Indianapolis Colts 2011 NFL Draft Recap and Analysis

A day after the Indianapolis Colts’ 2010 season came to an end with a first-round playoff loss to the New York Jets at Lucas Oil Stadium, I said the one bright side would be that the team would have its highest first-round draft pick since 2002 when it took Dwight Freeney 12th overall.

Turns out that unusual draft position worked out in the Colts’ favor.

Selecting 22nd, Indianapolis made Boston College offensive tackle Anthony Castonzo its top selection in the 2011 NFL Draft last Thursday. Castonzo, who figures to step in right away at the left tackle position, was the ideal pick for the Colts in that he was the best player on the board when the team went on the clock — Bill and Chris Polian actually couldn’t envision a scenario before the draft in which Castonzo would fall — and also filled arguably Indy’s biggest need.

By Drew Allen

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Indianapolis Colts 2011 NFL Draft Preview

If there’s one thing that can be expected when it comes to the Indianapolis Colts in the NFL Draft, it’s the unexpected.

Don’t believe what any mock draft says; chances are it won’t be right.

Why do the Colts annually defy seemingly conventional wisdom each April? It historically has worked, but is Indianapolis no longer executing its own strategy well enough?

By Drew Allen

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Lockout Threat Leaves Indianapolis Colts’ Agenda in Limbo

Well, it hasn’t happened yet.

The extension of the NFL collective bargaining agreement’s expiration deadline by one day Thursday and then by seven days Friday has had the football world — including the Indianapolis Colts organization and fan base — holding its collective breath.

However, if and when the CBA does expire — I’m still inclined to believe it will — Jim Irsay’s and Bill Polian’s offseason agenda will be set to the side with significant issues yet to be resolved.

And I’d assume those issues are far more numerous than Indy’s brass would prefer them to be.

By Drew Allen

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Bob Sanders’ Legacy with Indianapolis Colts

I now have had a few days to think about how Bob Sanders, who on Friday was released by the Indianapolis Colts after seven seasons with the team, will be remembered by those invested in the Indianapolis-based franchise.

The safety had numerous moments of brilliance during those seven years, including a dynamic run to victory in Super Bowl XLI and being named the Associated Press’ Defensive Player of the Year for the 2007 season.

Unfortunately for Sanders and the Colts, however, those brilliant moments were few and far between.

By Drew Allen

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Franchise Tag Best for Both Peyton Manning and Indianapolis Colts

It’s quite fitting that the Indianapolis Colts have designated quarterback Peyton Manning as their “franchise player” by applying the franchise tag on the four-time NFL MVP.

The Colts tagged Manning earlier this week with an “exclusive” label, ensuring that the Super Bowl XLI MVP would not become a free agent (whenever free agency begins).

Under the franchise tag, a player is ensured a one-year contract worth the average of the top five salaries at his respective position or 120 percent of the player’s salary the previous season. Since Manning earned more than the average the top five highest-paid quarterbacks in the league, he’ll receive the latter option, which will approximate to $23 million.

By Drew Allen

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Indianapolis Colts Hire David Walker to Coach Running Backs

The Indianapolis Colts have their replacement for Gene Huey.

According to the Indianapolis Star, David Walker, who became the University of Maryland’s running backs coach when the school hired Randy Edsall as head coach in January, has accepted the same position with the Colts. Edsall announced the news.

Good hire? I’d say so.

By Drew Allen

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Addressing Indianapolis Colts Concerns in 2011 Offseason

bill_polian

Now that I have established my position on the Jim Caldwell issue, it’s time to look at what the Colts should address this coming offseason.

Obviously, the personnel decisions begin with quarterback Peyton Manning, whose $98 million contract is due to expire. Colts owner Jim Irsay has repeatedly expressed his desire to make Manning a Colt for life and the league’s highest-paid player.

That ultimately will happen.

By Drew Allen

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In Sunday’s Colts-Jaguars showdown, premier GM with Jacksonville?

bill polian

Bill Polian has long been regarded as one of the NFL’s premier team architects, and rightfully so.

The Indianapolis Colts President’s accomplishments with his current franchise alone are remarkable, but not to be forgotten from Polian’s illustrious career are overseeing a Buffalo Bills team that went to four consecutive Super Bowls and building the Carolina Panthers into a NFC finalist in the organization’s second year of existence.

At this point, it’s pretty clear that Polian is arguably the best NFL executive of his generation and a lock for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. However, recent history within the Colts’ division, the AFC South, shows that Polian might very well have a challenger in the near future or perhaps the present, whether the rest of the sports world realizes it or not.

His name is Gene Smith, the first general manager in Jacksonville Jaguars history. His first-place team will be on display Sunday when the Jaguars attempt to clinch their first division title since 1999 in a huge matchup with the Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium.

By Drew Allen

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