The official start of NFL minicamps is set for today, and for the Indianapolis Colts, it’s an opportunity to get a real time looks at certain units on the team that have only been looked at on paper up until this point. Let us take a look at some of the specific positions and discuss the questions the Colts fan hope can be better answered by the end of mini-camps on Thursday.
Linebackers: Who are the odd men out?
During the offseason the Colts went buck wild during free agency and acquired five linebackers: Jabaal Sheard, Barkevious Mingo, Sean Spence, Jon Bostic and John Simon. These five men, along with another seven players that are currently on the linebacker depth chart (Morrison, Mount, Walker, Rhodes, Jackson, Ayers and Sickels) going into minicamp means there will at least be a couple odd men out once the official start of the season gets closer. The competition at this position will be fierce, which is exactly why General Manager Chris Ballard added all these players at this position in the first place.
Defensive Line: Is Hankins the Answer?
One of the ailing problems that never seemed to get solved over the last couple years was the lack of talent and depth on the defensive line. With Robert Mathis retiring in December, the focus was who would be the next man in charge of pressuring opposing quarterbacks and stuffing any runners out of the backfield. Ballard dipped his hand into free agency once again and signed former Giants defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins to a three year, $30 million deal, making Hankins the highest paid free agent acquisition of the 2017 offseason for the Colts. Members on the team/staff around him have already begun to praise the type of personality he brings to the locker room. Let’s see if he can solidify defensive line and solve one more problem for this team.
Offensive Line: Can They Finally Get Over the Hump?
The Colts have consistently been at the top of the league in sacks given up, and have been at the bottom in rushing yards per game. Much of this is to blame for the underwhelming performance of the offensive line, more specifically at the right guard and tackle positions. The Colts have decided to move Denzelle Good from right tackle to right guard and have moved Joe Haeg into the starting right tackle position. They then took Le’Raven Clark, who started much of last year at right tackle, and moved him over to left tackle to backup Anthony Castonzo. There were no big moves for an offensive linemen in the offseason, so the Colts are shifting players around to see who can hold up the right side of the line best. If the team wants to win a championship, they have to solidify the offensive line.