Bleacher Report hands out grade for Colts’ offseason
The majority of significant moves for the Indianapolis Colts have been made this offseason, and now it’s time to prepare for the upcoming campaign.
With OTAs set to begin next week, Bleacher Report’s Kristopher Knox handed out offseason grades for every team. He included a free agency and trade grade to go along with a draft grade and an overall offseason grade. Also mentioned is an “extra-credit project,” which could boost the overall grade in the future.
Free Agency, Trade Grade: C+
Draft Grade: A-
EC Project: Having a Plan for a Rookie QB
Overall Grade: B
The Indianapolis Colts weren’t especially active in the early stages of free agency. They added players like Samson Ebukam, Taven Bryan and Isaiah McKenzie while losing the likes of Bobby Okereke, Parris Cambell and Brandon Facyson.
The Colts also got a mere fifth-round pick for cornerback Stephon Gilmore and overpaid for kicker Matt Gay at $22.5 million for four years.
What Indianapolis did well was set the stage for a rookie quarterback. It hired former Philadelphia Eagles offensive coordinator Shane Steichen as head coach and brought in Philly’s former understudy in quarterback Gardner Minshew II.
Steichen helped Jalen Hurts grow into a viable MVP candidate in Philadelphia, and Minshew has proved himself to be a quality bridge and spot starter (career passer rating of 93.1).
Then, Indy either pivoted at the last minute or pulled off one of the best pre-draft smokescreens in recent memory. All the buzz indicated that the Colts wanted Kentucky quarterback Will Levis at No. 3 overall, but the Colts instead took Florida’s Anthony Richardson.
Richardson has the physical tools to be an elite dual-threat at the next level, not unlike Hurts. He’s a 6’4″, 244-pound quarterback with 4.43-second speed, good pocket awareness and a cannon of a right arm.
After two years of working with Hurts, Steichen is the perfect coach to unlock Richardson’s potential. And if Richardson isn’t ready to start from day one, the Colts can still field a functional offense with Minshew.
If star running back Jonathan Taylor can stay healthy, Indianapolis could even be surprisingly relevant in the AFC South this season.
The Colts started out very active in free agency, adding Ebukam, Gay and Minshew. They stayed pretty quiet after the first week, making subtle additions while preparing for the draft.
The draft is where they made the splashes. They added three potential Week 1 starters with their first three selections in Richardson, Brents and Downs. They also added plenty of upside, depth and competition with their nine selections on Day 3.
As we’ve said since the draft concluded, it will all come down to the development of Richardson. If they can get him moving in the right direction quickly, they could be a much more competitive team than currently projected.
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