With the end of OTAs and minicamps, there isn’t much left for the Indianapolis Colts to do team-wise till training camp beings. But, there is always room for improvement, and here we’ll look at one final move the Colts can make before the off-season is over and the pre-season gets underway.
Trim down the fat at the middle linebacker position
D’Qwell Jackson, Jerrell Freeman, Henoc Muamba, Justin Hickman, Kelvin Sheppard, Andrew Jackson and Josh McNary. These are all potential prospects at the inside linebacker position.
D’Qwell is a seasoned veteran who has produced at the professional level. He was signed by the Colts this off-season when he was cut by the Cleveland Browns, most likely for financial reasons.
D’Qwell is guaranteed a starting spot in the lineup and should provide help in the pass game. His only worry should be helping the team get to the Super Bowl.
Freeman will be the player starting beside him. He has had a nice few seasons since coming over from the CFL and should continue to improve.
After those two is where the position starts to get a little murky. McNary was originally an outside linebacker who was changed to the inside position late last season. He really showed a lot of potential down the stretch, and I expect him to make the team and see a decent amount of playing time as well.
Hickman is actually listed as an outside linebacker, but I recall him playing on the inside during the pre-season last year before being placed on injured reserve. I do not expect him to make the team at either spot, though I did like what I saw when he was on the field.
Andrew Jackson and Sheppard are the same type of player and seeing as Jackson is a rookie, I expect Sheppard to be let go. It helps that Sheppard rarely had a positive impact when he was on the field last season.
That leaves the new CFL addition, Henoc Muamba. I am really rooting for this guy and expect him to make the team when it’s all said and done.
Muamba was a top pick in the CFL draft and has a nice skill set to bring over to the NFL. He could easily be another Freeman type player, who has a positive impact in the NFL after spending some time over in Canada.
To summarize, the Colts need to release Sheppard and Hickman and give McNary and Muamba a chance to thrive in Greg Manusky’s 3-4 defense. Go Colts!