2013 NFL Offseason: Indianapolis Colts
Draft Grades, Season Previews, Team Needs, Free Agents
Indianapolis Colts (Last Year: 11-5)
2013 NFL Draft Grade: C+
Please note that the overall grade is not an average of all the individual grades. Other things are taken into account like team needs and goals.
Goals Entering the 2013 NFL Draft: Giving Andrew Luck some protection and weapons to work with is definitely a priority. Fixing the front seven is something the Colts need to do as well. With a decent amount of needs, Indianapolis can probably take the top player available each time.
2013 NFL Draft Accomplishments: The Colts completed all of the goals that were required of them in the 2013 NFL Draft, but they made some odd choices while filling their needs.
It started in the first round with Bjoern Werner. The Florida State product was regarded as a pure 4-3 left end, so it'll be interesting to see how he transitions into the 3-4. Remember that Indianapolis let Dwight Freeney walk because he struggled in his move from the 4-3 to the 3-4, so I don't know why the front office believes Werner will be more successful in his attempt to do so.
As for bolstering Andrew Luck's protection, I'm fine with the selection of Hugh Thornton, but the Khaled Holmes pick is puzzling. Holmes was barely functional last season, and many thought he'd go undrafted. Picking him early on Day 3 was very questionable.
I had no issues with any of Indianapolis' other choices. They could have been better, but also could have been worse. That pretty much sums up the Colts' draft class as a whole.
2013 NFL Draft Individual Grades:
24. Bjoern Werner, DE/OLB, Florida State: C+ Grade
Many see Bjoern Werner as a 4-3 left end, but the Colts apparently don't agree with that. I have to wonder about this scheme fit, but there's no denying that Bjoern Werner is one of the top players available. It'll be interesting to see how Werner fits into this defense.
Follow @walterfootball for updates.
86. Hugh Thornton, G, Illinois: B Grade
Solid pick. The Colts had a big need at guard because Mike McGlynn is a sieve. Hugh Thornton should have been taken in this range, so this selection deserves a good grade.
121. Khaled Holmes, C, USC: D Grade
Khaled Holmes probably shouldn't have been drafted. He couldn't block anyone last year, and he also has injury concerns. Plus, he doesn't fill a need. I don't like this pick at all.
139. Montori Hughes, NT, Tennessee-Martin: B Grade
I thought Montori Hughes should have gone a bit earlier than this. He'll challenge last year's fifth-round pick, Josh Chapman, to be the long-term starter at nose tackle. One of those guys should pan out.
192. John Boyett, S, Oregon: B Grade
John Boyett is a solid pick near the end of the sixth round. The Colts hadn't addressed the secondary yet, which is something they definitely had to do.
230. Kerwynn Williams, RB, Utah State: B Grade
Donald Brown won't be around much longer, so the Colts needed a running back to pair with Vick Ballard. Kerwynn Williams was pegged to go in this range.
254. Justice Cunningham, TE, South Carolina: B- Grade
*** 2013 NFL TEAM NEEDS BELOW COMMENT BOARD ***
The Colts went from two to 11 wins, but their 2012 campaign was more than just a nine-win improvement you'll see occasionally. The team fought hard for head coach Chuck Pagano, who was diagnosed with Leukemia in early October. The Colts achieved several inspirational victories, culminating with a win over the rival Texans in Week 17. Though their inexperienced showed with multiple red-zone blunders at Baltimore in the opening round of the playoffs, this past season has to be considered a highly successful one for Indianapolis.
- Right Tackle: The Colts have to upgrade Andrew Luck's protection. Winston Justice, a free agent, was constantly on and off the field because of various injuries last year. Signed Gosder Cherilus
- Cornerback: Indianapolis has multiple cornerbacks set to hit free agency. All of them struggled across from Vontae Davis. Signed Greg Toler; re-signed Darius Butler
- Nose Tackle: Antonio Johnson's contract is up, but he was playing out of position anyway. Indianapolis will have to consider Johnathan Jenkins at No. 24 overall this April. Signed Aubrayo Franklin; drafted Montori Hughes
- Rush Linebacker: Dwight Freeney will be hitting the free-agent market, but he didn't exactly transition comfortably into the 3-4. Jerry Hughes, meanwhile, has yet to prove that he's nothing more than a marginal talent. Luckily, this upcoming draft class is deep at the rush linebacker position. Drafted Bjoern Werner; signed Erik Walden and Lawrence Sidbury
- Two Guards: Here's more help up front. Starting guards Mike McGlynn and Jeff Linkenbach were both brutal last year. Signed Donald Thomas; tendered Jeff Linkenbach; drafted Hugh Thornton
- Defensive End: Indianapolis has to make another upgrade on its defensive line. Signed Ricky Jean-Francois; re-signed Fili Moala
- Free Safety: Tom Zbikowski isn't very good. Joe Lefeged did OK in relief late in the year, but I'm not sure he has what it takes to be a starter. Signed LaRon Landry
- Wide Receiver: Donnie Avery is a free agent, but the Colts already needed a more reliable tertiary receiver to complement Reggie Wayne and TY Hilton. Signed Darrius Heyward-Bey
- Running Back: Vick Ballard ran pretty well to close out the season, but some competition and depth should still be added at the position. Signed Ahmad Bradshaw
- Punter: Pat McAfee is a free agent. Franchised Pat McAfee
2013 NFL Free Agent Signings:
LaRon Landry, S, Jets. Age: 28.
Signed with Colts (4 years)
No one wanted LaRon Landry last offseason. He was considered an injury waiting to happen. Well, he proved everyone wrong with a solid 2012 campaign. He should still be considered fragile, but he has definitely earned himself a nice contract.
Ahmad Bradshaw, RB, Giants. Age: 27.
Signed with Colts (1 year)
It seems like Ahmad Bradshaw has been around forever, but he'll be just 27 in March. Bradshaw has averaged at least 4.5 yards per carry in all but one season in his career thus far. He's also terrific on third downs as a receiver and pass-protector. The one negative is his durability; he always seems to be bothered by a foot injury. He's had so many surgeries on his feet that he may not be able to hold up much longer.
Donald Thomas, G, Patriots. Age: 27.
Signed with Colts
Donald Thomas didn't get to play very much behind Logan Mankins and Dan Connolly, but when he did, he definitely made the most of it. He could be a starter on many teams.
Greg Toler, CB, Cardinals. Age: 28.
Signed with Colts
Greg Toler is a solid reserve cornerback who can start occasionally without killing a team. He played well at the end of the 2012 season.
Gosder Cherilus, OT, Lions. Age: 29.
Signed with Colts
One of Matt Millen's busts, Gosder Cherilus is actually coming off one of his better seasons, though that still involved approaching double-digit penalties. Cherilus was OK as a blocker.
Ricky Jean-Francois, DE/DT, 49ers. Age: 26.
Signed with Colts (4 years, $22 million)
Ricky Jean-Francois handled himself well when inserted into the lineup in the wake of Justin Smith's injury. He's not much of a pass-rusher, but he contained the run well.
Aubrayo Franklin, NT, Chargers. Age: 33.
Signed with Colts
Aubrayo Franklin will be 33 in August, but he can still get the job done as a run-stuffer.
Darrius Heyward-Bey, WR, Raiders. Age: 26.
Signed with Colts (1 year)
Darrius Heyward-Bey caught 64 balls for 975 yards in 2011, but he's not a very good receiver. He has terrible hands and run awful routes. He does have upside though with his size and speed, so maybe some great coaching could get the most out of him.
Matt Hasselbeck, QB, Titans. Age: 38.
Signed with Colts (2 years)
Matt Hasselbeck's days as a starter are long gone, but he proved that he can still be a very capable backup. He threw seven touchdowns to five interceptions in eight games last season.
- Erik Walden, DE/OLB, Packers. Age: 28. -- Signed with Colts
- Lawrence Sidbury, DE, Falcons. Age: 27. -- Signed with Colts
Indianapolis Colts Free Agents:
Salary Cap: TBA.
Dwight Freeney, DE, Colts. Age: 33.
Signed with Chargers
Dwight Freeney didn't have a good 2012 campaign because he was bothered by an ankle injury and had to transition into a 3-4 for the first time in his career. He should be better on a team with a 4-3 defense next year.
Pat McAfee, P, Colts. Age: 26.
Franchised by Colts
Pat McAfee ranked in the middle of the pack this season in terms of net punting.
Jerraud Powers, CB, Colts. Age: 26.
Signed with Cardinals
Jerraud Powers is young and has potential, but he's inconsistent and injury-prone. He hasn't played more than 12 games in any season.
Winston Justice, OT, Colts. Age: 28.
Winston Justice surprisingly was a decent blocker for the Colts at times this past season, but he was constantly in and out of the lineup because of various injuries.
- Darius Butler, CB, Colts. Age: 27. -- Re-signed with Colts
- Tom Zbikowski, S, Colts. Age: 28. -- Signed with Bears (1 year)
- Antonio Johnson, DT, Colts. Age: 28.
- Donnie Avery, WR, Colts. Age: 29. -- Signed with Chiefs
- Jeff Linkenbach (RFA), G, Colts. Age: 26. -- Tendered by Colts (original)
- Moise Fokou, ILB, Colts. Age: 28. -- Signed with Titans
- Fili Moala, DT, Colts. Age: 28. -- Re-signed with Colts (1 year)
- Cassius Vaughn (RFA), CB, Colts. Age: 25.
- Austin Collie, WR, Colts. Age: 27.
- Mewelde Moore, RB, Colts. Age: 31.
- Seth Olsen (RFA), G, Colts. Age: 27. -- Signed with Vikings
- Jamaal Westerman, DE/OLB, Colts. Age: 28.
- Drew Stanton, QB, Colts. Age: 29. -- Signed with Cardinals (3 years)
- A.J. Edds (RFA), ILB, Colts. Age: 25.
- Tony Hills, G, Colts. Age: 28.
2013 NFL Free Agent Positions:
QB | RB | FB | WR | TE | OT | G | C | DE | DT | OLB | ILB | CB | S | K/P | FA Grades
2013 Fantasy Football Rankings - June 19
2014 NFL Mock Draft - June 18
Charlie's 2014 NFL Mock Draft - June 17
2013 NBA Mock Draft - May 22
NFL Picks - Feb. 3
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