The number one area of need heading into the draft was definitely defensive tackle, with a prediction from yours truly that Indianapolis would select Evander Hood in the first round and possibly add another tackle throughout the course of the draft.
The Colts drafted two defensive tackles and re-signed Ed Johnson
AP Photo/Darron Cummings
In the past three weeks, what was once a position of doubt is now a position of depth. The Colts drafted Fili Moala in the second round and Terrance Taylor in the fourth and also re-signed the deposed Ed Johnson.
The best news for the run defense — and Gary Brackett — is that the biggest thing the Colts added through the draft and free agency was bulk. Everyone they added to the roster at the position is 300 pounds or above and Moala has the speed and penetration skills to play under tackle if need be. It will be interesting to see how new defensive coordinator uses all of these moving parts in 2009.
2. Wide Receiver:
To be diplomatic, Indianapolis must see something in Roy Hall and Pierre Garcon that we do not. They did draft Austin Collie in the fourth round and Collie does appear to fit the mold of the type of player that they covet at the position, but with the quality and depth available at wideout, it is distressing that they didn't come out of the first day with a receiver.
Granted, Hakeem Nicks may not have had a first-round grade on their board and Kenny Britt may not have seemed like a good fit, but there were still plenty of quality players available at the position in the second and third round.
It could be that Garcon and Hall step up in 2009 and Collie contributes as an extra receiver and special teamer, but the Colts took a big chance by not taking anyone in the first two rounds.
Prior to the draft, it was evident that the Colts would need to address the position in terms of depth, as well as picking a possible successor to Marlin Jackson.
With the contract extension that Kelvin Hayden signed, the future of the position looks fairly solid, operating under the assumption that everyone that was hurt in 2008 with come back healthy in 2009 — and stay in the lineup.
Jerraud Powers fits into the Indianapolis system perfectly and should be able to step in and contribute on special teams and in dime packages immediately.
He may be too small to play every down — even for the Colts, who like their defenders small — but he certainly has the kind of cover skill and tenacity that will help him fit right in.
4. Running Back:
There is no doubt that Bill Polian and company addressed this position in the 2009 NFL Draft, tabbing their man, Donald Brown, in the first round, 27th overall. Brown brings a change of pace and some much needed depth to the roster, as well as putting Joseph Addai on notice that he does not have the starting job locked down.
While this selection was widely panned as a luxury pick, it cannot be argued that Indianapolis always gets its money's worth out of offensive skill position players that it drafts in the first round. Brown should be no exception.
Rather than draft an LB, the Colts brought Keiaho and Hagler back
AP Photo/AJ Mast
Since the Colts were able to re-sign Tyjuan Hagler and Freddy Keiaho, as well as picking up free agent Adam Seward from the Carolina Panthers, depth at the linebacker position was not much of a priority and they therefore decided to focus in other areas.
Buster Davis was allowed to escape via free agency, though, and Gary Brackett is not getting any younger, to say nothing of the fact that Hagler and Keiaho lasted such a long time on the open market.
The unit could use an infusion of young talent — and cheap labor, which is how the linebacking corps has traditionally been built — so it makes sense that the Colts signed three undrafted free agents in Tyrell Sales, Ramon Huber, and Michael Tauiliili.
Jordan Senn was a success story as a street free agent last season and Brackett is one of the biggest undrafted free agent success stories in the impressive history of undrafted free agents for Indianapolis. Hopefully, at least one of the men signed as a UDFA will contribute in a similar manner in 2009.
Click here to read ColtPower's top five team needs from before the draft.
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