Friday morning the Indianapolis Colts signed 32-year-old cornerback Stephon Gilmore, but it is hard to say how much impact that move will have. Gilmore missed the first seven weeks of the 2021 season due to a quad injury and he was limited in three more.
For reference, Gilmore played 70% as many snaps as Julio Jones last year. There is a reason why he was available in the middle of April.
Still, that doesn’t mean that it isn’t an important move for the Colts. Despite the number of fan-voted Pro Bowlers on their roster, they are facing a tough situation this year. Indianapolis is going to switch defenses this year after a coaching change and when that happens you just don’t know who will look better and who won’t be a fit.
Gilmore gives them a chance for some consistency on the outside and he is a player who should help a locker room full of players who have never won a division title.
So, why does this move help the Tennessee Titans?
Tennessee Titans’ draft strategy is simple now
It is important for the Titans to stay on top of the AFC South, so if the Colts bring in help for their defensive backs then Tennessee needs to add another weapon that they can’t cover.
With that in mind, the Colts’ addition of Gilmore may push the Titans towards drafting a receiver instead of an offensive lineman at the bottom of the first round. While there is a good argument for a lineman, the value was already heavily weighted towards drafting a wide receiver in this conversation.
Even though everyone is assuming a run on wide receivers, there really isn’t any precedent for that in recent draft history. Over the last five classes, more often than not the team picking 26th in the draft has a chance at the third-best receiver and at worst you are looking at the sixth-best wide receiver.
If wide receiver is now clearly the top need, you could easily make an argument for how any of the top-6 pass-catchers would be an instant improvement to the roster. So, unless there is a historic number of receivers taken in the first round, the Tennessee Titans shouldn’t overthink this and they should be able to find a very good weapon for their offense.
Maybe if the Colts don’t sign Gilmore the Titans are content to draft a developmental tackle or an interior lineman, but this escalation may result in them having to face an offense with Derrick Henry, A.J. Brown, Robert Woods, Austin Hooper, and Treylon Burks or Drake London.