Will the Colts Pursue Trade for Warren?

News out of Denver is that Broncos defensive tackle Gerard Warren is on the trading block, the odd man out in the Broncos' new defensive scheme. Find out why the Colts might see him as a good fit if they can swing a trade with Denver.

Defensive scheme changes in Denver have reportedly put talented veteran defensive tackle Gerard Warren on the trading block, providing the Colts with an unexpected opportunity to plug their hole at left defensive tackle.

After losing Anthony McFarland for the year following his surgery to repair a torn patella tendon, the Colts were prepared to evaluate three rookies, possibly in a rotation, to fill McFarland's position. Former Penn State defensive tackle Ed Johnson started against the Cowboys last Thursday night and made five tackles and posted two sacks. Third-round pick Quinn Pitcock out of Ohio State is getting up to speed after getting to camp late due to a lingering injury, and seventh-rounder Keyunta Dawson will likely get the opportunity to rotate in on obvious passing downs due to his speed.

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Now it appears the Colts have another option to consider. Warren, who made 51 tackles according to the Broncos (30 according to NFL.com) and was credited with 2 1/2 sacks last season -- despite being limited by two dislocated toes during his 15 starts -- excelled in Denver's version of the Cover 2 defense. But new assistant head coach and defensive coordinator Jim Bates is taking a different approach this season, using more of a containment philosophy on rushing downs where huge defensive tackles like Jimmy Kennedy and Sam Adams will be expected to hold their blocks and use their strength to shutdown running lanes up the middle rather than trying to hit gaps quickly to get into the backfield and cause confusion for the running back like the Colts defensive linemen.

Warren, a former first-round and third overall pick by the Browns back in 2001, is 6-foot-4 and 325 pounds. If Indianapolis reels him in, he's be the largest defensive lineman on the roster, outsizing Johnson and Pitcock by 2 inches in height and roughly 25 pounds. He's logged 90 career starts, including 31 over the past two seasons with Denver. During that span, Denver had the seventh-best rush defense in the league.

Denver obtained Warren from the Browns in exchange for a fourth-round pick in the 2005 NFL Draft and are reportedly seeking an unspecified future draft pick for him. The Colts might not have to offer even that high of a pick in a trade since Warren is coming off a disappointing year compared to previous seasons due to his injury problems. And that could make him a real steal for the Colts, who could use some more bulk on the defensive line for obvious rushing downs.

Weighing into the Colts' evaluation of surrendering a draft pick for Warren will be the fact that they already traded away their first-round pick in the 2008 draft. They used that trade to get a second-round pick in this year's draft to obtain offensive tackle Tony Ugoh earlier this year, so t

A member of the Professional Football Writers of America, Ed Thompson's NFL and college football player interviews and features have been published across the Scout.com network and syndicated through FoxSports.com's NFL team pages.

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