Three missing pieces the Colts need to be contenders in 2024

The Indianapolis Colts are a few pieces away from having a championship roster. This offseason, Chris Ballard needs to focus on three positions.

NFC Divisional Playoffs - Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Detroit Lions
NFC Divisional Playoffs - Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Detroit Lions / Gregory Shamus/GettyImages
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The Houston Texans stole a win from the Indianapolis Colts and won the division by doing so. The Colts walked off Lucas Oil Stadium with their heads down but a bright future with Anthony Richardson coming back in 2024. Rookie head coach Shane Steichen did what Frank Reich couldn't and took the Colts from a top-five overall pick to a near playoff contender. General Manager Chris Ballard needs to find some missing pieces in free agency to give the Colts a chance to be more successful next season.

While there is no glaring need the Colts have, there are a few positions they need to get over the hump. Mainly offensive line depth, a pure pass-rushing edge defender, a shutdown corner, a safety that can cover the entire field, and a true No. 1 receiver locked up on a long-term deal. But there are a few more worthy of focus than others.

1. A cornerback

The secondary in general is a major problem for Indy entering 2024. With Kenny Moore II becoming a free agent this offseason, the Colts secondary is one of the youngest in the league. Chris Ballard has chosen to focus more on the trenches and linebackers rather than a top secondary and it's largely worked out until this season.

The corner position was a massive hole and in the defense that Gus Bradley runs, it's one of the most important positions on the defense. A corner in a Gus Bradley defense needs to be skilled in man coverage, reading the field, and zone coverage. For his part, JuJu Brents had a good rookie year all things considered. Just like receivers, corners have a hard time transitioning into the NFL because of the different route runners and different routes they see at the NFL level. Rookie cornerbacks tend to struggle and then make a comeback in their sophomore year.

To solve this massive hole the Colts first must retain Kenny Moore II and then look for outside help to fill this position. Last season this hole was largely filled by Stephon Gillmore but the Colts decided to go young in the secondary as Chris Ballard alluded to in his season-ending press conference. There are a few free agent corners the Colts could look to including L'Jarius Sneed of the Chiefs who is an aggressive corner and great in man coverage. Jaylon Johnson is going to be a top-15 free agent this offseason and is a young corner with a massive upside. Kendall Fuller is another corner I would love to see in a Colts uniform.