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NFL Indianapolis Colts

Indianapolis Colts Will Feel Indirect Impact of 2014 NFL Draft

Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts vs Houston Texans

Brian Spurlock – USA TODAY SPORTS

The Indianapolis Colts are downplaying the importance of the upcoming NFL Draft, at least in terms of building their own roster. That’s a smart strategy on their part, since they only have five picks with their earliest landing near the end of the second round. However, the draft is likely to have a huge indirect impact on them (for better or worse) through their AFC South division opponents.

Houston Texans (Picks 1 and 33)
Jacksonville Jaguars (Picks 3 and 39)
Tennessee Titans (Picks 11 and 42)

Assuming no draft day trade trickery, each of the Colts’ division opponents will add two new players before Indy (with pick No. 59) even looks at their war room telephone to make sure it’s plugged in. The AFC South could potentially add three new rookie quarterbacks, or, more likely, some top level defensive talent, like Jadeveon Clowney, who could force Andrew Luck to remind us of his consistently surprising running skills. That’s the beauty and agony of parity; teams can change their fortunes quickly if they’re smart. The Colts have taken full advantage of it in the past, but so could their division-mates. Time will tell how “easy” their AFC South schedule actually is.

I’ve lamented Andrew Luck’s lack of a Tom Brady-esque rival, but a candidate for the job might be on the horizon. This rival could come in the latter rounds (Lord knows being taken late didn’t hurt Brady). The pundits agree that there is no “Luck” in this draft, but there could be another Russell Wilson or Colin Kaepernick, guys who exceeded their draft position expectations.

The Texans are on the clock, and it feels a little bit like when the Colts had the No. 1 pick a couple of years ago. With all of the talent already on the Texans’ roster, it’s hard to understand how they got here. It would be foolish to assume they’ll be an “easy” win this year, regardless of who they end up taking. Not long ago their quarterback Matt Schaub was putting up monster numbers, at least for his fantasy owners. Seems like Teddy Bridgewater or Johnny Manziel might be able to do the same with the weapons available. The next thing we know, Colts vs Texans could be battling San Francisco 49ers vs. Seattle Seahawks for those night game slots. The football fan in me hopes it happens; the Colts fan in me desperately hopes it doesn’t.

Bethany Robison is an Indianapolis Colts writer for RantSports.com. Follow her on Twitter @BethanyRobison and add her to your network on Google.