Colts Could Pursue Intriguing Defensive End In Free Agency

Marcus Davenport, Colts
NFL Analysis Network

The 2022 season was an utter disaster for the Indianapolis Colts. They had high hopes as many thought they were a dark horse to challenge for the Super Bowl. They not only fell short of those expectations, but the team also didn’t even come close to qualifying for the postseason.

Indianapolis finished the season 4-12-1 as head coach Frank Reich was fired after Week 9. Jeff Saturday, who had no prior coaching experience above the high school level, took over as interim head coach and the results were as disastrous as you would expect them to be.

An overhaul of the coaching staff will hopefully get the team back on track. Finding a long-term answer at the quarterback spot is imperative as the Matt Ryan acquisition didn’t pan out. He was a turnover machine and was benched twice during the season, likely leading to 2023 being the eighth straight season a different quarterback will be under center in Week 1.

Fixing the offense will be the No. 1 goal for whoever takes over as head coach. But, the defense is not without its faults as well. A team doesn’t win four games in a season without having numerous areas to improve upon.

The Colts will likely be in the market for some pass-rushing help this offseason with Yannick Ngakoue, who led the team with 9.5 in 2022, set to become a free agent. That leaves interior pass rushers DeForest Buckner and Kwity Paye to lead the way rushing the passer.

In need of an EDGE defender, the Colts could look into signing former first-round pick Marcus Davenport. Davenport has not quite lived up to the billing of a first-rounder with the New Orleans Saints and saw his playing time cut back in 2022 as he played only 50 percent of the snaps.

He isn’t entering free agency with a lot of momentum as he registered only 0.5 sacks in 2022. But, in 2021, he did compile a career-high 9.0 in only 11 games. Still only 26, Davenport is the kind of low-risk, high-reward signing that the Colts could benefit from in what may be a transitional season in 2023.

Davenport fits the mold as the kind of player that general manager Chris Ballard has targeted previously given his sheer size standing 6’6” and weighing 265 pounds. A change of scenery would likely do him some good at this stage in his career.

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