Bill Barnwell: Colts must sign edge rusher before 2021 NFL draft

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Kevin Hickey
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The Indianapolis Colts went through all of free agency without signing an impact edge rusher. Making a splash wasn’t all that expected but the degree of which they have been quiet is a bit surprising.

As the 2021 NFL draft approaches in just three weeks, Bill Barnwell of ESPN suggests the Colts must sign a veteran edge rusher in free agency before the big weekend arrives.

One move to make: Sign an edge rusher. The draft appears to have more first-round picks at offensive tackle than it does on the edge, which would push Indy toward adding a rotation piece. A Houston return could still be in the cards, but Melvin Ingram, Jadeveon Clowney and Ryan Kerrigan are also still available. If the Colts prefer to address left tackle, Russell Okung is unsigned, which could lead to a scenario in which Okung explains Bitcoin to team owner Jim Irsay.

The Colts may have had interest in players like Romeo Okwara, Carl Lawson and Yannick Ngakoue but those players may have been out of their price range as we know Chris Ballard likes to stick to his values.

As it stands, the Colts have a young room of edge rushers. The current starters are three former second-round picks in Kemoko Turay, Ben Banogu and Tyquan Lewis. They also re-signed Al-Quadin Muhammad to a one-year deal after a few weeks of free agency.

There is no denying this is a massive need for the Colts. If they want any chance of competing for a playoff spot in 2021, the pass rush has to be improved. Even with DeForest Buckner and Grover Stewart wreaking havoc in the middle, the edge simply wasn’t good enough in 2020.

It will be interesting to see if any moves will be made to bring in a veteran or re-sign a veteran like Houston, but this remains a major need for the Colts and one that might be concerning if they don’t address it heavily.

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