Colts stick to philosophy, focus on draft in quiet offseason

The Colts' Andrew Luck has missed 26 games over the past three seasons, but expects to be ready for Week 1. AP Photo/Darron Cummings

The Indianapolis Colts ended their offseason program on June 15. Here's a look at how they fared:

Offseason goals: If there's one word to describe the Colts' offseason, it's humdrum. Chris Ballard is fine with that. The second-year general manager was up front from the start in saying he didn't plan on being a big spender despite more than $70 million in salary-cap space. Ballard's focus, as he also said, was continuing to build the roster through the draft and taking the necessary steps for quarterback Andrew Luck to get his surgically repaired right shoulder healthy. The biggest free-agency deals were the signing of tight end Eric Ebron, a former first-round draft pick who was let go by the Detroit Lions, and re-signing 45-year-old kicker Adam Vinatieri. Ballard traded back three spots from No. 3 to 6 in the April draft to stockpile more picks in 2018 and 2019. The Colts ended up selecting 11 players in the draft.

How they fared: Too soon to tell

Move I liked: Taking an offensive lineman, especially a guard, in the top 10 of the draft isn't ideal. But the Colts couldn't afford to pass on Notre Dame's Quenton Nelson at No. 6. Not when Nelson was viewed as one of the draft's top three overall players, and not with years of dreadful play from the unit, which played a part in Luck missing 26 games over the past three seasons. Nelson adds to the foundation that already includes center Ryan Kelly and left tackle Anthony Castonzo. Now the Colts just need to find stability at right guard and right tackle.

Move I didn’t like: Selecting linebacker Darius Leonard with their first pick in the second round. Leonard will have to make the transition from playing at South Carolina State, an FCS school, to the NFL. The Colts took Leonard when players such as Iowa cornerback Josh Jackson and Boston College defensive end Harold Landry were still on the board.

Biggest question still to be answered in training camp: It's the same question the Colts entered training camp with in 2017. Will Luck be ready for the start of the regular season? That question will remain until Luck, who missed all of last season after right-shoulder surgery in January 2017, proves he is 100 percent healthy. That means throwing a regulation football on a regular basis, playing in the preseason, taking a hit in a game for the first time in nearly two years, not suffering any setbacks in practice or preseason games and actually playing in a regular-season game.

Quotable: "There's still holes in the roster, still areas we have to strengthen up and we don't question that, but man oh man, I tell you, we're a lot better of a football team. It's going to be interesting to see how much better we are. Look, I'll be honest with you, if Andrew Luck, if he's healthy and we think he will be, we're going to have a pretty formidable football team. That's just the bottom line." -- Colts owner Jim Irsay on how Luck's potential return will help cover the team's flaws.

Salary-cap space: $50,815,053 (Roster Management System)

2018 draft picks: 1. OL Quenton Nelson (Notre Dame), 2. LB Darius Leonard (South Carolina State), 2b. OL Braden Smith (Auburn), 2c. Kemoko Turay (Rutgers), 2d. DL Tyquan Lewis (Ohio State), 4. RB Nyheim Hines (NC State), 5. WR Daurice Fountain (Northern Iowa), 5b. RB Jordan Wilkins (Ole Miss), 6. WR Deon Cain (Clemson), 7. LB Matthew Adams (Houston), 7b. LB Zaire Franklin (Syracuse)

Undrafted rookie free agents signed: K Michael Badgley (Miami), S Chris Cooper (Stony Brook), CB Lashard Durr (Mississippi State), WR Steve Ishmael (Syracuse), CB Robert Jackson (UNLV), DT Tomasi Laulile (BYU), OL Jared Machorro (Texas A&M-Commerce), LB Skai Moore (South Carolina), S George Odum (Central Arkansas), LB William Ossai (San Jose State), WR Kayaune Ross (Kentucky), CB Henre' Toliver (Arkansas)

Unrestricted free agents signed: DL Denico Autry (Oakland), K Adam Vinatieri (Colts), LB Najee Goode (Eagles), WR Ryan Grant (Washington), OL Matt Slauson (Chargers), OL Jack Mewhort (Colts), CB Pierre Desir (Colts)

Restricted free agents signed: None

Players acquired via trade: None