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Ricky Jean Francois
The Colts signed Cory Redding to man the 3-4 end spot in the 2012 offseason and bring in fifth-year pro Jean-Francois this season to start opposite him. Jean Francois has been buried on San Francisco's depth chart over the last few years and has high potential as a starter. Of course, there are question marks there, but Jean Francois will be an upgrade against the run at the very least.
Like Jean Francois, Franklin was brought in to help solidify the defensive line against the run. Franklin is on the wrong end of his career but should be able to provide an upgrade over Antonio Johnson.
The most hated free-agent signing, Walden's four-year $16 million contract was a hefty price for a linebacker that's been one of Pro Football Focus' worst 3-4 OLBs in each of the past three years. Walden has the talent to be a strong run defender but is inconsistent and offers next to nothing in pass rush. If he can be consistent setting the edge, fans will be happy.
As Jerraud Powers left Indianapolis for Arizona, former Cardinal Toler moved to Indianapolis. Toler, a longer, more aggressive corner than Powers, has high potential as a turnover-causing corner. With Toler pairing with Vontae Davis, the Colts have their best pairing in years, if they can stay healthy.
Landry joins Toler as a new starter in the Colts secondary and is also an aggressive players who gives the Colts the best partner for Antoine Bethea since Bob Sanders. Landry can be over-aggressive at times, allowing for big plays over the top, but the Colts are hoping that his presence will result in turnovers that make up for a few completed deep passes.
The only player on this list to arrive via a trade, Sheppard was traded for OLB Jerry Hughes this summer to give the Colts more depth at inside linebacker. He's been unimpressive in the preseason, but he'll be a nickel linebacker at best outside of injury.