June 21, 2024

In head coach Shane Steichen’s first season with the organization, the Indianapolis Colts (9-8 in 2023) kept things interesting even after losing star rookie quarterback Anthony Richardson in Week 4.

Reliever quarterback Gardner Minshew, who almost guided the Colts to the playoffs for just the third time since 2015, managed to put up a 3,305-yard season and nine wins under Steichen, one of the league’s brightest young offensive brains.

The Colts improved offensively during Steichen’s first season. Despite playing in just 10 games, Jonathan Taylor and Zack Moss were the engine of Indianapolis’ run attack, combining for 1,535 yards and 12 rushing touchdowns. Michael Pittman Jr. also had a fantastic season, recording 109 receptions for 1,152 yards.

There is still work to be done in terms of defense. Many of the Colts’ important free agents are on that side of the ball, as they finished 24th in total defense and 29th in scoring defense.

What you should know about Indianapolis’ off-season is as follows:

Projected 2024 cap space: $66.35 million, the sixth-highest in the NFL

FREE AGENTS | Offense: RB Zack Moss, WRs Michael Pittman Jr., Isaiah McKenzie, and Juwann Winfree; OGs Jack Anderson and Danny Pinter; QB Gardner Minshew

Defense: LBs Cameron McGrone and Segun Olubi; CBs Kenny Moore and Tony Brown; DEs Tyquan Lewis and Genard Avery; DTs Grover Stewart and Taven Bryan; safeties Henry Black, Trevor Denbow, and Julian Blackmon

Special teams: Rigoberto Sanchez, punter

Outlook: The Colts have a lot of needs to take care of in the summer, but fortunately, they have a lot of cash to spend. Pittman Jr. is the first of several players on the team that should be kept around. He’s a borderline top-15 wide receiver in the NFL and the team’s second-best offensive player. He’s essential to have if they want to position Richardson for success. It seems sense to keep Minshew and Moss in the fold if they are interested in coming back, even though they have both probably earned themselves the opportunity to contend for a starting position someplace else next season.

The fact that Stewart is a big-bodied interior defensive lineman (6-foot-4, 314 pounds) alone justifies his return.

In the middle of the line, he can stuff runs well, but he’s more of a No. 2 DT than a starter. Moore was maybe the team’s best wide receiver, and Blackman its best safety. Indianapolis has to resign both players to help solidify its secondary unless it wants to make a big splash in free agency.
Round 1 (number 15 overall) | Round 2 | Round 3 | Round 4 | Round 5 | Round 6 | Round 7 2024 DRAFT PICKS

TOP DRAFT NEEDS (in that order): Edge-rusher, DT, CB, S, and TE The defensive tackle, cornerback, and safety positions for Indianapolis must still be strengthened because they were the team’s weak points on the defensive line, regardless of what happened with Stewart, Moore, and Blackmon.

Jer’Zahn Newton of Illinois should run up to the podium to snatch him if he drops to 15th overall. With 7.5 sacks, 28 hurries, and a team-high 43 pressures, he might have an Aaron Donald-like effect on the team’s defensive line.

In the event that the Colts choose to go secondary in the first round, I would anticipate them to select the player they have the highest graded among Georgia’s Kamari Lassiter, Toledo’s Quinyon Mitchell, and Alabama’s Kool-Aid McKinstry at wide receiver. However, I also wouldn’t be shocked if Minnesota safety Tyler Nubin managed to sneak into the middle of Round 1 and be selected by Indianapolis.

2024 offseason primer: Colts set to build contender around Anthony Richardson

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