The Colts have quietly put collectively a top quality protection
Indianapolis Colts (Picture by Bobby Ellis/Getty Photographs) The Indianapolis Colts have a sneaky good protection.With the 2020 NFL marketing campaign on the horizon, there’s no division that’s extra extensive open for the taking than the AFC South. Properly, until you’re the Jacksonville Jaguars, who’re primed to land the primary total choose within the 2021 NFL Draft. The Tennessee Titans know what it takes to succeed in the AFC Championship Sport and the Houston Texans have a particularly gifted quarterback in Deshaun Watson.Once you deliver up the Indianapolis Colts, many will level out the query marks on offense, particularly with growing old veteran Philip Rivers below heart. However the Colts don’t want the offense to deliver them to the dance, they will accomplish that on their sneaky good protection.The Colts improved upon their protection this offseasonAfter a robust 2018 marketing campaign, the Colts defensive unit took a little bit of a success this previous season. Whereas Indianapolis did have the seventh-best speeding protection within the league in 2019 (1,567 yards allowed), their passing sport struggled, as they surrendered the tenth-most passing yards within the NFL with 3,982 (all stats per NFL.com).So, Colts common supervisor Chris Ballard determined to work a few of his trademark magic this offseason.Let’s begin off along with his largest, most talked-about get of the offseason: DeForest Buckner. The San Francisco 49ers had been in fairly the bind, as they couldn’t afford to pay each Buckner and Arik Armstead, who had been every due a brand new contract. So, Ballard known as 49ers common supervisor John Lynch and provided their 2020 first-round choose in trade for Buckner. Certain sufficient, that bought the deal completed.The Colts’ rush protection was already stout, however now with the addition of Buckner, that unit grew to become an entire lot higher. Oh, and he can get to the quarterback too, as evidenced by his 19.5 sacks over the previous two seasons. That line of defense of Justin Houston, Denico Autry and Kemoko Turay appears very stable on paper.Indianapolis’ secondary is youthful with promise. Malik Hooker, Rock Ya-Sin and Kenny Moore II all have the potential to turn into a stable group. Nevertheless, all three struggled in 2019, which is anticipated with any younger defensive backfield. That was the explanation why the Colts signed veteran nook Xavier Rhodes. Sure, he struggled mightily final season (regardless of his ill-gotten Professional Bowl nomination), however he was a lockdown nook in 2018. Rhodes can take these defensive backs below his wing and provides them recommendation. That’s value far more than his play on the sphere proper now.In fact, the linebacker corps is stable with Darius Leonard main the best way. Bobby Okereke has the potential to take the leap in 2020, and Anthony Walker is a literal tackling machine.All in all, the Colts protection could make some noise this yr. Let’s not neglect that the Titans not have Jack Conklin on their offensive line and the Texans shipped off stud receiver DeAndre Hopkins for pennies on the greenback. That Indy protection will certainly be licking their chops.Don’t be shocked to see the Colts contend for a Wild Card berth, at minimal.