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INDIANAPOLIS – The fifth offseason of Chris Ballard constructing the Colts brings about the most pressing questions, at the most critical positions, he’s encountered so far.

Along with 15 in-house free agents, several of whom are starters, the Colts have up in the air long-term answers at left tackle, edge rusher, wide receiver and cornerback.

Let’s rank the positions that need to receive the most resources this offseason:

1. Offensive Line: This is atop the list because of the massive void that Anthony Castonzo has left. But let’s not forget about offensive line depth as well. Obviously, finding a left tackle is the first order of business up front. That answer might not come until the draft, with the 2021 class offering some pretty good top-end talent and depth at that spot. Along with that, the Colts need to do a better job of creating a little more depth up front, which was a mistake by Chris Ballard last offseason.

2. Defensive End: In a normal offseason, Chris Ballard would always have these two positions atop the list. But it’s really the case in 2021, with edge rusher coming in at ‘1A.’ To find an effective edge rusher for the long-term, a commitment is needed from a resource standpoint. The Colts have tried, unsuccessfully, to find that future at defensive end. They need to find it this offseason.

3. Wide Receiver: Even though the new WR1 could be on the roster (Michael Pittman), this position group will need some other tweaking. While left tackle and edge rusher are clearly at the top of this list, wide receiver checks in next. Support for Michael Pittman is important as is insurance for the rest of the position group (i.e. Parris Campbell). The Colts need more dynamic playmaking from the top-end of their wideouts.

4. Cornerback: In free agency, the Colts haven’t really spent a whole lot at wide receiver or cornerback under Chris Ballard. But both need some attention this offseason. At corner, that’s especially the case if Xavier Rhodes finds a new home this offseason. The Colts are a zone-heavy defense, so there’s debate about how much this position group needs high-end resources. But as the defense has evolved to using some more man coverage, the cornerbacks have been a bit exposed.

5. Tight End: Honestly, doing something significant at tight end this offseason is probably a bit more of a luxury. But the Colts could use a little more ‘pop’ from this group. Getting younger at tight end makes sense, too, with Jack Doyle turning 31 this offseason. Remember, the Colts haven’t drafted a tight end since 2013 (Justice Cunningham), which is the longest TE drought of any team in the NFL.

6. Running Back: If the Colts re-sign Marlon Mack, they can be done with this position group for the offseason. Even though Jonathan Taylor is your unquestioned bellcow, Nyheim Hines should be headed for a contract extension soon (free agent in 2022) and Jordan Wilkins remains under contract for one more year, the Colts need to make one somewhat notable move at RB this offseason. That could be Mack. You just need to add a bit of insurance for a position that can be filled with attrition.

7. Linebacker: The Colts know their top two linebackers moving forward. That’s Darius Leonard and Bobby Okereke, who will play a lot together when the Colts are in their nickel packages. But when you do go to base personnel (3 linebackers) that’s when the Colts will need to find an answer in that third linebacker role. Anthony Walker is a free agent this offseason. Are the Colts content with E.J. Speed, Zaire Franklin or Matthew Adams filling that 3rd spot?

8. Safety: With what Julian Blackmon did last season, the Colts don’t need to worry about their starting safeties for several seasons. Khari Willis is 24 years old and under contract through 2022. Blackmon is 22 and under contract through 2023. Depth at safety could probably use one addition, and we should note the lack of the 3rd safety the Colts used in sub packages this year. How much was this personnel driven in not feeling comfortable using dime personnel? If the Colts want to get back to this, then safety rises on the need list. Malik Hooker is a free agent.

9. Quarterback: For me, you have your backup on the roster in Jacob Eason. Of course, the Colts have been more prone to find a veteran as the backup QB. If so, this moves up the list a bit. But I’m content with having Eason play behind Carson Wentz. With the trade for Wentz, this position went from No. 1 on the list to the basement.

10. Defensive Tackle: This is the position I feel the best about in the short-term, and long-term. You have DeForest Buckner and Grover Stewart under contract through 2024 and 2023, respectively. Behind them, Taylor Stallworth and Tyquan Lewis bring nice depth.