EDIT: Title should be 2013
So I came home for thanksgiving break and I just started to look at prospects. I by no means am a draft guru so I thought I'd start this thread and we could collaborate on what we think we will see on draft day.
Offensive: Oline, Physical WR,
Defensive: DE/OLB, NT, DE(5-Tech), SS, CB
Offensive: First Round: Chance Warmack OG
Defensive: First Round: Dion Jordan DE/OLB, Kawann Short NT, Eric Reid FS, Jonathan Banks CB.
Unfortunately we have traded a lot of picks.
Our Picks: 1, 3, 4, 6(conditional), 7(conditional)
Again by no means am I a draft expert so lets get some conversations started. Happy Thanksgiving guys.
What are our chances at a compensatory pick? Saturday & Clark were our notable FAs correct? I think that Redding/others might count enough against that.
For WR, I think we really just need another #1 type to replace Wayne, unless someone we got can step up into that role.. I'm happy with Hilton/Avery/Brazil at the other spot/slot. It's possible that we have success with a TE-centered offense with Allen & Fleener, and as long as we have the deep threat to stretch the defense we can be successful.
I'm growing on Shipley at center. If one falls in our lap take him, but Castonzo/Reitz/Shipley/???/??? is what we should be working with imo. No clue what's going on with Ijalana, but ready to move on if he doesn't show something next training camp. If we can get a RT in free agency, and use the 3rd or 4th rounder on RG, I think we'd be in a good position moving forward.
For the defensive line, not happy with anyone who's been playing thus far except Redding, and he's 32. It's possible that the players haven't fully grasped the transition to the 3-4 yet. And Pagano being out is perhaps a part of that. I think that finding talent through the draft or FA and using our present starters for depth is a good plan.
Also, what have people though of Hughes the last few weeks? Has he sucked less recently? I'm thinking our draft pick/cap money would be better spent on the D-line and see what Hughes can do in that setting. In short I thnk we could use a Richard Seymour more than a Demarcus Ware.
I think the ILBs are fine going forward. At safety, I wouldn't mind having a 2nd free-safety type. I tend to think once the rest of the defense is in place, we're going to have more issues with the pass than the run. Finding a player who can play centerfield would be better than someone who can thump a running back. Bethea is capable of playing near the LoS if needed.
The good news is that this draft is deep in positions that we need (DL, OLB, OL). I hope we take advantage.
BTW, what do you guys think about our NTs? I actually think they've held their ground ok. They are nothing special, but I think we can go with them for 1 more year.
Cb is a bigger need then what I thought. Our starters can't stay healthy and aren't all that good to begin with. It's no surprise that we are among the last teams in INTs. We need playmaker(s) in the secondary.
Hughes isn't an every-down player. If Freeney is gone, we'll need another starting OLB.
Today's game vs. Lions further showed weaknesses on our O-Line.
DE is one of the most underrated and valuable positions in 3-4. If you can find a guy who can constantly disrupt plays in the backfield, it gives you a big boost.
Johnson has played ok at nt but no one else really sticks out much. Chapman will be basically like a rookie next year but I still think we might go for a late round pick to fill depth. A true pass rushing OLB is a must. Freeny won't be back, Hughes still plays too uneven to be depended on and teams double team Mathis to negate him if Freeny is hurt/not playing. We need upgrades at about every spot for the other positions on our lines. Our interior O-Line blows chunks. Warmack would be a great pick as a 1st rounder if he lasted that long.
Personally, I'm of opinion that guard position doesn't need to addressed in the 1st round, unless it's a once-a-generation talent.
I don't know if I see Warmack as another Hutchinson.
Lots of thoughts to post here, hopefully it will be coherent.
There are a few guys in the draft I'm interested in. Chance Warmack is at the top of the list. However, it is a bummer to spend our 1st rounder on a guard and then not pick again til the 3rd. I am also interested in guys like Larry Warford, Travis Frederick (if he declares), Jonathan Cooper, DJ Fluker (RT or guard), Barrett Jones, and Alvin Bailey.
There's also free agency. There are no guards I'm terribly interested in. Louis Vasquez (SD), Shaun Lauvao (CLE), Andre Smith (CIN), and Andy Levitre (BUF) are all decent but nothing great. However at OT there are multiple talented guys in contract years:
As I said I am not looking to replace Castonzo. But with $45 million in cap space it makes sense to upgrade the roster wherever possible. I don't think all of those guys will be available. Some will re-sign and others will be tagged. Hopefully though the Colts have a shot at one of them.
possibly Moala (if he can consistently play like he did in his last game)
Conner/Angerer/Fokou (seriously love the ILB talent we have)
Chapman may be the answer at NT, and I like Mookie and Tevaseu as depth, but if there's a good NT prospect available we can't ignore it. However, with no shot at Lotulelei or Hankins it's basically Jenkins or nobody, and I'm not sure Jenkins is worth our 1st rounder. In free agency Terrance Knighton may become available but he's only played 4-3 DT/NT.
Freeney has not been great as an OLB and I just don't think he ever wanted to play the position. I doubt he will be re-signed and even though he is my favorite Colt I don't think he should be. Hughes, though he has improved, is depth-only material. He will never start, or at least shouldn't.
I love the rush OLB options available in this draft. Jarvis Jenkins, Barkevious Mingo, Bjoern Werner, Dion Jordan, Damontre Moore, Sam Montgomery, Zeek Ansah, Chase Thomas... we'll have a lot of options in the 1st I think. Good options. I think this almost has to be the pick unless there is unbelievable value somewhere else. All but possibly the last two will be gone by the 3rd when we pick. This is a great year to need a pass rusher, but lots of teams need them.
In free agency there is the underrated-but-old Shaun Phillips, Conner Barwin (meh), and... that's about it. It's draft or nothing, which is again why I think we need to draft an OLB in the 1st. Too much talent available, arguably the biggest need, and no options in free agency.
As I mentioned earlier, I like Redding and Moala as starters if Moala can play like he was during the Bills game. I think he improved this year. However, Redding is old and gets hurt a lot, and Moala is no pro bower. If the Colts went after Randy Starks (MIA) to play DE I would not be upset, he'd be an upgrade over either of our starters.
In the draft there's Sheldon Richardson, Kawaan Short (I don't see him as a NT), Shariff Floyd, and I think that's about it. I've heard good things about Richardson but nothing to make me want him more than one of the OLBs. Short and Floyd are ok prospects but nothing I'm super excited about. I don't expect this position to get much stronger.
We definitely need CBs. Davis will be good and Butler may be the NB of the future but Vaughn is a backup, Powers won't be re-signed, and the rest of the guys are just JAGs. Too bad we gave up picks (albeit low ones) to get some of them. However, there aren't any CBs in this draft that make me want to burn a 1st. Especially when you look at free agency...
Brent Grimes (ATL)
Sean Smith (MIA)
Quinten Jammer (SD)
Sam Shields (GB)
Tracy Porter (NO)
Derek Cox (JAX)
We need to put some of that $45 million toward one of those guys. I think the CB value in this draft is in the mid rounds.
At safety, there are a few options. In free agency you've got
William Moore (ATL)
Jairus Byrd (BUF)
LaRon Landry (NYJ)
Louis Delmas (DET)
Any of those guys (especially Moore, I'm a big fan) paired with Bethea makes the backfield instantly very dangerous. Bethea can play either S position so it comes down to available talent. No need to look for SS only.
In the draft, I do really like Eric Reid. Robert Lester too, if he falls to the 3rd. TJ McDonald, Kenny Vacarro, and Bacari Rambo are also all solid options. I think the Colts will have a better starter at S to play w/Bethea next year. Too many options and Zbikowski sucks too bad to leave it alone.
Well this post has turned into a book. Hopefully it makes sense. Let me know what you guys think. This season has been exciting, but it's also very exciting to think about how much better we can be next year!
At this point, Bethea might be better off playing closer to the line of scrimmage.
He seems to have lost a step in coverage, but still supports the run as well as ever.
We gave up a 2nd and a conditional 6th for Vontae Davis.
Conditional 6th rounders are normally based on playing time, early conditional picks are based on players making Pro Bowl, at least that is my educated guess.
So, I'd go like this:
Round 1: Eric Reid, FS, LSU
Round 3: Bennett Jackson, CB, Notre Dame
Round 4: Lerentee McCray, OLB, Florida
Round 6: Alex Hurst, 6'6", 331, LSU/John Wetzel, 6'7", 308, Boston College (I love Boston College guys for O-line :), they produce good NFL OLs)
Of course, for Garcon, Saturday and Clark, I expect a 5th, 6th & 7th rounder as compensatory picks. Garcon is a high impact free agent. When Edge left, we got a 3rd round compensatory pick, the highest that you can get. Because Garcon is injured, a 5th is what I am expecting. Saturday is the center for a playoff bound team, so a 6th at least is in order. Clark has had the least impact and a 7th rounder at best, much like Punter Smith.
Jeff Saturday and Sampson Satele cancel each other out. Both starters with similar contracts ($3.8M compared to $3.6M).
Of the remainder the Colts had 5 Free Agents and signed 5 Free Agents. The total yearly cost of the contracts of the Colts' free agents was about $14M. The free agents the Colts signed are worth about $8M. So the Colts may get something but it will be limited and purely for Garcon (who hasn't exactly had the sort of stellar year that prompts high comp picks).
I'd expect nothing greater than a 5th or 6th rounder and only that.
I think any draft prediction should bear in mind that we have ~30m or so to pick up a few free agent starters. Its impossible to say who will be available in FA, and where will be the wise positions to spend money. If we get 2 starting caliber offensive linemen and a 5-tech, I'd be ok with a secondary heavy draft.
It's closer to $50 million than $30 million. And it's not really impossible, it's easy to find out who is in a contract year, and we can guess at who will and won't be re-signed.
I doubt the Dolphins can afford to keep Sean Smith, Jake Long, and Randy Starks, so whoever they have to let walk, we should sign.
Here's a list of players compiled by Phil Wilson of the Star who are in contract years/unsigned for 2013. Players in Bold are ones I doubt will be resigned or shouldn't be.
Colts contract years (position, player name, 2012 cap hit)
OLB Dwight Freeney $19 million
RT Winston Justice $1.5 million
CB Jerraud Powers $1.477 million
WR Austin Collie $1.417 million
P Pat McAfee $1.323 million
DT Fili Moala $900,000
QB Drew Stanton $750,000
WR Donnie Avery $615,000
LB Moise Fokou $615,000
OL Jeff Linkenbach $546,667
CB Cassius Vaughn $540,000
OG Seth Olsen $540,000
CB Josh Gordy $540,000
DT Ricardo Mathews $540,000
LG Joe Reitz $540,000
NT Martin Tevaseu $465,000
LB A.J. Edds $465,000
LB Scott Lutrus $465,000
Guys who weren’t with the team full season
CB Darius Butler
DE Clifton Geathers
DE Lawrence Guy
DT Kellen Heard
OT Tony Hills
S Delano Howell
RB Deji Karim
RB Mewelde Moore
TE Weslye Saunders
OT Bradley Sowell
WR Nathan Palmer
LB Jamaal Westerman
CB Teddy Williams
* * * *
Of those, Pat the Punter should be #1 to be resigned as I agree with Phil. Avery would be welcomed back for a one year deal, I don't think sinking $ on him to a long term deal is necessarily good considering his injury history. I'm ok with Stanton as a backup for another year. Reitz and Linken could come back to compete for spots assuming we draft a few lineman. Same goes for Matthews and Fili.
O-Line and D-Lines really need addressed in the draft/FA. We still have too many needs to be all filled in another off season.
Assuming a $120.9M cap, I have the Colts sitting at the moment with 41 players signed and $50.6M in cap room. Now a certain amount of that will be used to sign Rookies ($3-4M depending where the Colts finish in the playoffs). There may also be a certain amount of dead cap from cuts and trades (though no one big got this so this can be no more than a $1M or so, if even anywhere near that). So there should be somewhere in the region of $45M to sign free agents.
I would also argue going into next season the Colts need 12 starters (4 on Offense [3 of whom are on the line], 6 on Defense, and 2 on Special Teams): They are:
Offensive Tackle (either a RT, or a LT and move Castonzo)
2 Offensive Guards
Wide Receiver (preferably a big red zone threat)
Nose Tackle (maybe Chapman)
Nickleback (Vaughn is a RFA so he may fit here)
Snapper (Overton is a RFA so this is easy enough)
I think at this point a Pass Rusher is our biggest need. Dion Jordan I think has the best motor of the likely available people at our draft spot. I'm not sure Ansah would be a stud rookie, but he has a ton of upside. Crossing my fingers for Jordan/Jones/Montgomery/Mingo to fall
I don't think we need a starting WR.
I would not mind bringing in Bowe or Jennings at WR. Or even Danny Amendola. But I don't think WR is nearly the need that OL is.
And as much as I wanted Star Lotulelei when I thought the Colts would have a top 10 pick, I think we are fine at NT. Mookie and Tevaseu have held the position down fine. We will get two "new" guys at NT in Chapman and McKinney next year. Terrance Knighton is the only real option in free agency and I don't want to burn an early pick on NT. I think the starter at NT next year is already on the roster, and like DE I like our depth. I've seen real improvement from many of our DLmen this year.
Rush OLB is the biggest need on defense, maybe the #1 need overall. Freeney has improved his run defense this year but he is not getting to the QB. All the close games aren't helping but he also just isn't a good fit. Anthony Spencer and Connor Barwin are the top FA options but I'm not really interested. I am with RCA, I hope for one of the premier pass rushers to fall to us. It's a deep class so I think there's a good chance.
1. OG ... we can't go with the same group next year, just can't
2. OLB ... not enough pass rush
3. SS ... playmakers in the secondary are needed
4. RT ... I can live with Justice for one more year, but not much longer then that
5. CB ... Davis is a starter. Vaughn and Butler are more of NBs. Depth is mediocre
6. DE ... Our current guys are good against the run, but it would help to get someone who can rush the passer
I think money in free agency spent on DL and OL has the best bang for the buck since it takes more time for DL and OL to transition to the NFL than any other positions, especially OG and DT.
My free agent likes:
Dashon Goldson, S, 49ers; Keenan Lewis, CB, Steelers
Matt Slauson, OG, Jets; Louis Vasquez, OG, Chargers (both fit Arians' man blocking schemes)
Richard Seymour, DE/DT (depends on how much he wants)
Anthony Spencer, OLB (most likely Freeney is gone because he will want 4-3 DE money and not 3-4 OLB money, Freeney probably goes to the Falcons or Saints, IMO)
Skill positions, pass rushers - all or most should come from the draft, IMO. For some reason, once the WRs and RBs get their money, their production never lives up to the same level like they did when they were hungrier and playing for that contract. Hence, our best bet is still draft for those.
Yeah I'm really hoping we can just address the secondary with FA. LaRon LAndry would be somebody I would like to see on the Colts. And if Sean Smith or DRC aren't resigned I would love to see one of them a Colt.
We also should look into getting Vontae Davis a new deal this off-season. Maybe we can get a minor discount since we got one more year on the cheap and he'll want some guaranteed money.
I'm pretty pleased with the receiving options moving forward. Hilton looks like a #2 at worst and we're only at the end of his first season. I think he, Fleener, and Allen can get the job done assuming the pass protection is there. If we do lose Brown this off-season or next, I'd love to get a Darren Sproles type though.
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