When you look at the Indianapolis Colts roster, it's easy to see several areas where the team needs to improve.
However, when you look at the team's draft picks this year—they only have four picks, with selections in the first, third, fourth and sixth round—and the fact that the team is about $44 million under the salary cap, it's hard to imagine the team making the majority of its improvements through the draft.
Unless the team trades down and stockpiles picks, the Colts will have to be active in free agency to improve the roster. Still, the team does have several needs that align with deep positions in the draft, so there is serious room to improve in Indianapolis.
Let's look at the team's strengths and areas they could improve, either via the draft or in free agency.
I think it's safe to say the team is covered for the next decade at quarterback with Andrew Luck. Nothing else to see here, people.
The Colts don't have a dynamic game-changer at running back, but Vick Ballard was pretty darn good in his rookie year, rushing for 811 yards, adding another 152 in the passing game and scoring three touchdowns.
Add in the steady but unspectacular Donald Brown behind him, and the Colts are just fine at this position. Somewhere down the line they'll likely add a playmaker in the backfield, but there are much larger priorities this season.
The Colts are probably going to address wide receiver in free agency, adding a veteran wide receiver or retaining re-signing Donnie Avery.
Reggie Wayne and T.Y. Hilton give Luck solid targets, but after those two the options thin out, as Austin Collie won't be re-signed. LaVon Brazill will be expected to play a bigger role in his second season.
If the Colts do address the wide receiver position in the draft, I would expect it to be in the later rounds. There are enough mid-level options in free agency to help Luck out before the draft.
Without question, the Colts need upgrades and depth on the offensive line after a season in which Andrew Luck was sacked 41 times and often under pressure.
According to Bleacher Report's Matt Miller, there are 62 guards better than any of the guards on the Colts roster. Ouch. The center position could use an upgrade as well, though the Colts can look for upgrades later in the draft.
Winston Justice was actually fairly solid in 2012, so he'll probably keep his starting position on the right side, while Anthony Castonzo played fairly poorly last season but likely isn't going anywhere, as he's only 24 and was taken in the first round in 2011.
Don't be surprised if the team uses its first-round pick on the offensive line, namely the guard position. I don't think Chance Warmack or Jonathan Cooper will drop to the Colts, but neither player would get past the Colts. Other names to remember are D.J. Fluker, Larry Warford and Barrett Jones.
Without question, the Colts have more pressing needs on the defensive side of the ball than they do offensively.
That starts on the line, where there's no question improvements could be made—the Colts gave up 137.5 rushing yards per game, 29th in the NFL, and the defensive end position is a major need. This is a really deep draft for defensive lineman, so I would expect the Colts to address this position, possibly in the first round.
Names to remember include Jesse Williams, Sheldon Richardson, Datone Jones and Margus Hunt.
After cutting Dwight Freeney, the Colts desperately need to upgrade at outside linebacker. Luckily, this draft is pretty deep in 3-4 outside linebackers, so the Colts should be able to fill a need in the draft.
They could also make a run at free agents such as Paul Kruger from the Baltimore Ravens or Connor Barwin from the Houston Texans. Lacking picks in the second and fifth round, the team may turn to free agency to fill the outside linebacker need.
At inside linebacker, Jerrell Freeman is one of the best players on the defense (145 tackles last season), while a healthy Pat Angerer will give the Colts a nice duo at the position.
There is a vibrant market for both safeties and cornerbacks in free agency, and the Colts could certainly use an upgrade at the cornerback position. Aqib Talib, Sean Smith, Keenan Lewis, Greg Toler, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Cary Williams and Nnamdi Asomugha could all be targets.
If the team chooses to wait until the draft to address the cornerback need, there is a pretty deep stable of corners available as well, and the Colts could use the 24th pick to address the need. This is a good year to need help at cornerback.
Names to remember in the draft at corner include Jordan Poyer, Johnthan Banks, Desmond Trufant and Xavier Rhodes.
At safety, there has been some buzz that the team may target future Hall of Famer Ed Reed, but with bigger needs they could address in free agency, I would be surprised if they spend the money needed to lure the 35-year-old to Indy.