While free agency will continue to linger on, the core of the Colts' work is likely finished until the fall. With the excess in cap space, the Colts were able to sign nine free agents, filling multiple needs both in the starting lineup and in the depth of positions overall.
However, with a roster that was as weak as the 2012 Colts, there are still plenty of holes to be filled. The Colts' roster still isn't a Super Bowl roster, although it certainly has made many improvements.
So, with the draft coming our way, along with free agency and cuts throughout the offseason, where do the Colts most desperately need to improve on now?
The Colts, up to this point, have failed to land a #2 wide receiver for the 2013 season. While many among the media, including myself, have high hopes for LaVon Brazill, the fact is that Brazill is unproven. The Colts' offense was drastically harmed by Donnie Avery manning the #2 spot last season, and needs an upgrade. An early pick in the draft looks like a tantalizing option at this point, with DeAndre Hopkins or Keenan Allen looking like distinct possibilities in the first.
The Colts signed Donald Thomas to a moderate deal, but that doesn't shore up the interior line in the least. While many fans have expressed a desire to see Joe Reitz or Ben Ijalana to compete with Mike McGlynn for the projected open starting spot, my guess would be that McGlynn and Thomas will be starting in Week 1. The organization loves McGlynn and his leadership, despite the fact that he was terrible in 2012. Another guard would make a huge difference in the line's performance. Brandon Moore would be a great temporary fix, but a mid-round pick in the draft seems more likely.
Yes, the Colts signed Erik Walden to be a starter, but the odds are he will not be a long-term answer. Walden simply doesn't do much well, and I don't see that changing dramatically in Indianapolis. If the Colts don't go wide receiver in round one, I would not be surprised to see one of the many OLB targets be taken here. The Colts need a linebacker that can rush the passer, but is strong enough to set the edge.
The Colts' projected group of Davis, Toler, Butler, Vaughn is much better than the Davis, Vaughn, Butler, Grody group that finished last season, but it isn't a worldbeater by any means. The Colts could use a game changer at the position, leaving Toler as the nickel and Butler as a dime corner. If one of the top three corners in the draft falls to #24, the Colts need to take a long, hard look at him.
Several other starting positions (Center and defensive line mainly) need to be upgraded to truly have an excellent roster, but I simply don't see them happening this year.
The previous needs were all, at some level, needs on the starting lineup that can be addressed. But the Colts' roster issues run much deeper. Injuries are a perennial problem in Indianapolis, and the lack of depth on the 2012 roster killed the Colts against Baltimore. The team needs depth at several positions, namely offensive tackle, defensive line, and secondary.
The quarterback and running back positions should be set on both levels, while the wide receiver and tight end positions have a lot of potential stocked up. Offensive line could always use depth, but looks pretty full with the five starters plus Linkenbach, Reitz, and Shipley fighting for spots (as well as Ben Ijalana).
Defensively the starters are likely already on the roster for 2013, but it's a mediocre group that can use some restocking. The linebacker core looks good, although a dynamic strong-side OLB is still necessary. But with Toler's injury history and Landry's style of play, depth in the secondary is crucial.
Overall, the Colts have vastly improved upon their 2012 roster. Fortunately, they will continue to have more opportunities to as the offseason progresses.