Colts: 2021 NFL Draft primer as Carson Wentz era begins

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Colts went 11-5 and made the playoffs in 2020, Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images

There is likely nothing that can derail an NFL franchise quite like the unexpected loss of an elite franchise quarterback. The Indianapolis Colts faced this nightmare scenario head-on with the announcement of Andrew Luck’s retirement on the eve of the 2019 season, and the reverberations of Luck’s surprise departure will accompany the team into the upcoming season.

Having made a go of it in 2019 with Jacoby Brissett, and fresh off a gap year with aging transplant Philip Rivers under center, the Colts have chosen to address the quarterback position with what amounts to an epic roll of the dice.

While the focus of the upcoming Colts season will rightfully center on the reclamation project that is Carson Wentz, the second overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft who starred at quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles before bottoming out in 2020 and making his way to Indianapolis via trade earlier in the offseason, it is the Colt defense that has largely held things together in the team’s two seasons post-Luck.

Can the Colts continue to count on their defense?

Headlined by linebacker Darius Leonard and tackle DeForest Buckner, Defensive Coordinator Matt Eberflus’ unit was among the league’s best in 2020, finishing the year ranked eighth in yard allowed (second in rush yards) and tenth in points surrendered.

However, the Colts will be in the market for young talent on both sides of the ball when the 2021 NFL Draft commences later this month. Follow along as we examine the positional needs that persist in Indianapolis despite their offseason additions, and how it could impact the players that the team chooses to target in the upcoming draft.

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