Matt Ryan is the Colts new starting quarterback with the Colts sending a 2022 third-round pick to the Atlanta Falcons in exchange for the soon-to-be 37-year old Boston College alum. It seems like finally, the Colts 2022 off-season can officially commence. Weeks of waiting, arguing, speculating about who will be under center for the Colts are over and maybe now GM Chris Ballard can start checking off some of the many other boxes on the to-do list.
We still have no answer of who will block Matt Ryan’s blind side at left tackle, who will catch passes from him (paging Julio Jones), who will be starting tight end and who they can add on the defensive side. There are a ton of questions and not a lot of answers as of yet. The lack of knowing who was going to be the team’s starting quarterback likely hampered the Colts in free agency. Why would anyone want to sign up for a team that didn’t seem to have a sense of direction until now? Sure, money talks but so does organizational stability.
The Colts missed out on some potential big name weapons for Matt Ryan, who also could have been acquired via trade, ala Amari Cooper and Robert Woods. The free agent wide receiver group is pretty well picked over at the moment outside of the likes of the previously mentioned Julio Jones who is 33-years old and coming off of an injury-plagued 2021 season. He was the former go-to guy for Matt Ryan when they were together on the Falcons so he could be worth a team-friendly prove it deal. Other than Jones, there’s Jarvis Landry and Jamison Crowder before a pretty steep drop off at wide receiver. There’s definitely depth at tight end but it depends on whether Ballard and company want to dip their toes into that pond.
Same goes for left tackle. Terron Armstead remains out there and is by the best available at the position. When it comes to draft picks, the Colts currently have 7 draft picks in April’s NFL Draft. After shipping one of their third-round picks to Atlanta (No. 82 overall), the Colts highest-draft pick is in the second-round (No. 42 overall) with their next one not again until the third-round (No. 73). How much heavy lifting will Chris Ballard and Frank Reich be relying on from the 2022 draft class? It depends how much they can accomplish with what remains on the free agent market. They made it a lot harder on themselves with having to play the waiting game as the quarterback dominos fell around the league but finally, they have their answer at quarterback for the next couple of seasons. With that, they can finally begin their off-season.
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