Future of The Indianapolis Colts’ Linebacking Core

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Dec 24, 2016; Oakland, CA, USA; Indianapolis Colts inside linebacker Antonio Morrison (44) stops Oakland Raiders running back Latavius Murray (28) during the second quarter at the Oakland Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 24, 2016; Oakland, CA, USA; Indianapolis Colts inside linebacker Antonio Morrison (44) stops Oakland Raiders running back Latavius Murray (28) during the second quarter at the Oakland Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

The Colts linebacking core has been completely redone by Chris Ballard this offseaoson. Going from Trent Cole, Robert Mathis, Eric Walden, and D’qwell Jackson, all seasoned veterans over 30, to John Simon, Jabaal Sheard, Barkevious Mingo, and Antonio Morrison, all under 28, is quite impressive. Simon, Sheard, and Mingo were all brought in during free agency last year long with other players and Ballard.

Sheard, 28, is the oldest of the group and is a key pass rusher who could be moved to defensive end given the correct scheme. John Simon, just in preseason alone, has shown he has a knack for getting the ball in his and his teammates hands, recording an interception and two fumbles. Barkevious Mingo went from being a Brown, to a Patriot and now a Colt. Mingo was able to hit one of the Cowboys quarterbacks and force a fumble that was scooped up and returned for a touchdown by Lavar Edwards. Antonio Morrison has been on the roster since being drafted by the team in 2016 in the 4th round. Morrison hasn’t had his time to shine as a consistent player because of D’qwell Jackson being on the roster and most recently, Sean Spence who was brought in by Ballard, and then released, and Jon Bostic

. If Ballard decides he doesn’t want to stick with Simon, Mingo, Sheard, and Morrison as the starting linebacking core he would go about drafting one next year, or bring a player in from free agency which he has done multiple times within the few months he has been the Colts GM. I personality think that unless we can bring in a superstar that would have the starting spot no question, that they should stick with the 4 they have now. Simon and Mingo showed that they can force turnovers, Sheard has a great eye for stopping the run and sacking the quarterback, and Morrison knows how to stop the run and contain the pass. The only one I can see them replacing is Antonio Morrison, but even then he’s only 22 and can still pan out and develop very well in the upcoming years.

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