The magic Eight-ball might have learn, “outlook not so good,” for the Indianapolis Colts franchise simply 12 months in the past. Andrew Luck hadn’t performed — it wasn’t clear when or if he’d play once more. And Indianapolis was one of many worst groups within the NFL.
However the Colts’ collapse introduced new life to the franchise in fascinating style. They maximized on Luck’s damage, and constructed for the likelihood that he would return in 2018. They obtained the No. three choose within the 2018 draft, after which traded with the New York Jets, which netted the No. 6 choose and three second-round picks. The Colts centered on constructing by means of the draft, slightly than in free company. They’d 5 picks within the high two rounds in final yr’s draft. They signed only a few gamers, together with tight finish Eric Ebron and defensive deal with Denico Autry. Ebron leads the group in touchdowns. Autry leads the group in sacks. In the meantime, the Colts let go working again Frank Gore and defensive deal with Johnathan Hankins. These gamers have been simply changed.
Heading into the 2019 offseason, the Eight-ball may have a way more constructive outlook on Indy. Their 2018 draft class has been much more productive than they may have hoped. Rookie linebacker Darrius Leonard leads the group and the league with an absurd 156 tackles. Rookie guard Quentin Nelson has been excellent at guard, and might be already the most effective at his place. After which there’s beginning proper deal with Braden Smith, rotational move rusher Kemoko Turay and beginning defensive lineman Tyquan Lewis. They’re all 2018 second-round picks. They’re all contributing in yr one to a group which might make the playoffs and be hazard within the wild card spherical.
Common supervisor Chris Ballard is doing wonderful work. And searching ahead, the Colts are more likely to get even higher subsequent season. They’ve $122 million in cap house, essentially the most within the NFL, with the core of the group on contract till no less than 2020. They will look outdoors the constructing as they work out learn how to spend their absurd amount of money. Receiver Golden Tate, defensive ends DeMarcus Lawrence, Dee Ford, Trey Flowers, Jadeveon Clowney and Frank Clark, working backs Le’Veon Bell and Kareem Hunt, cornerback Ronald Darby and security Landon Collins might all enter free company. The Colts may very well be in play for any of them.
They will additionally return to the draft for his or her continued rebuild. They received’t be choosing excessive like final yr, however they may nonetheless have three picks inside the highest two rounds, together with the Jets’ choose atop the second spherical.
The Colts are already higher than most thought they’d be in 2018. And so they have unfathomable room to develop in 2019, with an absurd sum of money and a strong quantity of draft belongings at their disposal.