Monday following the NFL Draft is normally known for a day when teams release names of undrafted free agents.
But for the Colts, the news came a bit early when Indianapolis acquired Buffalo linebacker Kelvin Sheppard for outside linebacker Jerry Hughes.
How does this trade impact the Colts?
Sheppard, 6’2″ and 244 pounds, was a 2011 third round draft pick of the Buffalo Bills and the LSU product has started 24 games over the two seasons.
The Colts are getting a productive inside linebacker (150 tackles in two seasons) who adds some depth to a position that is trying to replace backup Moise Fokou (46 tackles in 2012).
Leading tackler Jerrell Freeman returns to the lineup in 2013 and the other inside spot was shared by Pat Angerer and Kavell Conner last year.
Mario Harvey, who was used in goal line packages in 2012, also returns at the inside linebacker position.
The outside linebacker position is still in very good hands thanks to some offseason moves and a Pro Bowl returnee.
Robert Mathis will obviously start on one side of the defense with the other starter likely coming from a pair of newcomers.
Free agent addition Erik Walden is the new No. 93 in town and head coach Chuck Pagano has raved about the former Packers’ ability to set the edge.
New first round draft pick Bjoern Werner will get his first crack as a standup linebacker in Indianapolis and Colts staff believe he can play the RUSH or SAM linebacker position.
Other outside linebackers on the roster include free agent signee Lawrence Sidbury, Justin Hickman and Jake Killeen.
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