Indianapolis Colts defensive end Kendall Langford enjoyed a successful 2015 campaign in his first season with the team. Is Langford the Colts’ most underrated player heading into 2016?
The Indianapolis Colts signed Kendall Langford to a four-year contract last march during the 2015 NFL Free Agency period.
The signing addressed a serious positional need amongst the defensive line for the Colts. Langford — a former player for the St. Louis Rams and Miami Dolphins — has played in the league since being drafted in the 3rd round of the 2008 NFL Draft.
Through eight seasons in the NFL, Langford had perhaps his most successful season in 2015 in his first year with the Colts. He started in all 16 games, tallying 23 total tackles. While his tackling numbers don’t necessarily pop out, he had 7.0 sacks and three passes defended — two of the highest numbers for any player on the team’s defensive line.
CBS Sport’s Pete Prisco released his picks for every NFL team’s most underrated players. For the Colts, he stated that Langford is the team’s most underrated player heading into 2016.
"Colts general manager Ryan Grigson takes a lot of heat for missing on free agents, but he hit on Langford last season. After coming over from the Rams, Langford played well for the Colts. He had seven sacks and did a good job in the run game."
Langford comes from a free agency class for the Colts that included Frank Gore, Andre Johnson and Trent Cole. Johnson and Cole were massive disappointments in 2015 — with Johnson eventually being released after a mediocre season, and Cole taking a pay cut to stay with the team.
On the other hand, Langford and Gore are bright spots for Grigson’s free agency resume given the fact that he has missed on a number of free agent signings that include the likes of:
In the Grigson-Pagano era, the Colts have yet to have a top-10 defense, and ranked towards the bottom of the league last year.
If the Colts wish to have a viable defense in 2016, Langford and the rest of the defensive line will have to be effective against both the passing and running game.
With Henry Anderson returning from an ACL injury that ended his 2015 year, Langford will have another asset in the run-stopping game to provide the Colts with a one-two punch on the defensive line.
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