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INDIANAPOLIS – When you’ve missed the playoffs in 3 straight seasons, and have undergone a wholesale coaching staff change, more questions than answers are there.
That’s the reality of the 2018 Colts.
After looking at the positions of strength on the roster, let’s look at the other side of the coin.
Here are the positions with the most questions entering 2018:
-Linebacker: You have 27 career starts among the 10 players at this position. Antonio Morrison has 19 of those starts and he is in question to make the team. It’s an unproven position group without much blue-chip talent when you consider where these guys were drafted or how much was spent on them in free agency. The defensive changes this offseason has really impacted the linebacker group. All 3 positions should be viewed as ‘open’ heading into camp, with second-round pick Darius Leonard yet to get on the field.
-Wide Receiver: Outside of T.Y. Hilton, the Colts only have 1 receiver on the roster who has caught more than 23 balls in a season. And Ryan Grant has done that just once. The Colts stayed away from the bigger-priced wide receiver free agents and didn’t spend any of their first 5 draft picks on a wideout. You have a couple of Day 3 picks in Deon Cain and Reece Fountain who could push for playing time. The question is still there if the Colts have enough behind Hilton to keep the playmaking afloat.
-Cornerback: No cornerback on the roster has started more than 6 games in a season. More so than the two positions above, the Colts barely addressed cornerback this offseason. They didn’t make any outside signings of substance and didn’t draft a cornerback. Pierre Desir has to prove he can be a full-time starter. Quincy Wilson must show that he’s grown up quick, despite being just 21 years old.
-Defensive Tackle: Based off past seasons, the Colts have gone away from having loads of beef up front. In fact, Denico Autry, who is listed at 270 pounds, was the team’s starting defensive tackle next to Al Woods during the spring. After those two you have Grover Stewart and Hassan Ridgeway, who have made minimal NFL impacts. Margus Hunt never loved life in the 4-3, but is going back to that scheme, as more of an interior option. Maybe newcomer Rakeem Nunez-Roches will provide some depth. Chris Ballard has said the Colts do not have the ideal 3-technique defensive tackle on the roster.
-Running Back: The Colts are going to be relying heavily on some young talent early in 2018. Robert Turbin’s suspension has left the Colts with a bit of a void in terms of a proven running back atop the depth chart. Marlon Mack, Nyheim Hines and Jordan Wilkins have combined to play 1 season in the NFL and they might be the first 3 names on the running back depth chart to start the season.
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