Build a Solid Offensive Line
Perhaps the biggest move the Colts made this offseason was selecting guard Quentin Nelson of Notre Dame with the sixth overall pick in the NFL Draft.
Ballard has started the Colts’ rebuild in the trenches, using four of his first five draft picks on offensive or defensive lineman this offseason. Two of those picks were spent on players who will be tasked with keeping opposing teams off the back of Andrew Luck.
Nelson and second round pick Braden Smith (37th overall) are both expected to make sizable contributions to the offensive unit in their rookie campaigns. Nelson will likely be plugged in to the starting rotation right off the bat, while most experts have Smith backing up Jack Mewhort to start the year.
The Colts also spent a decent amount of coin on depth up front.
Veteran center/guard Matt Slauson signed as a free agent from the Chargers, and Mewhort signed a contract extension through 2019.
Slauson is not expected to be in the starting unit, but with the injury history of Mewhort and starting center Ryan Kelly, Slauson should play a decent amount of time in Indianapolis.
When you consider that the Colts will be welcoming back there two starting tackles, Anthony Castanzo and Joe Haeg, it seems that the Colts’ line has the potential to bounce back from an off year.
If the front five is able to remain healthy enough to build chemistry (18 different combinations used in 2017), they have a potential to be an above-average group in 2018.