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An Indianapolis Colts blog



Updated: 2018-01-23T13:00:02-05:00

 



Stampede Blue’s 3-Round Colts Mock Off

2018-01-23T13:00:02-05:00

The Stampede Blue staff run 3-round mocks to see who the Colts may be able to nab in the upcoming NFL draft. As the offseason for the Indianapolis Colts is in full swing there are several situations that the fan base is looking forward to ironing out. First, the Colts need head coach. Then the rest of the staff can be brought in, alongside Chris Ballard, to pen their gameplan for the upcoming free agency period and set their draft strategy. We wanted to get some of our ideas out there on the prospects that you could expect to hear called in late April, some you may like and others you may not. However, Nobody has identical strategy’s, or view all prospects the same as others may and that is all part of the fun heading up to the draft. Thus, we ran 3-round simulation mocks on Fanspeak, using all of their settings and bigboards and used their difficult setting as well. For the first mock-off of the season between the Stampede Blue staff we didn’t use any trades as the idea is to select as the Colts currently find themselves in an advantageous position at No. 3 overall. With that being said, here are our staff 3-round mocks using our current strategy. Matt Danely Rd 1, Pick 3 Quenton Nelson | G | Notre Dame Minkah Fitzpatrick and Saquon Barkley were first and second off the board and the natural selection was Bradley Chubb if I wanted him. Many others will pick him and that’s great for the Colts, but when push comes to shove we’ve seen Andrew Luck take an inordinate amount of punishment over the years. Nelson is the best lineman in the draft and I believe that he has more versatility than is currently perceived. I’ve been waiting on solid OL prospects to become good and it’s just not happening, nor am I in the mood to wait around anymore. Luck has taken underperforming rosters – particularly weak defenses – to the playoffs and has won games. Protecting him comes first for me this year and adding anything else comes secondary to the needs of the team, period. Rd 2, Pick 36 Quenton Meeks | CB | Stanford For the second pick I needed to see that the Colts continue to add quality coverage options to the secondary that shows to become one of the younger units in the league. Meeks adds exceptional length and the ability to shadow routes despite his 6-foot-2, 197 pound frame. Meeks is an improved physical presence in run support, continues to challenge at the catch point and is a disciplined cover corner with good punch at the line of scrimmage. Meeks fits what is necessary for the Colts secondary to make strides they’ve failed to in the recent past. Rd 3, Pick 67 Hercules Mata’afa | Edge | Washington Despite passing on Chubb early on, the Colts still found an edge defender who can contribute in both aspects. He’s a quality run defender adding over 90 tackles in the past two seasons, can get to the quarterback (15.5 sacks between 2016-17) and has enough burst to win in a variety of ways. Mata’afa is more of a DE than he is an OLB, but at this point anyone who can rush the passer effectively will be a commodity for this front seven. Chris Blystone Rd 1, Pick 3 Minkah Fitzpatrick | Safety | Alabama With my first pick I decided to do something different than most mock drafts are projecting. I took S Minkah Fitzpatrick. While the Colts need a pass rusher, they also desperately need to have a position group that is very good from top to bottom. Fitzpatrick’s versatility paired with the young talent the Colts already have, could help make this group one of the more dangerous defensive backfields in the NFL. Rd 2, Pick 36 Orlando Brown | OT | Oklahoma The second pick was a tough one for me. At pick number 36, one of my favorite players in this draft, RB Sony Michel, was on the board. However, When OT Orlando Brown fell to this point it seemed like the better value was to bolster the offensive line by adding a quality lineman. Brown has been graded as a first round talent who is great in pass protection, and grabbing him in the second round means adding a guy who can solidify the right side[...]



Rebuilding Jim Irsay’s Glory Days Dream Teams; Trimming the Roster

2018-01-23T11:00:02-05:00

After we’ve gone through our simulated offseason, what would the Colts’ 2018 Week 1 roster look like? We complete this series with Part 5, taking a look at how the Colts can sculpt their roster down to 53 players before the 2018 season. I fully believe that owner Jim Irsay, general manager Chris Ballard and the Indianapolis Colts are on the way back to some semblance of the team’s 2000’s glory days, so I wanted to put together this project where I see what the Colts can do to get back to Irsay’s favorite era — the Peyton Manning glory days. No one can snap their fingers and make this team completely constructed in just one offseason. Rome wasn’t built in a day. Players take time to develop. It also needs to be appreciated just how special those Manning-led teams were. They did things that we may never see again, and that’s okay. What these Colts can do is continue to build a foundation to try and start another quasi-dynasty. TRIMMING THE ROSTER We’ve now gone through the entire offseason (see below) and now it’s time to make the tough calls and get this roster ready for Week 1 of the 2018 regular season. Take it with a grain of salt because undrafted free agent and training camp/preseason roster turnover was not factored in. This was just based off of moves made following free agency and the 2018 NFL Draft. After adding the players that were signed and re-signed in free agency, plus the draft picks, here is what the roster would hypothetically look like when cut down to 53 players. Projection of the Colts’ 2018 lineup (sorry for the small size) For those who couldn’t see the font in the photo, here is the lineup: QB — Andrew Luck, Jacoby Brissett RB — Marlon Mack, Ronald Jones II, Robert Turbin WR — TY Hilton, Allen Robinson, Donte Moncrief, Chester Rogers, Cedrick Wilson TE — Jack Doyle, Erik Swoope, Darrell Daniels, Ross Travis OT — Anthony Castonzo, Chukwuma Okorafor, Le’Raven Clark, Denzelle Good OG — Andrew Norwell, Jack Mewhort, Joe Haeg, Deyshawn Bond C — Ryan Kelly , Anthony Fabiano DE — Jabaal Sheard, Bradley Chubb, Tarell Basham, Barkevious Mingo, Mike Love DT — Johnathan Hankins, Henry Anderson, Al Woods, Margus Hunt, Hassan Ridgeway, Grover Stewart SAM — John Simon WILL — Anthony Walker, Tegray Scales MIKE — Preston Brown, Edwin Jackson CB — Quincy Wilson, Pierre Desir, Nate Hairston, Kenny Moore, Holton Hill S — Malik Hooker, Clayton Geathers, Matthias Farley, T.J. Green, Jarrod Franklin K — Adam Vinatieri P — Rigoberto Sanchez LS — Luke Rhodes Keep in mind that some of these depth pieces don’t matter right now because the bottom of a roster changes so drastically over the course of an offseason. OFFENSIVE CUTS QB — Brad Kaaya, Phillip Walker RB — Josh Ferguson WR — Krishawn Hogan, K.J. Brent, Kolby Listenbee, Dres Anderson, Justice Liggins, James Wright, Seantavius Jones TE — Jason Vander Laan, Mo Alie-Cox OL — Tyreek Burwell, Mark Glowinski, Isaiah Williams There is nothing really surprising here. These are mostly the names that you would expect to see cut, some of them making their way to the practice squad. With Brissett staying on board and not being traded, Kaaya is relegated to the practice squad. Alie-Cox continues his training to be the Colts’ next basketball player turned tight end as well. DEFENSIVE CUTS DL — Caraun Reid, Joey Mbu, Anthony Johnson, Arthur Miley, Johnathan Calvin LB — Antonio Morrison, Darnell Sankey, Joshua Perry, Jermaine Grace CB — D.J. White S — Ronald Martin It’s time for Morrison to be replaced. I made it a focal point in this offseason, adding Brown and Scales. Jackson was the better of the two when Morrison and Jackson started at inside linebacker for the Colts in 2016, so Jackson gets his spot back. Walker is probably a better option too. COLTS 2018 FREE AGENTS Italicized players have been re-signed in this exercise. QB — Scott Tolzien RB — Frank Gore, Matt Jones, Christi[...]



Best Super Bowl Moment for the Indianapolis Colts: Kelvin Hayden Pick Six

2018-01-23T10:00:02-05:00

Super Bowl XLI was unique. It was the only time in NFL history that the Super Bowl was played in the rain. At that time, the rain was so heavy and so steady that it made it extremely difficult for either team to do what they wanted to do offensively. Heading into the game, the storyline was that one of the NFL’s best defenses was about to face off against one of the NFL’s most dangerous offenses. Additionally, the storyline was that the Chicago Bears were a tough outdoor football team while the Indianapolis Colts were a soft, finesse football team with a timing offense. No matter the outcome and no matter what kind of revisionist history fans from other teams will try to tell you today, the reality is that a rain-laden, outdoor Super Bowl should have favored the Bears a lot more than the Colts. I would say that the odds makers would have even been influenced by the weather in this circumstance and that it wouldn’t have been good for Indianapolis. The game started with all-world returner Devin Hester running the opening kickoff back for a touchdown. There is little doubt the field conditions helped Hester on this play and that going down seven points to start a Super Bowl is never going to increase the likelihood that the team who is immediately trailing has a chance to win. Not too dissimilar from this year’s blizzard bowl in Buffalo, there was a decent chance that the running game would be the primary weapon for both teams. It would also seemingly be more difficult for the Colts to run the ball to a victory against the Bears defense than it would for Chicago to do the same against the “soft” Colts defenders. What happened after the initial run back could be described as hard-nosed running, a handful of big plays and a ton of turnovers. It was a soup bowl and there were numerous fumbles, including failed quarterback-center exchanges, and neither team was able to really pull away from the other. Just when the Colts would get the chance to get some cushion on offense, there would be a turnover. All of this came to a head early in the fourth quarter. Indianapolis had only a five-point lead, and Chicago had an opportunity to march down the field to put points on the board. Instead, Bears quarterback Rex Grossman attempted to get the ball to his outside receiver along the sideline coming out of a double-move. He targeted second-year cornerback Kelvin Hayden, who was filling in for veteran Nick Harper. Hayden picked off the pass and managed to stay inbound all the way back for a pick six. The lead ballooned to 12, requiring Grossman and the Bears offense to get two touchdowns in the last 12 minutes of the game. This was too big an obstacle to overcome. The game was effectively over. src="https://gifs.com/player/2018-01-22-14-55-26-86W7W3" style="border: 0; top: 0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%; position: absolute;" allowfullscreen="" scrolling="no"> The biggest unsung hero of this game was Colts running back Dominic Rhodes, who arguably deserved to win the Super Bowl MVP. He took 21 carries for 113 yards and a touchdown against one of the best defenses in the league. He allowed Colts quarterback Peyton Manning to run a balanced offense and pick his shots through the air. Rather than relying on Manning to carry the team, Indianapolis won this with some tough running from Rhodes and Joseph Addai and some opportunistic defensive plays. Three other plays stand out as all-time Colts Super Bowl moments. The first is the Manning-to-Reggie Wayne 53-yard touchdown pass that tied up the game early. src="https://gifs.com/player/2018-01-22-14-56-09-l5XVXM" style="border: 0; top: 0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%; position: absolute;" allowfullscreen="" scrolling="no"> The second play is when Colts safety Bob Sanders forced a fumble on a Cedric Benson run, setting a tone that and dealing a big blow to the Bears plans on the ground. src="https://gifs.com/player/2018-01-22-14-56-59-N9XnXv" style="border: 0; top: 0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%; po[...]



Colts Cast: What Colts Hope to Accomplish in Second Meeting with McDaniels; Latest Film Review

2018-01-23T08:00:08-05:00

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On today’s Colts Cast I take a gander into the Indianapolis Colts requesting a second interview with head coach hopeful Josh McDaniels. What can they accomplish if they can’t actually hire him until post-Super Bowl? Who can they agree on contracts with and is there more to be ironed out?

I also take a look at a few prospects from this year’s NFL draft in positions of need for the Colts, both, some big names as well as some that may be flying slightly under the radar and which I prefer from what I’ve seen from their film. I also take a look at a guy who Joe Marino noted the other day in Taven Bryan (Florida — DL) and what jumped off of the screen about him and his play.

In rounding out the show, I decided to conduct a 3-round mock (Fanspeak) taking a different approach than taking Bradley Chubb whom most everyone under the sun assumes the Colts will grab with the No. 3 overall pick should he land in their lap — and not have a partner to trade back.

Please subscribe, rate and review the show anywhere you listen to podcasts.

Colts Cast Links:

Apple Podcasts | Stitcher | BlogTalkRadio




SBCL: Former Colts heading to Super Bowl with Patriots and Eagles

2018-01-23T07:23:27-05:00

KRAVITZ: Colts castoffs are heading to the Super Bowl, adding insult to injury | 13 WTHR IndianapolisINDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) — For a franchise that finished several light years short of the post-season, the Colts (and the state of Indiana) have their fingerprints all over First order of business for Colts is regaining footing in improved AFC South | CBS 4 - Indianapolis News, Weather, Traffic and Sports | WTTVINDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The return to relevance began with the exit of Chuck Pagano and soon-to-be entrance of Josh McDaniels. But let’s not kid ourselves. The road ahead for the Indianapolis Colts appears to be long and challenging. Indianapolis Colts Mock Draft Monday: Jan. 22The Indianapolis Colts have the No. 3-overall pick in April’s NFL Draft. Here’s your latest compilation taking a look at which players the various experts believe will land in Indianapolis. Colts, Josh McDaniels Heading Towards Second Interview For Head Coach Position | 1070 the Fan With the Super Bowl bye week here, the Colts are planning to interview Josh McDaniels a second time for their head coaching position. Colts have to wait two more weeks if they plan to hire Josh McDaniels - Indianapolis Colts Blog- ESPNWith the Patriots advancing to the Super Bowl, the Colts will have to wait another two weeks if they want to hire McDaniels as their new head coach. Colts’ pursuit of Josh McDaniels remains on hold following Pats’ comeback | CBS 4 - Indianapolis News, Weather, Traffic and Sports | WTTVINDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The wait continues for the Indianapolis Colts. The team’s pursuit of Josh McDaniels as its next head coach was extended two more weeks after the New England Patriots chased down the Jacksonville Jaguars 24-20 in Sunday’s AFC Championship game in Foxborough, Mass. Josh McDaniels is smart, innovative and forward-thinking, Patriots sayOutsiders might prefer to heap the praise on Brady and Belichick. But the Patriots give McDaniels his due. Who Might The Offensive And Defensive Coordinators Be For Josh McDaniels? | 1070 the Fan With the pending hire of Josh McDaniels, a couple of names have emerged as coordinator candidates for the Colts. All substance, no splash: Jack Doyle's rise with ColtsJACK DOYLE isn’t real. He can’t be. He’s too nice, too professional, too damn perfect. Colts tight end Jack Doyle named to Pro Bowl | FOX59INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - Next Sunday, the Colts will have two players to represent the Horseshoe in the Pro Bowl. The Colts announced that tight end Jack Doyle will join teammate TY Hilton at the game in Orlando. 2018 Colts Free Agent Watch: Adam VinatieriAdam Vinatieri was solid as ever in 2017 for the Indianapolis Colts, as he continued to work his way closer to the top of the league record books. In position to become an unrestricted free agent this offseason, however, could Vinatieri find himself back with the Colts in 2018? [...]



Colts Request Second Interview with Josh McDaniels

2018-01-22T11:49:07-05:00

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The Indianapolis Colts have requested a followup interview with their assumed next head coach, New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels.

McDaniels’ Patriots won the AFC Championship against the Jacksonville Jaguars last night, prolonging the Colts making the hiring of McDaniels official. The Patriots will have a bye week this week and then have the Super Bowl in two weeks on Sunday, February 4.

The Colts can get this interview done during this bye week so that it doesn’t interfere with McDaniels’ current duties at Patriots offensive coordinator.

This second interview is likely for the Colts and McDaniels to get their agreement nailed down. They cannot “legally” get into contract talks or make anything official until McDaniels’ season is over, but I am guessing that this followup meeting is to get things as official as possible and to cross “t’s” and dot “i’s”.




Rebuilding Jim Irsay’s Glory Days Dream Teams; 2018 NFL Draft, Mock Draft Monday

2018-01-22T11:00:02-05:00

After adding a new coaching staff and a group of free agents, what can the Colts do in the draft to keep moving in the right direction? We continue this series with Part 4, what the Colts could do in the draft. I fully believe that owner Jim Irsay, general manager Chris Ballard and the Indianapolis Colts are on the way back to some semblance of the team’s 2000’s glory days, so I wanted to put together this project where I see what the Colts can do to get back to Irsay’s favorite era — the Peyton Manning glory days. No one can snap their fingers and make this team completely constructed in just one offseason. Rome wasn’t built in a day. Players take time to develop. It also needs to be appreciated just how special those Manning-led teams were. They did things that we may never see again, and that’s okay. What these Colts can do is continue to build a foundation to try and start another quasi-dynasty. THE DRAFT We’ve addressed the coaching changes and free agency, and now, to the nitty gritty — the 2018 NFL Draft. In the free agency edition, I re-signed and added a handful of players to the Colts’ roster: wide receivers Allen Robinson and Donte Moncrief, tight end Erik Swoope, offensive guards Andrew Norwell and Jack Mewhort, off-ball linebackers Preston Brown and Edwin Jackson, cornerback Pierre Desir, placekicker Adam Vinatieri and long snapper Luke Rhodes. With those moves made, it clears things up a little bit for this hypothetical draft haul. I hadn’t even planned on putting out a Colts mock draft (or an NFL one) until after the Senior Bowl. However, I felt the need to throw one together for the purposes of this piece. Something to keep in mind: Because compensatory picks have yet to be rewarded, the complete NFL draft order is not set. However, these picks are based on what the draft order currently is. Now, to the actual picks. It is completely possible that the Colts trade back in the first round of the draft. The first several picks will be shaped by quarterbacks. In fact, the Colts are the only team in the top six that shouldn’t be looking at a quarterback (assuming Andrew Luck’s health). There’s a good chance that even if they slide back a few slots, they can still get someone like Bradley Chubb, plus another early-round pick. Because of this scenario, I give you a first-round trade (the value checks out, although some teams give up more than they should to get their guy): The Colts trade: Round 1, Pick 3 The Denver Broncos trade: Round 1, Pick 5 and Round 2, Pick 40 Pick 1:5 | Bradley Chubb — Offensive line and pass rush are the two biggest needs, but adding Norwell in free agency puts pass rush to the forefront. The Colts can still get Chubb in this scenario following a trade down. After years of being out of range for a top-notch edge defender in the draft, the Colts finally get their chance. Pick 2:36 | Chukwuma Okorafor — The Colts need to try and find a definitive starter at right tackle on the other side of Anthony Castonzo. Here, they find a collegiately-seasoned stalwart in Okorafor who has the ability to play both sides of the line. Pick 2:40 | Ronald Jones II — It’s hard to tell what the Colts will do at running back this offseason. Do they find a bruising back to complement Marlon Mack? Do they just find the best running back that they can and not consider Mack? Here, they do the latter and find a running back in Jones who is capable of being a three-down lead back. I wasn’t trying to force a running back here, either. I have legitimately loved studying Jones so far. Although Sony Michel gets a lot of hype, I think that if there’s going to be another Alvin Kamara in this draft, it’s Jones. Pick 3:67 | Holton Hill — Two of the Colts’ best 2017 corners are free agent in Rashaan Melvin and Desir. I have them re-signing Desir to mix in with Quincy Wilson and Kenny Moore, but t[...]



Better Option for the Colts: Signing Le’Veon Bell or Drafting Saquon Barkley?

2018-01-22T09:00:02-05:00

I want to preface this by saying that I would prefer to do neither. The Indianapolis Colts should save their money, and draft capital, for more important positions and grab a gifted running back in the middle rounds of the 2018 NFL Draft. Also, I realize it’s not a certainty that the Pittsburgh Steelers will let Le’Veon Bell walk in free agency, but for the sake of our amusement, let’s pretend that they do. Barkley is a generational talent at his position, the likes of which we haven’t seen since Adrian Peterson. Barkley is a better prospect than Ezekiel Elliott and Leonard Fournette, who were both selected with the fourth overall picks in the 2016 and 2017 drafts, respectively. So, let’s start there: How important have Elliott and Fournette been to their teams? Are the Jaguars content with the fact that they passed up players like Deshaun Watson, Marshon Lattimore, Jamal Adams, Malik Hooker and others? How about the Cowboys bypassing Jalen Ramsey? Well, let’s look at some of the numbers Fournette and Elliott provided this past season: You can read about Sharp Football Stats’ success rate here. Looking purely at the yards per attempt, the investments made in Elliott and Fournette seem to be quite faulty. Of course, the success rates are higher for each prospect as compared to their counterparts. Nevertheless, the minimal difference from their peers doesn’t seem significant enough to justify taking a running back with a top-five pick, especially considering their backups are essentially providing the same productivity. By the way, the Cowboys’ backups are Alfred Morris (sixth-round pick) and Rod Smith (undrafted), and the Jaguars’ backups are Chris Ivory (undrafted), T.J. Yeldon (second round) and Corey Grant (undrafted). Still, there are definitely outlying factors that need to be addressed here. Did defenses favor the passing game more with Fournette and Elliott out of the game? Were their replacements coming in on long third downs and gaining big chunks of yards on delayed hand-offs? (Though success rate accounts for this) I haven’t watched the film, so I can’t say for sure. However, I would expect teams to honor the run game almost as much for Yeldon and Ivory as they would for Fournette, simply because Blake Bortles is under center for Jacksonville and doesn’t pose much of a threat with his arm, usually. That same point may not be applicable to the Cowboys, with Dak Prescott at quarterback, but the highly effective offensive line in Dallas makes it so defenses must honor both the run and pass game regardless of who is toting the ball. Though, Prescott did struggle while Elliott was out during suspension in 2017, which could indicate teams were less worried about the run with Zeke on the sidelines. The question is, does any of this really matter for Barkley? Let’s look at another statistic: This is not just focused on two running backs; this looks at all runners that were selected in the top half of the first round in the last 10 years. When a team takes a back with such a high pick and the return on their investment is about average, it hardly seems worth it. Even still, there is an upside to taking Barkley with the third overall pick. Look at what Todd Gurley has done for the offense in Los Angeles. He is an MVP candidate after a stellar season where he had more than 2,000 yards from scrimmage and 19 total touchdowns. Barkley is thought of as a superior prospect than Gurley by many, and definitely has that sort of potential in an Andrew Luck/Josh McDaniels-led offense. However, so does Bell. He is a 25-year-old offensive weapon for the Steelers who is set to hit free agency this spring. Bell is a three-time Pro Bowler, two-time First-Team All-Pro and one-time Second-Team All-Pro. In 15 games this year, he recorded nearly 2,000 yards[...]