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INDIANAPOLIS – In the non-player division, Frank Reich is the easy choice for most important newcomer to the 2018 Colts.
But the Colts also revamped their roster personnel quite a bit, too, with 11 draft picks, and a plethora of new free agents on shorter-term deals.
Let’s rank the 10 most important newcomers for the Colts in 2018:
OG-Quenton Nelson: Taken 6th overall in April’s Draft, Nelson is supposed to come to Indianapolis and secure the starting left guard spot for the next decade-plus. No pressure there.
OT-Austin Howard: Is this too high for Howard? Maybe, but there’s not a lot of great answers at right tackle. At the age of 31, Howard would be a nice one-year answer to a position the Colts need better play from in 2018.
TE-Eric Ebron: Tight end wasn’t the most pressing group that needed attention this offseason, but the Colts couldn’t forego a chance at improving their pass catching weapons. Ebron is a welcomed versatile piece for a team needing more playmaking in the passing game.
LB-Darius Leonard: While Leonard must get on the field first, he brings a unique skillset to a major position of need for the Colts.
RB-Nyheim Hines: This is the sort of versatile weapon that Frank Reich needs for his offense to achieve a higher level of playmaking. For the Colts offense to flourish in 2018, Hines is going to have to be a big part of things.
DL-Denico Autry: When free agency kicked off, the Colts wasted little time in inking Denico Autry. In this new 4-3 defense, Autry has been moved to a starting defensive tackle position, which is a bit different than being more of a defensive end with Oakland.
WR-Ryan Grant: The Colts signed Grant to a one-year deal a few days into free agency. Grant looks to be the No. 2 or 3 wideout behind T.Y. Hilton.
OG-Matt Slauson: It’s looking like Slauson is the starter for this team at right guard. But he’s a bit down on this list because the Colts have some other options they could turn to at guard.
LB-Najee Goode: An April signing, Goode could easily be a starter at linebacker. Goode is 29 years old, so he could be an answer to a position group looking for some veteran voices.
DE-Kemoko Turay: The Colts have some defensive ends, but none with that dominant pass rushing trait. If Turay shows a glimmer of that early on, he won’t be on the bench very often when passing downs arise.