The Indianapolis Colts went 4-12 in a rough 2017 season and coach Chuck Pagano was fired soon after.
Quarterback Andrew Luck did not play a single snap, even though he was supposed to be ready to start the season. After a mystery vacation to Europe, Luck recently started throwing. He should be good to go for camp in July.
Frank Reich was hired as the new coach in early February after winning Super Bowl LII as the Philadelphia Eagles offensive coordinator.
Jacoby Brissett and Scott Tolzien were dropped in the back field 56 times last season. Even if Andrew Luck is completely healthy in 2018, it won’t be good if he takes that many hits.
Remember when owner Jim Irsay angrily tweeted about Luck needing better protection?
Since that angry tweet, Luck has been sacked 114 times, an average of 38 per season.
Irsay has said repeatedly that Luck is his man. If he is that committed, his team should consider drafting an offensive lineman to help protect his quarterback. There are two guys already in Indiana (Notre Dame’s Mike McGlinchey and Quenton Nelson) who are expected to come off the board early.
For the third straight time, Penn State running back Saquon Barkley makes an appearance in a draft overview. Frank Gore was the team’s leading rusher last year, running for 961 yards. That’s not bad for being 34 years old. Gore can still play, and play well, but it might be time to look to the future. A younger Barkley can carry the ball more and take some of the workload off of Luck.
While drafting an offensive lineman or a running back like Barkley makes sense, there is a safe pick for the Colts to make — this one on the other side of the ball.
General manager Chris Ballard seems to be focusing on defense this season, citing that the Colts can’t rely on luck all the time. The defense allowed 25.3 points per game in 2017, which ranked 30th in the NFL. Their defense needs a playmaker.
North Carolina State defensive end Bradley Chubb fits the Colts’ needs. He’s big, he’s athletic and he’s productive. Speed on the edge is especially important when you play in a division with elusive quarterbacks Marcus Mariota and Deshaun Watson.