The Indianapolis Colts showed are clearly 100% focused on rebuilding the 30th overall defense from 2016. Indy added a third outside linebacker in Jabaal Sheard on Friday. Sheard signed a 3-year contract for $25.5 million with $12.75 million guaranteed. So far Sheard is certainly the most proven pass rusher Indy has signed. They will rely heavily on him to be their top edge rusher and will most likely use him on both the defensive line and at outside linebacker. [NickPoalson]
Jabaal Sheard is a player that has been consistent, for the most part, throughout his six-year career. He was selected in the 2nd round in 2011 by the Cleveland Browns. The former Pitt Panther has 36 sacks and 260 total tackles in his career and was a key part of the Patriots 8th ranked defense last season. Struggles some with quickness off the snap to gain leverage but does have good strength, size, and speed overall. He and Mingo were also teammates during their time in Cleveland and give the Colts defense more versatility.
Even though the Colts are making some good moves at improving their defense. There still are some concerns about their new additions. They are all talented but have yet to really show they are legitimate starters. Some say that with adding players like Sheard and Simon, the Colts may implement some 4-3 defensive looks. This would result in Simon and Sheard spending some time at the defensive end spot to give their opposition different looks. Many experts believe that is where these players would be the most successful.
With the Colts being so active on signing pass rushers, it makes the draft much more interesting as to what position they will take in round 1. Some believed that Indy would select Derek Barnett out of Tennessee to improve their pass rush. But considering they have signed 3 edge rushers, one would think that most likely will not happen. The addition of Sheard, Simon, and Mingo have many fans excited about the Colts commitment to improving their defense. But, there is still quite a bit of work left for Ballard and Pagano.