Secondary Burning Questions Heading Into 2019 Offseason Program
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INDIANAPOLIS – We are less than a week away from the Colts reporting back to work.
The start of the offseason program takes place Monday, April 15, with players beginning the start of eight weeks in Indianapolis.
So, it’s time to pick back up our ‘burning questions’ series on 1070TheFan.com
Here are our burning questions in the secondary heading into the 2019 offseason program:
1. How beneficial will a full offseason be for Malik Hooker and Clayton Geathers?
It’s going to be a rare sight to see Malik Hooker and Clayton Geathers working together this spring.
For much of their NFL life, those two have been forced to rehab during this time of year.
In fact, this will be Hooker’s first healthy offseason program in 3 years in the league.
Geathers hasn’t been healthy in the spring since the 2016 offseason.
When these two were injured or off the field in 2018, the Colts suffered some moments of being exposed (Oakland and Kansas City come to mind).
The Colts need these guys to play at an elite level, with Pro Bowl-caliber play not out of the question, as long as the health situation cooperates.
Similar to Andrew Luck at quarterback, with Hooker and Geathers no longer having to hopefully get to 100 percent by Week One, means some really beneficial reps coming this offseason for two guys who have not practiced together very much, despite being the starting safeties in 2017 and 2018.
2. Will any of the young cornerbacks behind Kenny Moore and Pierre Desir step forward?
Kenny Moore and Pierre Desir more than deserve to be the starting corners for the Colts in 2019.
But what about the likes of Quincy Wilson, Nate Hairston and Jalen Collins?
It can’t be stressed how important of campaigns this trio is heading into, especially if the Colts use the draft to further bolster this young group.
Can Wilson build off his late-season success, with his NFL career admittedly turning down a much better path?
Can Hairston bounce back from a poor second season, in which he did battle some injuries and went from starter to special teamer?
And then what about Collins, the former second-round pick who the Colts are taking a chance on?
If the Colts can get a couple of these guys to deliver, that would greatly enhance the depth at a position that usually gets tested deep in the depth chart over the course of a season.
3. Will Chris Ballard’s affinity for the secondary draft depth in 2019 lead to some picks?
In 2017, the Colts spent 3 of their 7 draft picks on defensive backs (Malik Hooker-1st round, Quincy Wilson-2nd round, Nate Hairston-5th round).
In 2018, they didn’t use any of their 11 picks on a member of the secondary.
The expectation is the Colts will draft at least one cornerback or safety this month, and probably two.
An off-season goal for Ballard was to improve the secondary depth of the Colts, and he also likes the draft depth with that group in 2019.
Honestly, if the Colts were to spend an early draft pick on the secondary, perhaps at safety, coupled with a corner in the later rounds, it should not be a surprise at all.
With Clayton Geathers signing just a one-year deal, the future at safety is still a bit murky.
So the expectation is the Colts will invest in the secondary, at some capacity, during the draft.