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PFF Ranks Colts as Having 13th Best NFL Roster


Each year, ESPN now aligns with ProFootballFocus (subscription) analysts to rank the NFL’s 32 team rosters. Fresh off of the collective outrage from MMQB’s Peter King ranking the Colts outside his Top 10, PFF via ESPN Insider (subscription) depicts the Indianapolis Colts in an almost equally disappointing light:

"13. Indianapolis Colts2014 Ranking: 12Top five players: Vontae Davis, Andrew Luck, T.Y. Hilton, Robert Mathis,Dwayne AllenStarters who should be upgraded: Khaled Holmes, Todd Herremans,Gosder Cherilus, Greg Toler, Kendall Langford, Arthur Jones, D’Qwell JacksonAnalysis: Much like the Packers, the Colts receive a boost for being in great shape at the most critical position in the game. (Andrew ) Luck may not be quite as good as the hype surrounding him most of the time — he was only PFF’s ninth-ranked quarterback in 2014 — but he has elite highs and as much raw ability as any passer in the game. Running back Frank Gore and wide receiver Andre Johnson aren’t long-term solutions, but both should represent immediate upgrades. There are issues on the O-line, where Anthony Castonzo is the only one of the starting five to rank above average.The defense remains a work in progress, but has one elite player at a critical position — the hugely underrated (Vontae) Davis. Teams throwing his way in 2014 had a passer rating of just 38.8, the lowest mark in the league."

PFF isn’t exactly the most kind to Andrew Luck, despite him playing with T.Y Hilton and not much else at wideout, a 3rd-string running back in Dan “Boom” Herron, and a patchwork offensive line by season’s end. Still, it is great to see Anthony Castonzo and Vontae Davis get some advanced grade love, even if Hilton seems strangely omitted from the above Colts summary.

It’s hard to believe that the Colts actually dropped one spot from 12th to 13th this offseason, after the team signed highly regarded veterans like Frank Gore, Andre Johnson, and Trent Cole, as well as the return of Robert Mathis. However, PFF isn’t an exact science by any means.

While #13 seems a bit low for the Colts all things considered, this ranking is merely grading out the talent on each NFL’s team’s roster, not necessarily how each team will fare come next season:

"“We have collected the number of elite or high-quality players each team can count among its starters (for these purposes we gave each team a starting side of 12 on each side of the ball to reflect both base and nickel/third-down defense), and you will see those in the chart at the bottom of the page.”"

We’ve always said that Luck covers up a lot of holes on the Colts roster, and even if their starting roster surrounding him isn’t Top 5 worthy, the Colts figure to be among one of the best teams in the NFL come next season largely because of him.

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