NEEDS RATING KEY
5.0 - High priority. This is a position that is a glaring weakness and there is the likelihood that this team cannot compete next year without making a major addition here.
4.0 - Medium Priority. This is an area that is an obvious weakness, but the team isn't quite desperate to make a major move here possibly because they have some young potential. But this is an area that if the team cannot fix via free agency, will definitely use one of their picks in the first three or four rounds to supplement.
3.0 - Upgrade Potential. This is a position that isn't a weakness per se, but there is significant room for an upgrade. If the right player comes along they will certainly snag him, but if they don't fix this position with a major free agent addition or early round pick, then it's not the end of the world.
2.0 - Depth Need. An area where there is a need to add depth. Perhaps there is an aging veteran and they might want to start to look at grooming his heir apparent or replacement. Not likely to be a high priority and a position that more than likely will be address in the middle and late rounds rather than with a top pick.
1.0 - Future Need. This is an area that is not a priority, and doesn't initially appear as a need. But there is some room to develop some depth for perhaps two or more years down the line. This is usually an area that a team will look at in the late rounds if at all.
0.0 - Non-need. This is a position that is a strength of their team, they have a solid starter, capable depth, and/or a young player at the position that they like and want to develop. Very little possibility this area is addressed and would be the equivalent of a wasted draft pick.
Top 7 Needs
1. OT - 4.0
2. WR - 3.0
3. DT - 3.0
4. CB - 2.5
5. OG - 2.0
6. S - 1.5
7. K - 1.5
Position by Position Breakdown
Quarterback - Manning's contract is up, but there is little doubt that the Colts will find a way to get a deal done and make him the highest paid player in the league. Painter has another year under his belt, but hasn't exactly shined in his short stint in Indianapolis. They'll at least bring in someone that can push him. NEED: 1.0
Running Back - Addai is also a free agent, and will probably the second priority after Manning's deal is done. While his production as a runner isn't great, he's very valuable to them because of what he brings in the passing game. Donald Brown hasn't quite emerged as a better long-term option like initially hoped, and they might re-up with a guy like Rhodes to push him. If Addai departs, this will become a need with them perhaps looking for a more explosive option. NEED: 1.5
Fullback - They don't make use of this position in their offense. NEED: 0.0
Wide Receiver - Wayne had another productive Pro Bowl season, but at age 32 they can no longer expect him to keep this up. Colllie has shined, but concussions really hurt him this past year and may limit how much they can rely on him giong forward. Garcon struggled for most of the early part of the season and he's probably the most medicore 72-catch receiver in the league history. The team needs to look at other options in the draft. NEED: 3.0
Tight End - The injury to Clark derailed their offense a bit, but Tamme did a nice job filling in with 72 catches, proving he's a reliable backup option. They could try and add depth and insurance at this position, but it's not really a need. NEED: 1.5
Offensive Tackle - Johnson has been a serviceable left tackle for the past two years, but he's a better option playing inside at guard. The Colts need to get serious about upgrading this position since the Ugoh experiment resulted in failure. That may be a high priority this April. NEED: 4.0
Offensive Guard - The pair between DeVan and Pollak is serviceable, but if they upgrade the left tackle spot, that should move Johnson inside. Which allows them to have DeVan and Pollak compete for one spot rather than relying on both to start. They have some young developmental guys here, but nobody that fills them with a lot of hope. They could use more depth here to improve competition. NEED: 2.0
Center - Saturday is entering the final year of his deal and will be 36 when this season starts. At one point, Richard looked like a nice heir apparent, but their may be less trust in him after four mediocre starts at guard this year. DeVan and Pollak both played center in college, giving them more options, but they won't spurn another mid or late round center prospect if a good one becomes available. NEED: 1.5
Defensive Tackle - What they essentially have is four players that should be backups, but are forced to start two of them on a weekly basis. Moala hasn't emerged as the disruptive player inside they hoped. Foster is a nice situational pass rusher, but that's really about it. Muir and Johnson are decent run defenders, but that's about it. They need an upgrade and preferably someone that can pressure the quarterback and beef up their run support. NEED: 3.0
Defensive End - Hughes was mostly a non-factor as a rookie, but they'll give him another year to develop. Mathis is entering the final year of his contract, and Hughes was drafted as the insurance policy and heir apparent. The Colts never shy away from good pass rushers on the edge, so if another one becomes available in the latter portion of the draft, they'll pounce. But it's not a need. NEED: 1.0
Linebacker - Injuries have hurt them here over the years, but it's allowed them to get long looks at young guys like Angerer, Conner, and Wheeler. Brackett is their rock in the middle. They will have to decide how much they want to committ to impending free agents Session and Hagler. Hagler is the more likelier of the pair to get the boot since he's never made it through a full slate of 16 games healthy, but Session is coming off an elbow injury and they could look elsewhere. NEED: 1.5
Cornerback - Hayden is a capable starter, but not quite a playmaker. Both Powers and Lacey took steps back in their second years, but they did get production from Tryon. It might be time to beef up this spot with a bigger, physical option to compete for a spot. NEED: 2.5
Safety - Another injury-plagued year from Sanders in 2011, and the team may be forced to cut ties. They have to make a decision on whether or not they want to commit long-term with Bullitt either this off-season or the next, and they cannot afford two highly paid strong safeties on the roster. Because of injuries, they could use more depth but it'll likely come via free agency rather than the draft. NEED: 1.5
Kicker - Vinatieri is a free agent, and while they want him back, they will probably allow him to test the market due to Manning and Adai being higher priorities to keep. If they lose him, then they will likely bring in another guy to compete with Brett Swenson for the job. NEED: 1.5
Punter - McAfee is a nice, strong-legged punter that also doubles as a solid kickoff specialist. There's no need for change. NEED: 0.0
"Vincere scis, Hannibal, victoria uti nescis" -- Maharbal, 216 B.C.E.