After revamping the quarterback place and quietly touchdown among the best draft lessons in 2023, the Indianapolis Colts needs to be improved after ending 4-12-1 final season. Listed here are 4 Colts gamers whose inventory is trending both up or down:
Jelani Woods, TE: Woods was tied for probably the most targets (40) amongst Colts tight ends final season. His 12.5 yards per reception ranked third amongst Indianapolis receivers with 10 or extra receptions, his 4.8 yards after the catch per reception ranked second of any non-running again and QBs had a passer score of 101.2 when concentrating on him.
Whether or not it’s Gardner Minshew or Anthony Richardson taking part in QB, the Colts passing recreation figures to be significantly better than it was final season with Matt Ryan, Sam Ehlinger and Nick Foles working the present. Woods may see double the targets this season as he did final. If that occurs, the Colts may see the identical sort of manufacturing he had throughout his ultimate yr at Virginia, the place he averaged 13.6 yards per reception and scored eight touchdowns.
Josh Downs, WR: With Michael Pittman Jr. and Alec Pierce already the agency No. 1 and a pair of receivers, there’s little stress on Downs to step in and carry the receiver group. It is sensible to strive him within the slot and fill the void left by Parris Campbell’s departure, although he has some competitors in free-agent addition Isaiah McKenzie.
However working in Downs’ favor is the rapport he has shortly developed with Richardson. The 2 have been seen training collectively in a resort parking zone earlier than rookie camp started. The Colts needed Downs — a third-round decide from North Carolina — badly throughout draft weekend, reportedly attempting to commerce up and get him for greater than half-hour earlier than he lastly fell of their laps. Receivers coach Reggie Wayne even referred to as him “the best receiver at the combine” and the participant the offense was lacking.
Mo Alie-Cox, TE: The Colts have been ready for Alie-Cox to grow to be the group’s No. 1 tight finish, however he hasn’t. In 5 seasons, Alie-Cox has by no means had greater than 31 receptions, 391 yards or 4 touchdowns. Woods surpassed him on the depth chart as a rookie with extra targets (40), receptions (25) and yards (312).
Indianapolis reportedly made Alie-Cox available for trade in March with no takers. After drafting former Miami Hurricane Will Mallory within the fifth spherical this yr, and with Kylen Granson’s robust 2022 season (31 receptions, 302 yards), it’s attainable Alie-Cox may very well be reduce earlier than coaching camp begins.
Bernhard Raimann, OT: Although he was only a rookie in 2022, the Colts want extra out of their beginning left deal with than what Raimann gave them. Enjoying in 16 video games and beginning 11 of them, the 25-year-old deal with allowed a team-high seven sacks together with 27 pressures, 16 hurries and 5 QB hits. Indy’s different tackles — Matt Pryor and Dennis Kelly — didn’t fare significantly better both.
The Colts introduced in a bit competitors by way of the draft with BYU’s Blake Freeland (Spherical 4) and Northern Michigan’s Jake Witt (Spherical 7). Freeland is a powerful athlete for his dimension (6-foot-8, 302 kilos) and he didn’t enable a sack through the 2022 season as BYU’s beginning left deal with. He’s versatile sufficient to play each deal with spots, and with coaching camp/preseason, he may very well be a menace to take Raimann’s job.