Jan 11, 2014; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots running back LeGarrette Blount (29) runs against the Indianapolis Colts in the second half during the 2013 AFC divisional playoff football game at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

The Indianapolis Colts Need Defensive Line Help In 2014 NFL Draft

Leave it to the Patriots to always figure out a weakness of a team.  For the Indianapolis Colts it all started up front.

LeGarrette Blount and New England Patriots run over Colts defense

Bill Belichick and Tom Brady are masters when it comes to exposing weaknesses in a defense.  Once again they did it to Indianapolis, this time on the churning legs of LeGarrette Blount who trampled the Colts for over 160 yards and four touchdowns.  It marked the first time in eons Brady did not have a touchdown pass, but the Colts defense was so bad to the point that he didn’t have to throw any.  Giving up over 200 yards and six touchdowns on the ground can do that.  Then again this is nothing new.  Indianapolis finished the regular season with the 26th ranked rush defense.  Teams that could run did run on them and the Patriots merely proved it.  If there is any area that needs shoring up in the 2014 NFL draft, it is their defensive front.  Not just in terms of size but strength as well.  Too often their interior linemen have gotten pushed around or out of their gaps, allowing for big lanes for runners.  Shutting that problematic area down could do so much for what Chuck Pagano is trying to accomplish.

DaQuan Jones or Daniel McCullers can solve a lot of their problems

Luckily the options available in the 2014 class are not limited.  This is especially good news for the Colts who are not slated to pick until the end of the second round since they traded their first rounder to Cleveland for Trent Richardson.  So they must scout carefully.  They may find a few quality choices awaiting them.  One high on many boards is DaQuan Jones out of PennState.  Since dropping weight his quickness has gone up considerably, which has in turn enhanced how effective his brute strength is in absorbing blockers.  He doesn’t have the greatest range but in a phone booth he proved harder and harder to move as the 2013 went on.  However, if Indianapolis really wants to get after their problem then Daniel McCullers of Tennessee has to be a target.  At 351 lbs he is a mass of humanity that eats up loads of space.  Looking at him one would think he can’t move around much, but the kid is deceptively quick and maintains good gap discipline, which is why teams often have to double or even triple team him.  He’s not a pass rusher, but in a 3-4 nose guard position, he is prototypical.

Andrew Luck will survive just fine with what he has.  The Indianapolis Colts have to know they won’t get very far in the playoffs until every part of their defense is shored up, including against the run.

Tags: 2014 Nfl Draft Daniel McCullers Indianapolis Colts LeGarrette Blount New England Patriots

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