Impending IDP Free Agents – Indianapolis Colts

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There are impending free agents all around the NFL. Here, I will examine how those free agents may affect different teams. Today, we look at what the future may look like for the Indianapolis Colts.

The 2023 impending Indianapolis Colts free agents on the defensive side of the ball are opening the door for some young and hungry players. Each line of defense is in flux as three first-string defensive players became unrestricted free agents on March 15 at 4 pm ET. The possibility of these players re-signing with the Colts also exists.

The Colts will be looking to improve their defense while getting younger, so the time is now to do a price check on the players looking to fill the vacancies.

1. Yannick Ngakoue, DE

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Yannick Ngakoue will turn 28 here in a couple of weeks. He has always been a player that has had a tremendous ceiling but only delivered sporadically. His highest tackle year was in 2019, with 41 tackles while playing for the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Ngakoue has since played for four different teams over the past three seasons. In his seven-year career, he has posted 202 tackles (163 solos), 65 tackles for a loss, 135 QB hits, 65 sacks, 13 passes defended, 2 interceptions, 1 TD, 21 forced fumbles, 3 fumble recoveries, and another TD.

The average of those numbers over a seven-year career doesn't give the reward of a $13 million, one-year contract. Examples of sporadic performance of Ngakoue would be five tackles and a sack in one game, followed by four tackles and a sack and a half in three games combined.

Ngakoue then posted seven tackles with 3.5 sacks over the next two games. He was blanked on 76% of the defensive snaps the following game. That was 52 times he had a chance to make a play. This is why Ngakoue is the first of my impending IDP free agents on the Colts. He is headed to his fifth team in four years.

Who benefits if Ngakoue leaves?

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Dayo Odeyingbo will step up and play the vacated snaps from Ngakoue. He will also be more consistent and post better tackle numbers. Odeyingbo is coming into his third year, which is historically the most consistent year for defensive linemen breakouts.

Odeyingbo ended up getting his toes wet during his rookie year. He played in 10 games and produced 6 tackles (5 solos), 1 QB hit, half a sack, and a forced fumble. The 2021 second-round pick stepped up in his sophomore year with 31 tackles (18 solos), 5 tackles for a loss, 11 QB hits, and 5 sacks.

Odeyingbo's 2022 numbers were posted, with him not receiving 60% or more of the defensive snaps until Week 10. He only received 60% or more of the defensive snaps in five games.

Odeyingbo might be rostered in your league, or he could be a free agent. You need to do yourself a favor and check his price. Your league mates might be looking at Odeyingbo's two-year stats and might not be impressed. They will be impressed after year three.

2. Bobby Okereke, LB

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Bobby Okereke has always slid under the radar because of fellow LB Shaquille Leonard. While Leonard has had a problem staying on the field lately, Okereke keeps playing all the games and racking up impressive stats. The 2019 third-round pick has only missed two games in his four-year career. Mister consistency is about to get paid as the next of my impending IDP-free agents.

Okereke posted better snaps every year of his career and has started every game but one over the last two years. Over these last two years, Okereke has produced an outstanding 283 tackles (188 solos), 9 tackles for a loss, 2 QB hits, a sack, 9 passes defended, 2 interceptions, 2 forced fumbles, and 2 fumble recoveries.

Who benefits if Okereke leaves?

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This is probably a hot take, but it's not meant to be. You might even say, "Who is Cameron McGrone?" Let me tell you a little about who I think will have an opportunity to fill the position that will produce over 100 tackles.

McGrone played college ball for the Michigan Wolverines. He did not log any snaps as a freshman but wrote a different story in his sophomore season. McGrone played in all 11 games and posted 65 tackles (38 solos), 9 tackles for a loss, 2.5 sacks, 1 pass defended, and a forced fumble.

He then started off his junior year even better. In his first four games, McGrone produced 25 tackles (14 solos), 2 tackles for loss, and a half sack. Then, he tore his ACL in Week 5 against Rutgers.

McGrone entered the NFL draft after his junior year and was selected by the New England Patriots in the fifth round. He missed his entire rookie season on IR while rehabbing from his ACL tear. McGrone could then attend OTAs and training camp with the Patriots for his second year.

He was demoted to the practice squad and then back to the active roster multiple times. While on the Patriot's practice squad, the Colts claimed McGrone before Week 16 last year. He played 14 special teams snaps for the Colts' last game.

I think McGrone is primed to earn the starting LB spot that Okereke is vacating. If you have large rosters, I recommend taking a flyer on him. I am pretty sure he is free and on your waiver wire. Beat the rush.

3. Rodney McLeod, S

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Rodney McLeod is getting up there in age — he turns 33 in June. His age will put him directly in the middle of the impending IDP free agents. McLeod has always been a productive player when on the field.

His role with the Colts gave him 100% of the defensive snaps from Week 3 forward. McLeod delivered 96 tackles (59 solos), 8 tackles for a loss, 8 passes defended, 2 interceptions, a forced fumble, and a TD.

He has always been a productive player. McLeod played his first four years in St. Louis with the Rams before their move to Los Angeles. He then spent his next six years with the Philadelphia Eagles. McLeod's last year was a one-year deal with the Colts. He has averaged about five tackles per game over his starting career, which are some good numbers that will need to be replaced.

Who benefits if McLeod leaves?

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Nick Cross was a third-round pick in last year's draft out of Maryland. He was immediately inserted into the starting lineup as a rookie. Cross played 100% of the defensive snaps in Week 1 but only accounted for four solo tackles. He was out of position several times and just looked slightly lost.

For Cross' second game, his snaps were reduced to 65% of the defensive snaps. With those snaps, he produced five tackles, three being solos.

Week three put Cross on the bench. He needed to learn how to play the position in the NFL. This is where McLeod did more than post a productive week after a productive week. He mentored and taught Cross how to play the position. McLeod taught Cross that it will take work to keep his spot on a team, let alone on the field.

Cross is ready to go and fill the open 100 tackles McLeod left for him. Because of the opportunity available, do a price check on Cross now. His stock is down, and the time is right to obtain him. Cross will not disappoint in year two. He knows he needs to earn his stripes. They will no longer just be handed to him.

Thank you for checking out my 2023 Impending IDP Free Agents article! You can read all of my articles on my IDP Guys author page. Be sure to follow me on Twitter at @OldMan_FF and @IDPGuys (we have offense, too), and please consider becoming a subscriber!

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