Indianapolis Colts and 5 Other Teams Without Enough Young Talent
The loss of franchise quarterback Peyton Manning exposed Indianapolis' severe lack of young talent across the board.
Now we'll analyze the Colts and five other teams who are struggling with a lack of young talent.
The loss of Peyton Manning magnified the flaws that litter the decimated Indianapolis Colts.
The Colts have no decent backup behind Manning and the running backs have all been largely ineffective. Receivers Pierre Garcon and Austin Collie have shown promise, but Reggie Wayne is past his prime. The offensive line is led by the seemingly ageless Jeff Saturday, but he won't last forever.
The defense is aging at its strongest positions. Defensive ends Robert Mathis and Dwight Freeney are both still playing well, but they probably don't have much left in them.
This team needs a serious infusion of young talent well beyond Andrew Luck.
The Jacksonville Jaguars have a great defense led by a young and stout front seven, but on offense they need a lot of help.
Rookie quarterback Blaine Gabbert has been underwhelming in large part due to a severe lack of talent at receiver. Gabbert's top target is Mike Thomas, who has had a disappointing career.
Running back Maurice Jones-Drew is still a workhorse, but this team needs some playmakers on the outside.
Cornerback Rashean Mathis is in his ninth season, and center Brad Meester is in his 12th.
St. Louis Rams
The St. Louis Rams have a lot of good pieces, but they are still struggling.
Much of that can likely be attributed to a lack of depth (and young players that can play more snaps).
On defense, players like Fred Robbins, Ben Leber, Quintin Mikell and James Long are getting up there in years, while offensively, quarterback Sam Bradford's top target is ninth-year receiver Brandon Lloyd.
There are a lot of good young receivers on this team, but none that are big difference makers outside of Lloyd.
Steven Jackson is a rock at running back, but he is also getting older and is having trouble staying healthy. His backups haven't done much.
The offensive line needs help with depth as well.
The Cleveland Browns are another team with a solid young defense that needs a serious talent infusion on the offensive side of the ball, particularly at running back and receiver.
Peyton Hillis just isn't getting it done at running back anymore and has had struggles with injury, so the duties are being shared by Montario Hardesty and Chris Ogbonnaya, neither of which have been world-beating.
At receiver, Greg Little shows a lot of promise while Mohammed Massaquoi and Brian Robiskie have been decent, but a true No. 1 has not emerged for Colt McCoy.
Josh Cribbs is still a dynamic weapon on special teams, but he's never been able to be a consistent threat offensively.
The Washington Redskins are yet another team with a stout, talent-laden defense that can't get it done on offense.
Between Rex Grossman and John Beck, the Redskins simply cannot get good quarterback play. There isn't much threatening at the receiver position either outside of Santana Moss, who is 11th season.
You never know what combination Mike Shanahan is going to use at running back, and none of the options are particularly scintillating as a featured back.
London Fletcher, the defense's anchor at middle linebacker, is in his 14th season.
The Denver Broncos got a pretty nice infusion of young talent in this year's class, which included Von Miller, Rahim Moore, Quinton Carter, Nate Irving and Orlando Franklin, but there are still a lot of holes to address.
Quarterback Tim Tebow doesn't have much to work with outside of Eric Decker at receiver now that Brandon Lloyd is gone. Willis McGahee is still an effective running back, but he's aging, and Knowshon Moreno can't stay healthy.
The defensive tackle spots don't boast any impressive players, and secondary anchors Champ Bailey and Brian Dawkins are in their 13th and 16th seasons, respectively.