Here's a closer look at the positions the Indianapolis Colts could target at the NFL combine in Indianapolis:
Positions of need: Where do you want to start? New general manager Chris Ballard doesn’t have to worry about locking in on one position because Indianapolis has several positions of need. The Colts spent most of last season being manhandled on the defensive line. Three of their four starting linebackers were over the age of 30. And the pass rush? That was basically nonexistent last season, as the Colts finished tied for 19th in the NFL in sacks. Running back Frank Gore, who became the first Colt to rush for at least 1,000 yards in a season since 2007, will be 34 in May. Ballard and coach Chuck Pagano need to start preparing to find his future replacement.
Three players the Colts could focus on at the combine:
Takkarist McKinley, LB, UCLA: You know the pass-rush situation is bad when cornerback Vontae Davis mentions it on Twitter. Robert Mathis and his 123 sacks retired, and Trent Cole and Erik Walden, who had a team-high 11 sacks last season, are both free agents. McKinley had 10 sacks and 18 tackles for losses last season at UCLA. He would likely have to transition from defensive end to outside linebacker in Pagano's 3-4 scheme. McKinley does come with a warning: He didn't participate in the Senior Bowl because of a shoulder injury. Ballard comes to Indianapolis from Kansas City with a defensive-minded mentality in the draft. The Chiefs selected a defensive player as their first pick in three of their four seasons while Ballard was part of the organization.
Derek Barnett, DE, Tennessee: Barnett had 33 sacks and 52 tackles for loss in three seasons while playing in the SEC, arguably the best college football conference in the country. And the Colts need help up front. Defensive end Kendall Langford, who had seven sacks in 2015, missed nine games last season while dealing with a knee injury. Defensive tackle Henry Anderson spent most of last season trying to get comfortable again after suffering a torn ACL midway through the 2015 season. The Colts' defensive line accounted for just nine sacks to go with their struggles in stopping the run.
Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State: Cook is looked at as the second best running back in this draft behind LSU’s Leonard Fournette. Cook rushed for at least 1,000 yards -- including 1,765 yards last season -- and averaged 5.9 yards a carry in all three seasons at Florida State. He’s also a playmaker in the passing game (488 yards receiving last season). He might be available when the Colts pick in the middle of the first round. That could put Ballard in the position of having to choose Cook’s talent and ability to eventually replace Gore over more pressing needs on defense. Gore had 216 more carries than the next closest running back on the Colts' roster last season.