Colts Mailbag

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Colts Mailbag Weekend Edition: Should The Colts Trade Up For Myles Garrett?

Intro: In Saturday’s mailbag, readers inquire about possibly signing Johnathan Hankins, taking two cornerbacks early in the draft and the role for new defensive lineman Margus Hunt.


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).

Ben W. (St. Louis)

Hello Mr. Bowen. I have two questions.

  1. Lots of talk about the browns not being sure if they want to draft Myles Garrett or Mitch Trubisky. If the Browns decided to draft Trubisky with the #1 pick, do you think we will trade up to try and get Garrett?
  1. Speaking hypothetically...say the colts are sold on drafting a running back at #15. We have to choose between Dalvin Cook or Christian Mccaffrey (based on many mock drafts. Do you think we are more likely to draft Mccaffrey because of his Stanford connection?

Bowen: 1. I don't think so. I can't see Garrett dropping out of the top 2-to-3 picks, if he really doesn't go No. 1 overall. That would cost the Colts a whole bunch of draft capitol and this franchise can't afford to let go of that. 2. Well, Chris Ballard doesn't have the direct history of selecting guys like Andrew Luck, David Parry and Henry Anderson. Now, I don't think that will diminish the Colts from taking a future Stanford player. That program has produced plenty of NFL talent as of late so Ballard is obviously familiar with it. The scouting staff in Indianapolis is still intact and they played a role in the selection of Luck/Anderson/Parry. FWIW, the Chiefs currently have no Stanford players on their roster. But I don't think the Stanford connection will be a major individual reason for pushing McCaffrey up the draft board.

Jesse W. (Wilson, VA)

Mr. Bowen I would like you to rate my mock.

1: McKinley
2: if available Teez Tabor
3: LB
4: CB
4: OL
4: TE
5: LB

Thanks for your time Mr. Bowen Go Colts!!

Bowen: I want a running back. That's my only gripe, but it's a rather large one when you take into account Frank Gore will be 34 years old in May and this year's draft class is very deep at running back.

Alan C. (Richmond, VA)

I hear that former NCAA Basketball Player Mo Alie-Cox is visiting the Colts later this week. Do you think the Colts will look at signing him given their history with Swoope?

Bowen: Definitely. Watching Alie-Cox play the past few years, he's the definition of a "grown man." Every time I saw him I thought to myself, 'He should be playing on Sunday's.' It appears a lot of teams are interested in Alie-Cox, so the Colts are going to have their competition if they are sold on signing the former big guy from VCU.

Scott S. (Kent, WA)

Hey Kevin, quick question about drafting RB, any thoughts on Joe Williams from Utah? He amassed 1300 yards and 10 TD's after his return to football. He has great moves and vision and once he gets to the second level it's a foot race to the end zone. Just wondering.

Bowen: He's a name I like. I watched him in their bowl victory over IU this past year. Plus, I think Williams is projected in the middle-ish rounds, an area I like to pull the trigger on a running back.

Anthony T. (Philadelphia)

Hi Kevin, love the Mailbag every week and really enjoy the way you go about answering the questions with as much detail as you can. I, as well as others I'm sure, appreciate it. First time asking a question. I have 3.
1: I'm not too familiar with potential draftees past the 3rd round, but I do know that we have 3 4th round picks. Would you take an edge rusher round 1 and then a couple of corners the following rounds?

2: Personally, I'd like the colts to keep the pick they have for round 1 I think we'lol find out elite defender there. However, in especially the 2nd and 3rd rounds, do you think we should trade back or try to hit on 2 corners?

3: Would you go back to back corners in rounds 2 and 3? If not, how would you go about it?

Bowen: 1. That would be good with me. You take care of the most pressing needs on defense with a pass rusher and a couple of cornerbacks. 2. All depends on what the draft board looks like when the Colts get on the clock. There are pros and cons to trading back, and staying put. But until the board starts falling a certain way, it's hard to say what the Colts should do. 3. I would think about it for sure. I don't believe it's a must to go back-to-back cornerbacks. But I can see a reason why you would, given the lack of starting experience behind Vontae Davis (and Davis entering a contract year).

Jeremy W. (Lebanon, IN)

First time writing in. As of free agents, with Margus Hunt coming in to what I feel is a better fit of defense style at the colts. Do you think he could be a huge presence on the line-up? Also with his speed and height do you see a move to OLB like we saw with Robert Mathis? I see a lot of positive with him and he seems to want to prove himself worthy of the NFL

Bowen: Welcome, Jeremy. Margus Hunt is going to be a down lineman in this 3-4 scheme. At nearly 300 pounds, Hunt will not be doing much standing up. Until we see Hunt in live settings, I'm going to hold off on saying he will have a "huge presence." This is a guy who has never started a game in the NFL and is now coming to a totally different scheme. I do think there are reps to be had behind Kendall Langford and Henry Anderson. Hunt will be in the mix for that.

Matt R. (Indianapolis)

Hey Kevin, I love your mailbag. It is a great way to start off my day reading it. But I have a couple of questions for you. Mock drafts don't really have Adoree Jackson so high in this years draft. I personally think he is one of the best cover corners in this years draft. So my thinking is, trade down and maybe get an extra 3rd or 4th round pick but also being able to acquire Jackson who will help the colts with a need they must get. I personally think round 2 is to late to get a great cover corner. But if Foster or Reddick are there mid round, I wouldn't hesitate drafting one of them.

Bowen: Great to hear that, Matt. We do have the occasional Jackson question. Is he a pure corner with elite cover traits? That's my main worry in taking Jackson as high as you would like to. Agreed with the Foster/Reddick outlook for Round One.

Isak A. (Los Angeles)

How do you feel about Henry Anderson? Some analysts project Margus Hunt starting over him. I remember his rookie season he had more tackles for a loss than anyone in the league until his injury. Then, last season, he played through injury and was a bit timid because of it. I remain very high on him when fully healthy, but do you think he'll make a true leap this year? Thanks!

Bowen: If the Colts get the 2015 version of Henry Anderson, he's going to start and be one of the team's best players. Remember, Jim Irsay is on the record saying he thought Andrew Luck and Anderson were the Colts' two best players back in 2015. After hearing Anderson talk earlier this offseason, he has a pretty strong mindset and says he's fully healthy. I expect Anderson to be back to his disruptive self in 2017.

Mike Z. (Indianapolis)

I like the signing of John Simon, but is he playing outside linebacker or inside linebacker for us?

Bowen: Simon is listed as an outside linebacker. I expect him to play that role in Indianapolis. I know Simon was pretty effective moving to the inside at times for Houston last year, especially on passing downs. I could see the same thing evolving with the Colts. On the early downs, Simon can be a great edge setter. Then on passing downs, the Colts could slide Simon inside, let him rush from there, while getting another edge rusher on the field.

Kenneth B. (Indianapolis)

Hey Kevin how are you doing today? My question is if the strong pass rushers go early in round one do we draft Conley. Then on top of that how would you feel if we went with a second CB in round two. Someone like Jackson or are there other areas you rather address in the second round.

Bowen: If there's a big-time cornerback at No. 15, you take him. The need is there for the Colts. I still think a pass rusher in one of the early rounds is a good route to go down. But taking two cornerbacks in the first couple of rounds solves a need, and aids the pass rush indirectly.

Jacob B. (Connersville, IN)

Hey, Kevin I've been thinking about Williams at 15. I don't think it's smart. I strongly believe he'll slide. If he's there in the second I say we jump on him. He's a pass rusher with big time speed. The only thing that worries me is how much of that 18.5 sacks were attributed to that Alabama defense. You have guys like Allen and Tomlinson eating up blocks in the middle. That is my only fear but at the second pick I believe Harris will be gone, watt should be gone. I say from a talent stand point we should take him. I'd say if we go Foster at 15 and Williams in the second I think if they turn out we come out with two top 10 quality talent. To me that fixes our linebacker issues if they can stay clean on and off the field. I think due to the deep draft class we can push cornerback to 3rd round. I've heard multiple scouts say that they have at least 40 players with a first round grade and that finding a starter in the 4 is very doable. Plus we all know and Ballard has said this isn't a one draft fix. Maybe we take one in the 3rd then next draft its priority 1. What are your thoughts?

Bowen: This is a point I've made in previous mailbags about Alabama players. How much attention does all the talent around these guys impact evaluations? A double-digit sack guy for Indiana probably see a few more double teams than a double-digit sacker for Alabama. From the Mock Drafts I've seen of late, Williams going as high as No. 15 does not have the same traction as it did earlier in draft season.

Joseph B. (Kokomo, IN)

Hey Kevin

I'm sure you get alot of questions about draft and free agency right now so I'll try and steer away from that area ....My question this week has to do with Andrew Luck ....Why is nobody talking about his recovery or time line of when he will be back? From what I understand it was a major surgery and he has been dealing with the injury since 2015 ...could there be a little rust there with his throwing arm or any kind of difference in his play ...just seems wierd nobody is throwing up red flags that he might miss part of the season

Bowen: I'd say quite a few people are talking about it. At the League Meetings two weeks ago, Jim Irsay, Chris Ballard and Chuck Pagano were all asked about the franchise quarterback. Irsay has said Luck will be ready for the start of the regular season. No one should be surprised if/when Luck has his reps dialed back this offseason though. The Colts are not going to rush him back at all in the summer months. You have obvious concerns anytime a quarterback is dealing with a throwing shoulder injury. But there's been no reason to think Luck will not be full go when things become real in September.

Tim R. (Fort Wayne, IN)

I know Chris Ballard said something about rebuilding, but. Is there any chance you think the Colts might shock everyone and just very well may be Super Bowl bound this year????!!!!

Bowen: A chance? Sure. But let's not fool anyone. The Patriots are the class of the AFC right now. What the Patriots did this past offseason should only increase how people view them atop the conference. You are asking a lot of the Colts to go from .500 last year all the way to the Super Bowl. Now with a healthy Andrew Luck and improved defensive personnel, the Colts can make a playoff push for sure. Realistically though, the Patriots still have a firm grasp on the AFC.

Eric M. (Indianapolis)

Are the colts really talking about bringing freeny back I shor hope so I would

Bowen: The Colts are not talking about that. That topic came from a mailbag question that a fan sent in earlier this week. Like I said in the question, I would be surprised if there was a reunion between the Colts and Freeney.

Zach C. (Fort Dodge, IA)

Is Ron Thompson still on the team? If so do you think that he could help the team out next year?

Bowen: Thompson is not on the team. He was waived from injured reserve just before the start of the 2016 regular season.

Anthony O. (Springfield, MO)

Hey Kevin hope your day is going well, been a couple weeks since submitting anything but still read every Wednesday and Saturday. I just have to say I absolutely love what Ballard is doing with our defense especially in signing Hankins today. I think that front is going to do very well and is already much improved on last year's squad, and hopefully we can start stopping the run better with some really big bodies up front and with sheard, Simon and mingo helping out I think people are gonna sleep on us but the tape will be vastly different this time around. Alright, enough praise onto my question haha. With this new front do you think the Colts are done signing FAs? The defense has gotten immensely younger as is. So do you feel the Colts strictly look to the draft and then mold around all the new additions or do you feel Ballard has another trick up his sleeve after the draft? Thanks for all your hard work Kevin and hope to hear your answer!


Bowen: After the signing of Johnathan Hankins, I think the Colts are all but done in free agency. You have some cap space for additional moves, but I think you can carry over a large portion of the current cap for next year, while still having room for draft picks, and the occasional outside signing. The true re-building of this defense has to come through the draft. Chris Ballard has done plenty on the defense in free agency. Now, it's time to try and acquire the true blue-chip talent in less than two weeks.

Ryan B. (Drums, PA)

Hello Kevin, hope all is well. This isnt my first writing in, but hopefully it's the first time I make the cut! Anyway, here's my question:

A report from NFL recently said the Jets will most likely trade Sheldon Richardson yet, with a mid-round pick being the likely cost.

Do you think trading one of our fourth round picks and maybe a mid-rounder next year would be worth getting Richardson to pair up with newly acquired Johnathan Hankins on our much-improved d-line?

Thanks for answering all of our questions each week!

Bowen: And welcome, Ryan. I do not think a Richardson trade makes sense. The draft picks for the Colts are so valuable right now to the immediate and future building of the organization. It's time to get younger on defense and let that talent develop. The Colts still have a plethora of needs that should/will be addressed during the draft. With a defensive line of Hankins, Henry Anderson and Kendall Langford, that's a pretty solid trio to build around.

Nicholas M. (Kokomo, IN)

Hi Kevin,
I wanted to thank you for answering my question last week. This time I was wondering after all the free agents have come in who are the projected starters. I'm mostly wondering about the Hankins deal pushing out Parry. Also, do you think the Hankins signing will effect the draft, I don't think it will effect the first three rounds.
Thanks Again,
Nick M.

Bowen: The only affect I think it will have is that the Colts can probably cross off the need for an interior defensive lineman. Finding those guys in the draft can be difficult, so this signing was important on several levels. The focus on the draft from a positional standpoint still are with the linebacker group, cornerback position and running back.

Victor M. (Sao Paulo, Brazil)

Hi Kevin, how are you this week?

As you always says "you can always find good RBs in the late rounds". Occurred to me that there's a good chance other teams are thinking this way too.
Last year everybody said that there was depth at DL, so teams simply passed o D-linemen, because they could resolve it later, that way, Hassan Ridgeway that was projected by to be a second rounder ended up going in the middle of the fourth to the Colts. Knowing that, some entire positions may slide, because the general mindset could be "there's a bunch of guys, we see that later", and I think that all RBs might fall because, it's a loaded class and it's not a preemium position like Edge rusher, lockdown CB or a mismatch TE.

There's a reasonable situation where by the time the Colts get on the clock, the only offensive guys taken are O.J. Howard (10) and Trubisky(12), in the table you have Takk with a bad shoulder, Taco, and the "second tier" edge guys, Conley (14), Tabor (13) Humphrey (9) and Lattimore (5) are off the table. In this situation, the Lions trade up to get Fournette, and the Colts get the pick 21. following that:
Ravens - Taco
Redskins - Malik Macdowell
Titans - Corey Davis
Bucs - Dalvin Cook or best OL in their board
Broncos - Best OL in their board

Now the Colts have an extra 2nd or 3rd, the pool is basically the same at the positions of need except for Charlton. In this case you:
1-take a pass rusher/CB,
2-trade down again with the Chiefs, (Oakland is the only team desperate for a pass rusher between 21 and 27, and the Chiefs might want a CB before the Dolphins take him)
3-accept that maybe it is destiny, take McCaffrey (after all, "we'll never pass on a good player") and use the Lions pick to trade up in the second round and get Watt, Harris, Lawson, or whoever you think is the best guy

Bowen: I would be very, very shocked if/when the Colts get on the clock at No. 15 only two offensive players are taken. You will probably have two running backs go by then. I think another quarterback, along with Trubisky, will be off the board as well. The Colts should not have that barren of a defensive board when they get on the clock.

Joe W. (Las Vegas)

When Do you think the Colts will Draft an Elite Back Like EDGE Again? Can Dorsett eventually beat out Moncrief For that Second spot? Do the Colts have a plan to use four WR at a time? Do you see Gore Getting Back to 1K again next year? How Long could it take to rebuild the Defense? Last Question, from Indy & i live in Vegas, when could the Colts & Raiders Play in Vegas?

Bowen: 1. Wouldn't that be nice to find the next Edge. Drafting future Hall of Famers is a once in a generation sort of thing. I think the Colts would be best served to get a later-round back this year and groom him behind Frank Gore. 2. I don't see Dorsett leaping Moncrief. I like how Moncrief's skillset complements what the Colts have in T.Y. Hilton. 3. I think he will come up just short because I see Robert Turbin and a rookie running back eating into Gore's reps. 4. Probably a couple of drafts to completely re-tool things on that side of the ball. 5. That answer is here.

Brian M. (Philadelphia)

Hey Kevin I know everyone wants us to take a pass rusher in the first round but I think we should really look at a corner 
So my question is what type of corner do you think we should draft a tall long corner or a short physical corner? Thanks

Bowen: The Colts love length at the cornerback position. They also like guys who can thrive in some man-to-man settings. Those are the traits I'd be looking for to find a corner opposite Vontae Davis.

Javier M. (Belleville, NJ)

Hello again, Kevin!

Where did the Colts' run defense rank in 2016? With the addition of Johnathan Hankins, the returns of a healthy Henry Anderson and Kendall Langford, where do you think our run defense will rank in 2017?

Thanks Again!

Bowen: In 2016, the Colts were ranked 25th against the run. They were 30th in yards per carry (4.71). With the additions and returns seen so far in 2017, this is a unit that should climb. Hankins is the biggest, and in my opinion the most important, addition coming this year. If Hankins slides back into that nose tackle role, he should be in a spot where he excelled from a run-stopping standpoint in 2014 and 2015. I see no reason why the run defense can't jump near the middle of the pack this year. The inside linebackers are going to have make some more plays for that to occur. But the bodies in front of them should be more disruptive in the run game.

Allen G. (Carmel, IN)

Hello Kevin,
Thank you so much for your insight,it helps us all get our football fix during the offseason. After reading some of the mock drafts that I've seen lately (especially mine) I thank God the Colts hired Chris Ballard instead of one of us. That being said,here's my two cents.
1 Tak McKinnley or Kevin King
2 Tim Williams or Zack Cunningham
3 Joe Mixon,Fabian Moreau,or Quincy Wilson
4 pick 3 Deion Dawkins Anthony Walker Jr.,Rasaul Douglas, Marion Mack,Jalon Brown,or Noah Brown
5 Howard Wilson or Jamal Williams

Just a thought Kevin. Thank you so much for making the offseason tolerable. I think that they're finally building a monster....GO COLTS!!

Bowen: Haha, I like your Ballard line in there. You've got a pretty good grasp for how I think the Colts should go about things later this month.

Tim H. (Lafayette, IN)

Kevin thank you for your comments on our colts.
Just heard we signed Jonathan Hankins NT. I know Balard stated competition at every level. In the draft it seems with draft trade rumors. We draft best available plsyer. How about this order
15. Best CB
46. Best EDGE-DE-LB
OL Tackle
Lastly I assume Hankins is really this good

Bowen: I like it. I would probably throw a tight end in there at some point, too. Besides that position, I'm liking what you're cooking in matching positions with rounds.

Matt H. (Metea, IN)

Greetings Kevin! With all the draft talk, who knows what the war room is gonna do. What do you think about picking up a local guy for the OL like Dan Feeney from IU in a late round, or do you think he would last that long? Also a RB from IU such as Devine Redding. Not much has been said about these guys. But Chicago got a steal when they drafted Jordon Howard out of IU, which I believe was a fifth round selection? Would Redding be that style of impact player, and maybe after the rookie contract is up, the Colts could get the home grown discount on them both? Im not and IU fan, but these guys seem to fit the mold, and I believe they could go in the late rounds. Any thoughts?

Bowen: Dan Feeney is not lasting until Saturday. I can assure you of that. We talk about Redding later in the mailbag. He would be a later-round option, but I think the Colts take a running back a little earlier than his projection.

Justin R. (Haymarket, VA)

Hey Kevin, I imagine you are going to be getting a lot of question regarding the recent signing of Johnathan Hankins, but I want to know what this means for David Parry? Will we release him or will he get a chance to compete for a spot? Last question is if he and Hankins both make the final roster who do we lose?

Bowen: The adding of competition continues for Chris Ballard. My best guess is that Johnathan Hankins is going to start for the Colts. Now, what do you do with David Parry and Al Woods? You are going to have a numbers crunch after Hankins, Kendall Langford and Henry Anderson. You have Hassan Ridgeway, and then who else makes the team? T.Y. McGill? Margus Hunt? What about Parry and Woods? It's a crowded defensive line, and especially on the interior. Parry has been solid for the Colts before, so as long as the legal process allows him to stay on the roster, I think he's got a good chance to make the team. But Parry doesn't have the versatility to move around a whole bunch on the defensive line, compared to the other DL guys.

Martin G. (Topoclany, Slovakia)

Hi Kevin,

how are you today? I read article that we hosted several local prospects. I don´t know those players but one name was very familiar to me. RB Gore. I think it could be interesting if we had 2 RB with name Gore. I don´t know if he is good player so I want to ask you if you can write something about him (if you know him). RB is our need this year so maybe he could be our guy for next decade. Also I would like to know if we can find in UDFA some decent NT. He doesn´t need to be ready to play from day 1 but he could be prospect and in year or two he could make impact. What do you think.

Thank you for your answers. I wish you good luck. GO COLTS!!!

Bowen: That Gore is a draft prospect from Marian University, an NAIA school here in Indianapolis. They do not play at the highest of college football levels. There's not too much to write about on the Local Pro Day prospects. If he joins the Colts after the draft, we will write something on him. But for now, the chances of him being a Colt are no greater than any other draft prospect.

Stan C. (Minneapolis)

Hey, Kevin! Thanks as always for all your hard work! Couple quick questions. First, do teams keep communication channels open with each other leading up to the draft to get an idea of possible trade scenarios? For example, if a team like the Texans were interested in trading up for Deshaun Watson should he be available at 15, would they communicate that to the Colts prior to the draft or only in the picks leading up to the Colts' selection? Second, where do you and the Colts media crew watch the draft from? Are y'all in the war room or do you guys use a press room as your home base?

Bowen: I believe teams are definitely in constant communication about trading during the draft, maybe even throwing out scenarios to help clear up the mud that can come when the draft chaos unfolds. At the same time, until that board starts to unravel, no team should commit to a trade in concrete. Us media folk are in the press room. We do some radio on Thursday and Friday night, which I enjoy to help pass the time. It would take Navy Seals to break into an NFL Draft war room.

Shawn K. (Martinsville, IN)

Hello Kevin. Really enjoy reading the mail bag. I'm kind of a homer in Indiana. Two years in a row we passed on really good running backs out of IU. Coleman taken in the third and Howard taken in the fifth round. Devine Redding will probably be available in the fourth. A good kid with good character. Two straight 1000-yard seasons. And last year did it behind a patchwork line. I saw he was in for the local for the local pro day workout. Hope they take a good hard look at him. Also Marcus Oliver was brought in.An inside linebacker that might be available in a mid-round. What do you think?

Bowen: IU is churning out some nice talent. Dan Feeney was at the Local Pro Day as well. I could see Redding and/or Oliver as late-round fits. Both guys are at positions of need for the Colts. And this staff got a really up-close look at those two players earlier this week. I'm curious to see if Mitchell Paige can find a spot on an NFL-roster for Training Camp. His stature might scare teams, but he was so darn productive for the Hoosiers.

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