Colts: Still productive, Cole adds edge rush
In the absence of Robert Mathis the Colts’ pass rush suffered last season and in an effort to improve upon their productivity off the edge in 2015 they have added Trent Cole, recently cut by the Eagles. Cole’s 47 total pressures were 10 more than the Colts’ leader on defense last season (Cory Redding) so even though he is falling away from his best, Cole still figures to be a valuable addition and upgrade in 2015.
Even sliding away from his peak years in 2010 and 2011, Cole has still earned a pass rush grade above +10.0 in each of the last two seasons. Racking up 97 regular season pressures in that time, he’s been topped by only 25 edge rushers in terms of sheer production over the last two seasons. As a run defender, too, Cole is still a solid contributor earning a positive grade in each of the last two seasons and only earning a single-game grade below -1.0 in two games over the last two seasons.
With the Colts, Cole is likely to be the lead pass rusher for at least the 2015 season — barring a return to full health for Mathis — to give the Colts two quality veteran pass rushers in certain packages. Rookie Jonathan Newsome showed flashes last season and Indianapolis will be eager not to stifle his development and their willingness to work multiple outside linebackers onto the field at once will potentially be crucial to maximizing their investment in various pass rushers.