Monday, May 31, 2021

Indianapolis Colts Post-Draft 2021 NFL Power Rankings Roundup

Throughout the 2021 NFL season, we will compile a consensus NFL Power Rankings that averages the rankings of all 32 NFL teams.

Here is where the Indianapolis Colts rank in terms of average, best and worst:

  • Average ranking: 12.8 (10th)
  • Best ranking: 11th (CBS Sports)
  • Worst ranking: 15th (The Athletic)

Below you will find a post-draft roundup for the Colts in our consensus 2021 NFL Power Rankings.

ESPN -- Rank: 12

Player who benefited most from draft: DE DeForest Buckner

The Colts lost 15.5 sacks of support for Buckner along the defensive line with the departures of Justin Houston (8.0) and Denico Autry (7.5) during the offseason. The Colts hope first-round pick Kwity Paye will help make up for some of those sacks. Paye, an edge rusher out of Michigan, will have the inside track to become an instant starter. Paye had 11.5 sacks during his college career. Buckner will also get even more help at some point once second-round pick Dayo Odeyingbo returns from his torn Achilles. Odeyingbo, an edge rusher who played at Vanderbilt, tore his Achilles while working out in January. -- Mike Wells -- Rank: 13

The Colts lost 15.5 sacks of 2020 production when they moved on from Denico Autry and Justin Houston, so general manager Chris Ballard used the top of his draft to fortify the pass rush. Indy used the 21st overall pick on Michigan defensive end Kwity Paye, a popular pick as the best edge rusher in this class. In the second round, the Colts grabbed another high-upside pass rusher in Dayo Odeyingbo, who's currently rehabbing an Achilles injury. The Colts have received some criticism over their failure to adequately address the offensive line following the retirement of left tackle Anthony Castonzo, and we get it: Indy waited until the seventh round to take an O-lineman. Quite a roll of the dice with a skittish Carson Wentz behind center.

CBS Sports -- Rank: 15

Getting Carson Wentz to replace Philip Rivers made sense, but he has to play better than he did last year. This is still a young team, with rising players, so it's all on him.

USA Today -- Rank: 11

So ... what exactly does GM Chris Ballard have up his sleeve to address that glaring void at left tackle after opting not to draft one? Maybe Eric Fisher? Stay tuned …

The Athletic -- Rank: 13

On paper, is this roster better than last year's group that went 11-5 while feasting on the NFL's easiest schedule? It's hard to make that case. The Colts have a gaping hole at left tackle and are counting on older players like T.Y. Hilton (turns 32 in November) and Xavier Rhodes (31) to play key roles.

It's unlikely that Carson Wentz will be as bad as he was last season. He finished 11th in QBR in 2019 and 12th in 2018. If Wentz reverts to that form, the Colts should compete for a playoff spot. But unless he somehow recaptures his 2017 magic, it's tough to see a path for the Colts being a serious contender in the AFC.

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