Aug 16, 2014; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts linebacker D
The Colts weren’t idle in free agency this season. GM Ryan Grigson made a number of moves in an effort to improve the roster, but some changes, or lack there of, might have left fans scratching their heads.
DE Arthur Jones comes in from the Ravens and will likely have an impact in the passing game and is an improvement for the defensive line.
ILB D’Qwell Jackson was signed from the Browns and is a run stopper. The thought is that he’ll help bolster a run defense that was fairly pathetic in 2013.
WR Hakeem Nicks comes from the Giants and the Super Bowl winner is looking to bounce back from a touchdown-less 2013. He offers a huge upgrade at the third receiver position.
C A.Q. Shipley (claimed off waivers after preseason) was formerly with the Colts before being traded to the Ravens in May of 2013. He offers solid depth at the center spot and could start on opening day due to injuries.
The Colts locked down Vontae Davis to a long term deal worth $39 million. Advanced stats had him as one of the highest rated corners in the game, despite giving up eight touchdowns.
Ahmad Bradshaw returns to the team after playing in just three games last season and returning from a neck injury that put him on IR. The addition looks even better after Ballard’s injury.
Sergio Brown gives the team depth at safety, and more importantly is a special team’s ace.
Pat McAfee is one of the better punters in the league and if the preseason is any indication, he’s looking better than ever.
Adam Vinatieri is the oldest player in the NFL, but after drilling long range field goals at camp and one from 54-yards in the preseason, he can still play.
S Antoine Bethea because the Colts were unwilling to match his contract from the 49ers. The Colts did little to find a viable candidate to fill his spot and now have serious issues at safety.
RB Donald Brown was the Colts best running back by the end of the season and despite a weak offensive line was one of the most successful backs in the league.
ILB Kavell Conner never seemed to mesh well with the coaching staff. He was always effective on the field, and very good in coverage, but for some reason rarely found the field.
Rookies to Watch
Second round pick Jack Mewhort appears to have a starting spot on the offensive line after Donald Thomas suffered another season ending injury in training camp.
Wide receiver Donte Moncrief has been outstanding in camp, and decent in the preseason. He’s currently listed at fourth on the Colts crowded depth chart at receiver. He might not see the field frequently, but he should be productive in limited snaps.
The Colts also have a number of undrafted free agents who made the final roster. NT Zach Kerr was a stud in the preseason and cornerback Louchiez Purifoy was impressive in coverage and returning punts. Linebacker Henoc Muamba was the second highest graded player on the Colts this preseason (behind Kerr).