Colts Mailbag

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Colts Mailbag: What Numbers Will Frank Gore And Andre Johnson Wear In 2015?

Intro: This week, mailbag readers inquire about the acquisitions of Andre Johnson and Frank Gore, along with draft projections now that the bulk of free agency has passed.

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INDIANAPOLIS – Each week, readers of Colts.com can submit their questions to have a chance of them being answered in our Wednesday mailbag.

Here is this week's collection:Paul Bullins (Wabash, Indiana)

Hey Kevin, I hope you're enjoying this weather. I just have a couple of questions. Have the Colts released Ahmad Bradshaw? How is Vick Ballard doing with his recovery? Also, I just wanted to say that I have been a Die hard fan for over 25 yrs now and I just love the way the Colts keep us fans in tune with the happenings of our team! #ColtsNation! #BleedBlue!

Bowen: Paul, Bradshaw is an unrestricted free agent and remains on the open market. With Frank Gore signed, and a deep running back draft class, it appears Bradshaw will not be back with the Colts next season. He talked after the season that he would still like to play at the age of 29 (turns 29 years old on Thursday) as he rehabs a fractured fibula from mid-November. No specific update on Ballard (we should get some updates on injured guys at the NFL's Annual Meetings next week in Arizona). The "good" news on Ballard's recovery is it came early in Training Camp so he has a head start, if you will, on the other IR guys. Having said that, it's virtually impossible to try and quantify what type of impact the Colts should expect from Ballard next season.

Reginald Appelwhite (Harrisburg, Pennylvania)

I'm a longtime colt and I have seen many small schoolers succeed in th colts. Do you think Ryan Grigson will draft FCS, D2, or D3 players? Sometimes we have seen great steals from those divisions in late rounds.

Bowen: One thing we've definitely learned in the Ryan Grigson tenure is any avenue to find players will be explored. That applies to the draft and undrafted free agents, as well. The practice squad throughout the year is typically filled with those types of players. Guys that ended the year on the 53-man roster coming from smaller schools include Dewey McDonald (California, PA), Matt Overton (Western Washington) and Greg Toler (St. Paul's Virginia).

Isak H. (Mexico City)

I have been reading some mock drafts and I see the colts don't have a seventh rounder. I know the original pick goes to SF for Cam Johnson but I thought the colts got a 7 for Caesar Rayford, and instead Dallas has two picks. Plus, any info on compensatory picks for the draft? Thank you, Kevin.

Bowen: The Colts do have a seventh round pick from Dallas this year in exchange for the 2013 trade of Rayford. Also, the Colts will have two sixth-round picks this year. The second of which comes in slot No. 31 from the trade of cornerback Marcus Burley to Seattle at the end of the 2014 preseason. As far as compensatory picks, I don't see much coming the Colts way but they will be announced at next week's league meetings in Arizona.

Chris Taylor (Kalamazoo, MI)

Hello there! I've been a colts fan for over 15 years now and I'm so excited about this upcoming season (that's every season). My question is, What numbers will be worn by Andre Johnson and Frank Gore since their previous numbers are dawned by Coby Fleener and Frank Gore?

Bowen: Frank Gore will be wearing No. 23 in Indianapolis, the opposite number of another great Miami running back for the Colts (Edgerrin James). Johnson has gone with No. 81 as he begins a "new chapter" in his life.

Colton Stenger (Kokomo)

Where are the Colts planning to send scouts for the pro days?

Bowen: Rest assured Colts scouts and many members of their coaching staff are all around the country attending pro days. The month of March is the time of year where we see pro days held before prospects can visit teams starting in early April. Each team can host up to 30 players. Also, the Colts scouting department will be represented this weekend out in Arizona at the Super Regional Combine and then again on Sunday at the inaugural Veteran's Combine.

Joe Camacho (Texas)

I have been a Colts Fan plan for 15 years now, with Gore and Andre Johnson coming to the Colts we have a lot better chance going to the Super Bowl this year definitely AFC championship again. How are the Indianapolis fanc reacting with Andre Johnson and Gore signing with the Colts? I flew last year to Indianapolis to see the Indianapolis Colts versus Texans play and of course Indianapolis colts won , had a very good time, going to Indianapolis and seeing them play in person was one of my bucket list item. I wrote last year to see how I can meet some of the players and get some autographs and I was unsuccessful so I'm here trying again. Please Help my dream come true, Thank You

Bowen: Joe, fans are definitely energized about the signings of Gore and Johnson. Even casual fans should recognize the longevity those two have achieved in the NFL. The Colts are receiving a lot of national attention this time of year thanks to their early offseason moves. As far as trying to obtain an autograph, I would try two options. If you can make it to Training Camp in Anderson, that might be your best chance with many players signing after each practice. If you are coming to a game, your most likely opportunity would be to enter the stadium right when the gates open and try to find a spot near the Colts tunnel. Some players sign in that area after they exit the field following their warm up.

Nick Fogle (Kokomo)

Available Nose Tackles in free agency are dwindling, is it safe to say it's a first round draft priority?

Bowen: Nick, I don't necessarily think nose tackle specifically is a first-round priority. I would not be shocked at all though if an interior defensive lineman was the choice early in this year's draft. The Colts could still use some young defensive linemen up front to complement the likes of Arthur Jones and Kendall Langford. The 2015 draft class looks to have some quality depth in the defensive front. We got a couple of defensive draft type questions this week and I do see the Colts leaning towards that side of the ball come April 30-May 2.

Joe Casico, (New York)

I can see that the Colts have a high number of running backs on the roster. Names that include Gore, Ballard, Bradshaw, Herron, Richardson, and Tipton. I love Bradshaw, I think he's an amazing red zone threat and could be a great duo with Gore. But I also believe that we should make a run for Tevin Coleman in the draft. I'm not Grigson, Irsay, Pagano, or even anyone associated with the team, but if we can snag him, our run game can be very scary. But then we're gunna have around 7 running backs on the roster. With that being said, do you think Tevin Coleman is a target despite having a ton of running backs ?

Bowen: Don't worry about running back numbers this time of year. The roster is currently at 68 players and will grow to 90 over the next few months. When final cuts take place in late August, no more than four or five backs will make the 53-man roster. As far as Coleman, he is obviously intriguing to local fans around. I have seen him slotted mostly in the second-round of various mock drafts. I'm not so sure if Coleman is the answer for the Colts in the draft, but I would be very surprised if Indianapolis did not select some sort of back with an abundance of quality ball carriers in the 2015 class.

Akeem Joseph (Atlanta, GA)

What the deal with Dewey McDonald from what I've seen the kid can plan why not give him a shot... he looks like a stout run defender... and real playmaker... is he treading in shallow water after that drop in the playoffs... despite that I say give'em a shot

Bowen: The Colts staff certainly likes the potential of McDonald. He benefited from the special teams experience in 2014 and will get a look this offseason at the uncertain safety position. It remains to be seen what the Colts do at safety in 2015. Mike Adams has one starting spot down but who lines up next to him is a mystery. Right now, McDonald is in that mix with Colt Anderson and Winston Guy.

Dave H (Sebring, FL)

WILL THE COLTS LOOK TO SIGN SOMEONE AT NT OR WILL YOU EXPECT, CHAPMAN, HUGHES, KERR TO REALLY TAKE A HUGE LEAP AT THERE POSITION AND BE MORE PRODUCTIVE???

Bowen: The depth at nose tackle will be one to watch as the rest of the offseason unfolds. A guy like Zach Kerr is listed at nose tackle on the roster but he played on the outside of the Colts three-man front frequently last year. While I don't necessarily peg nose tackle as the spot the Colts need to upgrade, adding another body up front would be beneficial. Interchangeable parts in the trenches is something the Colts are looking for so finding one or two more guys in that mold would not shock me at all.

Ryker Larsen (Price City, Utah)

What college should I go to if I want to be scouted by the colts?

Bowen: Ryker, similar to the question above, the Colts have shown that it doesn't really matter what college you attended. If you can play, they will find you. I think this sentiment holds true for much of the NFL these days with teams scouring more and more places to search for the hidden gem.

Justice Snoody (Austin, TX)

So I've been a colts fan since I was a young pup of 12, and I've always wished the colts had a solid defense and a good run game to balance out the always powerful pass attack. Since the Draft is so Heavy with defensive players and great running backs. What are the chances the colts could land someone of Vic Beasleys talents?

Bowen: From the sound of it, the chances of Beasley sliding all the way to No. 29 are pretty slim. He had a good Combine and with such a premium on edge rushers, I'd be shocked if he even got to the 20s. It will be interesting to see how the Colts value pass rushers in the draft. They didn't get any younger by adding Trent Cole in free agency but there's definitely a logjam off the edge right now with Cole, Robert Mathis, Jonathan Newsome, Erik Walden and Bjoern Werner.

Landan Sabin (Chowchilla, CA)

So now that the colts acquired Frank Gore,is there still a possibility for Melvin Gordon?

Bowen: The Gordon questions continue to be sent in and I don't expect that to change for another six weeks. The common answer to those questions, is I feel the Colts still could add quality pieces at other positions, that need depth earlier in the draft, more so than running back. The NFL has shown you can find productive backs outside of the first round at a pretty high rate. With this draft class littered with ball carriers, I don't see the need in taking Gordon at No. 29 (not a slight on Gordon). With Frank Gore in the mix, there's still a need there for a running back in the draft but I just don't see the opening round as the time to pull the trigger. Plus, I'm not sure if Gordon will be available at No. 29.

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