This is the unit with perhaps the most questions because of recent changes. But if this player breaks out, it could be the strength of the defense.
New players are the story of the defensive line. Justin Houston is of course the big one. He was signed in the offseason to bring a big time pass rush to the group. They also drafted defensive end Gerri Green to add to the unit. It is now very crowded up front.
This is what the Colts want though. They want to have a rotation of lineman they can take in and out. But this breakout candidate is actually switching positions from defensive end to defensive tackle, and that should help his effectiveness this season.
That player is Tyquan Lewis. Last season as a rookie, he missed the first 8 games of the season with a toe injury. That limited his ability to grow. But after that, he ended up starting some games for the Colts and showed some of his pass rushing ability that they love.
Lewis played both the defensive end and defensive tackle spot at Ohio State, so the Colts know he can do both. They plan on shifting him to tackle to switch out with Denico Autry and Margus Hunt. That will help keep everyone fresh and at their best.
Expect Lewis to have not only an impact with his stats in the pass rush, but helping other people as well. Lewis is good enough where he will attract double teams and that will open up pass rushing lanes for others. His stats might not be the best, but the team’s total sacks should go up.
Lewis will of course get sacks of his own too, he’s just too good not to. He looks to be a solid young player that the Colts can build around.