The Indianapolis Colts have solved Carson Wentz’s dilemma with 2016 NFL MVP Matt Ryan.
They also bolstered their secondary with the acquisition of five-time Pro Bowl cornerback Stephon Gilmore.
Now they have to solve several other problems.
If Colts general manager Chris Ballard can fill those holes ahead of the 2022 NFL season, Indy should return in the postseason after a disappointing end to 2021.
3. Gaping hole at wide receiver
The Colts’ wide receiver problems mostly start with 32-year-old four-time Pro Bowler TY Hilton.
Whether Hilton returns for an 11th season in the pro ranks or not remains a huge question mark for Ballard and co.
Hilton has been plagued with persistent injuries for the past few seasons.
He was the shadow of his old “Houston Texans Killer”.
TY Hilton is the most underrated #Colts all time. Dude has played with 8 different QBs in 10 years and put up these stats:
—Cody Felger (@CPFelger55) March 12, 2022
If Hilton returns, he will take the place of Michael Pittman, Jr., the projected No. 1 option at Indianapolis wide receiver.
Zach Pascal’s departure to the Philadelphia Eagles makes Indy’s wide receiver concerns more alarming.
The Colts have also clung to injury-plagued Parris Campbell since drafting him 59th overall three years ago.
If Campbell can somehow take over from Pascal, Ballard’s patience with the former Ohio State Buckeyes star will pay huge dividends in the long run.
However, given Campbell’s injury history, that remains a huge question mark.
Will Ballard meet the Colts’ wide receiver needs through the draft?
That’s highly unlikely considering he’s only drafted two wide receivers (Campbell and Pittman) in the first four rounds since taking over from Colts GM in 2017.
Given Hilton’s uncertainty and Campbell’s past injuries, Ballard may well change course in 2022.
2. Depth at narrow end
When two-time Pro Bowl tight end Jack Doyle retired after the 2021 NFL season, it became clear that Mo Alie-Cox will become Indy’s No. 1 tight end in 2022.
It looks like Colts head coach Frank Reich will lean on Alie-Cox and second-year tight end Kylen Granson this season.
However, Granson has yet to earn his stripes considering he’s only played in 21% of the Colts’ offensive snaps in 2021.
In terms of blocking, Granson is not on the same level as Doyle or Alie-Cox.
The rest of Indy’s tight body was largely unproven considering they were undrafted free agents.
If Ballard can somehow snatch Trey McBride of the Colorado State Rams or Greg Dulcich of the UCLA Bruins in the second or third round of the draft, consider that a major theft.
1. Offensive line issues
What was once the strength of the Colts has become a major flaw in their armor.
The Indianapolis offensive line ranked 30th in pass blocking efficiency in 2021.
That’s a major concern for Colts offensive line coach Chris Strausser.
The Colts’ leaky offensive line doesn’t bode well for new quarterback Matt Ryan, either.
Ballard needs to address Indy’s left tackle position.
It’s become a concern since Anthony Castonzo retired after the 2020 NFL season.
With the departure of Eric Fisher (who allowed seven sacks in 2021), it looks like Matt Pryor will fill the void at left tackle unless Ballard decides to sign a marquee rookie in the second or third round.
With so much uncertainty at the left tackle, #Colts would be wise to pursue All-Pro Duane Brown in free agency.
Unlike Terron Armstead, Brown won’t break the bank on a 1-2 year deal. Great veteran to place alongside Quenton Nelson. pic.twitter.com/PoENVQM2Qv
— Locked On Colts Podcast (@LockedOnColts) March 12, 2022
Alternatively, the Colts can sign a proven free agent tackle such as five-time Pro Bowler Duane Brown.
Danny Pinter is expected to take over at right guard from Mark Glowinski, who signed a three-year contract with the New York Giants in the offseason.