Indianapolis Colts: 5 Positions Colts Must Address in Offseason

Matt Madsen@mmadsen5Correspondent IIMarch 30, 2012

Indianapolis Colts: 5 Positions Colts Must Address in Offseason

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    Maybe the Indianapolis Colts should draft Janoris Jenkins.

    I'm just sayin'.

    The Colts have a ton of needs. Coming off their 2-14 debacle of a season, wholesale changes were made, and the team has a completely new look now.

    Why not keep it going?

    With a new general manager, head coach and philosophy, there's no reason fans shouldn't expect them to approach the draft and free agency different than they have before.

    And that's good, because you don't fill the types of holes they have by selecting low-risk low-reward players, as they have been for the last few years of the Peyton Manning era.

    We will assume the Colts take care of quarterback with the No. 1 pick in the draft, so that position will be omitted.

    With that in mind, here are the Colts' most pressing needs.


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    The Tampa-2 defensive scheme doesn't require the cornerback to do very much. Its defensive philosophies render the corner the least important position on defense, if not the entire team.

    Basically, just about anybody could do an adequate job.

    But those days are over.

    With Tony Dungy long gone and both Jim Caldwell and Larry Coyer out the door, the Tampa 2 will no longer be seen on a regular basis in Indy.

    Chuck Pagano and Greg Manusky are bringing a new-look, new-attitude defense to town, and it values corners.

    The 3-4 scheme, especially the aggressive, attacking-style 3-4 that Pagano may bring with him from his time with the Baltimore Ravens, requires corners who can hold up in man coverage.

    After seeing the revolving door of random citizens playing corner for the Colts last season, I'd go ahead and bet they address the corner position in the draft. Probably (read: preferably) on the second day.

    This is just a thought, and certainly their are plenty of reasons not to, but the Colts should take a good look at Janoris Jenkins. They have avoided trouble guys for years, and that's generally a good thing. However, a guy like Jenkins could add some swagger to a defense that is generally getting swagged on.

    And passed on. And run on.

    I'm not saying reach for him, but if he falls to the third round and I'm managing a team with absolutely zero talent at corner, I'm making a phone call to the Jenkins' residence.

Nose Tackle

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    If Chuck Pagano plans to implement a 3-4 defense this year, it starts at the nose tackle position.

    There is simply nobody on the Colts current roster that can hold up at the nose.

    Under previous defensive philosophies, speed and penetration were the valued attributes among Colts defensive linemen. However, with the new schemes coming into play, size will take precedence over speed.

    Yet, the Colts have made no roster moves at defensive tackle to date.

    San Diego Charger Antonio Garay was available for weeks before re-signing with the Bolts yesterday.

    Why didn't the Colts try to make a move for him?

    Possibly it is cap space trouble. But they need to do something, or suffer being horrendous against the run next season.

    So basically a rerun of last season's episodes.

    Perhaps they are targeting Alameda Ta'amu out of Washington.

    While probably overpriced for his talent, the man is a mountain. He stands 6'3", weighing 347 pounds.

    He is the man who can't be moved.

    The Colts could use a guy in the middle to eat up blocks and open things up for their so-so linebackers and talented pass rushers.

Wide Receiver

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    Yes, the Colts re-signed 34-year-old Reggie Wayne.

    Yes, they also went out and signed Donnie Avery, who has all of nine career touchdowns since being drafted in 2008.

    And yes, the Colts still have work to do at receiver.

    Whether Avery recovers the speed and talent that made him the first receiver taken in the 2008 draft or not, the Colts are extremely thin at wide receiver.

    The Avery signing puts them at a less-alarming-than-three, four receivers who have actual NFL experience.

    That's not good.

    While they certainly have other pressing needs, whoever they draft in the first round is going to fall flat on his face if he has nobody to throw it to.

    Check out Blaine Gabbert's rookie campaign.

    Granted, Gabbert is not on Andrew Luck's level, but you get the picture.

    As Gisele Bundchen so aptly phrased it, ""My husband can not f------ throw the ball and catch the ball at the same time."

    I believe the same principle applies to all quarterbacks.

Tight End

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    Dallas Clark helped redefine the tight end position in the NFL.

    Rarely a blocker, Clark was a nightmare for linebackers and defensive backs alike, similar to the New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez.

    But he's gone.

    In Clark's injury absences over the past couple seasons, Jacob Tamme has filled-in the to the best of his abilities, though he was invisible at times last season. At least he had experience, and had proven he could be productive in the right situation.

    But he's gone.

    So the Colts are left with now-starting tight end Brody Eldridge.

    Oh, word.

    Eldridge, who is best known for being the only guy on the Colts roster who wasn't expected to go out for routes, has started 16 career games.

    Not so bad.

    He has 14 career receptions, for less than a hundred yards.

    So he's a redzone guy?

    Zero career touchdowns.

    If the Colts don't sign another tight end of relative note before the season kicks off, there are not going to be a lot of offensive sets including tight ends.

Inside Linebacker

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    When Chuck Pagano was announced as the head coach, and speculation started about the switch to a 3-4, it seemed like the only position ready for the switch was inside linebacker.

    With a savvy veteran and longtime defensive captain in Gary Brackett, and an up-and-coming talent in Pat Angerer, the Colts had a pretty good idea of who was going to hold down the fort.

    Then they cut Brackett.

    While they are going through a regime change, and a complete overhaul, it just made less sense than a lot of their other roster moves.

    Brackett could've been kept, and that would've solved a problem that now exists in his absence. Not to mention it probably would've made the fans feel a little better about a team who was dumping every player who possessed a recognizable name from their entire team.

    However, what's done is done.

    The Colts need to address the inside linebacker position, because they currently have nobody to play opposite Angerer in the middle.

    Because I've suggested so many early-round picks already, I doubt they would be able to acquire a decent ILB in the draft (unless they really want to get edgy and draft Vontaze Burfict in the fourth).

    Instead, they will probably need to target someone elsewhere.

    Their lack of cap space will be limiting, so this may prove a tough space to fill.

    But that doesn't change the fact that it needs filling.