Colts are shockingly low in post-draft defense rankings

Indianapolis Colts outside linebacker Shaquille Leonard (53) celebrates after making an interception
Indianapolis Colts outside linebacker Shaquille Leonard (53) celebrates after making an interception / Jenna Watson/IndyStar / USA TODAY

In a recent ranking of NFL defenses following the 2023 NFL Draft, the Indianapolis Colts are ranked surprisingly low on the list.

Last season was a terrible year for the Indianapolis Colts. With a struggling offensive line, the turnover-prone offense rarely made anything happen with their drives. The lone bright spots from last season were on the defensive side of the ball. Stephon Gilmore reminded everyone he was a top corner, Zaire Franklin established himself as a top linebacker, and Grover Stewart consistently wrecked games.

The Colts defense kept them in quite a few games and helped win the few Indy did win. However, it was tough for Indianapolis’ defense to be consistently good when the offense constantly put it in a bad position. That’s why late in games and late in the season, the defense started to crumble. They were simply trying to carry too much weight for the team and they reached their breaking point.

However, anyone who watched the Colts last season can tell that they have a solid defense whose ceiling was limited by the circumstances. That’s why Indy’s defensive standing in a recent post-draft ranking is so shocking. Kristopher Knox, in a recent piece for Bleacher Report, ranked all 32 defenses following the 2023 NFL Draft.

Knox ranked Indianapolis at No. 27, making them the sixth-worst defense in the league. That’s simply not the case.

Colts defense ranked at No. 27 following 2023 NFL Draft

Knox highlighted that the Colts only allowed the 15th-most yards last season but the 28th-most points. Knox explained that had more to do with Indy’s offense setting the defenses up for failure than it did Indy’s defense just being a bad unit. Ending the write up on the Colts, Knox expressed, “There are some nice pieces on this unit—one that ranked 16th in yards allowed and ninth in points allowed just two years ago. However,a lot will hinge on the quality of the offense.”

It doesn’t seem like the defense is being given a fair shake; they’re being penalized for the offense’s woes. Obviously, football is a complementary game and all three units work together, but independent of the Colts offense, this defense isn’t the 27th-best unit in the league, even after losing Stephon Gilmore, Bobby Okereke, and Yannick Ngakoue.

Regardless of what they were ranked, the defense has to prove everything on the field this season anyway. Even with a new quarterback and offensive-minded head coach, the offense will still be a work in progress. That means the defense has to be prepared to go even hard and pick them up.

READ MORE: Early Colts 53-man roster prediction following NFL Draft