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Colts Wednesday Mailbag: Should The Colts Add A Free Agent Running Back?

Intro: This Wednesday, mailbag readers inquire about the defensive line depth, which undrafted guys have stood out and what the running back situation looks like in 2016.


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

Here is the collection of Wednesday questions:Amy H. (Kentucky)

Hi Kevin, I was wondering how the defensive line looked and,if they would be more effective than last year? Also is there any good UDFA's this draft year for Colts?

Bowen: Ask me that first question again in about two months. That's when the Colts should have their full allotment of bodies in the defensive trenches. Right now, the Colts are down three guys expected to play major roles in 2016 (Arthur Jones, Henry Anderson, Kendall Langford). The team likes the depth and how younger guys have had strong camps, especially T.Y. McGill. This is a unit that can be a real strength of the defense, but it's going to take some time for the group to regain full health. As far as the undrafted guys, check out this article for a few names on the young guys who impressed in Week One of the preseason.

Justin W. (Bush, LA)

Why did the Colts not draft Derrick Henry? Especially, in a late round which he should of been a 1st rd pick. Now he fell to the Titans who also have Murrey and we have them in our division. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to tell that the Colts run defense is not great at all. But with Gore getting up in age why would you not grab this guy Henry. It will probably be awhile before we get another great RB. I know the Colts needed help at other positions but still. Maybe we can trade for him later? Guess time will tell.

Bowen: I think the Colts are very, very content with their first-round draft pick. They had to improve the interior of their offensive line. Getting a center you can pair with Andrew Luck for the next 5-to-10 years is what the Colts believe they got at pick No. 18. We know the normal life shelf for running backs in this league. Plus, Henry would not have come in and even started here. The Colts needed their first-round pick this year to be an instant impact guy. Kelly is going to do that. With Frank Gore at running back, Henry would have been in a reserve role. After the Colts signed veterans Robert Turbin and Jordan Todman in free agency, you had to think that significantly decreased the need for a running back early in the draft. I still think running back is a relatively high need for this team going into 2017. But Kelly was a must in this past draft.

Anthony L. (Fort Worth, TX)

Hey Kevin, thanks for giving us faithful Colts fans something to eat, while we wait with anticipation for the main course dish of gameday My comment/question is this - Non-productive players, carry the same team liability as injured players. Respectfully, Josh Ferguson didn't seem to have the same burst/explosion against Buffalo, as he displayed in training camp. In the realm of possibilities, and free agent availability, do you think Ryan Grigson would consider signing a kid like a Keith Marshall (RB-Georgia)?, same value, questionable health, but way more dangerous when he's on the field.

Bowen: Anthony, happy to help out in the culinary department. Now let's not write Josh Ferguson off the "burst/explosion" list after one preseason game. I can't really recall any time Ferguson got an opportunity to show off that ability, like Jordan Todman did via a screen pass. The Colts clearly like Ferguson, hence why he started ahead of Todman and Robert Turbin in Week One of the preseason. Ferguson is going to get chances this preseason to prove that he merits a roster spot. As of right now, I can't see the Colts exploring the free agency market for running backs.

Brian M. (Ft. Myers, FL)

Hi Kevin it's good to be back on the mailbag. 2 questions, I was surprised to see Josh Boyce released so early in camp. That leaves us with only rookies or inexperienced WRs as backups to our top 3. Any word on who Pags and Grigs are looking at to bring in for veteran WR depth ? Also I was real disappointed in our run game against Buffalo, especially the work of the O line. Could it be due to learning new blocking schemes from Philbin and the line just needs more reps ? I sure do hope so. Thank you

Bowen: Brian, I expanded on the Boyce news in Tuesday's notebook. Here is it: With the Boyce news on Tuesday, the Colts do not have any receivers on the roster, not named Hilton/Moncrief/Dorsett, with an NFL catch. The Colts signed a handful of undrafted free agents for a reason this offseason. They are going to get even more reps in the coming weeks. Chester Rogers, who scored on a 57-yard touchdown against Buffalo, has impressed. Then you have return man Quan Bray, who needs to become a more consistent pass catching threat to complete the receiving depth. Pagano also mentioned the names of Marcus Leak, MeKale McKay and Tevaun Smith. Don't rule out the final cut waiver wire either for the Colts finding a No. 4 and/or No. 5 receiver this year. As for the run game, I never really thought about that but I'm sure that has something to do with it. It's still unknown exactly what schemes the Colts will be employing run game wise this season. I'm more of a believer that the run game for the Colts will be a result of the offensive personnel around it. With the threat of the big play through the passing game prevalent in Indy's offense, that should make things a bit easier for Frank Gore and the run game. If defenses have to respect the threat of the pass, then that should limit the numbers we see in the box.

Trent R. (Greenfield, IN)

Hey Kevin. Quick question about, yes, the 2017 draft. I know it's too early but I really wanted your input on this before I forgot about it altogether. So here goes: Say it comes our turn to draft and both Leonard Fournette and Myles Garrett are still on the board. Who do you take? I know this is extremely unrealistic, but if they dropped down the draft board for whatever reason, what would you do. In theory, is it the position or the player who you would want more!! Thanks and GO BLUE!!

Bowen: You acknowledged it and I'll expand on it---this hypothetical is very unlikely. Both of these guys have to be considered top five-to-10 picks. I don't think really anyone expects the Colts be drafting in that area. Nonetheless, I think the answer is pretty obvious. You have to go with an edge guy over a running back if they are rated the same on your board. For me, it all comes down to the position and the premium that today's NFL puts on an edge rusher compared to a running back. Obviously, both players are extremely talented and should be successful in the NFL. To me though, an edge guy is a difference maker and it's proven that quality running backs can be found in later rounds.

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