The Indianapolis Colts are expected to upgrade their defensive line through free agency or possibly the draft.
However, the Colts have other concerns on offense that are likely higher on their list for the upcoming NFL Draft.
Which means the Colts will look to spend money through free agency in order to upgrade their defense this summer.
There are plenty of solid players hitting the open market, but which defensive tackles make the most sense for the Colts roster?
1. D.J. Reader
The 25-year-old defensive tackle D.J. Reader could be one of the more underrated players heading into free agency this summer.
He was a fifth-round pick by the Houston Texans during the 2016 NFL Draft.
Reader only started seven games his rookie season, but has started every game he has played in since 2017.
He is expected to be paid well after three straight reliable seasons, but is he worth the money?
Report: Texans unlikely to re-sign D.J. Reader https://t.co/lKquIqgUMT
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) March 7, 2020
Reader finished with a career-high 2.5 sacks on the season during the 2019 season.
He also had 13 quarterback hits, 36 pressures, and 35 defensive stops last season with the Texans.
Reader had only 11 quarterback hits combined through his first three seasons in the league.
He has been finding a way to get to the quarterback more often and his 52 combined tackles in 2019 was a career-high.
It is fair to expect Reader to get paid anywhere from $10 million to around $16 million per season this summer.
He’d be a solid addition to the Colts since he’s young and appears to be entering the best part of his career right now.
2. Javon Hargrave
Possibly a cheaper option for the Colts could be 27-year-old Javon Hargrave who is set to hit the free agent market this summer.
Hargrave has spent each of the last four seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
He appears to keep getting better each season, so it is quite surprising to see the Steelers letting him walk.
Hargrave just finished a four-year deal with Pittsburgh and is set to see what he is worth in free agency.
If you want to bolster the interior of your defensive line through FA, look no further than @Steelers DT, Javon Hargrave (@Jay_MostWanted) #BaldysBreakdowns pic.twitter.com/VOSnAabaGR
— Brian Baldinger (@BaldyNFL) March 9, 2020
Hargrave recorded four sacks, 49 pressures, 60 combined tackles, and six quarterbacks hits during the 2019 season.
The 60 tackles were a career-high for Hargrave, but he also set a career-high in tackles for loss with seven during the 2019 campaign.
He has clearly proven to be a reliable force on the defensive end and deserves a long-term extension.
The Colts wouldn’t have to pay him as much as other top tier players and they would still get positive production from the position.
3. Derek Wolfe
Another route the Colts could go is signing veteran defensive end Derek Wolfe.
The 30-year-old has only played in all 16 games three times during his eight-year career.
Wolfe was only able to play in 12 games during the 2019 season due to a dislocated elbow.
There’s plenty of reasons to avoid Wolfe, but does bring some positives to the table as well.
https://t.co/s3sSMPSt98 – Derek Wolfe has yet to receive a contract offer from Broncos #DENnowNews pic.twitter.com/3iF22GeXoo
— DENVERnow (@DENVERnowApp) March 12, 2020
Wolfe finished the 2019 season with seven sacks, which is a career-high.
He was also able to collect 12 quarterback hits and eight tackles for loss during his short 12 game campaign in 2019.
General manager Chris Ballard mentioned that the Colts would like to add a veteran presence on the defensive line.
Wolfe would be able to provide a veteran leadership to the Colts that they are desperately missing right now.
His injury history is obviously a concern, but Wolfe does play very well when he is on the field.
He could make for a good fit on the Colts if the deal is right.NEXT: 3 Indianapolis Colts Players Who Need to Step Up In 2020