joe Haeg. But I think the bulk of the off-season resources should be focused on defense.

Luke R. (Rochester, NY)

Hey Kevin,

I feel that this off-season is very crucial for the Colts future, and Andrew Luck's defense.

  1. If you had to choose 3 UFA's (not including Colts free agents) for e Colts to sign, who would you choose?
  1. Do the Colts go RB in the draft, or free agency, or not at all?
  1. The players on the Colts are claiming that they aren't being disciplined enough, or potentially coached hard enough. Any idea on how the coaching staff can change that?

Bowen: 1. I haven’t taken a great look at the list of free agents yet (will focus on that next month). I’ll go with positions for now: outside linebacker, cornerback, inside linebacker. 2. Draft. 3. Maybe more accountability through practice or quicker leashes in games.

Alec G. (Bakersfield, CA)

I know running back is a important need to the colts team and robert turbin did show promise but i felt as if he was only a third down or red zone back we need more versatility and Jordan todman is more a special teamer and frank gore only has a year on his contract.

So that being said what is the chance we go for andre ellington?

he use to be a starter for the Cardinals. He is very well rounded a strong runner an good on the receiving end an i feel as we could give him a chance to unlock his true potential. Plus we could sign him for a reasonable trial run contract like we did with turbin.

Bowen: If the Colts aren’t able to bring back Robert Turbin or Jordan Todman (both free agents), then they should definitely be in the market for a running back in free agency. However, if both guys return, then I think the running back addition should come from the draft. The Colts have to start thinking about the eventual replacement for Frank Gore. That guy needs to come off a rookie contract when you think about the average life span for a running back in the NFL.

Jake S. (Bakersville, NC)

Hey I appreciate the mailbag read it often. What do you think of Clemson's Ben Boulware as a possible late round pick for Indy? I see him as a plug and play guy without tremendous upside, but could be solid and an upgrade over some of our other players.

Bowen: After watching Boulware in the playoffs, I’m curious to see how he projects at the next level. He’s a bit undersized, but he’s got some characteristics teams covet for an inside linebacker. If he’s there in the later rounds, the Colts should certainly take a look. Inside linebacker is a position of need for the Colts.

Eric B. (Fargo, ND)

Hey Kevin,

I read your mailbag every week and it's awesome! Being a fan from ND I only have the chance to go to one game a year usually. This year it was the game in Minneapolis and it was awesome!

That being said I got some autographs from Dorsett and McAfee.

My question is this: is there any way I can meet players like Hilton or Luck or are there any ways of getting autographs from them?

Thanks for doing this every week!

Bowen: Any chance at an autograph, head here for details: http://www.colts.com/footer/contact-us.html

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