2017 Positional Preview: Linebacker
The Colts’ front office made a lot of moves to try to improve one of the league’s worst defenses this offseason, but did they do enough at the linebacker position?
Indianapolis made some major upgrades in the secondary and along the defensive line, but their moves to improve their linebackers were rather uninspiring.
The Colts signed linebacker Sean Spence this offseason after he spent last year with the Titans. Spence has never really been more than a rotational linebacker in his four-year NFL career, but he is currently projected to be one of the Colts’ starters in Week 1.
The other projected starting linebacker is Edwin Jackson who got a decent amount of playing time with Indianapolis last season. He didn’t exactly make the most of that playing time as he struggled mightily at the position last year, but he should be able to improve a bit in his second year in the system.
Akeem Ayers joined the Colts last season, but he didn’t earn much playing time in his first year in Indianapolis. Ayers will likely slot in as a backup again in 2017.
Antonio Morrison became a contributor as a fourth-round rookie last season, and he could potentially push Edwin Jackson for a starting position with a strong showing at training camp.
The Colts’ front office had a tough task ahead of them this offseason as they tried to rebuild the league’s 29th-ranked defense from 2016. While general manager Chris Ballard did well to repair the secondary and defensive line, this linebacking corps is one of the league’s worst units. It would take a miraculous leap from one of their young LB’s to make this position group average.
In case you missed it, here are other positional previews: