Each NFL season, every team has a player that bears a little added attention. So which performer could turn the corner for the Indianapolis Colts in ’17?
Welcome to yet another 32-team series from End Zone Score. In recent months, we took the time to look at each club’s best offseason addition. We even dabbled into some pertinent and historical numbers.
Every NFL season features players that come into their own after a slow start to their careers. It’s tough to tell when each performer’s coming-put party will take place. Some are immediate successes. Others take longer due to numerous circumstances, but they prove to be worth the wait. Here we will try and pinpoint a player from each team in the league that we feel is on the verge of putting it altogether.
OLB John Simon
We keep waiting and waiting for the Indianapolis Colts defense to step to the forefront. Alas, 2016 proved to be another frustrating year for this side of the ball. Only two teams in the league allowed more total yards per game. Chuck Pagano’s club was 25th vs. the run and allowed the sixth-most passing yards in the NFL. The team surrendered 39 offensive touchdowns and forced only 17 turnovers.
The pass rush disappointed as well. The club got to opposing quarterback just 33 times, 11 of those by current free-agent outside linebacker Erik Walden. Meanwhile, new general manager Chris Ballard made the defense a priority this offseason. Free agency brings nose tackle Johnathan Hankins and outside linebackers Jabaal Sheard, Barkevious Mingo and John Simon. Ballard used six of his eight draft choices in April on defense as well.
It says here that Simon is the one addition to watch. A former fourth-round draft choice of the Baltimore Ravens in 2013, the former Ohio State product wound up with the Houston Texans in 2014 and spent three seasons under head coach Bill O’Brien. Over the past two seasons he played in 27 games, made 12 starts and totaled a respectable 8.5 sacks.
Now he remains in the AFC South as a member of the Indianapolis Colts. Which means he is now very capable of frustrating the Texans at least twice a season.