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).
Josh K. (Shreveport, LA)
My question is about the offensive line. Mewhort, Castonzo, and Kelly are locked in. I believe Haeg could settle in nicely at the RG spot. Should we move Castonzo over to RT and draft or get a FA to be our LT? I would think Cam Robinson and Ryan Ramcyzk should be available at 15.
Bowen: We continue to get questions like this and it's a bit puzzling to me. I see no way the Colts have the resources to execute such a plan, while also taking care of the more important defensive side of the football. Several people want to move Anthony Castonzo to right tackle. He's never taken one snap there in his NFL life. What makes people think that transition would be seamless, and that a FA left tackle or a draft pick would be an immediate upgrade. Keep the left side the way it is. Castonzo played much better in the second half of 2017.
James S. (Sydney, Australia)
Love reading your mailbag twice a week!
Was wondering your thoughts on potentially signing 3 key free agents which I believe could significantly help rebuild our defensive roster.
Firstly, Stephen Gilmore, whilst he may be a little pricey, the investment I believe is their to pair him with Vonate as our 1 & 2 corners. His been a solid starter in buffalo and from the best of my knowledge is good in man to man defence. If we do sign him, it would mean that we could potentially release Patrick Robinson and free up some cap space. Also allowing us to exercise maybe a cornerback draft pick in rounds 3/4 compared to 1/2 which can be more geared to a pass rusher.
Secondly, Brandon Williams, solid run stuffer to help with our poor run defence. Believe he could be a great starter for us at nose tackle and then us parry more rotationally. Would be a great signing if the price is right and should be cheaper then Poe.
Finally, Zach brown. A speedy inside linebacker that is just going into his prime having a great year in buffalo. Definitely, would help in both the run game and in coverage specifically against tight ends.
If the colts were to make these signings in FAi do think the draft can specifically focused on attaining top tier pass rushers in the opening rounds.
Thanks in advance
Bowen: We had another similar free agent this week. When Chris Ballard spoke at his introductory press conference the impression I got was free agency would be sprinkled into the off-season additions. So, going out and committing three pretty hefty contracts would not really fall in line with that thinking. You can make a case for doing your scenario, but the success rate in free agency usually doesn't lead to desired results. The names you have above are intriguing though.
Victor M. (Sao Paulo, Brazil)
Hi Kevin, how are you this week?
This week I saw at NFL.com the Next Gen Stats All-Rookie team. Surprisingly, Ryan Kelly wasn't the best center, and an even bigger surprise, the Colts had 2 players on defense, Antonio Morrison and TJ Green. Both guys were selected because of their sideline to sideline skills.
Morrison led the rookies and was 3rd between all LBs in the distance from where they were in the moment of the snap to where they made their tackles, he had almost 19 yards.
Green, as expected, was really fast, and reached almost 23mph in his fastest on field sprint, leading all safeties, I think.
Green and Morrison are questions marks for the team, Green a smaller one, but still brings doubts, my question is, their all-rookie selection indicates a potential that us fans did not paid attention, or an indication of poor draft class in this positions?
Bowen: Victor, I'm doing great. Really looking forward to the very surprising balmy weather in Indy this weekend. I'm not familiar enough with the "Next Gen Stats" to give a confident answer on this. I would use caution in looking specifically at speed/distance covered and deciding whether or not a draft pick was successful or not.
Martin G. (Topoclany, Slovakia)
in recent weeks everybody asking you about draft but I have different type of question for you. It is about our young players T/G Joe Haeg and WR Chester Rogers. Do you think that these two youngsters could be our future startes for a long time and pro bowl type of players?
Thank you for your answers. I wish you good luck in your work.
Bowen: Let's start with Joe Haeg. In my mind, he's a future starter for this team. It's looking like right guard is the spot where he will settle, but that isn't set in stone. With Chester Rogers, it's going to be very curious to see how the Colts look at him in 2017. Late this past season, Rogers was sliding into that No. 3 wide receiver role, ahead of Philip Dorsett. Rogers showed he can be a reliable receiver in this league. If Rogers has a strong offseason, the Colts are going to have to make a decision in how many reps he gets, compared to Dorsett, next season. It's way, way too early to predict Pro Bowl level play for either of those guys.
Matt S. (Provo, UT)
Hey Kevin, I have a few questions for you. So there have been a lot of talks with moving Geathers to LB. How likely do you think that is to happen? And which LB spot would he most likely be positioned in? Also if we do move him and pick up another LB in free agency (I'm hoping for Ingram) what does that do to the draft plan? Do you still put linebacker as the biggest need for round 1? Or how would you approach it?
Bowen: We had a lot of Geathers' questions this week on him possibly moving down to linebacker. I do not believe he will become a three-down linebacker in the NFL. I see Geathers being a guy that the Colts will continue to use closer to the line of scrimmage in the future. I just don't think it will happen on the 1st-and-10 type of plays. Geathers is a major weapon for the Colts so continuing to use him guarding tight ends and down as the dime linebacker fits my thinking for sure. With regards to linebacker and that need, getting an inside guy, plus two outside guys is how I look at the offseason for the Colts.
Derek F. (Evansville, IN)
Is there a possibility of the colts drafting Rueben Foster if he falls to them at 14? He would definitely replace DJ in the middle of the defense.
Bowen: I would say definitely. With Foster, the Colts would have their future in the middle of their defense and the signal caller for years to come. I think draft value and need matches up pretty well in this case.
Daran F. (Charlotte)
In the first round it seems abundantly clear the colts will look for a star Pass Rusher. In my Mock have them taking Derek Barnett who has shown great technique and also has shown to have a high defensive line IQ. What player do you have the colts taking in the first round? And if a top 5 talent like a fournette or Lattimore falls to the colts to you think BPA trumps Need & Fit?
Bowen: I'd go with Barnett, too. The best player available versus need is a debate we could have forever. With your scenario, Lattimore addressed much more of a first-round need than Fournette, in my mind.
Scott T. (North Vernon, IN)
I been reading the mailbag for a few years now and I have a question. I know that while Ryan Grigson was GM he was asked if Jack Doyle was going to get his contract renewed and he said "definitely". My question is does new GM Chris Ballard plan to go through with getting Doyle resigned? I hope he does between him and T.Y. Hilton Luck's passing game was so much better then it was the year before. Thanks for taking the time out to read my question.
Bowen: Chris Ballard has yet to speak publically on any specific free agents. One thing that's tough to decipher is how much of a clean slate these nine unrestricted free agents for the Colts have starting from now. Doyle's film, productivity and reliability should speak for itself. The Colts have kept their entire scouting staff intact (outside of Ryan Grigson) so that should help Doyle's case when Ballard is evaluating the re-sign candidates.
Alex H. (Stockton, CA)
Do you think the colts will really look at the wide receivers during the draft? If so whats the reason for Lee Hull's exit and Sanjay Lal's. No disrespect to either gentlenmen. Im excited for the opportunity with Lal, but I'm a little hazy on why Hull was let go. Especially when TY had the most receiving yards in league. JW your thoughts.
Bowen: Not necessarily. I wouldn't read too much into it, enough to think the team will all of a sudden add a receiver during the draft. Analyzing assistant coaching hirings/firings is so hard. Yes, Hilton had a career year. But you could say that Jacoby Brissett didn't ascend like most second-year first-round picks do. Wish I had a better answer for you.
Rick W. (Atlanta)
Kevin do you see the Colts drafting or showing interest in Pitt RB James Conner?
This kid is a very good power back for when you need the tough yardage between the tackles and a decent blocker as well. And also what about Legarrette Blount, once he becomes a free agent, Ryan Grigson had a chance to sign him a couple of years ago before N.E. grabbed him
Bowen: I could see the Colts having some interest in Conner. If Blount came here, I would assume that meant Robert Turbin signed elsewhere. Conner would obviously be a guy who could be more of a lead back in the future years. But with Blount, he would play a complementary role to Frank Gore.
David P. (Seattle)
What are the thoughts about adding a physically big target wide receiver in free agency or the draft. I was thinking we could use someone 6'5" to complement T.Y. Hilton. I think our taller wide receivers have a hard time catching the ball without the use of their body. Someone like Terrelle Pryor I think would be a good addition to the team.
Bowen: I 100 percent get where you are coming from with this question. But it once again comes down to resources for me. Do you have the cap space/draft picks to really spend on a major threat at the receiver position? I don't think so. A healthy Donte Moncrief, while not 6-5, should be that bigger body threat.
Ron H. (Newark, DE)
I am back again with my offseason wish list which includes the positions that I think would be good to target in free agency and the draft Lets start with free agency.
1. CB: With the many proven free agent corners that will probably be hitting the market this March 8th I think this would be the ideal time to fill this spot via free agency. Especially with names like Trumaine J, Bouye, etc hitting the marketing.
- DL/NT: Dontari Poe (hopefully) with Eric Berry making it know he will not play under a tag that leave poe as the odd man out coming off of his worse season due to a back injury but he's still only 27. With C. Ballard's connection to the Chiefs this may be a possible signing
- OL: We have a good amount of young talent along the O-line so signing a solid vet that can hold down the right side of the line and solidify our protection while helping them develop would be a plus
So now for my draft moves only 5 rounds
Rd 1: OLB/Edge get a stud rusher that could come in and start immediately
Rd 2: Guess what? Another OLB/Edge guy. This draft has a very good amount of guys that would be able to be big contributors from a starting position in the first 2 rounds we could use this to our advantage. While building the rush from draft will give us some salary cap flexibility in the future with rushers in this years free agency expected to receive a handsome salary this could prevent us from allocating too much free cap space.
Rd 3: RB: Samaje Perine..... Gore is great but entering his last yr on contract. Perine could play a solid backup role like Henry does for Murray with the titans.
Rd 4: SS/ILB hybrid: in a passing league we need inside guys that can cover and help out the run unfortunately a traditional linebacker that can do such is hard to find this late in the draft but big safeties that can do such isn't. I am thinking Josh Harvey-Clemons from Louisville. This is a guy that has had trouble covering the more speedy wideouts but has been a game wrecker in coverage for bigger WRs and TEs while contributing big in the run stuffing game. Standing 6'4-6'5 at 230 pounds he has played extremely well as an ILB in Louisville's various packages nd can probably make the transition to a full time ILB allow Geathers to remain as our roaming enforcer. Also you know who else was 6'4 230 pounds and athletic entering the NFL Patrick Willis and they have an identical build entering the NFL one just plays safety on paper.
Rd 4(Comp Pick) CB: A lengthy corner that can play the outside when needed
Rd 5: OL: A developmental OL to be a rotational guy for the future.
Let me know what you think Kevin! BLUE FLOOD!
Bowen: Your draft thoughts are good with me. However, when it comes to free agency, I'm not sure the Colts will be THAT active. Does Chris Ballard want to use a large chunk of cap space for three starters? That's pretty much what you are thinking with your three positions. An offensive line free agent remains my biggest question. Last week on local radio, Chris Ballard seemed pretty good about the trio of Anthony Castonzo, Jack Mewhort and Ryan Kelly, with the right side of Joe Haeg and Le'Raven Clark still needing to lock down those spots. I just don't think the Colts will spend the money on the outside market for three definite starters.
Will B. (Redding, CA)
What do you think about picking up A.J. Bouye? I mean that would give Vontae the help he needs. I know the Texans probably want him back but taking him away would help us in many ways including not having to deal with him twice a year in Houston. What do you think the chances are of us getting our hands on him? Thanks for your time! Huge Colts fan out here in California!
Bowen: Fans have a lot of interest in Bouye. I think the Colts could be in the running for him. It's going to come down to how Chris Ballard looks at the secondary. When Ballard arrived in Kansas City back in 2013, the Chiefs underwent a pretty significant change in personnel among the defensive back group. If Ballard sees the same need here in Indianapolis, then the Colts could certainly explore the free agency route. I still lean more towards the draft, just because the rest of the corner group is getting older. But I see the parallels between the Colts potentially having interest in Bouye.
Jenn W. (Chicago)
This ones a bit of a long one but here it goes.
I have seen that a lot of mocks recently have us taking a running back in the 1st round. As much as I'd love see a running back do what Elliot did in Dallas this past year, I think we need to focus on defense, defense, and defense. Do you think it's a possibility a guy like Foster or Thomas drop to the colts? Also, does linebacker become the number one priority as we may not have one starting linebacker back next season? And lastly, I see a lot of rumors that either Poe or Berry could come over from the Chiefs. I don't see Kansas City letting Berry walk, and I don't think safety is as big of a need as our defensive front. What are our chances of getting Poe?
Bowen: In the mocks I've seen, Thomas and Foster look to be right in the 10-to-15 range. Linebacker is definitely my top priority going into the offseason. We've had this Chiefs question pretty much every week. I agree with you in that the chances are better for Poe than Berry. If Poe hits the open market, the Colts could be a suitor. What will go into it is going to be how Chris Ballard looks at the interior of his defensive line. Does he want a different body type, a la Poe, in the middle of his defensive interior.
Zac N. (Indiana)
Hi Kevin. I saw that Ruben Foster had surgery and won't be participating in the combine, but should be ready for training camp. My first question is if he falls to the Colts because teams don't want to take a chance being he's recovering from an injury, do you pull the trigger on him if he's there? Also, like others Dalvin Cook is projected to be taken by the Colts which brings me to my second question. If he's there as well as the edge rusher the Colts are high on who would they take? Personally I'd take the edge rusher since it's a huge need. Thanks so much. Have a great day!
Bowen: It's all going to depend on the individual team medical evaluations on Foster. The injury doesn't appear to be jeopardizing his availability for Training Camp, so I don't think his draft stock will drop really at all. A Foster/Colts pair is a definite fit in my mind. On your second question, take that edge rusher. You answered your own question. The need is just too immense to pass up.
James J. (North West, England)
Thank you for your answer to my first question last week I thought it was really cool and you definitely know your stuff!
This is my mock draft.
TRADE WITH THE GIANTS swap 1st round picks and we get their second rounder.
Round 1- Takkarist McKinley OLB UCLA
Pass rush need sorted and this guy has a motor that won't stop working for the defense. His energy will be welcomed and hopefully he will be playing opposite Melvin Ingram.
Round 2- Desmond King CB Iowa
Davis needs a partner in crime and King I think will be there by he has the skill set and ball hawk ability to have a great impact.
Round 2- Jarrad Davis ILB Florida
Athletic and instinctive, he fills our need now Jackson is gone and he's a new leader with some much needed toughness with great tackling ability.
Round 3- Joe Mixon RB Oklahoma
Only offensive pick we need is this one and we use it to get Gore's understudy who will take over when Gore goes. Could be a great steal at this pick.
Round 4- Jaleel Johnson DT Iowa
Run stuffer that will log a gap with Ridgeway and Anderson. A young front three that has bags of talent and with everything the base.
Round 4- Howard Wilson CB Houston
Can never have enough corners. The more the better after the poor depth we had last year we need competition and youth at the position.
Round 5- Deshone Hall OLB Texas A&M
Another young pass rusher to help the cause who learned off number one pick Garrett.
Round 6- Austin Rehkow P Idaho
Poor Pat has gone so we need a replacement unfortunately.
Round 7- Trade away for a depth man that has been in the league for a couple of years for experience.
Your thoughts??? Thanks man really appreciate your work.
Bowen: You have the positions that should be addressed. We receive several Mixon questions each week. It's impossible to see how that situation is going to play out. Teams are going to have to do significant background checks on Mixon before he is put on a team's draft board. After that, they must decide how high on the board he should reside, given the serious off-the-field issues.
Bill R. (Indianapolis)
Does Robert Mathis have a shot at being named a coach for the Colts, or anyone else, in the future?
Bowen: Who knows what the timetable Robert Mathis is looking at to getting back involved in football. He made it pretty clear after the season that he wants to get back into a consulting role at the pass rushing position. But Mathis has some very young children that you know will have his main interest in retirement. Last week, Mathis even said on Twitter that he could see himself as a future general manger. Mathis is adored by Jim Irsay, so I wouldn't rule out a possible re-connecting at all.
David H. (Berkeley Springs, WV)
I believe Phillip Dorsett was rather young when drafted. After 2 years, is there indication of growing maturity and following the lead of Hilton and Moncrief in devotion to his professional improvement?
Bowen: I don't believe "devotion to his profession" has ever been an issue for Phillip Dorsett. Questioning Dorsett's work ethic isn't fair in my opinion. The Colts still need to see improvements though from Dorsett and it's a very important third year for the 2015 first-round pick.
Carter F. (Norfolk, NE)
Hello Kevin! Who do you think our new edge rushers will be? I like Melvin Ingram and Nick Perry I don't know if Nick Perry will be available though. However, I see the colts drafting a edge rusher in round one. Do you think if we don't get a free agent edge rusher do you think we could draft another edge rusher in the second or third round? If we do that I think bringing back Trent Cole is a good way to go. He could give knowledge to the rookies. If the Colts view curt maggit as a player with upside then does it make sense to sign Trent Cole? Have a good day!
Bowen: If it were me, I'd try to find the new starting outside linebackers via free agency and then another through the draft. The draftee should be a high pick. You have Akeem Ayers and Curt Maggitt behind those guys, so I don't really think there's room for a Trent Cole re-sign, plus another free agent.
Anthony C. (Troy, NY)
Hey Kevin, I've recently done a draft simulator and wanted some feedback on the picks that were made by the Colts. Keep in mind the picks were made with hopes that we sign Dontari Poe Or and/or Melvin Ingram.
Rd 1- Quincy Wilson CB from Florida
Rd 2- Raekwon McMillan LB from Ohio Stare
Rd 3- D'Onta Foreman RB from Texas
Rd 4- Tanoh Kpassagnon EDGE from Villanova
Rd 4- Malachi Dupre WR from LSU
Rd 5- Deangelo Brown DL from Louisville
Rd 6- Jon Heck OT from North Carolina
Bowen: If you can add those front seven pieces through free agency, you've taken care of several big needs. I like your outlook with the draft, but I still need another edge guy higher. McMillan is more of an inside guy. I understand that you're covering other needs. But even with adding Ingram, drafting a pass rusher high doesn't really slide down my off-season list at all. My only real complaint.
Matt S. (Provo, UT)
What do you think about picking up a veteran punter on a one year deal and then drafting or signing Wishnowsky out of Utah next year? I know it's a punter question, but he is the best in the nation and we've seen how valuable it is having a top tier punter.
Bowen: I don't know of any NFL team that is going to plan their draft approach on a punter coming out in 2018. So many variables can happen for that plan to change. The Colts are going to try and find the best replacement they can for Pat McAfee in 2017. I don't expect any "one-year" fix to wait on an elite punter next year.
The analysis from those producing content on Colts.com does not necessarily represent the thoughts of the Indianapolis Colts organization. Any conjecture, analysis or opinions formed by Colts.com content creators is not based on inside knowledge gained from team officials, players or staff.*