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Colts Wednesday Mailbag: Should The Colts Sign Dwight Freeney?

Intro: This Wednesday, mailbag readers inquire about Pat McAfee’s retirement, adding competition for Anthony Castonzo and the reason the Colts will not be on HBO’s “Hard Knocks” this year.


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:

Nicholas M. (Kokomo, IN)

So I know you think the fourth round or later is too late to draft a corner, unless the colts take two of them. Anyway what do you think the odds are of getting a solid corner in the 3rd round or should it definitely be second at the latest. Also I keeping hearing that the o-line was a lot better in the last three games last year so I was wondering how many sacks and qb hits they allowed in those last 3 games versus the rest of the season. 
Thanks for answering.

Bowen: I'd feel better about the second-round path. I guess it depends, too, on how this staff views Rashaan Melvin becoming a full-time starter, opposite Vontae Davis. When I think of corner and the 2017 impact, it's just as important to hit at that position for this season, and the immediate ones to follow. What is the future at corner? With Davis heading for a contract year in 2017, that question does not have many locked in answers. That's why I think it's so important to find at least one building block at corner this draft. From Weeks 13-17, Luck was sacked 7 times in 170 pass attempts (four of those sacks game in Week 17). That's a 4.1 percent sack rate, which would have ranked 6th in the NFL last year. Luck wasn't sacked in Weeks 15 or 16, the first time in his career he was not sacked in consecutive games.

Dave L. (Colchester, VT)

Just read your o line article and have a concern about you not having a concern about the left side. I don't know if I am alone but last year Costanzo(sp?) could play left tackle as good as anyone but he seemed to take some plays off during the game. Nobody pushing him for the job might be the reason for him not going 110% all the time. COMPLETION for every position would be healthy. Who would be competing for left tackle? Thanks again for your time.

Bowen: You are correct in that Anthony Castonzo has rarely had a serious competitor to his left tackle throne since 2011. Sure, first-round picks aren't supposed to have a lot of competition for their starting job. You spent a first rounder on the guy for a reason. Obviously, I don't think the lack of "nobody pushing him for the job" is why Castonzo hasn't been as consistent as some would like him to be. Per Pro Football Focus, Castonzo was the 12th rated LT last season. So it's not like he should be in risk of his starting job. When you have so many other needs, it's hard to acquire such a serious threat to compete with Castonzo. With Joe Reitz gone, I'd guess Jack Mewhort would be the emergency LT going forward. Maybe Joe Haeg will get some reps there, too.

Rob E. (Valrico, FL)

How have you been? I have been passing the off-season checking now and then on some mock drafts... I found this site I like called fanspeak and it has a really cool mock draft
Simulator... I am formally requesting you to do one and post it! Here is mine I did for all 5 rounds that we have picks in currently:

1- Derek Barnett- Edge rusher Tennessee 
2- Garett Bolles- OT Utah
3- Desmond King- S/CB Iowa
4- Teez Tabor- CB Florida
4- jamaal Williams- RB BYU
4- Davon Godchaux- DL LSU
5- Elijah Lee- LB Kansas State

Thoughts? After looking at all the prospects even in the later rounds there may be round 1 players available at both our 2nd and 3rd round selection! Looking forward to seeing your mock draft!!

Bowen: Rob, I'm not the biggest fan of an offensive lineman that early. I would put cornerback in Round Two as a much more important need for this team, than an offensive tackle. The OT pick is no lock to start. So are you spending a second-round pick on a definite backup, who might not play more than a handful of snaps all year long? I'd rather spend that on defense, especially corner.

Tony C. (Charleston, SC)

I know we have been very active in free agency. But since we still have $30 million left, what do you think of bringing in Pasztor (guard from Cleveland) 26 yrs old, Hodges (ILB from San Fran) 26 yrs old and/or Hankins (DT from NY) 25 yrs old? How much do you guess they would cost? Would they be worth it? I think they would add great depth at those positions. If we want to save money for next year, maybe Hankins could be left out. With another quality G and ILB, we could really focus on OLB, CB, CB, RB, DT and TE in the draft. Thanks again for your insight.

Bowen: Outside of Hankins you could probably get the other two guys at relatively cheap deals. In my mind, it's not worth it though. I like the security of a draft picks, with the upside those guys come with in being drafted into your own culture and developed how you would like. I get why you want those guys in their positions of need. However, I'm good with carrying that money over into next year, and really focusing on the draft to offer opportunities for the young talent to come in and play, which would allow for a new young core to grow together.

Stan C. (Minneapolis)

Hey, Kevin! Thanks as always for all your hard work. I've been spamming you with massive posts the past few mailbags, so here's a shorter question for you:

Who are the draft prospects who you feel are getting a but overrated for their hype? I feel like Patrick Mahomes is getting overpraised, but he's a QB so that's to be expected this close to the draft. Malik McDowell has physical gifts, but giving up halfway through the season because the year's going poorly sets off ALL kinds of red flags to me for a potential first round pick. Jabrill Peppers seems more of an athlete than a defender to me. He'a really not a great tackler and is awful at forcing turnovers, never really excelling at anything besides just being athletic. I feel like he'd be best served by switching to RB. He's absolutely electric with the ball in his hands, but he doesn't take the ball away on D so you'd only see that on special teams. I fear he's going to be a defensive version of Cordarelle Patterson, a dynamic special teams player who struggles far too much at his designated side of the ball to be a true star.

All three of these players have been getting way overhyped, at least in my view. Any stick out for you?

Bowen: Quarterbacks are always going to get "over hyped." I feel like the buildup is there for a run on QBs right before the Colts pick (which would be great for the Colts). I also think if we see three running backs (Fournette, Cook, McCaffrey) all going in the top 15, that is way too high for me. I do like your Peppers/Patterson comparison. If the early run happens for QB and RB, the Colts should be smiling in their draft room knowing the elite defenders are being pushed down the board.

Jesse G. (Largo, FL)

Hi Kevin, I think the Colts need to get 2 corners in this draft. The draft is deep at that position and along with needing someone to play opposite Davis, Butler may be moved to Safety and Davis is not getting any younger. What do you think?

Bowen: You will not hear any gripes from me if/when the Colts draft two cornerbacks in 2017. The Colts need young/talented bodies at cornerback. The playing time is there to be had behind Vontae Davis. With Davis in a contact year, the Colts have to start taking a long and hard look at the future at that position.

David S. (Glasgow, Scotland)

My question is about hard knocks. Having just recently got hard knocks in the UK I've became addicted to it and have watched every series on catch up. What do you think the chances of the Colts being on it this year are and do you know when it gets announced? 
Thanks for all your hard work.

Bowen: The Colts will not be in Hard Knocks this year. You can read more into that here. I believe the announcement for Hard Knocks usually comes in the spring time. I'm also a fan of Hard Knocks. The behind the scenes access they provide is outstanding.

Jacob B. (Connersville, IN)

What do you think about taking Tim Williams at 15? I know you've said in the past you have to look over the character issues but I think you have to look at what Ballard did in KC with Peters at 18. He was a guy everyone was over looking then KC got him in large part because of Ballard and the kid turns out to be a pro bowl DB. I personally like Williams the best out of the pass rushers (aside from Garret). I think he's more of a Freeney type guy then the others. 
What would you think if we drafted the following 
Rd 1 Tim Williams 
Rd 2 Cameron Sutton 
Rd 3 joe mixion if available if not then Donta Freeman 
Rd 4 Ryan Anderson

Bowen: With Williams, my other question was just the lack of production he had in the playoffs this past year. I thought he would have had more of a pass rushing influence in those games. I haven't seen too many recent Mock Drafts that have Williams going as high as the middle of Round One. I do agree with you in that I think Williams has some very natural pass rushing ability.

James C. (Northwest, England)

Hi Kevin hope you are well.
My question is about our options in the first round. I believe corner should be the priority here however now Sidney Jones tore his ACL corner at 15 could be difficult with Lattimore and Humphrey being talents that may not be there at 15. One player that will be there and be a corner is Gareon Conley. What do you make of him? And is he worth it bearing in mind Vontae Davis needs someone on the other side? This all depends on wether Foster is gone because if he's there we HAVE to take Foster. Thanks man take it easy.

Bowen: I like what I've seen from Conley. Those Ohio State DBs are so young in their game experience, yet the talent pool in Columbus is Alabama-like. Conley is a name I've seen right in the middle of Round One. I could get behind this.

Alan K. (Goshen, NY)

Thanks for the mailbag Kevin. I don't always get to read all of them but I do love them. You may have answered my question in the past but I missed it and it's getting close to the draft now so it narrows it a little. What are your ideal, realistic 7 picks for the colts in the draft? Players not position.

Bowen: If I can guess the fifth-round pick for the Colts, I should move to Vegas. I love college football and I do really enjoy the draft, but I don't know the prospects that closely to make educated guesses for each pick. I'll go the position route (even though I know this wasn't what you asked): Round 1-OLB, Round 2-CB, Round 3-ILB, Round 4-RB, Round 4-CB, Round 4-TE, Round 5-OL/DL.

Benny F. (El Paso, TX)

Dwight Freeney did great and helped the falcons by bringing good leadership to team. He also helped Vic Beasley break through and have a great season. Do you think it's a possibility that the colts might sign the legend so he can be a 3rd down guy and also a good mentor to some of the younger guys?

Bowen: I get the reasoning for such a question, but this isn't the sort of path Chris Ballard has followed at all this offseason. He's parted ways with so many older free agents. In my mind, drafting a young situational pass rusher and letting him grow into an every down player would make the most sense in finding a player to fill that specific role.

Dennis E. (Sweetser, IN)

I read on Stampede Blue that the Colts will not be receiving any compensatory draft picks next year. How does the retirement of Pat McAfee affect this? He is going to be a big loss for us.

Bowen: The McAfee retirement does not matter for compensatory picks. Those picks come down to if an unrestricted free agent leaves and signs with another team. Obviously, McAfee won't be doing this with him retired. McAfee is a huge loss. But his retirement will not impact if the Colts get any compensatory picks in 2018.

Joseph B. (Kokomo)

Hey Bowen thanks for answering myour question last week ...but my question has to do with the free agents we brought in ...Which free agent do u think will have the biggest impact on defence my opinion Jabal Sheard will have the most impact coming from a winning super bowl team and the leadership he got to work under but John Simon seems to be a sleeper and playing under Watt and Clowney didn't really get to see him blossom...but what are your thoughts on them in particular...Mingo as well ....

Bowen: I'll go with Sheard because of his pass rushing potential now as a full-time starter. From what Sheard has shown in the past, he could be a double-digit sack guy with the extra reps waiting for him in Indianapolis. I don't think you're the only one having Simon in the sleeper category. I'm eager to see him in a more expanded role.

Dustin P. (Gretna, VA)

I have a mock that I made based off the fact that Ballard has been very open to say he would move around in the draft to add more picks and draft off Bpa not strictly off need. Tell me what you think.

Colts Trade #15 to Chiefs for 
Colts Trade #46(R2) to Browns for #52(R2)/#65(R3)/#185(R6)

27(R1): Marlon Humphrey Cb Alabama: Only two years playing football and is a beast. He would start day one and help solidify out pass defense for a long time. 

#52(R2):Tim Williams Olb Alabama: we got some good Olb in fa but here we take a pure pass rush specialist.

#59(R2):Alvin Kamara Rb Tennessee: A speedy Shifty back with good vision would probably be the rn of the future. 

#65(R3):Marcus Williams S Utah: Gives our secondary a smart ball hawking and big play making safety. Something we have lacked

#80(R3):Sidney Jones Cb Washington: A great Cb if he didn't get injuries would be in the first round. With vontae on his last year and Humphrey in the first we could be slow with his rehab to make sure he gets back to 100%.

#121(R4):Antonio Garcia Ot/Og Troy: Would add good competition to o-line.

#132(R4):Elijah Quilas Nt Washington: A pure 3-4 Nose Tackle. Adds competition and could start. 

#137(R4):Anthony Walker Jr Ilb Northwestern: A natural 3-4 Ilb he could push for starting time his rookie season. 

#144(R4):ArDarius Stewart Wr Alabama: A monster to bring down after he has the ball. 

#158(R5):Elijah Lee Lb Kanas State: One of the more underrated lbs. would add Depth and competition. 

#180(R5):Jeremy Sprinkle Te Arkansas: A good te both reviving and blocking. 

#185(R6):Channing Stribling Cb Michigan: He could develop in to a solid Nickle/slot cb

Bowen: I'm not sure if the Browns part of your trade scenario is accurate. Moving back six spots in the second round probably isn't going to get you an additional third-round pick just a dozen or so picks later. Overall, you take care of the positions of need and address the bigger ones with some premium picks.

Max K. (1ndianapolis)

Hey Kevin,

Most of the question you receive are about the draft and free agency which obviously makes sense this time of year. I thought I'd give you a break from all the draft talk with my question. 
What are your top 5 sports movie? Who is your favorite sports movie character? My #1 sports movie is The Legend of Bagger Vance, but my favorite character would easily be Shane Falco.

Bowen: Thank you, Max. Probably one of my favorite questions. Okay, my top five sports movies: 1. Rudy 2. Air Bud 3. Cool Runnings 4. Dodgeball 5. Gridiron Gang. Really appreciate the question, Max. You're giving me the itch to get some popcorn and hit the couch tonight!

Kyle K. (Boise, ID)

Hey Kevin! I really enjoy reading the mailbag every week and this is the first I submitted a question. My question is in regards to Sidney Jones from University of Washington. I'm sure with his injury during their pro day that his draft stock will fall. If he falls to the 2nd or 3rd round should the Colts pick him up or is that too much risk for a heavy need on this defense?

Bowen: Welcome, Kyle to the question portion of things. I would pass on Jones. The Colts need immediate contributions from their draft class, especially with the high picks. The Achilles part of Jones worries me, too. I don't think the Colts have the luxury to wait on an injury-flagged player.

Rex P. (Fort Wayne, IN)

Roster doesn't show a number for Aiken. Is that a housekeeping glitch or is there more to it than that? Thanks.

Bowen: Nothing to worry about there. I'd expect Aiken to get his number when the offseason program starts next Monday. Maybe Aiken is hoping to convince another player to switch his number?

Brian O. (Memphis)

Hey Kevin thanks for doing the mailbag I enjoy reading it. I saw Andrew Aziz's mockdraft 1.0 today. I think it's probably the best mock I've seen yet. Just wanted to get your opinion of it.

Bowen: Count me as a fan. I think that haul. The Carlos Watkins pick in Round Three is interesting. Defensive line, particularly the interior, is a position we haven't talked a lot about in Mock Drafts.

James B. (Mississippi)

Did the league pass the rule that retractable roof stadiums can open or close the roof during a game or half time or something like that a few years ago? If so, had it ever been fine during a game ?

Also, do the Colts have the most retired numbers in the league ? 

Is there a rule against wearing 0 or 00?

Bowen: 1. The league did pass that rule back in 2014. I know the Colts opened up the roof at halftime of their preseason finale in 2015, but I can't recall any times it was done during a regular season game. 2. They do not. 3. There is a rule that doesn't allow for 0 or 00 to be worn. The NFL has pretty rigid guidelines for their number system and the positions that can wear them.

Matt G. (Texas)

Big fan of your mailbag. First time writing a question. I have seen a lot of people saying that we need a RB or OL first round I disagree I think a CB first and 3rd round, a 2nd round on a ILB then in the 4th round take a DL, LB then RB and for the 5th round take best player available. What do you think about this draft? GO COLTS!

Bowen: Thanks, Matt. What about a pass rusher? I completely understand you wanting to take two cornerbacks in this draft. The Colts have the need for multiple bodies there. But I still think you cannot ignore an elite pass rusher. Finding a dominant pass rusher in free agency is so difficult. You've got to find them in the draft. So the Colts need to think long and hard about that, if the opportunity arises.

German C. (North Hills, CA)

Hey Kevin what do you think are the possibilities that we trade our 1st round pick and a 3rd or 4th round to Seattle for there 1st round pick and Richard Sherman and drafting a pass rusher like Williams or Watt in the 1st round? Or trading a second round for Sherman and trading down from the 1st round and adding a 2nd rounder and drafting an OLB and ILB with the 1st and 2nd? That would help our D a lot and then focus on a RB or D Line in the 3RD and maybe a TE and Cb in the 4th in case Davis doesn't return next year and the other 4th rounder on D.

Bowen: Extremely minimal. In the past few mailbags, I've explained why I don't think the Colts would be that interested in giving up valuable picks for Richard Sherman. Let's say you draft a talented cornerback in Round One. You are getting a 22-year-old corner with the potential to have him locked up for five years. Vontae Davis is 28 and in a contract year. Richard Sherman is 29 years old and has two years left on his deal. Of course, those guys have played at a very high level in the NFL. I'd be more inclined to go the younger cornerback route.

Damon D. (Indianapolis)

Couple questions:
1. Do you see the colts drafting a safety with the amount of depth and talent at the position in the draft class?
2. With Dorsett yet to live up to expectations and Moncrief on the last year of his contract, you could say wide receiver might be a sneaky need for the Colts. Could you see them snagging a WR in the draft on Day 3 if a guy they like is there? If so, any Day 3 guys you think they like at WR?
3. Have you heard of any particular cornerbacks that the Colts are high on in this draft?


Bowen: 1. It's not a must, like cornerback or running back. However, the staff has talked about the tremendous depth in the secondary in this year's draft class. Obviously, the safety group is included in that description. So, it would not surprise me too much at all if the Colts took a safety with one of their seven picks (or more, if they trade back). 2. I'd probably put this behind the likelihood of taking a safety. With Kamar Aiken in the fold, guys like Chester Rogers and Quan Bray still on the roster, the Colts have plenty of wide receiver bodies, and several young ones, too. 3. I haven't heard of any specific cornerbacks the Colts like. I'd think the ones that excel in man coverage would be attractive to the Colts given their defensive style.

Matt B. (Windsor, England)

Hello Mr Bowen,

I thought I'd try asking something other than a generic draft question. Imagine if all the past and present QB's were put into a draft. What order would you draft them in? Where would Manning and Luck be placed? Thanks!

Bowen: Oh my, Matt. I don't know if I'm qualified to answer this. Off the top of my head Peyton Manning has to go in the top three. Tom Brady and Joe Montana are the only serious threats to Manning not going No. 1 overall. Andrew Luck has a long way to go before he's in the conversation as one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history. Can he get into the top 10? Top 5? Of course. But it's hard to put Luck that high when he's only played a handful of NFL seasons and is still looking for his first Super Bowl trip. Luck has some impressive numbers through five seasons, but it's far too early to place him accurately in such a question.

Evan B. (Ohio)

Hey Kevin, I've got a draft strategy that I would like your opinion on,
R.1 - OLB (Preferably- Derek Barnett, Charles Harris, or Taco Charleton)
R.2 - CB (Preferably- Quincy Wilson, Jalen Tabor, or Adoree Jackson)
R.3 - ILB (Preferably- Kendell Beckwith, Anthony Walker Jr, or Raekwon McMillan)
R.4 - RB (Preferably- Donta Foreman, Samaje Perine, or Kareem Hunt)
R.4 - DL (Preferably- Ryan Glasgow, Jarron Jones, or Charles Walker) 
R.4 - TE (Preferably- Adam Shaheen, Jeremy Sprinkle, or Jake Butt)
R.5 - S / OL (Preferably- Jonathan Ford, Delano Hill, or Dan Skipper)

How would you feel if Ballard used this strategy, and what would you change? Thanks and of course, Go Colts!

Bowen: This is interesting. I actually kind of like this strategy. My only disagreement with it comes from runs on certain positions. What if in the first/second round, a bunch of running backs get taken? Does that push running back up a notch on the round board? My thinking is more of having a trio of positions and take the best player at one of those spots. This is a creative idea though. Nice work, Evan.

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