Chris Ballard has taken over general manager duties for the Indianapolis Colts, and there is a lot of excitement to see what he does in his first offseason. Ryan Grigson wore out his welcome in Indianapolis quickly and Ballard’s hiring was a big step towards getting the Colts back into Super Bowl contention.
There is no question that the Colts have the talent to compete for a championship. Having a growing superstar quarterback like Andrew Luck will give the Colts the chance to outscore any opponent they face.
Obviously, the biggest need for the Colts is to improve their defense. That has been their Achilles heel over the past few seasons. Luck could use another piece or two to round out the offense, but Ballard has to find a way to fix one of the NFL’s worst defenses.
Needless to say, this is an important offseason for the Colts, and they will be aggressive in free agency. Ballard has money to spend and will likely do so in order to start the re-tooling process. Indianapolis may not be one of the most attractive free agency destinations, but Ballard will do everything in his power to convince players to sign.
All of that being said, which five players would be perfect targets for the Indianapolis Colts in 2017 NFL free agency?
A.J. Bouye, Cornerback
If the Colts want to address one of their biggest needs, adding a cornerback will be a necessity. A.J. Bouye would make a lot of sense for the Colts and is coming off of a big season with the Houston Texans where he racked up 63 tackles, one interception, and 16 defensed passes. Bouye has plenty of room to grow and would be a huge pickup for the Colts’ defense.
Dontari Poe, Defensive Tackle
Ballard could look to target Dontari Poe, who he had a hand in bringing to Kansas City in the first place. Poe recorded 27 tackles, 1.5 sacks, and a forced fumble last season. He won’t come cheap, but he would be exactly what the Colts need in the middle of their defensive line.
Nick Perry, Outside Linebacker
Improving the pass rush is another major need for the Colts to address this offseason. Nick Perry may not be known as an elite pass rusher, but he had a big season for the Green Bay Packers last year. Perry totaled 52 tackles, 11.0 sacks, and an interception last season for the Packers.
Malcolm Smith, Inside Linebacker
After releasing D’Qwell Jackson, the Colts will need to add another presence for the interior of their defense and could look to sign Malcolm Smith. He came through with 103 tackles, two forced fumbles, and an interception last season for the Oakland Raiders. Smith is one of the better defensive free agents on the market, and the Colts should try to sign him.
Alshon Jeffery, Wide Receiver
There is one way that the Colts could improve their offense, which is by signing a big target for Luck across from T.Y. Hilton. Alshon Jeffery is going to be expensive, but he would make the Colts much more dynamic on the offensive side of the football. He would give Luck the big, athletic target that he needs and would round out the aerial attack perfectly.
Expect to see the Colts be aggressive in free agency this offseason with Ballard leading the way. Jim Irsay is looking to put a contender on the field once again, and spending money seems to be one way to make that happen. All five of these free agents look to be perfect additions for the Colts to consider.
Do you think the Indianapolis Colts should pursue one of these five players? What other names would you add to the list? Let us know your thoughts in the comment box below!
[Featured Image by Jay Biggerstaff/AP Images]