Colts Mailbag

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Colts Mailbag: Finding The 'Quarterback Of The Future,' Cornerback Depth, Breshad Perriman A Possibility?

In this week’s Colts Mailbag, readers inquire about how the team will go about finding its “quarterback of the future,” whether the depth at cornerback needs work, a possible free agent option at wide receiver in Breshad Perriman and much more.

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INDIANAPOLIS — Each week, Colts.com readers can submit their questions to have a chance of them being answered in our Mailbag series.

Missed out on the party this week? Not a problem — you can submit your question(s) for next time by clicking here.

Let's jump right into this week's questions:

Tim G. (Oxford, Mass.): "Long time colts fan here. My question is this, say in the draft both justin herbert and Jordan love are both available at the 13th pick who do you see the colts more likely to choose? Me personally I've seen numerous rumors linking the colts to love but i dont understand it. Herbert to me looks a bit more andrew luck-ish, and with our offense basically built for a player like him wouldn't it make more sense to lean towards herbert?"

Walker: I'm certainly no expert when it comes to evaluating quarterback prospects, but from everything I can gather from outside sources, as well as seeing both guys up close the week of the Senior Bowl, Justin Herbert seems to be, at this point, the more pro-ready prospect. But one main reason why you might be seeing Jordan Love linked to the Colts more than Herbert, Tim, is because of where the team is picking in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft; at 13th overall, and with several quarterback-needy teams ahead of them, it's not likely that Herbert will even be available for Indy to take. So with the Combine, more team interviews and visits and pro days still ahead in the evaluation process, it'll be interesting to see how this all shakes out, and whether or not the Colts will even be in the running for one of the "top-tier" quarterback prospects by the time they go on the clock in Round 1 in April.

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Wayne P. (Hartford, Conn.): "Hello again Andrew, I have another question in regards to our Defense. What's your view on how Marques Hunt performed this year? I'm asking because 2 years ago we heard his name mentioned a lot in making plays. This past year we hardly ever heard his name. I know this year he was moved from a defensive end to an interior lineman but still he didn't appear to be a strong player for us. Do you think we need to address our interior linemen, including Denico Autry, this off season?"

Walker: I think the 2019 season was undoubtedly a frustrating one for Margus Hunt. After a career year in 2018 — he played in, and started, 15 games, and had 30 tackles, including an impressive 13 tackles for loss, with 5.0 sacks and a forced fumble — Hunt followed that up with just 17 total tackles in 2019; he had zero tackles for loss, zero sacks and zero quarterback hits. As you alluded to, Wayne, Hunt did play much more inside in 2019 than he did in 2018; about 90 percent of his snaps were at both defensive tackle spots last season, a 25-percent increase from 2018. General manager Chris Ballard has already indicated a need for much better play from the interior of the defensive line as a whole moving forward, so Hunt is one of multiple players who are heading into crucial offseasons.

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Yeni T. (Fort Wayne, Ind.): "Hi Andrew thanks for your time. Do you Think reggie Wayne first ballot HOF and finally Edgerrin James To be HOF this year? I'm praying James to get in. Do you think Andrew luck qualify for HOF, maybe one day colts ring of honor?"

Walker: Hey Yeni, thanks for your questions. Obviously we know by now that Edgerrin James was, thankfully, selected for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame for the Class of 2020, while Reggie Wayne, a finalist in his first year of eligibility, was not. To me, Wayne shouldn't have to wait much longer to get his call to the Hall, though; he ranks in the top-10 in career receptions and receiving yards, and in the top-three in postseason receptions and receiving yards. But even Marvin Harrison had to wait until his third year to get in, so take that into consideration. As for Andrew Luck, no, I don't personally think he's a Hall of Fame candidate at this point. He was named to four Pro Bowls, but never earned All-Pro honors, and ranks 76th in league history in completed passes, 85th in pass attempts, 85th in passing yards, 68th in passing touchdowns, 40th in completion percentage and 21st in career passer rating. Now, could Luck find himself in the Colts' Ring of Honor someday? That's a good discussion for down the road.

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Charles R. (Norfolk, Va.): "Are the colts looking to draft a QB for the future or are they going to stick with Jacoby and send him to a quarterback guru to work with him in the off season to help him with his mechanics OR will they go defensive line ....."

Walker: I can see parts of all three of your potential scenarios playing out, Charles — and then there's a chance none of them end up really materializing. With one year remaining on Jacoby Brissett's contract, there's a chance the Colts could explore the possibility of selecting a promising quarterback prospect this year, but also letting Brissett remain the starter in 2020 and then seeing how things play out from there. The Colts could also come to the realization that Brissett gives them their best chance at future success and decide not to bring in any competition at the quarterback position; as for going to a "quarterback guru," Brissett already works on his own with throwing mechanics expert Tom House. The final scenario at quarterback, of course, is the chance that the Colts bring in an outside free agent, which could present any number of possibilities when it comes to what the team decides to do with Brissett. And then you mentioned going defensive line in the first round of the draft — that's also a very realistic possibility. At defensive tackle there are guys like Derrick Brown or Javon Kinlaw that could slide down to No. 13 overall, depending on how things play out; along the edge, Iowa's A.J. Epenesa is a name that has been linked to the Colts in some mock drafts.

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Doug S. (Shingle Springs, Calif.): "Hello again, yes it has been a long season highs and lows you bet, why speak of a qb now? I am sure JB is going to be more than just fine, Defensive Corners are still my biggest concerns at depth, Wideouts and Tightends are also a concern at depth.

That said it would be appreciated to list out those physical corners not just the guy who can run with the big wideouts or the break away tightends. Any names come to mind? Thank you again for the mailbag to air out and learn football concerns, Very Respectfully, Doug S"

Walker: We've already gone over the Jacoby Brissett angles multiple times, so I'll get to your next points. To me, depth is not really an issue at cornerback for the Colts, other than finding a quality backup to Kenny Moore II at the slot cornerback spot, which was apparent once Moore II went down with what ended up being a season-ending ankle injury back in Week 13. Think about it: at that cornerback spot, you currently have Moore II, Pierre Desir and Rock Ya-Sin, two guys who earned new contracts last offseason and other who was a 2019 second-round pick. You also have Marvell Tell III, a 2019 fifth-round draft pick who can only get better with more reps. Then there's Quincy Wilson, the former second-round pick whose role diminished throughout the 2019 season and is facing a "big year" in 2020, according to general manager Chris Ballard. So that's five players right there at the cornerback position that are set to return — now, could the team continue adding competition there? Absolutely. But as of now, you're in decent shape.

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Scott C. (Charlestown, Ind.): "Do you think free agent Breshad Perriman, wide receiver Tampa Bay Buccaneers, would be a good target for the Colts? He shined in the last five weeks of the season when finally getting the opportunity after Mike Evan's and Chris Godwin went down with injuries. In those five weeks, he was one of the top two in the league at the position, surpassing 500yds with five touchdowns. At 6'-3" and just 26yrs old, he seems like a possible fit for our needs at receiver."

Walker: Breshad Perriman is definitely an interesting free-agent-to-be at wide receiver, and there really isn't a ton of otherwise top-end talent available at that position this offseason. A former first-round pick who has that terrific blend of size and speed, Perriman should have his share of suitors, however, which could really drive his price up. Last year, the Colts were content with giving Devin Funchess a one-year deal reportedly worth $10 million, but will Perriman be looking for a longer deal at around the same annual price point? And might the Colts be more willing to consider one or two options in this year's NFL Draft, where the talent pool at wide receiver appears to be very deep? Should be interesting to see how it all plays out.

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Steve B. (Washington, Ind.): "these mock drafts are fine to read, not very informative though as they are way too early.  anthony Costanzo still undecided whether to retire or keep playing?  his decision will determine colts drafting needs. by the way, which comes first, free agency or the draft.  offhand, I am thinking free agency."

Walker: My general rule on Mock Drafts is once February hits, it's fair game to start checking into them a little more closely. By then, the college season is over, the Super Bowl has wrapped up and you know the for-sure order for the first round of the upcoming NFL Draft. The Senior Bowl and other college all-star games have also already taken place, so you have a better idea which prospects are starting to rise and where they might make sense landing. Yes, it's still way too early to make any concrete conclusions, as the upcoming NFL Scouting Combine, team interviews, pro day workouts and team facility visits still are yet to take place, but you at least have a good initial ideal of where things stand.

As for Anthony Castonzo, we're still awaiting to hear his official decision about whether or not he'll be playing in 2020 (or even beyond).

And free agency comes first; it begins at 4 p.m. ET on March 18. The draft starts in late-April.

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Wayne P. (Middletown, Conn.): "Hi Andrew, I just wanted to have you confirm the statement that Chris Ballard made in his post season interview about Eric Ebron. Did he say that he was not bring him back next year?"

Walker: When asked at his end-of-season press conference if the team would explore bringing back tight end Eric Ebron, a free-agent-to-be, general manager Chris Ballard said, "We'll probably move on." Pretty cut and dry.

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John C. (Indianapolis): "Wil colts consider Marvin Harrison Jr. in draft?"

Walker: You're asking if Marvin Harrison Jr., who begins his college career at Ohio State in 2020, will be a Colts target in the NFL Draft? I believe the earliest he could enter the draft would be 2023 — I'm yet to see his name appear on any mock drafts for that year.

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