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Look For The Colts To Bolster The Offensive Line In The Draft

Brandon Murchison Staff Writer April 19, 2017 10:02AM EDT

The NFL Draft Fantasy Preview Series : Cleveland – Chicago – San Francisco – Jacksonville – LA Rams – Tennessee – Jets – Chargers – Panthers – Bengals – BillsVikings – Cardinals – Saints – Eagles

Team Needs: OL, DL, RB

Projected Top Three Picks:

First Round- Gareon Conley, CB, Ohio State.

Second Round- Dan Feeney, OG, Indiana

Third Round- Jamaal Williams, RB, BYU

When it comes to the Colts and the draft, one thing comes to mind: they must improve the offensive line, as has been the case for the last couple of years. The lack of talent up front has caused QB Andrew Luck to take a beating, which has affected his play on the field. With some quality talent along the line in this draft, they must attack this position, which I have them doing with the second-round selection of Feeney. Improved offensive line play will allow Luck more time in the pocket, which will be more beneficial for the weapons around him to get open.

Andrew Luck could regain his place among the elite QBs. Photo Credit: Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire

Andrew Luck could regain his place among the elite QBs. Photo Credit: Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire

However, I project they will take Conley to play alongside Vontae Davis and shore up things in the secondary. Conley allowed the lowest QB rating in college football last year, and if he brings that same value to Indy immediately, this team could become hard to throw against. With Frank Gore nearing retirement, the Colts must start thinking about a replacement and they should have that with the intriguing Williams. He’s built in a similar nature to that of Gore, but not as talented in his overall game. He is a one-cut running back, which should blend into this system well. He has some skills to work with, but the question will be how he can transfer them over to the next level. Odds are Williams will become a complementary back, and the Colts will take a chance on him.

Luck, even in a down year, threw for 4,240 yards and 31 TDs. He continues to hover around the Top five at the position in Fantasy despite all the issues with the O-line and run game. If the Colts can find some continuity along the line in this draft, Luck could once again find himself discussed among the elite in Fantasy circles. Luck should likely come off the board between the sixth and eighth rounds unless you are in a league that likes to draft QBs early. Luck has a slew of weapons to work with, headed by WR T.Y. Hilton. Hilton had a great 2016, finishing as a Top 10 WR, and should be able to build on that momentum this season. His catch and yardage totals can improve a bit, but where I expect a jump is in the TD department. Look for Hilton to push for the 10-TD mark this next year and give him a run at the Top five at the position.

Donte Moncrief will come into the season healthy and resume his role as the chain-moving/red-zone target for Luck. He was on and off the field last year, which resulted in a mere 30 catches, but his seven touchdown catches eased some of the disappointment. The catches and yardage will of course come up, making Moncrief a WR you can draft as a low-end WR2 or high-end WR3. You may be able to get him at a cheaper price in drafts if owners were left with a sour taste in their mouths from last. Jack Doyle will have the TE position all to himself this year after the departure of Dwayne Allen (Patriots). Doyle should easily finish inside the Top 10 TEs and if the TDs come up, he could finish as a Top five player.

Gore just keeps defying Father Time as he continues to play at a high level. Another season of 250-plus carries is a testament to just how tough the guy is. However, we may be looking at the final year for Gore. Seeing as though this offense is a pass-first team, Gore must make the most of the opportunities he does get. If the O-line opens holes for Gore, he could have a pretty decent season. I don’t expect him to exceed 250 carries again, which would limit his value. Gore should be drafted as a mid-tier RB3, and you’ll see him come off the board perhaps between rounds eight and nine. You know what to expect when drafting Gore, so you draft him knowing you won’t see huge numbers on a weekly basis. He’s very consistent, and sometimes that’s all you need in Fantasy.

Team Ranks:

Passing Offense- 262.6 YPG (5th)

Rushing Offense- 101.8 YPG (23rd)

Points Per Game- 25.7 PPG (8th)

Top Fantasy Performers:

QB- Andrew Luck, 297 points

RB- Frank Gore, 164 points

WR- T.Y. Hilton, 176 points


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