Colts Offseason Needs NFL 2022: Free Agency And Draft Preview
The Colts fumbled the bag, I mean they fumbled hard. They had a great chance to make the playoffs and just…didn’t. All they had to do was beat the Jaguars to make the playoffs and they couldn’t do it. So where do the Colts go from here? Well, they just traded their starting QB in Carson Wentz to the Washington Commanders. Which, they didn’t get a whole lot back from them. They got 2 3rd rounders (one this year and one next year that escalates to a 2nd if Wentz plays 70% of snaps) and moved up 5 spots in the 2nd round of this draft. Whoop-de-do. Great trade on the Commanders’ part by a low-risk, high-reward move. But the Colts didn’t get a lot back for him. What they did get though is cap space. Hopefully, enough cap space to address the Colts offseason needs.
Colts Free Agency
Now, the Colts have the most cap space in the NFL. With $44 million at their disposal, they are in a good place to still contend in the weak AFC South. But there are still a lot of holes to fill on this team. The Colts’ offseason needs can be defined as a QB (duh), WRs, OL, and defense. It’s a good thing they have the most cap because they are going to need it. The QB need will certainly have its options. In Free Agency, names like Jameis Winston, Marcus Mariota, Andy Dalton, Jacoby Brissett (reunion?), and even Dwayne Haskins can all be options in free agency. You think that’s rough? Wait until the draft section.
So, maybe the Colts throw some money at a BACKUP QB, anyone they get in Free Agency at QB should not be considered as a Franchise QB, rather than a capable backup solution until they get one of those Franchise QBs. The Colts are HOT in the trade market for a QB though. Those rumors consist of Derek Carr (bias in me says no way it happens) and Jimmy Garoppolo (likely). Those are the rumors, but the Colts should be checking the market of Deshaun Watson (after legal troubles), Sam Darnold, and Kirk Cousins too. The problem is the Colts don’t have a lot of draft picks to make most of these happen, and it would be hard without giving up at least one decent player. QB is going to be fun to watch for the Colts at least in free agency, but let’s hit the other positions.
WRs in free agency have a lot to choose from as far as WR2s. The Colts should be done with Zach Pascal and aging T.Y. Hilton. So, it might not be a bad idea to get a WR2 and WR3 if they can. But, grabbing an established WR in Free Agency is a must. They need people other than Michael Pittman Jr. to throw to. Names like Juju, Allen Robinson, and Jakobi Meyers should all be on the Colts list. Nabbing one of these guys (preferably the cheapest one) would be ideal. They could grab two if they wanted to, but they should get as much talent as they can with $70 mil to throw around. OL is a weaker Free Agency class, they shouldn’t be too thrilled at the market, however, they have the money to throw at whoever they want on the OL.
The Defense is where it could be fun for the Colts. Luckily for the Colts, this Free Agency class has plenty of DL and secondary players. The Colts can make a solid front and a no-fly zone in the same free agency class before they even touch the draft. The way I see it, grab 1 WR, try to test the market on OL, and put the rest of the money into the defense after you trade or sign a QB. That seems to be the best plan of action for the Colts. The Colts still have Jonathan Taylor, the offense doesn’t have to be great if their defense is.
Since the Colts don’t have a 1st, they won’t get the top-end talent, however, they might be able to find solid talent in the mid-rounds still to fill out some depth. In this draft, they have 42, 73, and 82 that they can get solid talent in. Let’s go back to the QB thing. Do I love this QB class? No way. I do think there is some talent to be found here. I think 42 would be a great spot to draft a QB…IF the Colts had a 1st round pick. But the 1st pick for the Colts being a QB in a weak QB class? That just doesn’t sound right. However, it is an option for the Colts. Now, it really all depends on the rest of the NFL values these QBs. The Colts should value these QBs in this order: Kenny Pickett, Matt Corral, and Malik Willis. I don’t think the Colts should be desperate for a QB despite their situation. It’s almost pivotal that the Colts be smart with their 1st pick in this draft.
I’m thinking defense for the Colts. It just depends on who falls to them. I think they won’t get any of that 1st round EDGE talent and I think the next tier of EDGE rushers are not worthy of 42. The same thing with LBs, Nakobe Dean, Devin Lloyd, or Christian Harris would be great at 42, but that next tier? Not so much. This is leading me to look at the secondary, especially CB. Quick note, I do like the possibility of the Colts choosing one of the top 5 tackles in this draft: Evan Neal, Ikem Ekwonu, Charles Cross, Trevor Penning, and Nicholas Petit-Frere. I think they might be able to get one of these guys at 42. Maybe a guard at 42, but I’m not hopeful. I would say CB would be the way if they can’t get a tackle. I love the idea of guys like Roger McCreary or Derion Kendrick here at 42.
In the 3rd round, they might get some gems here at 73 and 82. They have a few options they can get here in the 3rd. This would be a decent time to get a guard if they have some good ones still available. Names like Ed Ingram or Darian Kinnard come to mind. There are better names at EDGE for the 3rd too. Kingsley Enagbare, Nik Bonitto, maybe even Drake Jackson drops this far. At LB, Darrian Beavers or Brian Asamoah might be decent. CB might include Nehemiah Pritchett if they don’t get one at 42. This would be the best time to get a WR too. This class is deep with them. They might be able to get George Pickens, Justyn Ross, Wan’Dale Robinson, Calvin Austin III, or David Bell. Plenty of options in the 3rd round. It’ll also depend on how the board falls to them in both rounds too though.
The Colts will be busy this offseason. Whether it is trying to trade for a QB or filling out their roster with a whopping $44 million still. There will be a lot going on in Indy. There is so much uncertainty with this team and there are so many ways they can go. It all starts with which QB they can get. Then, what they spend their cap space on. Lastly, who they draft. So many options, so many possibilities when addressing the Colts offseason needs, we will see how it all shakes out.