It’s a good question and one I have been mulling over in my head most of the day. Does Freeman being back in the fold change the way Grigson and his staff approach this upcoming draft? I’m not saying they were possibly targeting an inside linebacker with their first pick but does this change anything for the latter half of the draft?
Of course they need depth at inside linebacker, but is that something that could be found in the undrafted free agents portion of the offseason? There are some very interesting players at this position that should be available for the Colts to select with their first or even second round pick this upcoming weekend. Paul Dawson is a popular name that is being thrown around recently, which would be a player the team would target on day two. Eric Kendricks is another name that has been brought up as a possible first round selection for the Colts as well.
The team desperately needs an inside linebacker who matches up with the tight ends in this league and now having to face Julius Thomas twice a season it’s even more imperative that the team finds a way to neutralize him. Freeman is okay in coverage but gets burned more times than he doesn’t. The team did bring in Dwight Lowery and he should be the starting strong safety, barring injury or Landon Collins, so he would be a huge help with the new breed of tight ends in the league. But do the Colts still target another inside linebacker early in hopes they develop into what they were hoping Freeman would develop into?
Yes, they should be looking at one of the top inside linebackers in the first two days. Dawson is exactly what the team needs and should be available to them. They may have to trade up to get him on day two but with 9 picks the Colts should be able to put something together to move up if need be. Kendricks will be long gone and they won’t go after him with pick #29. Freeman being back puts many of us at ease. He is a solid linebacker but lacks the coverage skills needed. D-Jax can’t cover someone’s grandmother driving a rascal but can thump the running backs coming through the line. A hybrid inside linebacker is what this defense needs, after defensive line help of course, and it should be addressed this weekend. I just hope Grigson doesn’t swing and miss on this position with Freeman seemingly hitting his ceiling and D-Jax getting older.