The task of being even better defensively next season will be tougher, because instead of facing some of the league’s top rushers, the Colts will face some future Hall of Fame quarterbacks — including this season’s league MVP.
The Colts got a significant amount of pressure using stunts, as they finished tied for 19th in the NFL with 38 sacks. Twenty-two of those sacks came in four games alone. They had five games in which they didn’t record a sack.cheap nfl nike jerseys from china
Pass-rushers are arguably the second-most important players outside of quarterbacks, and the Colts lack a player whom an opposing quarterback is looking for at the line of scrimmage before the snap. Defensive lineman Denico Autry led the Colts with 9.0 sacks, followed by rookie linebacker Darius Leonard’s 7.0. There were 22 players with at least 10 sacks in the NFL this season.
Looking at more than $100 million in salary-cap space, you would think it would be easy for the Colts to go out and just sign a pass-rusher. It’s the opposite, in fact, because teams value their pass-rushers and don’t often let them get away in free agency.
That means it wouldn’t surprising if the likes of Kansas City’s Dee Ford, Houston’s Jadeveon Clowney and Dallas’ DeMarcus Lawrence are wearing the same uniforms next season because they re-sign with their current teams or the franchise tag is placed on them.nfl cheap jerseys nike
Ballard won’t leave any stone unturned when it comes to trying to find some pass-rushers. The Colts have the 26th pick in the April draft, and defensive line is one of the deeper positions in it, according to NFL front office officials. ESPN NFL draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. had 11 defensive linemen selected in the first round of his most recent mock draft.
Robert Mathis was the last impactful pass-rusher the Colts had — he recorded 19.5 sacks way back in the 2013 season.
“In this league, when you can have a dominant rusher that the other team really has to, on Monday, come in and game plan for — and really more than one, to me, you want two or three along the front,” Ballard recently said on a radio interview on Indianapolis’ WFNI-1070 AM. “That would be the No. 1 priority in my mind going forward.”