The Indianapolis Colts‘ 2012 season is by all accounts considered a success, despite being led by a rookie general manager, head coach, and quarterback. Additionally, the franchise faced many adversities that included releasing their former franchise signal caller and future hall of famer, Peyton Manning, as well as their new head coach needing cancer treatment. The pressure on owner Jim Irsay is by no means small. Yet, the team persevered and made it into the playoffs as a Wildcard.
Heading into the 2013 season, General Manager Ryan Grigson and Head Coach Chuck Pagano now will attempt to piece the smaller pieces together after laying the foundation on the shoulder of sophomore quarterback Andrew Luck. The team made many Free Agent moves by signing players such as LaRon Landry (Strong Safety), Greg Toler (Cornerback), Erick Walden (Outside Linebacker), Aubrayo Franklin (Nosetackle) , Ricky Jean-Francois (Defensive end), Gosder Cherulis (Offensive Tackle), and underrated signing Donald Thomas (Offensive Guard). in order to build on the momentum created in the previous season. These signings suggests that the Colts are not interested in rebuilding; instead they wish to contend for the AFC Southtitle right now. Indianapolis Colts’ needs: OG, C, RB, S, OLB, DT 1.24 – DaMontre Moore, OLB/DE, Texas A&M Few prospects have been criticized more than DaMontre Moore for his workout performances. Moore was exceptional in his senior year, being a very disruptive and exciting player on game days. He possesses great tools and uses them well to get off blockers. He also has experience playing Defensive End and Outside Linebacker, and utilizes a variety of skills to beat his opponents. He also contributed in Special Teams and recorded two blocked kicks. However, during both his workouts he recorded very disappointing numbers, making teams and scouts question if he is a one-year wonder. Landing with the Colts may just be what Moore needs. He will not be asked to start immediately, with Robert Mathis and Erik Walden projected to open as starters. Moore can learn from one of the best pass rushers in the league behind Robert Mathis, and contribute in a rotational role. With Mathis getting up there in age, they can groom Moore to take over his position when the time comes. With Chuck Pagano installing an odd front, Damontre Moore may also be asked to play defensive end at times. Alternate considerations: Jonathan Cyprien (S), Jonathan Hankins (DT), Quinton Patton (WR) No 2nd Round Pick (traded to Miami for Vontae Davis) 3.24 – Markus Wheaton, WR, Oregon State With premier wide receiver Reggie Wayne’s contract coming to an end in the near future, the Colts will try to draft Wayne’s replacement in Markus Wheaton. Though Wheaton is stylistically different from Wayne, his skills are nonetheless very impressive. Wheaton shows, on tape, consistent separation from defenders with his blazing speed and use of subtle moves. He will get behind the defense in a hurry and present himself a great target for Andrew Luck, while playing opposite of teammate TY Hilton, who himself will stretch the defense. Having another young and talented grow alongside the Colts’ signal caller may be a good idea. Alternate considerations: Travis Frederick (C/OG), John Jenkins (DT), Le’Veon Bell (RB) 4.24 – TJ McDonald, FS, USC Continuing the trend of drafting potential replacement for an aging roster, TJ McDonald is just the guy to come in for either LaRon Landry or Antoine Bethea. A hard hitting safety out of Southern California and the son of a former NFL Safety, McDonald is a terrific player for the Colts defense. He primarily played in-the-box, and displays aggressiveness and decisiveness in his tackles without becoming reckless. He uses his length well in order to fight through blockers to get to the ball carrier or prevent a screen play. However, he may be a liability in coverage due to his lack of fluidity in his turn-and-run ability, and can get beat by receivers. He also tends to get fooled by play-actions and fake handoffs (a major factor in read-option schemes). With that said, TJ McDonald could develop into a Bernard Pollard, who enjoyed success while Pagano was the Defensive Coordinator for the Baltimore Ravens, type of player. Alternate considerations: Terron Armstead (OT), Andre Ellington (RB), Bacarri Rambo (FS) No 5th Round Pick, traded to San Francisco 49ers in last year’s draft 6.24 – Miguel Maysonet, RB, Stony Brook Miguel Maysonet a small school running back is generating a lot of buzz during this draft period. He can be the ideal complement to Vick Ballard as a bruising, a down-hill, and decisive runner who can take big hits. He may be great for picking up the short-yards and may have a role as a goal-line running back. Maysonet has experience in traditional single-back offensive schemes as well as out of the (now popular) pistol formation. He will probably never develop into a feature back role, because of his lack of creativity as a runner. It seems less likely that the franchise will retain Donald Brown after the season, and former second round pick Delone Carter has not shown any improvements since he was drafted. Miguel Maysonet has an opportunity to surpass both Brown and Carter and become the primary change-of-pace runner for the Colts. Alternate Consideration: Sam Brenner (OG), Keith Pough (OLB), Levine Toilolo (TE) 7.24 – TJ Moe, WR, Missouri Having a stead set of wide receivers secured outside, the Colts continue to add weapons for Andrew Luck with TJ Moe. Moe is a very physical receiver, who loves to play in the middle of the field. He has reliable hands and deceptive quickness. He had a disappointing outing after ranking 19th in the collegiate level in his sophomore year, and his production continued to decline throughout college. Moe is limited to playing in the slot and has a very small catching radius. His size and the position he plays will expose him to a lot of injury risks. Alternate considerations: Walter Stewart (OLB), Braden Hansen (OG), Michael Williams (TE) 7.48 – Quinn Sharp, K, Oklahoma State With the last pick of the Indianapolis Colts, they will draft one more player to replace an aging veteran. Quinn Sharp has a good leg and can play at kickoff and field goals and he can also moonlight as a punter. Adam Vinatieri is only signed for one more season, so it would make sense for the Colts to find his replacement in this draft.