Indianapolis Colts Positional Breakdown: Defensive Line

By Eric Smith
Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

Last week I broke down all the units on the offensive side of the ball for the Indianapolis Colts. This week, I’m going to take a look at all the units of the defensive side. Starting today, we’re going to look at the defensive line.

It was no secret that the lines on both sides of the ball needed some vast improvements. The defensive line was basically a makeshift unit as they really brought in no one other than Cory Redding that has played on a 3-4 defensive line. The Colts had to use former guys that they had as defensive tackles in the old 4-3 system and make them outside defensive ends in the new scheme.

The Colts’ front office used the free agency period to go over and beyond on bringing guys in to fill these new roles. The biggest signing was defensive tackle and end Ricky Jean-Francois from the San Francisco 49ers. He will contribute immediately, as he’s fantastic at stuffing the rush and getting pressure on the opposing teams quarterback.

His durability of playing both end and tackle will help this team tremendously as they finally have a guy that can keep running backs from having career days on the Colts.

The Colts also brought back Fili Moala, Drake Nevis, Richardo Matthews, Brandon McKinney and Martin Tevaseau, and also signed nose tackle Aubrayo Franklin, who is a big 6-foot-1, 315-pound run-stuffer. All of these guys add tons of depth on the line and like the offensive line, gives them some major beef and will be a tough unit to block.

Another big-time help the Colts get is having Josh Chapman finally being able to be healthy and able to play. He was a key contributor on both of Alabama’s two national championships, and is tough as nails. He will contend for a starting job immediately.

The defense has changed for the better as the Colts finally have some big-time playmakers on the line.

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