Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Perception vs. reality

What the media said: It’s time to find Peyton Manning’s replacement.
What happened: The Colts kicked the tires on some major prospects like Andy Dalton and Colin Kaepernick (remember, they had also worked out Mark Sanchez back in ’09), but didn’t enter the ridiculously inflated quarterback draft market. Rather than spend a high draft pick, the Colts went without.
What’s next: They’ll invite a camp arm or two, but they will have to survive with Curtis Painter as Manning’s backup for one more year, and find Manning’s heir apparent when he’s closer to necessary.

What the media said: What? Joseph Addai, Donald Brown and Mike Hart? That’s enviable depth that is.
What happened: Actually, since both Addai and Hart are free agents and Brown sucks, this was a need position. The Colts drafted Syracuse’s Delone Carter in the fourth round.
What’s next: Now that I’m over my shock and childish rage that the Colts drafted Carter instead of a speed back, I’m pretty down with the plan. The Colts haven’t had a truly tough inside runner in years and Carter will change that. Though he offers almost no breakaway threat, I would be surprised if he ends up getting more carries than any other Colts back in 2011, even if Addai is re-signed. There’s a lot of BenJarvus Green-Ellis in this kid, the Colts just need a Danny Woodhead to go with him.

What the media said: Reggie Wayne is ancient! Injuries! Contracts! Need this now!
What happened: In fact, the Colts are quite deep here, but could definitely have used a home run threat. None fell to them and other needs had to be filled, so it didn’t happen.
What’s next: The Colts go to war with Wayne, Pierre Garçon, Austin Collie, Blair White, Taj Smith and, perhaps, Anthony Gonzalez.

Tight ends
What the media said: Nothing much.
What happened: Nothing much.
What’s next: With star Dallas Clark returning, Jacob Tamme having emerged and Brody Eldridge having solidified the blocking role, the Colts are fine here for now.

Offensive line
What the media said: An upgrade here is necessary, but perhaps not as much as the defensive line.
What happened: The Colts saw sense and grabbed two potential Day 1 starters – Anthony Castonzo and Ben Ijalana – with their first two picks.
What’s next: It would be an incredible shock if Castonzo does not take over the left tackle spot immediately. Ijalana could start at right tackle or right guard, depending on the fate of Ryan Diem and where they want to put Charlie Johnson (if he re-signs). If everything falls into place, the Colts could be secure at four of five offensive line positions, whereas they were sure at only one heading into it. The remaining spot – probably right guard if Ijalana settles in at right tackle and Johnson at left guard – would be an interesting fight between Jacques McClendon, Mike Pollak, Kyle DeVan, Jamey Richard, Jamie Thomas, Jeff Linkenbach, Mike Tepper and potentially others.

Defensive line
What the media said: Get us a fat dude! Any fat dude! Preferably in the first two picks.
What happened: The Colts actually looked at some big guys before the draft, but ultimately found them not worth the picks they would require. Instead, they drafted undersized overachiever Drake Nevis in the third round.
What’s next: My gut says that Nevis is a better overall prospect than Fili Moala was, but like Moala, he will need a year to get acquainted with the system. Until then, look for the Colts to rotate him in with Mookie Johnson, Daniel Muir and perhaps DeMario Pressley.

What the media said: Some made pleas for linebacking help, few took them seriously
What happened: Not much.
What’s next: Looks like Clint Session will return, which would make Pat Angerer, Kavell Connor and Phillip Wheeler fight for the strongside spot if Gary Brackett returns in the middle. Otherwise, Angerer is the middle man.

What the media said: Well, as this is a position on defense, many commentators believed the Colts needed a player here.
What happened: The Colts are actually fairly deep at corner, but added Chris L Rucker in the sixth because his upside was just too great to pass up.
What’s next: There are rumors that Rucker could wind up at safety, a position of greater need, but I’ll believe that when I see it. Instead I think he starts at the bottom and works his way up at corner.

What the media said: Wait, Bob Sanders is gone? It’s an emergency!
What happened: The Colts looked at a few safeties, but didn’t draft any.
What’s next: It looks like re-signing Melvin Bullitt is more of a priority than it was pre-draft. That is, unless Mike Newton is way better than I think he is.


mrcrayz888 said...

Great post!

I didn't buy the WR or QB talk ever. RB was a bit of a surprise, but you're right, we only have Brown, Moore and James under contract, that's not a situation that enstills confidence.

Don't forget about David Caldwell, Afalava, Vaughn and Hamlin (even though Afalava and Hamlin aren't under contract). I think the safties, along with some UDFA signing, can be worked out.

BLUE, MD said...

I wish second chance for: (order)TE Santi(Tamme's clone), WR Smith(ST Ace), RB Moore(KR), OG DeVan(productive), OT Linkenback(potential). Collie's future (most important team WR):1)play outside (see Denver's game), 2)catch/down (like Wayne,Harrison),3)protective helmet (standard), 4)few false play (no throw at him),5)more bench. What combination is feasible?