Now don't get me wrong, I'm not being vain, "ultimate" is used only to signify that this isn't a typical mock draft or randomly mentioning players who might "interest" the Colts. This is a mixture of the two put together in a way which intends to forecast 1) who we may, or I think we should, value most at each of our picks and 2) who may actually be available when we make our selection.
Most mock drafts, imo, are weak because they put mock drafters in the unrealistic position of not only predicting WHO we will draft with a given pick but that the player actually WILL be there. So, for the sake of potentially forecasting guys who we may see in a Colts uniform next year, I will try to give a more complete look at the 2009 Colts draft, as I see it.
To start, though Polian has a history of drafting BPA, particularly early in the draft, I will list team needs ranked by position.
1. DT - Hands down biggest need position imo. No other position is even close.
2. LB - We just picked up Seward, so our need goes down a bit. But he's been a back-up his whole career for Carolina. It's possible that we still need one or two OLBs.
3. OT - Ryan Diem's production in recent years and his injury history suggest that maybe it is time to draft his replacement. Ugoh is in his "do or die" year as well. Getting an OT to develop this year, or to step in by mid-year for Diem is pretty important.
4. WR - With the exit of Marvelous, we could be looking for a wideout. Getting a guy we can develop to line up across from Reggie would be nice.
5. RB - Addai, Hart, Ball, Dawson, Simpson is not a bad group. Addai/Hart/Ball can easily be an upgrade already over the Addai/Rhodes/Simpson depth chart from last year. Still, if a good back is available to use as a value pick in the 3rd round or later, I could see us drafting a back.
6. CB - It'd be nice to draft Marlin Jackson's replacement but I'm not sure that guy is in this weak CB class. Maybe a safety like Hamlin or moving Bethea over would be an option. Please bring back Ratliff.
7. S - Our safety group is solid. Sanders, Bethea, Bullitt, Condren would be a strong depth chart. However, we may like to have 3 safeties in the game for our nickel and with Sanders injury history, drafting a guy who can step in would be nice.
8. P - I suppose we may draft a punter but it would seem that eyeing and grabbing one as an UDFA could be fine to create camp competition.
1. Evander "Ziggy" Hood - DT - I've already discussed Ziggy. I think he's going to be a tremendous DT in the NFL and would excel in our system. I would take him before Peria Jerry, I know that will be unpopular here but I don't care. His work ethic, motor, and talent are absolutely what we need and allow him to play NT or UT in our system. I want Hood and think it's very possible he's the BPA when we pick at 27.
2. Peria Jerry - DT - Jerry has already been discussed in the Who the Hell Will They Draft feature posts. All that need be said about Jerry is available there. Would definitely be a great DT in our system and would be able to be plugged in from game 1.
3. Hakeem Nicks - WR - Nicks is a wideout and is NFL ready. He wouldn't start on the outside for the Colts as a rookie, most likely, but I believe he would develop quickly and has the kinds of hands and physical ability to be a regular part of our passing game in the future. I like this kid a lot.
4. Kenny Britt - WR - Britt is another wideout who would be dangerous if paired with Manning. His combination of size and speed would be dangerous as a compliment to Wayne and Gonzalez. He too would likely not be an integral part of the passing game until year two but he could be develop into more of a contributor late in the season.
1. Brian Robiskie - WR - Great hands, size and speed which match the Colts typical wideout, polished enough to be a contributor quickly. In terms of value, getting Robiskie here would be incredible and not a HUGE dropoff from the wideouts listed in round one.
2. Derrick Williams - WR - The upside and capability of Williams has already been covered in Who the Hell Will They Draft... feel free to visit that featured post to learn more about Williams. In my opinion, if Robiskie is not on the board, Williams will be. If Williams is not on the board, Robiskie probably will be.
3. Chris Baker - DT - This guy is a monster DT. With his size and knack and penetrating through the offensive line to make plays in the backfield, he could be the best NT option for the Colts in the draft. I salivate thinking about a Baker/Hood DL. Baker will probably not be here this late in the second round but if he is it would be hard to not pull the trigger, ESPECIALLY if we did not go DT in the 1st round.
4. Jarron Gilbert - DT - Many have already read about or heard all the hype about Gilbert. His youtube video jumping out of a pool suggests that he has a pretty incredible burst. He's a freakish athlete for his size and would excel as a UT in the Colts system. I also doubt he slides this far but if he does, I would be tempted to take him as our UT, even if we draft Hood/Jerry in the first because he would be too good to pass up. He would be extremely valuable for us if we do not go DT in the 1st.
5. Phil Loadholt - OT - Loadholt would be a very strong OT pickup and have great value late in the second. However, I'm unsure how huge the dropoff would be at OT in later rounds. To pass on Loadholt and grab a player in another position of need may make more sense for overall value.
1. Chip Vaughn - S - We just picked up Seward from Carolina, a much larger LB than we usually keep on our roster. That may make picking up Vaughn in the third a great choice. He can play SS if needed but may move up to LB in our system in our strong nickel packages to defend against the pass. He has a strong run stopping reputation to compliment his abilities defending the pass and could be a better version of Cato June.
2. Andre Brown - RB - Brown is a physical runner, bigger and stronger than our other RBs and could be great in short yardage. However, Brown's speed at his weight and his soft hands make him more dynamic than just a short-yardage back and capable of suitably backing up Addai/Hart from year one. He may be so good that he fights with Addai and Hart for the top spot on the depth chart by the end of the year.
3. Michael Hamlin - S - While he may be more of a true safety. We know the Colts are interested and he could be a very strong safety to develop for the future departure of Antoine Bethea. Hamlin may even be asked to bulk up a bit to play a role closer to the one Vaughn may be intended for.
4. Mitch King - DE/DT - Mitch King has been on the Colts radar and would be a similar pick to SLH, if we've not yet addressed DT in rounds 1/2. He won't last to round 4 most likely so if this is a guy the Colts want as a UT in our system, Polian will likely have to strike here.
5. Sammie Lee Hill - DT - It's possible that the Colts will draft two DTs and also possible that they surprise us and don't draft a DT on the first day. SLH is an intriguing small school prospect with the size, 6'4", 329 lbs. and speed 15.5 TFL and 7.5 sacks as a senior, to be a solid NT prospect for the Colts. He'd be a steal in round 4 but may not be around then. Polian likes his small school gems and SLH could be a shocker pick if we haven't addressed DT in rounds 1/2. I've love him in round 4.
ROUND FOUR (two picks)
1. Zack Follett - LB - Zack Follett has the kind of speed and size that we don't really see with our current LBs. He will play as well or better in coverage than most LBs on the roster and has the speed and tenacity to give our new defensive coordinator another blitzing option. Solid tackler and solid against the run. I love this kid and hope we pick him in the fourth.
2. Jason Williams - LB - Jason Williams has very rare physical ability for a LB of his size. At 6'1", 238 lbs. Williams ran in the 4.4s in the 40 yard dash at Northwestern's pro-day. The Colts are taking a very close look at him and honestly, I wouldn't be surprised at all for an all LB 4th round. Williams stock is rising though and he may require a third round pick, the Bucs have their eyes on him as well probably as a Cato June replacement. This kid would be great in our system which relies so much on speed and his size would also be bigger than most of our current LBs.
3. Terrance Taylor - DT - Taylor is the large run-stopping NT the Colts could have an eye on in the 4th round. He may slip to the 5th round but grabbing him here would not be much of a reach for what he could bring to the interior of our DL, particularly in defending against the run.
4. Samme Lee Hill - DT - Mentioned in round 3.
5. Kory Sheets - RB - Sheets is the kind of threat running and catching the Colts would definitely see as a great back-up potential for Addai. I think there will be solid RBs available in the 5th though so unless the Colts really want the Big 10 back, they'll probably go elsewhere.
6. Deon Butler - WR - Butler has the kind of speed that could be considered if we're looking for a slot receiving option and are happy moving Anthony Gonzalez to wideout. He also has potential as a return man and may have more raw physical ability than anyone else on our roster in that capacity.
1. Ian Johnson - RB - If the Colts are looking for a change-of-pace downfield runner, Ian Johnson would fit the bill nicely. His speed and quickness to the hole would compliment Addai's shiftier running style nicely.
2. Glen Coffee - RB - Coffee may be a real sleeper in the draft and is very capable. A back that does not shy away from contact, does not juke and jive in the backfield and gets downfield quickly... Coffee has great hands and could be used in a alot of different situations out of the backfield.
3. David Bruton - S - Bruton is another player the Colts have been keeping an eye on leading up to the draft. A very capable safety who would be strong in coverage, a compliment to Antoine Bethea and potentially could replace him. 4.46 40 yard dash at the combine with a 41.5" vertical.
1. Alex Boone - OT - Boone is a very good OT and would probably have demanded as high as a 3rd or 4th round pick has he not been cited for public intoxication a few weeks ago. Now there are likely some character questions surrounding Boone but he is such a high value in the sixth round that it might be worth the risk and we can hope to turn whatever character issues Boone has around. Would be a solid back-up for Diem immediately and could push for a starting spot by year's end.
2. Jason Phillips - LB - Phillips is a talented LB out of TCU who would fit in perfectly in the Colts system. It is likely Phillips had 3rd round value until he tore his meniscus and the injury will likely drop him deep into the draft. There's a chance he'll still be around in the 7th or could go undrafted but I like him so much that I wouldn't want to risk it if I could help it and if Boone is not available, I might grab him here to be sure he's on the roster.
3. Robert Brewster - OT - Brewster is known more for pass protecting, as he helped keep Nate Davis upright and helped solidify the line for one of the more dangerous offenses in the NCAA last year. A high character guy who may still be around in the 7th round but has 6th round value and could also challenge Diem whilst being an immediately capable back-up.
4. Glover Quin - CB - A good coverage CB with great value late in the sixth. Might be worth a look at 5'11", 204 lbs. with 4.5 TFL, 5 interceptions and 11 passes deflected as a senior.
1. Jason Phillips - LB - Listed above.
2. Robert Brewster - OT - Listed above.
3. Kevin Huber - P - *shrugs* I think we'll look at Chris Miller out of BSU as an UDFA.
**The players are listed based upon 1) Who I can see the Colts selecting with each of their picks, 2) Who I would like to see the Colts select, 3) A player's overall value at that pick compared to all other players at all other positions. In that order. So, I won't be shocked by responses of... THIS GUY IS WAY BETTER THAN THAT GUY... maybe he is, but the guy I've listed, in my opinion would be the better option for our team. ALSO - if I don't think a guy will be there (ex. Harvin rd. 1) I didn't list him. I'm trying to have an educated opinion about these picks.