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Colts Wednesday Mailbag: Is Solomon Thomas A Fit For The Colts?

Intro: This Wednesday, mailbag readers inquire about Chris Ballard pursuing free agents from Kansas City, the defensive line future for the Colts and if J.J. Watt’s little brother is a fit in Indianapolis.

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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 or Saturday mailbag.Submit your question here.

Here is the collection of Wednesday questions:Justin R. (Haymarket, VA)

As we all know by now Ballard is our new GM, we also know that Pagano is our coach through 2017. With Ballard coming from Kansas would he make signing either Poe or Berry more likely?

Bowen: We had quite a few Chris Ballard-related questions in this week's mailbag. Anytime a Chiefs player hits the open market in the coming years, the Colts should know him just about as well as any team in the league. The first thing with Dontari Poe/Eric Berry is those following the Chiefs believe Kansas City will do everything they can to keep the Pro Bowlers. I think Poe would be more of an option for the Colts than Berry. Yes, Berry is a tremendous player. But I look at other positions (i.e. possibly nose tackle) as a bigger need with the offseason rapidly approaching. With the Combine less than a month away, and free agency starting soon after, Ballard is going to be a busy man the next couple of weeks evaluating his roster and seeing the exact plan of attack needed for free agency. Building through the draft is the main focus for Ballard, so we will have to see how active the Colts are on the open market in March.

Shayden F. (Puyallup, WA)

I believe the colts should draft defensive players 3 rounds in a row and go get start right away potential pro bowler OL to help protect luck and get a running game going! How do you think the colts can become playoff contenders next year with making a big splash in the free agency and getting needs on DEFENSE in the draft???

Bowen: The Colts should have the resources in place to address their defensive needs via free agency and the draft. That's a combination, with the primary focus being the draft. Why? Because you have high picks and you can get quality talent on rookie deals (something that is needed for the Colts). Taking a defender with each of the Colts' first three picks is not too crazy in my mind.

Riley S. (Fillmore, IN)

Hey Kevin,my question is a Solomon Thomas a good fit for us and do you think he'll still be on the draft board when were on the clock? Thx and good luck!!!

Bowen: We've seen more and more questions about Thomas recently. Thomas was a terror in Stanford's bowl game and has seen his stock rise into the top half of the first round. We will have to wait and see if teams believe Thomas is a 3-4 edge fit. If so, the Colts would obviously be a major player for him. Right now, it looks like Thomas is hovering right around the 10-to-15 range of Round One. I'm a big Thomas fan, but the fit must be there for the Colts to pull the trigger.

Ed K. (Beloit, WI)

Hi Kevin.If Chris Ballard is hired as the new Colts GM what happens to Jimmy Raye?

Bowen: Jimmy Raye III remains with the Colts. It isn't yet known how Ballard will handle his scouting staff. Often when you see GM's hired at this point in the offseason, the scouting staff already in place is held onto through the draft. Jim Irsay made it clear that Raye will be held onto, after the in-house candidate became close to being the permanent GM in Indianapolis.

Victor M. (Sao Paulo, Brazil)

Hi Kevin, how are you this week?

I'm kind of a stats freak, and I was looking in some of our younger players numbers this season. I saw that David Parry had a very nice improvement this season, from 32 to 47 total tackles and 3 sacks, Henry Anderson was clearly in a bounce back season, with just a dozen stops after being our best lineman in 2015, Hassan Ridgeway had an okay season and T.Y. McGill was barely on the field.

What are your thoughts about our DL going forward? It was the biggest problem of the 2014 team, do you think this guys we added this last couple of seasons will be solid once the LBs and DBs spots are addressed?

Bowen: Victor, good to hear from you. Of the three levels on defense, I'd say the defensive line is in the best shape. I'm not sure that group has a lot of definite answers, but there's plenty to work with up front. An upgrade in the interior wouldn't be the worst thing in the world, but the Colts have seen flashes from several guys along the defensive line. The 2017 group should start with the healthy returns of Henry Anderson and Kendall Langford. If the Colts have those guys back to their early 2015 form, it should be a good starting point for the rest of the group. Last year's fourth-round pick Hassan Ridgeway had a nice finish to 2016 and is certainly a piece of the future. I still like the interior pressure T.Y. McGill creates. We will see if Chris Ballard thinks the defense needs more reinforcements taken care of in 2017.

Nick H. (Redlands, CA)

What do you guys think about the watt .... Would he fit or system... Do you think he could fall into second round?

Bowen: It's looking like T.J. Watt, the little brother of J.J. Watt, is going to be right around a second-round pick. On paper, he looks like an edge fit at the next level in a 3-4 defense. The Combine should offer more of an answer on that. There's been a lot of attention around Watt, especially because of his name. He's slotted right around the start of the second round in the Mock Drafts I've viewed.

Patrick B. (Evansville, IN)

Mock Draft:

Rd 1: Zach Cunningham

Rd 2: Ryan Anderson

Rd 3: Eddie Jackson/Marcus Maye

Rd 4: Saquan Barkley

Rd 4: Rasul Douglas

Rd 5: Ejuan Price

Rd 6: Kareem hunt

I know people are all about "improving the offensive line play",but the last part of the season, the colts o-line did show quite a bit of improvement(and a run game and luck getting the ball out faster than 3-5sec would only help show that). However; with the inability to stop basically anyone's offense, I feel like the defense needs the bulk of the attention here(this doesn't reflect any free agent signings)

I've Also thought maybe the team should look at a top running back in the first round instead, but there is a deep running back class this year and this way the defense would get a much needed upgrade and more youth... thoughts???

Bowen: Patrick, if you are a reader of the mailbag you know that I like where your thought process is coming from. Your Mock Draft backs up what we are thinking. I'm not denying that an early-round running back wouldn't lead to instant production, plus adding a weapon to the offense. I just think that the need is greater on defense and past precedent shows that you have a better chance at finding a productive ball carrier in latter rounds, compared to game-changing defenders.

Matthew H. (Iowa)

Any chance the colts go after Eddie Lacy this offseason?

Bowen: I don't think this is a good idea. The Colts signing a running back, who has battled injuries recently, for a pretty big deal? I don't like it. You have to get younger at running back. When I say that, I mean a rookie. Get a draft pick, on a rookie deal, who you can potentially call your lead back going forward. The Colts have money to spend this offseason. But they must spend it wisely. And, in my mind, that doesn't mean going out and spending rather big money on a backup running back. Bring back Robert Turbin, draft a running back and let Frank Gore continue to be the "starter."

Jonathan T. (Indianapolis)

Hey Kevin! Us so called draft experts are picking your brain constantly. I'll keep the trend going. What are your thoughts on the Colts going after Quincy Wilson(I think that's his last name) corner back out of Florida? He's big 6'1 213 pounds, has speed and instincts or should we go defensive line and get Malik McDowell out of Michigan State? I see a lot of people are saying we should go with a RB. Having said that, if we don't draft a RB in this draft, what your thoughts on next year's RB class? Thanks as always #bloodbeenblue

Bowen: When you think of corners the Chiefs have excelled with lately, taller guys have been a trend. So Wilson would check that box. It's looking like Wilson could be the top corner taken in 2017. The Colts should be looking at a corner, even it means taking one as early as Round One. Jonathan, I'd be lying if I said I knew what the 2018 running back class looked like. I think waiting on a running back for another draft would push the Colts another year back in foregoing a golden opportunity to address a pressing need.

Martin B. (Westbury, NY)

Hell Kevin. Am a long time colt fan since johnny u Bert jones , Mike Curtis. Ok my question is watching NFL network all experts pick colts a lb from Ucla. I can't even pronounce his name , also I think we need a power & fast rb , that last guestion is if colts have not pick the new gm , who decided the draft picks ? I thank you for your time. Let's go colts.

Bowen: The UCLA guy you are seeing is Takkarist McKinley. He's a pass rusher at outside linebacker. ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. had McKinley pegged for the Colts in his latest Mock Draft. A pick of McKinley makes a lot of sense. His strength off the edge is more in the pass rushing game and the Colts have an obvious need in that area.

Carac C. (Indianapolis)

Hi Kevin, I recently saw BYU running back Jamaal Williams during practice. I didnt see the game but I was wondering if he would be an ideal option for the colts with a 4th or 5th round if possible?

Bowen: Jamaal Williams looks to be an early Saturday option come draft time (Rounds 4-7 are on Saturday). Williams is more of a power runner. He would fit the sort of criteria I've laid out for the Colts---getting a multi-down running back in the middle rounds.

Alvaro F. (San Francisco, CA)

Hey Kevin and thank you for your time,

I've been looking into the draft and I was wondering if you could give me an opinion of what I have.

Round 1: Derek Barnett (DE)

R2: Desmond King (DB, I know this is kind of high, but I explain later)

R3: Samaje Perine (RB)

R4: Devonte Fields (OLB)

R5: Traded to move up in the 2nd

R6: Marquel Lee (ILB)

R7: Bryce Bobo

Bowen: Alvaro, I'm going to need some explanation on Desmond King. I don't think I've seen one Mock Draft that has King falling that low. On another note, I'm a big Perine fan. I have really loved his running style when watching Oklahoma.

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