<
>

Colts Mailbag Part II: Todd Gurley or Landon Collins?

Mike Wells: I would think they would take Alabama’s Landon Collins over Georgia’s Todd Gurley if both are available at No. 29, which at this point is unlikely. Gurley is coming off a torn ACL and the Colts are confident that they’ll be able to select a running back later in the draft. As I mentioned in Part I of the Mailbag on Saturday, the Colts have to get younger at safety. Selecting Collins would provide nice competition for the starting spot between him and Dwight Lowery, whom the Colts signed Friday evening.

Wells: First name Josh. Last name Cribbs. The Colts gave Cribbs a two-year contract when they signed him last season. Cribbs didn’t head into the offseason in a good way. First he muffed a punt against Denver in the divisional playoff game. The Colts caught a break because they got the ball back. But they weren’t as fortunate when Cribbs couldn’t handle a punt in the first quarter of the AFC Championship game against the New England Patriots. The Patriots recovered the ball and scored a touchdown several plays later. Coach Chuck Pagano replaced Cribbs with receiver T.Y. Hilton. Cribbs will get the first crack at returning kicks and punts next season, but the Colts likely won’t have a lot of patience if he struggles to field kicks cleanly.

Wells: Wish I had a crystal ball and was able to answer that question. You would like to think that Frank Gore will be productive playing with quarterback Andrew Luck. Luck’s throwing ability forces defenses to respect the Colts’ passing game. That means things should be easier for Gore, who has rushed for at least 1,000 yards in eight of his 10 seasons. Some of Gore’s production also will depend on the offensive line. The Colts used 11 different starting lineups on the offensive line last season and only one player -- Vick Ballard -- has rushed for 100 yards in 48 regular-season games with Luck as quarterback.

Wells: It depends on Ballard’s health. He rushed for 814 yards as a rookie in 2012, but he’s only gained 63 yards on the ground since then because of injuries. He tore his ACL in practice after Week 1 in 2013 and tore his Achilles during training camp last year. If, and it’s a big if at this moment, Ballard is healthy, he’ll compete with Daniel “Boom” Herron to back up Gore next season. Pagano said Ballard is doing well with his rehab, but there hasn’t been a set date on when he’ll return to the field.