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Colts Mailbag Weekend Edition: Is Le'Raven Clark The Right Tackle In 2017?

Intro: In Saturday’s mailbag, readers inquire about trading down in the draft, how the cornerback need should be addressed and where Kamar Aiken fits in at wide receiver.


INDIANAPOLIS – Each week, readers of 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).

Jesse G. (Largo, FL)

I know the Colts need to focus on defense in this draft but what do you think the chances are of the Colts going after a Right Tackle in the first round (thinking maybe Forest Lamp) since it has been a glaring problem for them.

Bowen: Minimal. This is supposedly a very weak offensive line draft class in 2017. Plus, the Colts just spent a lot of draft capitol on the offensive line last year. I don't think an offensive lineman is the way to go in Round One. I expect Le'Raven Clark to get a deserved shot to start at right tackle in 2017.

James C. (North West, England)

Hi Kevin hope you're good. Cornerback is our number one need right now however I don't think Lattimore or Humphrey will be available. The next best guys at corner for me are Fabian Moreau (UCLA) and TreDavious White (LSU). I kind of think at 15 both these guys are reaches and will be available in the early 20's so do you think we should trade back and get one of those guys and acquire another 3rd rounder? If we don't go down that route I say we select Hasson Reddick (Temple) or Reuben Foster (Bama) if he's still there and then grab the best corner available in the second round to start opposite Vontae Davis for example Quincy Wilson (Florida) Kevin King (Washington) Desmond King (Iowa). What do you think? Thanks very much for your time.

Bowen: This will all depend on how the draft board looks when the Colts get on the clock at No. 15. If a stud defender is there at 15, it would be hard for me to trade back. I'm usually a fan of trading down and stockpiling picks. You aren't trading back too far though, so I think I can get behind your thinking, as long as the board doesn't have an elite linebacker there at No. 15.

Brian M. (Philadelphia)

Hey Kevin I love the things we have done in free agency but my question is can you see us going corner with our first pick because our secondary needs a lot of help thanks

Bowen: I can definitely see it. But in no way do I think it's a done deal/lock to be the position chosen. I still have outside linebacker just a notch above cornerback in my positions of need. But, like you said, cornerback needs to be explored early in the draft.

James S. (Sydney, Australia)

Hey Kevin,

Appreciate you answering everyones questions over the last 2 weeks since FA started, has been great to read. I know we have had a few questions about trading back recently and my question centres on that. Was wondering your thought and trading back to the mid- late 20's and picking Takkarist Mckinley. Firstly, what do think of him as a prospect? (i think pick 15 is to high to pick him) and what do you think colts would get in return for such a trade?

thanks in advance

Bowen: It's really just an injury question for McKinley. If the shoulder is good to go for the start of 2017, then I wouldn't be opposed to taking him in Round One. I haven't seen too many Mock Drafts that have him going in the first half of the opening round. But you know there will be a run on pass rushers at some point on Thursday night of the draft. If the Colts traded 10 picks back, they would probably get a third-round pick, and maybe a package that included an additional rounder.

Steven P. (Pennsylvania)

First time here on the mailbag, but my question is geared toward the draft and potentially trading up in the first round. The colts desperately need help at corner, Davis is great but I believe he is entering a contract year and the rest of the corners are a little shaky. Do you think there is any way they could potentially trade to get another first or second round pick without giving up any picks. I'd love to see them get one of the Ohio corners and if not another corner then a lb like Foster to really sure up the defense.

Bowen: Welcome, Steven. It's going to be nearly impossible to trade for another first/second round pick and not squander any other picks. You just don't see trades like that in the NFL on a frequent basis. For the Colts to draft a corner, it's going to take one of the high picks they currently have. The Colts do need to select a cornerback early in the draft because you are correct in Davis entering a contract year and the other corners on the roster without a ton of experience.

Terry W. (Ocklawaha, FL)

Hey Kevin, hope all is well with you. Really appreciate all the updates. I just wanted to say I think Rashaan Melvin did an outstanding job last year when he took over at CB, Hope he can continue this year. We haven't resigned Jordan Todman yet this year though and I really thought he did an excellent job returning kicks when given the chance last year. Any chance of him being resigned? We definitely need some depth at CB and DE and possibly another NT if available. RB I think could wait another year if need be but I wouldn't rule one out this year if we can get good value for the pick. I really like Dalvin Cook but I don't think he'll be there in the 3rd round. Living down here in Florida I watch him play quite a bit and he has a lot of upside. He has breakaway speed and power when healthy. Sure hope they bring Todman back though, any thoughts?

Bowen: With Jordan Todman, it doesn't look like the Colts are bringing him back. I'd expect the return duties to be divided up between some combination of Chester Rogers, Quan Bray and Josh Ferguson. The Colts could also draft a running back to help the depth at that position.

Doug B. (Indiana)

Hey Kevin
I really appreciate the work that you do for It definitely gets people thinking about the upcoming signings, draft, position competition and the season etc. I have had a few loyal Colts fans think that we are wasting Andrew Luck's best years with below average management decisions. I am a big fan of Andrew the same as I am of Peyton (AKA GOAT). They are both very smart players and THEY don't need the FBI to find their jersey after games. My question is this. If Ballard isn't successful within the first few years at building a team do you think there is any possibility of the Colts trading Andrew before his next contract and starting over? I think the Colts would get a haul of picks for him. I hope this will not be the situation but as we all know all great things eventually outlive their usefulness. It would be very disappointing not to take advantage of a high caliber QB like Andrew.

Bowen: Thanks for following along, Doug. Unless Luck seriously regresses (which the chances of that are beyond minimal), I don't see this being possible. Luck has all the tools and intangibles to be a successful quarterback. He's coming off probably the second best season of his career. A trade of Luck would not be a good thing for the organization at all.

Luke R. (Rochester, NY)

Hey Kevin,
A few draft questions.
1. If you had to choose between Reuben Foster (If he somehow falls), or Derek Barnett at pick #15, who do you choose?
2. Given the recent signing of Kamar Aiken, do you see him starting over Dorsett in the slot by the beginning of the season?
3. Would you rather have an offense with Christian McCaffery as a starter, and a 3rd down/goal line back, like the Pats have with Blount and Dion Lewis/James White, or just one 3-down capable running back (Such as Dalvin Cook)?

Bowen: 1. Really good question. I'll give the slight lean to Barnett just because I view pass rusher has more of a game-changing position. But you can't go wrong with either of these guys. 2. Check out the question below. I think the Colts will use Aiken and Dorsett sparingly in 2017 because they have different strengths. 3. I don't think you have the draft resources to take McCaffrey. This is a question later in the mailbag.

Michael H. (Brownsburg, IN)

The Colts have added a lot of competition for most defensive positions. However, they have not added a CB as I think Darius Butler will be playing safety next year. The draft class is very deep this year at corner and I have two questions on that. I also have one question on the WR group.

1.) Is Rashaan Melvin the starter in your eyes right now and how high are the colts on his progress becoming the starter alongside Davis? 

2.) However, he was undrafted and I was curious if you think he will still be considered the starter after the draft and who are you really high on that will be available in rounds 2-4 as I really want to see a LB in the first round?

3.) Adding the new WR creates a lot of competition for the third spot. I was wondering your thoughts on the new WR and why you think Dorsett hasn't progressed as much as a 1st rounder should? Who will be the 3 receivers at the start of the season? 

Thanks for the answer!

Bowen: 1. Right now, I think so. Clearly the Colts like Melvin enough to not bring in any other cornerbacks during free agency, while Darius Butler changed positions and Patrick Robinson was released. I still think the Colts have to spend a high draft pick on the cornerback position. 2. You have the Ohio State corners, the Florida corners, the LSU corners, the Colorado corners, Kevin King from Washington as guys to look to in a very deep position group. If the Colts draft a cornerback in Round Two or Three, he's got a good chance to start. 3. Check out this article for more on the role of Kamar Aiken. The development of Dorsett is puzzling. I wish I had an answer on why we didn't see more production from Dorsett last year when Donte Moncrief was injured. I think T.Y. Hilton and Donte Moncrief are your top two wideouts. Depending on what skillset the Colts are looking for out of the No. 3 spot, I could see Dorsett/Aiken mixing in and out at that position.

Kade M. (Texas)

Could you give me some possible first round draft choices that are at ILB, OLB, and CB?

Bowen: ILB: Reuben Foster, Zach Cunningham. OLB: Derek Barnett, Charles Harris, Hasson Reddick. CB: Marshon Lattimore, Quincy Wilson, Gareon Conley.

Tony H. (Los Angeles, CA)

Hi Kevin!
Frank Gore is simply too old. Since the COLTS are getting younger, he needs to go. I know you guys say he don't get hurt and he is durable. But, when the last time this guy gained 100 yards in a game or in a season. 1000 yards is not hard when you have 16 games to do it. That's ABOUT 63 YDS PER GAME. How do you feel about GORE?

Bowen: Frank Gore ran for more than 100 yards in two games last season. He was one of 12 runners to eclipse 1,000 yards last year, so I wouldn't classify such a feat as something that "is not hard." If reaching 1,000 yards was so easy, you would have at least half of the starting running backs in the NFL reach that mark. I feel Gore should still be the starter in 2017. But the need to find a running back in this deep draft class is a must. You can incorporate that rookie along with Robert Turbin into the reps behind Gore. I see Gore as still being capable. His durability should not be taken for granted, but the Colts also need to start looking for the future behind him in next month's draft.

Kevin R. (Michigan)

Do you think Christian mcaffery would be a good pick for the colts at 15?

Bowen: Unless the defensive board at that time is completely dried up, I don't think a running back is the way to go at No. 15. Christian McCaffrey is a tremendous talent. With his Combine performance confirming what he did in college, McCaffrey has probably established himself as a first-round lock. I think the Colts could easily find a role for the dynamic Stanford runner/receiver. But the defensive need is still too immense to deviate off that path.

Terry C. (Noblesville, IN)

Do you believe that with the discussion of reloading the talent, therefore rebuilding, will make it more difficult to sell tickets. We, fortunately, have been spoiled over the past 20 years with the potential of winning the division annually. That doesn't appear to be the case this year. It will take time for the new talent on defense to gell with each other. 

It the Colts can stay healthy I believe they will improve throughout the season, but the first half could be painful.

Bowen: I don't think it will be difficult for the Colts to sell tickets, nor do I think the team is in a real "rebuild." The offense returns virtually intact. The defense has lost several guys, but this was a unit that ranked 30th in the NFL last season. If the Colts can find some rookies who can play from Day One, they are going to be in the thick of the AFC South race.

Christopher F. (Jersey City, NJ)

Hey, Kevin. I have an simple question. Who would you honestly like to see the Colts draft? There are so many ways the Colts can go that I honestly do not know. FYI, My choice is to draft Tim Williams. Thanks, Go Colts.

Bowen: I'm an edge rusher guy for the Colts. So give me one of the top pass rushers in this draft and I'd be happy. I could also be convinced for one of the top cornerbacks, but I'm still leaning towards pass rusher.

Javier M. (Belleville, NJ)

Hey Kevin! First timer here! This question is a little off topic as far as mock drafts and free agency goes.

Now that we signed Jeff Locke as our replacement for Pat McAfee, will he be taking over all the responsibilities that Pat was in charge of, aside from just punting?(kickoff and holding for Adam Vinatieri on PATs and field goals?) Thanks for your time!

Bowen: Javier, welcome to the mailbag. Jeff Locke is expected to take over all those responsibilities. He punted in Minnesota and was also the holder. Kickoff duties for Locke hasn't been something he's done since his collegiate days. But Locke says he still works on kicking off every offseason and is expected to take over that role once he starts kicking for the Colts.

Brandon M. (Wilmington, NC)

  1. Are the Colts going to make another big deal in free agency, for example a defensive tackle like Johnothan Hawkins, or continue to sign players that will fight for starting position on the roster?
  1. What is the best pickup we have made this offseason? Why?

Bowen: 1. This is a question that probably deserves some revisiting after Arthur Jones was released on Friday morning. Hankins is one of the remaining "big name" guys left in free agency. As of now, we haven't heard the Colts linked to him. I could see the Colts being in the market for another defensive tackle, but the quality options are seriously dwindling. 2. I'd say Jabaal Sheard. In playing sparingly for the Patriots the last two years (nine total starts), Sheard had 13.0 sacks. Sheard can be a double-digit sack guy in this league. He's still 27 years old, so he should have some years left in being a much-needed disruptive pass rusher. Given the positional need and the more than a few flashes Sheard has shown, this is the most important signing for me.

Dustin B. (Kings Mountain, NC)

Hello Kevin, thanks for keeping Colts fans informed. My question is why did we sign another Long Snapper we have had Matt Overton for years. Is this a sign of things to come?

Bowen: Last year the Colts also signed a long snapper during this point of the offseason. When Chris Ballard said he wanted competition across the roster, I guess he meant long snapper as well. Matt Overton is under contract through 2018 and is due $900,000 this coming season. I view this signing as a head-to-head roster battle to see if the Colts can upgrade, while saving a little bit of money. Overton has been very sound in his five seasons as the team's long snapper, so it's not going to be easy to supplant him.

Darryl S. (Indianapolis)

Will Andrew Luck's game play this season be restricted to just a pocket qb or will he have free reign?

Bowen: I'm not 100 percent sure what you are asking here, Darryl. I think Andrew Luck has free reign to escape the pocket when need be. At the same time, I don't see Rob Chudzinski throwing him outside of the pocket on 70 percent of the snaps, or some high number. Luck had 341 rushing yards last season, the second highest total of his career. The legs of Luck are a weapon and I expect the Colts to use that when need be again in 2017.

Riley S. (Fillmore, IN)

Hey Kevin, I was just curious on wondering why were going after some mediocre players when we could have got D. Poe on a reasonable contract and maybe Nick Perry as well. Also, where do u think Kamar Aiken will be(behind or infront of Dorsett). Thanks and #GETHYPEDFOR2017SEASON

Bowen: The Colts reportedly offered Poe a short, and a long, term deal. Poe ended up signing with Atlanta. Nick Perry never hit free agency. The Packers re-signed him before free agency got underway, so the Colts had no chance at bringing him in. Look throughout the mailbag for how Aiken might fit in the Colts offense.

Jason W. (New Market, IA)

Hi Kevin, Thank You for answering my question. I think Desmond King would be a very good third round selection for the Colts. What do you think?

Bowen: We've had this question in a few mailbags this year, and I'm sure your Iowa ties are contributing to the inquiry about King. From what I've read about King, he seems to be more of a guy that fits into a zone scheme. The Colts have been much more of a man-to-man system from their cornerbacks. I think King is a solid player, but if the schematic fit isn't there, then I don't think he would be a pick for the Colts.

Rick S. (Elizabethtown, KY)

Just curious if we could pick up AP on a one or two year deal to go with Frank Gore and then pick up a good young rookie to be able to support them both and possibly two rookies if we can. Cant wait for the season



Bowen: With Robert Turbin back, I don't foresee anyway this happens. You have a capable backup in Turbin. You can go draft a running back to throw into the mix and have a nice three-headed group to rotate at running back. I would pass on Adrian Peterson.

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