Bolstering Secondary Depth Remains Offseason Need For Colts
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INDIANAPOLIS – It has not been talked about as much as pass rusher or wide receiver.
And the question was posed just like that to Chris Ballard.
“Depth in the secondary, we definitely need to continue to address that,” Ballard said as a need in 2019 that isn’t drawing all the headlines right now.
Despite having 11 draft picks in 2018, the Colts didn’t spend one on their secondary.
Of course, the year prior, the Colts took a safety in Round One (Malik Hooker), a cornerback in Round Two (Quincy Wilson) and another corner in Round Five (Nate Hairston). That’s three members of the secondary in seven draft picks back in 2017.
With 9 picks coming next month, it would be a shock if the Colts didn’t draft a cornerback or safety in 2019.
Let’s take a closer look at the current situations at corner and safety:
-The Colts first need to make a decision on veteran cornerback Pierre Desir. After struggling corner play early in the season, Desir entered the starting lineup in October of 2018 and was a huge reason why the Colts made a jump on defense. At the age of 28, Desir is easily the oldest corner of the first 4 or 5 names on the depth chart. He’s the lone unrestricted free agent at corner for the Colts.
-The Colts have three second-year corners that have played significant snaps for them the past two years: Kenny Moore, Quincy Wilson, Nate Hairston. Plus, you also have Jalen Collins returning in 2019. For the Colts to take a jump at this position, without making a big move acquisition wise this offseason, they need for one of those guys to join Moore as ascending players.
-Ballard has also stated before that he would like to seek out cornerbacks with traits to play man-to-man, as the defense evolves under Matt Eberflus.
-Like cornerback with Pierre Desir, you have a big decision at safety with Clayton Geathers. If the Colts move on from Geathers, then safety becomes a major, major need this offseason.
-The injury cloud hangs over this group. It starts with Geathers, who has missed 22 games the last three years. Malik Hooker has played in 21 of 32 games in his first two NFL seasons, but is finally heading into an offseason without the need to rehab a serious injury. Matthias Farley is coming off a season-ending wrist injury. Farley and second-year safety George Odum are two players Ballard has mentioned as depth guys he likes.
-Unlike virtually every position group, safety actually has some really nice depth in the upcoming free agency. Landon Collins is the headliner, but there are some other intriguing safeties that could hit the open market next Wednesday.