Colts Veteran Leader Named Top 10 at Position for 2022 Season

Stephon Gilmore

Getty The Colts defense celebrates after a play during the 2022 season.

Indianapolis Colts cornerback Stephon Gilmore was named one of the top 10 corners during the 2022 season by Pro Football Focus on February 24.

The Colts experienced a tumultuous season, as interim head coach Jeff Saturday led the team to a 1-7 record during his tenure and the Colts finished 4-12-1 overall.

But Gilmore was one of the bright spots for the Colts in an otherwise difficult year. His late interception in the end zone and overtime pass breakup against the Denver Broncos on October 6 secured a 12-9 win and he also led the team with 11 passes defensed this season. Gilmore also added 66 tackles and two interceptions.

Gilmore remains under contract for 2023 but will become a free agent in 2024 if he does not sign an extension with the Colts.

Corners who ranked ahead of Gilmore on PFF’s list include Sauce Gardner, Patrick Surtain II, Jalen Ramsey, Charvarius Ward and Jaire Alexander.

3 Colts Players Named PFF’s Top 101 Players of 2022

The Colts didn’t have favorable results on the field in 2022, but three players were recognized in the PFF top 101 for their efforts.

Defensive tackle DeForest Buckner claimed the No. 67 spot, while Gilmore made the list at No. 75 and safety Rodney McLeod earned No. 100.

PFF’s Sam Monson, who created the top 101 list, explained his thoughts behind naming Buckner as the top Colt.

“One of the few players with significant positives to take away from an ugly Colts season, Buckner posted an 82.3 overall PFF grade and recorded 56 pressures and 47 defensive stops,” Monson wrote.

Buckner made the most total tackles of his career (74) while adding eight sacks, two forced fumbles and three passes defensed.

PFF noted that Gilmore notched a 79.1 grade — just behind Buckner’s evaluation. McLeod amassed an 80.1 grade during the 2022 season, totaling 67 solo tackles and two interceptions.

Given McLeod’s top 100 grade by PFF, it will be interesting to see if the Colts re-sign him this offseason. McLeod enters the new league year as an unrestricted free agent.

Indy’s ‘Dream Offseason Scenario,’ According to Bleacher Report

On February 23, Bleacher Report’s Kristopher Knox suggested the Colts should draft a quarterback in the first round of the upcoming draft.

Per Knox, the Colts’ “dream offseason scenario” is to trade up to No. 1 overall in the draft to select a quarterback. The Colts have not drafted a quarterback at No. 1 since Andrew Luck in 2012.

Indianapolis could potentially work out a deal with the Bears in order to acquire No. 1, according to Knox: “The good news is that Chicago could have the No. 1 pick up for bid, and it might not cost Indy multiple first-round picks to obtain it.”

ESPN draft analyst Matt Miller even touched on the subject, noting that the Colts are prepared to trade up.

“The overwhelming feedback was that the Bears won’t get a king’s ransom for the No. 1 pick but that Indianapolis had the best situation in terms of draft capital and trading the pick out of the NFC,” Miller said on February 16.

Trading up to No. 1 is the question. On February 24, NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah said he thinks if the Colts hold on to the No. 4 pick, they “could risk falling to a distant third-best QB.”

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