May 4, 2013

2013 NFL Draft Review & Season Outlook: Indianapolis Colts

#12 Andrew Luck, QB, Colts

*Click on a team's logo to go to their draft recap and season outlook page. A few will be posted each day in alphabetical order.

Indianapolis Colts
Division: AFC South | Last Season Record: 11-5

What Needed to be addressed in the Draft: The Colts were a pleasant surprise left season. They moved on from Peyton Manning, but new franchise quarterback Andrew Luck found a lot of success without a ton of talent around him.

Luck needs more weapons. Period. Reggie Wayne is getting older, Darrius Heyward-Bey has not proven to be a consistent, reliable target in his young career, and T.Y. Hilton is best suited in the slot. Drafting a wide receiver early should be a high priority.

Protecting Andrew Luck should be just as high, or perhaps even higher on the priority list. The Colts made some nice free agent acquisitions, but should try to find a starter at guard in the middle rounds and add depth later in the draft.

There also isn't a lot of talent at running back. This offense could use an Eddie Lacy type of back, or even a more dynamic back like Giovani Bernard to improve this offense.

Defensively, the Colts have moved on from Dwight Freeney, so you know that they should target a pass rusher as soon as possible. They need a corner opposite of starter Vontae Davis, as well as secondary depth in general.

2013 NFL Draft Individual Grades:

Round 1

24. Bjoern Werner*, DE/OLB
Experience: Junior | School: Florida State
Height: 6-4 | Weight: 261 lbs.

Analysis: The Colts were in a position to draft the best available player, and Werner made sense. He was a borderline top 10 pick for me, so this is excellent value late in the first round. He should be able to make the transition to outside linebacker in a 3-4.

Grade: A-

Round 3

86. Hugh Thornton, OG
Experience: Senior | School: Illinois
Height: 6-3 | Weight: 320 lbs.

Analysis: There were better players on the board, so Hugh Thornton is an obvious reach. On the plus side, he could give current right guard Mike McGlynn some competition for the starting job.

Grade: C+

Round 4

121. Khaled Holmes, C
Experience: Senior | School: Southern California
Height: 6-3 | Weight: 302 lbs.

Analysis: Khaled Holmes began the year as my number one center, but struggled all year long. He needs to get stronger, but this isn't a huge reach, and Holmes should immediate challenge Samson Satele for the starting job.

Grade: B-

Round 5

139. Montori Hughes, NT
Experience: Senior | School: Tennessee-Martin
Height: 6-4 | Weight: 338 lbs.

Analysis: Based on value, this is a really good pick by the Colts. Based on need, however, it doesn't make much sense. Aubrayo Franklin is the current starter at nose tackle, but they already have Josh Chapman. Plus, they have much bigger needs.

Grade: C+

Round 6

192. John Boyett, FS
Experience: Senior | School: Oregon
Height: 5-11 | Weight: 205 lbs.

Analysis: Before the season-ending injury, Boyett was a mid-round talent, so this isn't too bad of a pick. Once again, however, the Colts have much bigger needs to fill, because safety honestly is not one of them.

Grade: C-

Round 7

230. Kerwynn Williams, RB
Experience: Senior | School: Utah State
Height: 5-9 | Weight: 193 lbs.

Analysis: The Colts waited too long to draft a running back, but they did get a solid one in the 7th round in Kerwynn Williams.

Grade: B+

254. Justice Cunningham, TE
Experience: Senior | School: South Carolina
Height: 6-3 | Weight: 258 lbs.

Analysis: The Colts have enough tight ends on the roster, so even though this is a 7th round pick, I still question why they don't add depth to other area where they need it.

Grade: C-

2013 NFL Draft Overall Review:

Analysis: The reason why the Colts get the grade below is because they may have struck gold with Bjoern Werner in the first round. Other than that, there draft was average at best.

They waited forever to draft a running back, they didn't come away with a receiver, and they added depth at the wrong positions. I'm used to Jim Irsay and company drafting well, but I'm not impressed with this draft.

Overall Grade: C

Undrafted Free Agent Signings:

Most Notable

Daxton Swanson, CB
Experience: Senior | School: Sam Houston State
Height: 5-10 | Weight: 186 lbs.

Analysis: Daxton Swanson can be an impact special teams player, and could develop into a nice #3 or #4 corner. It is a little surprising that he was not drafted.

Emmett Cleary, OT
Experience: Senior | School: Boston College
Height: 6-7 | Weight: 316 lbs.

Analysis: Emmett Cleary could make the roster, as the Colts need depth at offensive tackle. He was viewed as a potential 7th round pick so he is worth noting.

Other Free Agent Signings

Jamaal Johnson-Webb, OL, Alabama A&M
Michael Josifovsk, K, Marian College
Brandon McManus, K, Temple
Dan Moore, FB, Montana
Lanear Sampson, WR, Baylor

2013 Season Outlook:

Analysis: The Colts weren't supposed to be 11-5 last season, but their rookie quarterback is the biggest reason why they pulled that off. I actually believe the Colts make the playoffs again, due to them having a franchise quarterback.

Unfortunately, even after adding right tackle Gosder Cherilus and left guard Donald Thomas, the Colts offensive line is still a little shaky. Luck needs time to throw, but he may still see a ton of pressure up the middle.

Reggie Wayne had an excellent season racking up over 1,300 receiving yards. Tight ends Dwayne Allen and Coby Fleener should be even more involved in the passing game this year. However, the Colts don't have a lot of talent at the receiver position, and they may not have the running game to scare defenses.

The Colts struggled against the run, but brought in guys like Aubrayo Franklin and Ricky Jean Francois to help them out. The inside linebacker position is also a concern. Robert Mathis can still bring it, and Bjoern Werner should have a big impact in his rookie season. But who will step up as their #3 and/or #4 pass rusher(s)?

If LaRon Landry can stay healthy, he gives the Colts an upgrade at safety. The corner back position was not addressed this off-season, and unless either Greg Toler, Cassius Vaughn, or Darius Butler steps up, they could have some problems.

2013 Season Projection:

Analysis: Indianapolis is currently picking 21st overall in my 2014 NFL Mock Draft. They chose 24th in this year's draft. Andrew Luck may not have a ton of talent around him, but he is a franchise quarterback who can get his team back to the playoffs once again. The defense has made some improvements, and with only the Texans posing a major threat in the division, the Colts may have a chance this year.

Projected Record: 8-8 (Worst Case) | 10-6 (Best Case)

Projected Finish: 2nd in the AFC South; Result: Lose in the Wild Card Round