Colts Rank 16th in ESPN’s NFL Future Power Rankings


According to ESPN’s Insider (subscription), the Indianapolis Colts rank 16th in its NFL Future Power Rankings.

Three ESPN analysts in John Clayton, Louis Riddick, and Mike Sando rated each team on a scale of 0-100 in five categories: roster (excluding quarterback), quarterback, draft, front office, and coaching. These categories were then weighted to reflect an overall score:

"“After averaging the results from the panelists, each of the five categories was weighted to create the overall score — roster (30 percent), quarterback (20 percent), draft (15 percent), front office (15 percent) and coaching (20 percent). The result is a comprehensive rankings based on how well each team is positioned for the future.”"

In my opinion, their ranking at 16th seems a bit low given the team’s tremendous fortune of having the top young quarterback in the game in Andrew Luck, as well as a multitude of young offense weapons surrounding him in T.Y. Hilton, Coby Fleener, Dwayne Allen, Donte Moncrief, and Phillip Dorsett:

"The overview: The Colts improved four spots thanks to an 11-spot jump in their drafting rank (32nd to 21st). Jack Mewhort, Donte Moncrief and Jonathan Newsome made solid contributions from the 2014 class. The decision to use a 2015 first-round pick on wide receiver Phillip Dorsett mystified some, but at worst, the Colts committed another resource toward arming the NFL’s most gifted young quarterback. Low rankings for the front office (28th) and coaching (25th) reflect an unsettled future in those areas. –Mike SandoThe dilemma: QB Andrew Luck will be just 26 years old as he heads into his fourth season, with the Colts in “win now or bust” mode for 2015. That puts the strategy of acquiring numerous 30-plus-year-old players — Frank Gore, Andre Johnson, Todd Herremans, Trent Cole — under the microscope as it pertains to future employment GM Ryan Grigson and coach Chuck Pagano. If rumors of a strained working relationship between Grigson and Pagano are in fact true, this is a franchise that could see significant change at the key management positions in the very near future. Such upheval always coincides with a roster overhaul, leaving open the possibility that many of Luck’s prime years could be spent with the team in rebuilding mode, and that work will be done with Luck making plenty more against the cap than he does now. –Louis RiddickThe youth movement: Grigson hit it big in 2012, drafting six players who ended up starting. With Luck at the top and T.Y. Hilton in the third round, the Colts had one of the top five draft classes of the past decade. But the past couple of drafts haven’t produced many starters. Linebacker Bjoern Werner, a first-rounder in 2013, started 15 games last year because of Robert Mathis’ injury, but no other defensive starter has emerged from the draft. The Colts have used three choices on the offensive line in the past two drafts, but Mewhort appears to be the only true starter. There is excitement at wide receiver, though, with Moncrief (2015) and Dorsett (2014) filling out a talented pass-catching group. –John Clayton"

However, it appears that the ESPN trio isn’t sold on the long-term future of the Colts front office (28th) and coaching staff (25th), which means both General Manager Ryan Grigson and Head Coach Chuck Pagano have some work to do to secure new deals. The team’s “futures” ranking is also lowered a bit because of the additions of a number of high-profile veterans in Frank Gore, Andre Johnson, Trent Cole, and Todd Herremans, which coincides with the team’s current “win now” approach.

Still, as long as #12 is throwing the football, the Colts have a relatively bright future all things considered. The offense appears to be in great shape for many years to come, as the team has surrounded Luck with a number of young, yet talented offensive weapons. It’s the defense though that could still use an infusion of young talent, at pretty much every position except for cornerback.

Regardless, I wouldn’t put too much stock in the Colts ranking at a middle of the pack team ranking at 16th. With Luck, their future appears to be far brighter. 

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