Andrew Luck was thrown around all last season.
Ryan Grigson, the Colts' general manager, will be looking to add key pieces to this team over the offseason. According to Phillip Wilson of IndyStar.com, the Colts have $44 million in cap space. Add that to four draft picks in April, and this team will have a lot of new faces in 2013.
With an 11-5 record last year along with a playoff appearance and a young, talented quarterback, free agents will be interested in joining this team.
The Colts will be able to spend some money to bring in some bigger names, but they must focus on protecting Luck. It is tempting for the team to go after Greg Jennings or Mike Wallace, but the team has other holes that need to be filled.
The offensive line did a poor job protecting Luck in his rookie season. He was sacked 41 times last year, the fourth most in the NFL. That number would have been far worse if Luck weren't as elusive as he was. According to Scott Kacsmar, Luck was under pressure on 31 percent of his throws. He also says that Luck was the most hit and hurried quarterback in the league last season.
There are several options for the Colts to look at in order to protect their No. 1 overall pick from last season. According to Kevin Acee of UTSanDeigo.com, the Colts are making a run at Louis Vasquez. Vasquez was a solid guard for the San Diego Chargers last season and could come in and help with a struggling group of guards.
A big name in free agency right now is Jake Long, the offensive tackle for the Miami Dolphins. The former No. 1 overall pick struggled a bit last year but has shown that he is a good lineman before. The Colts have the money if they want to add him, and it would likely help their line even more.
The draft could be another good option for the Colts to add a lineman. They do need to add some players on defense, but if they can find a few solid defensive players through free agency, the Colts could pick up a rookie on the o-line.
One prospect that has been very intriguing has been Menelik Watson. He only played one season of college football at Florida State, but he has jumped up the draft boards. His raw athleticism and size make him a very appealing offensive tackle, and some team may pick him up in the first round.
Which of these guys would you want on the Colts?
Whatever happens this offseason, the main focus for Jim Irsay will need to be protecting his investment in Luck. He has the talent to bring the Colts back to the glory days of Peyton Manning, but he will need to stop getting thrown around by opponents. There are more than a few offensive linemen in the draft and free agency, so this is the year to add a few.