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.
Here is the collection of Wednesday questions:Patrick T. (Houston)
Thank you for answering my question about the health of Moncrief. I had another question regarding Curt Maggit. Is he still in the mix for replacing Mathis? I have seen this guy play, he has the skill set. Is he fully recovered from his surgery? I have a feeling if they let him loose he will be a shining star for our struggling defense. Also,a bit of a draft question. Derek Barnett seems to be a popular pick with the colts, if he is there do you think they pass on him in any situation? He is a guy we need to have.
Bowen: Curt Maggitt is a really intriguing guy for me in 2017. He should have a much more "football centric" offseason compared to the hip rehab he had to take care of in 2016. Maggitt is going to have ample chances to make an impression next year. Will another year away from that hip injury, which ended his senior season, allow for Maggitt to get back into a double-digit sack guy. With Barnett, he's going to be tough to pass on in the draft. But until I see the entire board, I can't say for sure if Barnett is definitely the guy in Round One.
Kade M. (Texas)
I have seen Tim Williams associated with the Colts in many mock drafts but he highly underperformed in the national title game. Does this put up any red flags on drafting him?
Bowen: I don't know about "red flags" but there's some concern for sure. Williams was rather quiet in the National Title game. The Colts are going to have do their research and see why Williams wasn't his typical self on such a grand stage. It's something I noticed, so you know NFL teams will scour that tape to see why Ryan Anderson was more disruptive than Williams.
Patrick T. (Germany)
With our newly hired GM, I wonder how his staff is organized, especially in regards to player evaluation.
How does Chris Ballard (or a newly hired GM in general) effect the existing player evaluation? Does a new GM come with a personnel overhaul in the college and pro scouting department? And if so, on which level does such a change appear? Does a GM typically change the Directors or does it go down to the actual scouts? Or does a GM rather changes the focus of traits the scouts shall look for?
However, am I correct that for this offseason, Ballard needs to work with what the previous regime implemented? And that he can begin implementing his ideas, personnel etc. afterwards?
Thanks a lot for your time
Bowen: Chris Ballard is retaining the current scouting and coaching department. He's about to begin 17 straight days of personnel meetings that will evaluate the current roster and look into the 2017 draft and free agency classes. Ballard mentioned earlier this week that when he joined Kansas City, new GM John Dorsey kept things pretty status quo within their scouting department. Most times when you see GMs hired this time of year, they wait until the draft ends before making changes. So this is an evaluation time for Ballard, too, to see what he has in his scouting department. Don't doubt that Ballard isn't going to change some things either from an operational and/or personnel standpoint. He was hired for a reason. That was to bring some change.
Stanley G. (Delaware)
I like what Ballard is saying about the Offensive and defensive lines. I stated this in one of my previous posts. That's where a team wins or loses the game. I really like the idea of bringing in Poe to help out there. It's been a weakness for the Colts ever since Tony McCoy left. It would allow the MLB to drop into coverage more if that hole were plugged up. We definitely need more push up the middle. QB's have way too much time to throw. I like that one guys idea about trading Allen for a draft pick or an Outside Rusher too. I know the Colts like his blocking ability but they could use an extra lineman for that. Doyle and Swoop have much better hands and they could pick up another TE late in the draft. They need to get as much defensive help early as they can. Here's hoping they pick 14th. Interested on your thoughts on this.
Bowen: We get into Poe more below. In regards to trading Allen, it's very, very difficult to get a quality pick in return for a skill player who isn't a Pro Bowler. Is it worth it to part ways with Allen, when we saw how much Rob Chudzinski wants to use the tight end position? You have the resources to take care of several defensive improvements in free agency and the draft.
Stan C. (Minneapolis)
Hey, Kevin! Thanks as always for all your hard work. Quick draft question followed by an obligatory mock.
Who have you seen that you wouldn't mind reaching a little for? Even if it's not the most important need or necessarily the ideal draft spot, who looks like such a legitimate football player that you wouldn't mind it as much? Players like Ryan Anderson, Solomon Thomas, Jeremy McNichols, Jamaal Williams, and Brad Seaton jump off the page for me as people I'd bite the bullet on draft capital more than others. Anyone catch your eye in a similar way? Finally, while I think mocks pre-combine are incredibly premature, they're just too much fun:
R1: Quincy Wilson, CB, Florida. I don't think Barnett, Foster, or Thomas will be here, Williams scares me, and Wilson's physical style is a great scheme fit. Just grab the best CB here.
R2: Hassan Reddick, Edge, Temple. Whoever's still here between Reddick, Watt, and Anderson will be a solid edge rusher with run-support versatility.
R3: Jeremy McNichols, RB, Boise St. I don't want to draft a RB this high. I'd prefer a 4th/5th rounder. But unless Jarrad Davis or McMillan fall (or Ballard thinks he can get Anthony Walker back on track), McNichols' value outweighs the need at ILB. I'd throw money at Zach Brown in FA to fix that.
R4: Eddie Jackson, S, Alabama. In an ideal world, I'd jump at Jamaal Williams here. Instead, Jackson allows the possible cost-saving release of Mike Adams (or at least provides an heir-apparent).
R4 (compensatory): Brad Seaton, OT, Villanova. A great small-school prospect, and I'd like a 4th tackle to flush out OL depth.
R5: Duke Riley, ILB, LSU. I justified holding off on ILB by prioritizing Zach Brown in FA, but rotational depth is always a plus.
Priority UDFA: Punter
Bowen: Solomon Thomas is a name for me. If Thomas isn't a pure 3-4 edge guy (which it's looking like he's not), he still showed he's a darn good football player at Stanford. He would instantly improve your defensive front, at some spot. I am a fan of your Mock Draft. Is it too early for a running back? I don't think so. Eddie Jackson could be a steal in Round Four. I do like a 4th/5th round OL pick. If you can find Joe Haeg 2.0 that would satisfy my offensive line need for 2017.
Jacob T. (Columbia)
Hey Kevin it's been a while since I've sent a question in. So here goes nothing. Why has no one been paying attention to Demarcus walker out of FSU the kid had 16 sacks this season which I'm pretty sure was second in the fbs. I've watched film on him and he is an excellent pass rusher as well as he has the size and speed to play the edge. My question is would u be disappointed if the colts picked walker with their first instead of all the other guys who have bigger names?
Bowen: I watched Walker in Florida State's bowl win and he was just a menace. It seemed like every time you looked up Walker was in the backfield. I'm not sure if Walker is a true 3-4 edge guy though. He seems to be more of an interior lineman at the next level. If we are weighing the Colts needs, I put edge presence higher than interior lineman. Chris Ballard has made it clear that improving the fronts on both sides of the ball will always be a key for him. I see Walker in play, but I just think there are bigger needs at other specific positions.
Nick V. (Shafter, CA)
Hi Kevin, I know you've been getting a lot of draft questions and defense questions, and I'm here to give another :) I know FA and the draft are very big and key for our defense and overall team this year. My question is Alex Bazzie, do you see him getting significant playing time this coming season? I really liked his film, he impressed me a lot and I thought that was a very good signing by Grigson, so what do you think on Bazzie and who would we potentially get in the draft in his position?
Bowen: It's too early to project potential playing time for Bazzie. The good news for him is that with all the expected turnover at outside linebacker Bazzie should receive some opportunities, especially during the offseason. Those in the Canadian Football League, where Bazzie comes from, believe the Colts have a guy who can make a quick transition to special teams. Can Bazzie bulk enough to handle every-down run in an NFL defense? That's going to be one of the bigger questions in the coming months for Bazzie. He will get a chance to earn playing time.
Richard P. (Rochester, NY)
Hi Kevin, This is the time of year when everybody gets excited about FA and the draft. Now that we have a new GM the questions are coming in about how he is going to acquire talent for the team. Everyone, and rightly so, are interested in FA's like Poe and Ingram or drafting defense in the upcoming draft. But I have a question about trades. Did Ballard ever make any significant trades at KC? The reason I bring it up is it appears Cleveland is going to switch to a 4-3 under Williams. There big NT, Dan Shelton, is only 23 and a former 1st. rd pick. I would think they might be open to listening to offers for him. He is still on his rookie contract, young, very good and would save us at least one big contract in FA. It will cost us a draft pick but I think he's a player worth exploring. I would be interested in your thoughts. Thanks a lot. Richard
Bowen: The Chiefs did acquire a couple of starters via trades during Ballard's time in Kansas City. The little I know about Danny Shelton was he really had a strong season. With Jamie Collins re-signed in Cleveland, you have to think that the Browns are going to build the defensive front around Shelton/Collins. Anytime would love to have a player like Shelton anchoring the middle. But I can't imagine the Browns wanting to part ways with a productive player, who was also a high draft pick.
Tony C. (Charleston, SC)I've read all the questions about the draft and free agency. I've listened to Ballard's ideas about free agency. But what amount of the approximately $55 million dollars of cap space are the Colts REQUIRED to spend? Isn't there a rule that says every team has to spend around 90% of their money? Wouldn't that force us to spend a certain amount in free agency besides what we spend on keeping some of our own? It's so complicated and confusing. Because Cleveland was able to carry over $50 million from last year. Enlighten me. lol Also how do we nest egg a certain amount each year for future contracts for players like Moncrief but still spend a certain percentage of our funds? I'm confused as you can tell. Thanks ps. My two cents on the draft: If Cook is there, draft him. I say get two starters for defense in free agency, get Cook in round 1 then defense defense defense from there on. Cook could be as big a difference maker as anyone because of his impact on Luck and our defense (run the ball, keep defense off field).
Bowen: My understanding is that the 2017 league year starts a new cycle for teams having to spend 89 percent of its salary cap. The Colts easily covered that in the first four-year cycle. This offseason starts a new league year for that spending. The NFLPA released earlier this year that the Colts have about $6.6 million rolling over to 2017 in cap space. Most cap projections have the Colts with right around $50 million this offseason. They do not need to worry about spending a certain mark this offseason. The Colts have a guy (Mike Bluem) who handles their cap. His job is to project ahead. Every offseason you have to plan ahead knowing the second contracts that are eventually coming for guys. For the Colts, those coming down the road are Donte Moncrief/Jack Mewhort.
Nick G. (Ohio)
Hey Kevin I appreciate your work with the mailbag. I'm a first time writer but I try to read every week. Great idea to get the fans involved. Anyway I had some ideas I'd like to get your take on. Personally I love TJ Green and Geathers. They're both athletic freaks and I really feel like we should keep them on the field in one way or another. Geathers has proved he can be moved around in various packages. Mike Adams doesn't have much left in the tank but his knowledge and leadership are second to none so what are the odds we sign him to a 1-2 yr contract to continue to work with the younger guys like green? I feel like he'd like to retire in Indy and would probably do it for relatively cheap and would benefit the young guys tremendously. Bring back butler as a slot corner/safety sub and draft another cb early. Lastly for rb I really like maccaffery and samaje perine. Maccaffery I think fits our offense better (I think of Julian Edelman)but perine is a real bruiser. Do you think they will fall to 4th rd or do you even take a rb that early? Who do you like better? Thanks again!
Bowen: Nick, welcome to the question side of things. At safety, let's not forget Darius Butler. In 2016, the Colts really relied on Butler to fill in at safety. Butler did a very nice job patrolling things at the back end of the defense. To me, it's almost an either/or thing in deciding between which veteran safety you bring back. I look at Butler as a safety. At 31 next month, Butler will be five years younger than Adams. Is that the difference? Of course, if the Colts feel that T.J. Green is ready to slide into a full-time starting role, then maybe they don't see the value in bringing back a veteran safety. There's a bunch of individual questions in the secondary that need to be decided in the next month. I'm fine with taking a running back by the fourth round. But I don't think those guys will be there in the middle of Round Four. Both McCaffrey and Perine have appeared higher in Mock Drafts. I'm probably more of a Perine guy.
Carac S. (Indianapolis)
Hi Kevin, I was just wondering if you heard of Alvin Kamara? I saw him on a mock draft being selected by the colts in the second round. I think he would fit well with the colts. What are the chances of him slipping to the third round?
Bowen: Kamara's college career saw him start at Alabama, before joining the JUCO ranks and then returning to the SEC (Tennessee) to wrap up his collegiate days. Kamara had an impressive, somewhat out of nowhere, 2016 campaign that has seen his name vault up drat boards. Based off the early mocks I've seen, Kamara looks to be slotted right in that second-to-third round draft range.
Zach C. (Fort Dodge, IA)
Do you think that the Colts will look to try and bring back Jonathan Newson? I feel like he could really help the defense out. He did a pretty solid job when he was playing for the Colts.
Bowen: It doesn't look like Jonathan Newsome is coming back to the NFL anytime soon. Newsome just signed another deal Saskatchewan Roughriders through the 2018 season. I am a tad surprised that Newsome hasn't returned to the NFL in any capacity since the Colts moved on from him early last offseason. You would think a guy who showed some pass rushing trait back in 2014 would haven't gotten another look by now. It doesn't look like Newsome will be migrating south anytime soon.
Danny S. (Indianapolis)
Hi Kevin. I know all the players have to be happy that Ryan Grigson is no longer with the Colts, but since we have hired Chris Ballard as our GM, I have been waiting and searching for our player's tweets and comments about the new hire and have found nothing. Do you have any inside thoughts on player's reactions. Also I know when a team hires a Coach/GM, they usually bring in a player or 2 from their former team, who do you think realistically, from the Kansas City Chiefs, that Ballard would bring in to help us? We have so many holes and unknowns on our team, example, our number 2 corner. Thanks Kevin. Doing a great job. I'm "jacked" about the 2017 season.
Bowen: You probably won't see too many players react to a general manager. Outside of contract talks, there's not a don of day-to-day dialogue between a player and a GM. Andrew Luck was scheduled to meet with Ballard on Tuesday and the new GM has said he wants to start forming relationships with his entire roster. We should find out during free agency what those upcoming free agents think of Ballard with how negotiations go. As far as Chiefs, the names DT-Dontari Poe and S-Eric Berry have been thrown around with their pending free agencies coming up. I believe Poe is more realistic than Berry. Anytime a Chiefs player hits the open market in the next year or so, the rumors are going to be there for the Colts' involvement.
Patrick B. (Evansville, IN)
I've been looking at the prospects coming into this years draft, and I've got a suggestion for the draft. With the o-line improving, it seems like the best route to go in the draft would be to focus almost souley on defense.
Rd1-Ruben Foster/Zach Cunningham ILB
Rd2-Ryan Anderson OLB
Rd3-Elijah Qualls DT
Rd4- Chidobe Awuzie CB
Rd4-Adam Bisnowaty OT
Rd5-Kareem Hunt RB
Rd6-Ejuan Price OLB
We really need to get younger and better at all LB spots, the first 2 rounds could allow us to make that upgrade. Rd3 could give the team a chance at an additional young talented D-lineman. We may be able to still get an additional CB in the fourth. I would like to see Awuzie snatched up here. He's a physical player that's pretty solid in coverage and willing to come down and make a tackle. Kareem Hunt in the fifth could be a steal for us and help when gore retires, and Ejuan Price(with some coaching) could end up being another story like Robert Mathis when he was drafted.... thoughts?
Bowen: No real complaints coming from myself. Maybe slide cornerback a round or two. How big the cornerback need will be for the Colts is going to come from Chris Ballard's evaluation of Darius Butler and Patrick Robinson. Will Butler, a free agent in 2017, return next season? Will he return as a cornerback, and not a safety? Is Robinson definitely your No. 2 cornerback? That is probably my only question on your Mock Draft. Should cornerback be higher?
Jeffrey K. (Colquitt, GA)
Hey Kevin I have some questions for you... Do you think we should take a CB like Marshon Lattimore with our 1st pick I mean OLB is our biggest need but I think we could get one in the 2nd round or free agency? Also I know you're a fan of trading down so am I especially with all the help we need on defense and we might not be big spenders in free agency but I still think we should get at least 3 new starters Dontari Poe, Melvin Ingram and Malcom Smith
2.I have a new mock draft for you let me know what you think
Round 1.Marshon Lattimore CB
Round 2.Charles Harris OLB
Round 3.Daeshon Hall DE/OLB
Round 4.Anthony Walker MLB
Round 4.Samaje Perine RB
Round 5. Lewis Neal DE
Round 7. BPA
I feel like if free agency and the draft board was to fall like that we could be a contender for a long time because all we need to do is build a fast,smart and physical defense we really don't need much offense other than a RB for the future and more O-line depth and let's not forget about the undrafted guys because it's possible we could also pick up RB Joe Mixon... Man we would have one heck of a team
Thanks for your time Kevin have a great day
Bowen: I don't think a corner in Round One is out of the question at all. When you talk about addressing outside linebacker, using free agency and the draft is something I can get behind. The Colts have to get younger at that position group. They are extremely old there right now. So the draft has to be used at some level for OLB. Trying to predict what Chris Ballard is going to do is anyone's guess. But he did play a big role in Kansas City taking cornerback Marcus Peters in Round One in 2015.
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