Indianapolis Colts June Scouting Report
While the Colts have made great strides in improving their roster in this offseason, earning kudos from nearly every pundit so far, the only question that anyone cares about this summer is "When will QB Andrew Luck begin throwing?" As had been anticipated, he has yet to take part in any of the team offseason workouts, only focusing on his rehab. While it was expected that he would not have yet thrown a ball this summer, as weeks go past it obviously makes the collar tighten and the beads of sweat form on the brow of every member of the organization and fan base. It is still hoped that he will return to the field in at least some capacity in the full training camp in late July, but the total lack of anything at this point is obviously going to cause fans and coaches alike to shake a bit. Personally I am guardedly optimistic that he will be back in the swing of things in time to ready himself for the opener in Los Angeles, although I admit I would feel more comfortable if he was at least on the premises…especially with the backups looking less-than-stellar in minicamp thus far.
The second big question is "Is the offensive line going to keep Luck from getting killed again?" Owner Jim Irsay has gushed publicly about the line being fixed, but frankly it is too early to say that. Former line coach and line guru Howard Mudd said that the team had the makings of a real good line, and that the talent is there which exceeded many of the lines he coached here in Indy. OC Ryan Kelly had high praises for the unit’s overall improvement after minicamp as well
"What will the team do to shore up their defense?" They obviously signed a lot of linebackers and a stud in the interior of the defensive line in DT Jonathan Hankins, but the meshing of all this new talent will be the key. I do think that the Colts defense is currently being rated in the bottom 5 (and therefore undraftable) by most rankings and cheat sheets, so I would take a shot at them in the last round as a possible sleeper that will outperform expectations in 2017. If nothing else, a week 1 game against a suspect offense makes them a good streaming option out of the gate that can be dropped as needed; they also have good matchups every other week with CLE, SF and JAX on tap in the next few odd-numbered weeks. [Note: they pair up well with the Redskins, who have solid matchups in the even numbered weeks]
The main take home message coming out of camp has not been the play of any one guy or unit. The vibe is that there seems to be a whole new attitude permeating the locker room. Many of the players have used terms like "a whole new culture" being built, and the like, and the effort really seems to be there from a team that at times seemed to be going through the motions in the last few seasons. Part of that is that the starting lineup has a long way to go towards being determined, so a greater percentage of the players (especially on defense) are busting butt to earn a spot. Until they show it on Sunday and on the field, it is merely hope and conjecture… but there is reason to be optimistic at this time. Again, I am guardedly optimistic until I see it. The defensive line is starting to look like a strength, and the depth in the linebacking corps will likely best be felt on special teams rather than in the front seven.
I also want to see this team stay healthy as they have been one of the most oft-injured teams in the NFL in the last few seasons. They still have a few potential starting defenders that are working their way back as well -- like SS Clayton Geathers and rookie FS Malik Hooker – and have already lost recent signee RB Christine Michael to injured reserve. And then there is that whole Luck issue….LOL WR Donte Moncrief looks healthy for the first time in a long while and in a contract year is another guy that could vastly outperform his fantasy draft position; he has looked great in minicamp so far, and is motivated to continue that excellence.
Sadly, I would like to offer my condolences to the entire Colts organization and the Kush family on the passing of the first Indianapolis Colts head coach, Frank Kush this week. Rest in peace, sir.
That is all for now from the Crossroads of America. Until next month, friends….go get geared up for your first fantasy drafts and stay tuned to FFMastermind.com for all the latest news and drafting advice!
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