Colts Mailbag

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Colts Wednesday Mailbag: Without Coby Fleener, What's The Outlook For Erik Swoope In 2016?

Intro: This Wednesday, mailbag readers inquire about Sio Moore/Nate Irving starting, the running back depth behind Frank Gore and the team’s tight end position.


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:Dominick C. (Orland)

Hi Kevin,

I appreciate your insight on these mailbags each week. I'm just curious about Eric Swoope. Have you heard anything about him possibly taking over the athletic pass catching tight end role that was opened up with the loss or fleener?



Bowen: A few weeks back, caught up with and talked a bit about his third NFL season on the horizon. Swoope is undoubtedly going to get a chance for some pretty significant offseason reps with Coby Fleener gone. I'm curious to see how the Colts view the tight end position going forward. On paper, based off past years, the Colts could use another body behind Dwayne Allen (Jack Doyle and Swoope are names that will have a say in those reps). Yet, we aren't 100 percent sure how Rob Chudzinski is going to use the tight end position from a snap count standpoint. Maybe there isn't a massive need for a tight end behind Allen and Doyle.

German C. (North Hills, CA)

I believe we should take outside linebacker Leonard Floyd or inside linebacker Reggie Ragland in the first round and take stanfords guard in the second center Tuerk from USC in the third and Blake Martinez from Stanford in the fourth round and running back Daniel Lasco from CAL in the fifth, and take a qb in the seventh, it would give us an upgrade and depth in every position in need.What do you think of my picks?

Bowen: German, my only question is if you do go with Reggie Ragland in Round One, where's your pass rusher? You don't address that need (in your Mock) unless Leonard Floyd is the pick to start things off. I would maybe throw in another front seven option or offensive lineman and take out the quarterback.

Timothy J. (Edinburg, TX)

Hey Kevin I'm not going to lie, I think I gained a couple years back when the colts signed Robinson and turbin. So happy they got a decent corner and I actually like turbin and his experience in January n Feb plus his style and eagerness to play with gore is inspiring. Now everyone keeps asking bout the draft but my question is simple. Are the colts talking to anybody else in fa?? They let some cheap players get by already at position of need. I've not seen the details of Robinson contract so idk how much salary is left. Can u help me out with this??? Thanks. As always I'll be reading mailbag hoping to see answers to my inquiries.

Bowen: I get more into the running back situation below so let's focus on the cap situation now. Jim Irsay talked last week how the Colts were still speaking with free agents and that's expected even with the bulk of free agency behind us. Per the NFLPA, the Colts have about $17.9 million left in cap space after bringing on Patrick Robinson. There is room for some additional signings but the chunk of that is likely being held over for the team's draft picks and the upcoming contract for Andrew Luck.

Mario A. (El Paso, TX)

Hi kevin. I love reading your Q & A article. I am from el paso TX . Only a few of us colts down here in the Sun city. My question to you is . When is the schedule for the 2016 coming out ? Also i will be in indy later on this year and i would like to see if the players are accesible for autographs. Thank you!

Bowen: Last year, the schedule was released on April 21. The middle-to-late part of April is typically when the NFL releases the regular season slate of games. Mario, in past years the Colts have held an open mini-camp practice at Lucas Oil Stadium. That would be your best bet as the team has an autograph session before their practice. Any dates/times on that should be coming once the offseason program schedule (starting April 18) is announced.

Willie P. (Birmingham, AL)

Are the Colts comfortable with the running back situation or will there be a move on draft day to address the position?

Bowen: had something on this very subject earlier in the week. The Colts do like what they were able to acquire in Robert Turbin and Jordan Todman a few weeks back. Those two have been backup running backs before on playoff teams. Now, as you can see at the bottom of the linked article above, the Colts aren't ruling out drafting a running back, which makes plenty of sense with Frank Gore turning 33 years old in May. Of course, everything starts with Gore (rightfully so) at the running back position in 2016.

Ryan W. (Virginia)

Hey Kevin

I've been paying a lot of attention to the colts the offseason and the moves they have made. I have a mock draft I think that could happen that would make us a contender again. Huge colts fan but I just don't think we will make it to the super bowl this year! So here we go:

Round 1 Pick 18: Leonnard Floyd Olb Georgia: The colts have had a very weak pass rush in recent years. The only good pass rushers on the roster is Robert Mathis. He is 34 he cannot do it all anymore. Floyd would make a great addition to the pass rush and help Mathis out tremendously.

Round 2 pick 48: Josh Garnett G Stanford: The colts interior offensive line has been all but good in recent years. Luck has taken many hits since he was drafted adding Garnett would solidify rg Position for many years to come.

round 3 pick 82: Scooby Wright Ilb Arizona: With the departure of Freeman the depth at lb has taken a major hit. With Irving or Moore expected to get the start adding Scooby would add great depth and could maybe start one Day.

Round 4 Pick 116: Jack Allen C Michigan State: like earlier the colts need interior offensive linemen. Allen is a very underrated Center. He could come in day one and start and give the colts a good center and solidify a starting line. Something the colts haven't had in a while.

Round 5 Pick 155: Yannick Ngakoue Olb Maryland: Like earlier we need pass rusher bad. Yannick had 13.5 sacks last year and he is very very underrated. He is projected to go late sixth round. If the colts took a him in round five it could pay off tremendously for them. Having a future staring duo of Floyd and Ngakoue is a pass rush teams should fear.

Round 7 pick 239: Justin Burris CB Nc Sate: With the colts just picking up Patrick Robinson in fa the need for the colts to spend a high draft pick on CB is gone. Justin is 6'1 tall and lengthy. He is gonna be a project player he won't come in with high expectations but I feel with all the new coaching changes in defense he could really become something in the next few years.

I do know grigson said he probably not done getting a rb I think it would be smart to wait. Next year draft is loaded with rbs. Turbin, Toddman, Varga, and Williams provide good depth behind gore. I say wait till next to pick up nick Chubb, Dalvin Cook, or hopefully Lenoard Forneatte.

Thank you for your time!!

Go colts!!!

Bowen: I don't really see any question here but how can you not publish this much work. Great job, Ryan. You didn't mess around when it came to taking care of the Colts' biggest needs. You make some really good points throughout this Mock.

Chris R. (Winslow, AZ)

Hey Kevin, I'm a big fan of the Colts and the mailbag as well.

Obviously after last season we learned the Colts have a lot of holes to fill on both the defensive and offensive side of the ball. That being said, would you agree the Colts have to find at least 2, of not 3 starters in this years draft? I know most first round picks end up being starters immediately, or they are at least in the rotation. That's not always the case with 2nd and 3rd picks. Do you think the Colts can find staters in the 2nd and 3rd round of this draft and who do think they could take that could make an immediate impact in those rounds?

Bowen: I do think it's key for the Colts to find at least a couple of starters in this year's draft. The Colts have just six picks in 2016 so that's not a lot of room for error. Last year, the Colts found plenty of success in what they did in the "middle-ish rounds." Names like Henry Anderson, Clayton Geathers and David Parry came in Rounds 3-5 and played a variety of starting-type roles as rookies. The Colts' brass has talked about the importance in following up last year's draft with another impactful class. Some combination of front seven talent and interior line bodies has to be found in 2016.

Ray S. (Minneapolis)

Since so much was made about the twelve man sign we had to remove from out stadium. Any talk about the Colts holding a contest this summer to come up with a new defensive slogan?

Bowen: Ray, I know there are talks internally about a new sign to honor fans. Any suggestions from you or the other readers of the mailbag?

Rico W. (Tulsa, OK)

Mr.Bowen, When will the team Post Peyton Manning in the Ring Of Honor at Lucas Oil Stadium. Thanks

Bowen: There's been no date set for Peyton Manning's Ring of Honor induction. I'd say it's a pretty good bet the wait won't be long though.

Luke R. (Rochester, NY)


The names of Jack Conklin, and Taylor Decker have appeared in at least 75% of the 1st round mock drafts seen in countless websites and from many experts, not to mention all of the linebacker mock drafts. Not only Offensive Line, but linebackers/pass rushers are a big need, nit to mention the Colts haven't touched either the OL or LB/PR in the free agency, leaving the draft.

For the linebackers in the 2nd round, there are several prospects available:

  1. Joshua Perry, OLB

Ohio State

  1. Su'a Cravens, OLB

Southern California

  1. Jaylon Smith*, OLB

Notre Dame

*Smith's injury may be too risky of the Colts, even 2nd round

Your thoughts on these 2nd round prospects?

Bowen: You've done some nice research, Luke. Let's throw Smith out the window. When healthy, there's no doubt he's one of the most talented players in any draft. However, projecting him after a potential devastating knee injury is too murky. At 6-4 and north of 250 pounds, Perry might have the most ideal frame for a 3-4 inside linebacker in this year's draft class. With that though brings questions about his ability to play in space, particularly in pass coverage. Cravens brings an opposite skill set. This new age of the NFL was made for a player with Cravens' ability to play close to the line of scrimmage, while still possessing sideline-to-sideline traits. Perry would appear to be the natural scheme fit, but Cravens has to be quite appealing for the present day NFL.

Evan M. (Warsaw, IN)

Hey Kevin!

I was wondering what your thoughts on Sio Moore are? I was ecstatic when the Colts picked him up. Dude had 90 tackles in 2014! But he got hurt and played sparingly in his first year with the team. Obviously a big let down. Think he can beat out Irving to start with Jackson?

Bowen: Right now, the inside linebacker competition will be the top starting competition to watch in the offseason. If it comes down to these two as a starter, a lot is going to depend on what the Colts and Ted Monachino are looking for next to D'Qwell Jackson. In Nate Irving (who started two games last year), the Colts would be going with a physical presence known for his ability to stop the run. In Sio Moore, the Colts would have a little more athletic option who had 7.5 sacks in his first two seasons with the Raiders. Irving got the initial look at ILB last season, but if the Colts want a different skill set than Jackson, that could mean good news for Moore.

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