By: Vance Daniels
As the latest edition of NFL free agency was about to start, Colts President Bill Polian announced that this was the weakest group of free agents since it's inception. Since then Polian has acquired three starters in DE Chad Bratzke, SS Chad Cota and OLB Cornelius Bennett. Also brought in were DE Shawn King, QB Stoney Case and WR Lake Dawson. Retained from last year are DE Mark Thomas and MLB Michael Barber.
Two days before the draft, the club traded pro bowl RB Marshall Faulk to St. Louis in a move to avoid paying a player what he is worth. Free agent defections happened early with the losses of P Chris Gardocki, signed by Cleveland and WR Torrance Small, who went to Philadelphia.
With the loss of Faulk, the team has to select a running back in the first round. In addition, two more starting linebackers, a fullback and depth in the secondary are needed. These will have to be addressed by the draft, as the club is running out of cap room after free agency.
The Colts have little choice, they have to select a running back with their #4 pick. While Texas RB Ricky Williams is the likely target, he may not last until the 4th selection. In that case the team will select Miami RB Edgerrin James. With the second round pick acquired from St. Louis, expect defense to be addressed, Florida MLB Johnny Rutledge.