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:Jack Y. (Wilmette, IL)
Now that Coby Fleener has left for New Orleans Jack Doyle will be getting many more snaps. Last season I went to the Colts v Broncos and I was really impressed with the way he played. I also have been impressed with his blocking ability. How do you see the Colts utilizing him in the upcoming year?
Bowen: Yes, Jack Doyle is indeed back after signing the tender as a restricted free agent last week. This year's role for Doyle could be an expanded one, from an offensive standpoint. With Coby Fleener's departure, the Colts are losing a guy who played around two-thirds of the team's offensive snaps. Those reps might shrink depending on how much new coordinator Rob Chudzinski wants to use the tight end position. In past stops though, Chud has employed a "tight end-friendly offense" as fellow coach Ron Rivera called it at the League Meetings (Chud was Rivera's offensive coordinator in Carolina from 2011-12). If the Colts continue to use extensive packages with two tight ends, Doyle is the likely beneficiary alongside Dwayne Allen. In his three seasons with the Colts, Doyle has delivered in a multitude of roles for the Colts. The Indianapolis product could be asked to do even more this season.
Scott S. (Kent, WA)
Hi Kevin, since there seems to be talk about the Colts picking up an RB in this year's draft what do you think of Utah's Devontae Booker? I've been a long time Utah fan and have watched him the last few years and until he was injured last year he was a monster at Running Back. he always picked up positive yards and was very durable.
Bowen: From the little I saw of Utah in recent years, I thought Booker was a very solid running back. Now, we don't know just how important the Colts view their running back need. General Manager Ryan Grigson has mentioned they have definitely not closed the door there completely, even after two veteran offseason additions. With the draft just a week away, the running back debate is a compelling one with the team looking for a long-term option behind Frank Gore.
John F. (Horseshoe Bay, TX)
Kevin, thanks for the mailbag. I enjoy reading other Colts fans questions and your answers. My question this week is about Jaylon Smith. With his medical recheck result expecting him to miss all of next season, do you think the Colts will take a chance on him in the later rounds of he is still there?
Bowen: We had plenty of Jaylon Smith questions in this week's mailbag. Several reports indicate Smith will not be cleared for the 2016 season after injuring his knee in the Fiesta Bowl. If Smith is indeed out for 2016, and questions remain about his playing future, I can't see many first-round teams spending a pick on him. The talent of a healthy Smith is unquestioned. Unfortunately, nerve damage for a knee injury is a serious risk. With how vital this draft is for the Colts, that's going to be tough to call his name at No. 18.
Regeil S. (Lagrange, GA)
Should we mortgage future picks like we did with Trent Richardson,to get a Jalen Ramsey??
Bowen: To get a Jalen Ramsey, you are going to have to "mortgage" quite the package. Ramsey is by all accounts a top-five pick. With most teams probably thinking the Colts will pick in the 20s next season, a 2017 first-round pick is likely not going to be enough to move up into the top-five. I think that's a bit too steep of an asking price when you only have six picks this year.
Carson M. (Indiana)
Hi Kevin. I have a couple of questions for you. I know the Colts need a center but several mock drafts have Ryan Kelly going late in the first round. I think that is too soon for him but would Nick Martin be a choice in the 2nd round for the Colts? Also how about ILB Blake Martinez in the 4th round or maybe Jordan Howard? Also do you think that they will try to pick up a 6th round pick through a trade or a pick next year? I know they will have some compensation picks next year to work with. Thanks for your input. Go Colts!
Bowen: From everything I've read/heard, Ryan Kelly is a first-round pick. Nick Martin in the second round matches up. I do think the Colts would be interested in finding an inside linebacker at some point in this draft. Would the Colts want to explore the route of an inside guy known for his coverage skills (to try and match up with the loss of Jerrell Freeman)? Your trade scenario is a good point and something to remember going into next year. If the Colts do believe they will get a late pick or two next year (they should under the compensatory rules), then maybe they will be more inclined to trade a 2017 pick.
Jeffrey K. (Colquitt, GA)
I have a couple of questions?... Do you think the Colts would get faster at linebacker I like Deione Jones out of LSU and Darrion Lee out of OSU what do you think our chances are at drafting one of them in the 1st round?... I know we have Nate Irving and Sio Moore and Dqwell Jackson don't get me wrong I like Dqwell but he is soon to be 33 years old and we need to get younger at that position.
Thanks for your time
Bowen: Players in the mold of Jones and Lee are very intriguing case studies nowadays in the NFL. Teams are searching to get faster on the defensive side of the ball and these "linebackers" (built more like safeties) are the craze in college football. With so many collegiate teams going to spread looks on offense, college defenses are desperately trying to combat it with quicker personnel. That is starting translate to the NFL, as well. The Colts' current 3-4 scheme doesn't necessarily call for such a player in their base set, but such an addition would really enhance what the Colts could do in their third-down packages.
Phil M. (Bidwell, OH)
Hey Kevin I love your mailbag it's awesome an I read it all the time!!! Here's my question! We are desperately in need of a pass rush an I know we can't move up to get Bosa so do you think we could get shaq Lawson from Clemson or Noah spence from eastern Kentucky! An if so which one would fit our system better? Thanks an have a great day!!!!
Bowen: Phil, thanks for reading each week. Looking over all the Mock Drafts, I don't think I've seen many recently with Shaq Lawson falling in the Colts' range. It seems like Lawson is pretty secure in the top 15. Noah Spence is more around the Colts' pick of No. 18. Spence also would appear to be a more natural fit as an outside linebacker in the 3-4. In Lawson, the Colts would be asking him to stand-up after being a down defensive end in a 4-3 scheme.
Nathan D. (Flagstaff, AZ)
Hey Mr. Bowen,
This week I've got a mock draft for you and I would like your thoughts on this:
Round 1: Noah Spence OLB: The Colts are going take advantage of what seems to be some red flags that have disappeared with one of the best pass rushers in this draft. Spence is an instant starter/upgrade to the Colts pass rush.
Round 2: Keanu Neal S: The Colts will be getting a hard hitting safety to match up with Geathers in the secondary. He will have some time to sit and learn behind Adams.
Round 3: Nick Martin C: The Colts will be getting an experienced center which will be an instant upgrade from their current players
Round 4: Hassan Ridgeway DT: A DT out of Texas, Ridgeway is a pass rushing specialist. He can play in a 4-3 or 3-4. With 3 1/2 sacks this year in only 11 games, Ridgeway could be a part of the answer to the Colts woes.
Round 5: Joe Haeg OT: The Offensive lineman tasked with keeping Carson Wentz upright last year will be coming to Indy. Haeg will likely drop this far from lack of experience, however he has the size and mind to develop into a great offensive lineman.
Round 7: Jay Lee WR: With Andre Johnson and Coby Fleener gone, the Colts need to find another big body target for Andrew Luck. Lee, 6'3-220 lbs. lived in the shadow of former Baylor great, Corey Coleman. Don't let this fool you though; Lee will be a great addition for the Colts. He has 4.5 speed which makes him a physical freak the Colts won't pass up.
Bowen: Nathan, I think such a draft class would make some definite sense. Safety in the second round could be a little early, but if the board calls for it then it would be hard to go against such a selection (even if that player wouldn't play much on defense as a rookie). Also, I'm not sure if Nick Martin would drop all the way down to the second half of Round Three. That's a bit lower than I've seen the Indianapolis product.
Ignatius H. (Plains, GA)
I'd love to know if the colts might be interested in any of Penn State's DL. All of them are low-risk, high-reward. I don't know why neither Zettel, Johnson or Nassib have such a small hype in comparison to their monster production. Probably elite talent at the cost of a 4th-6th round pick. Thoughts?
Bowen: While I don't know specifically where the Colts' interest is on specific prospects, you can bet this team is taking a close look at the defensive line depth in the 2016 class. I don't consider defensive line a real serious need, but the depth there is probably too good to pass up at some point in the draft.
James H. (England)
Hi Kevin! Now that the Rams have moved up for the no. 1 overall pick in the draft... Will we see mock drafts change which players get drafted... I noticed in the latest mock draft that a couple of the scouts had the colts picking either Eli Apple at CB or (finally) Noah Spence!! I personally would rather Spence! What's your opinion?
Bowen: You are certainly going to see Mock Drafts altered after such a significant trade. If it came down to CB-Eli Apple or OLB-Noah Spence, I'd lean towards the latter. With cornerback Patrick Robinson coming over in free agency, I don't have that as an immediate/pressing need that has to be addressed through the draft. Spence fills a need and also allows for you to find a young pass rusher that could be starting by 2017. With Robinson and Davis under contract for several years, a first-round cornerback isn't a must for me.
Luke R. (Rochester, NY)
Hey Kevin again,
Recently the entirety of the 2016 regular season schedule was released, and the Colts will have the season opener against the Lions.
Looking into the 2016 regular season, who out of the rookies drafted last year, and offseason pickups this year do you think will break out next year, making the biggest impact?
Bowen: I think the Colts could have five-to-six guys out of last year's rookie class play starting-type roles in 2016. The two biggest names to watch for me are safety Clayton Geathers and wide receiver Phillip Dorsett. When the Colts look towards their future on the defensive side of the ball, Geathers is a major, major part of that building. Now, in a full-time starter role, Geathers has the opportunity to expand on the flashes he showed in two starts last season. Dorsett should really see his playing time rise with him healthy, and Andre Johnson no longer on the roster. A third wide receiver is going to see ample playing time within an offense, especially one with the intangibles Dorsett can bring to an offense.
Dave H. (Sebring, FL)
WHEN ADAM VINITARI HANGS UP HIS CLEATS WILL HE RETIRE A COLTS SINCE HE BEEN HERE FOR YEARS NOW?
Bowen: Football isn't like baseball. Players don't "retire" with one team. Adam Vinatieri, who is entering this 11th season with the Colts, has now played in Indianapolis longer than he did in New England. Vinatieri is the only player in NFL history to record 1,000 points with two different teams (1,158 New England, 1,095 Indianapolis).
Carter N. (Indiana)
What are the chances that the Colts trade down with the Broncos? The Broncos are looking for a quarterback, and the jets areas well. If the Broncos trade up with us we could get extra picks and the Bronocos could get a quarterback.
Bowen: What the Broncos are going to do at the quarterback position is a great mystery. Is Mark Sanchez the guy? Do they want to trade up come draft time and start a rookie? Will they go down another route to replace Peyton Manning? On paper, such a trade would make sense. The reason I say that is because you have to find a capable (realistic) trade partner. So many times when people conjecture up trades, they don't think too much about the willingness of the other party involved. This trade does though.