Thoughts, or at least my ideal take, on a Colts' Draft on the eve of Combine drills

Well here goes:

TRADE: Indianapolis Colts trade the No. 31 pick, the No. 63 pick, and the No. 94 pick to the Cincinnati Bengals for the No. 21 pick, the No. 84 pick, and the No. 119 pick.

I think the trade is a win-win for both parties. The Colts trade up right after the Top 20 and more importantly ahead of the Green Bay Packers (at No. 23) to potentially steal an offensive tackle they want/need. The Colts don't have to sacrifice picks outright plus as it pertains to their needs in this draft, I think there's little difference from the late 2nd to the mid 4th round.

The Bengals trade down a few spots in the 1st round, still getting the BPA who helps them the most on a 5-year term but a slightly cheaper cost, and this simple move upgrades their 4th round pick into a late 2nd which is great for them (last year they drafted starting linebacker Rey Maualuga in the 2nd and promising pass-rusher Michael Johnson in the early 3rd).

1.21.* Bryan Bulaga, Offensive Tackle, Iowa, Junior (6-5 1/8, 314, 33 1/4)

I'm just hoping that Bulaga can be an exact repeat of Michael Oher last year, falling out of the Top 20 because of questions/concerns about his ability to play left tackle (including shorter than ideal 33"-plus arm length). Whereas Detroit should have taken Oher at #21, my ideal scenario has the Colts trading up to #21 and getting the tackle. Bulaga is a technician who plays to the whistle on every play, he's not a mauler but plays with a physical demeanor and that's what I want, that is what I think the Colts need. He has Big Ten character, which is perfect for the Colts. And he turns 21 years old on March 21st, he's still so young despite the quality collegiate play he's already amassed. I think there could be a good comparison to Joe Thomas at a similar age, Thomas has similar shorter-than-ideal arm length too (33 3/4"), although of course I'm not saying Bulaga will be as good as Thomas as Thomas is the best left tackle in the NFL. Bulaga might come close to being as good maybe, and maybe at worst you get Jeff Backus of the Lions. I'll take that.

Unfortunately I think the Colts will want USC tackle Charles Brown over Bulaga, because Brown is more athletic and he has longer arms (35 1/4"). I'm not crazy about Brown at all, I think his run-blocking deficiency is too much to overcome for him to have any chance at being great, plus I think there are/could be work ethic concerns. Brown eerily reminds me of Tony Ugoh, a more athletic left prospect with longer arms (36") who could be argued was just as good coming out as Brown now, and we've seen how Ugoh has failed to live up to his promise. Another former 1st round pick Alex Barron has ridiculously long arms (37 3/4") and he turned out to be a penalty-fest disappointment for the Rams. I dearly wish the Colts would understand that left tackle doesn't begin and end with arm length, but my hopes aren't high at all on that front.

I wouldn't be overly disappointed with Brown, but I would be ecstatic with Bulaga, if I could sum it up in that way. We'll see what the Colts do, let's just hope Bulaga falls that far and he wins the Colts over as a player. As for other offensive tackles, Russell Okung isn't getting out of the Top 5 and I expect Bruce Campbell (another shaky prospect I bet the Colts want because of his very long arms - 36 1/4" - and athleticism) will be taken by the Raiders soon after.

1.31. Traded to Cincinnati

2.63. Traded to Cincinnati

3.84.* Amari Spievey, Cornerback, Iowa, Junior (6-0, 190)

Talented and underrated corner prospect who I like, and think could be the jewel of Polian's eye after getting the first round left tackle. Spievey can play zone, can play man, and he is a willing tackler. He gives the Colts the relatively taller, physical corner to replace Marlin Jackson - as much I'd love to see Marlin succeed with the Colts going forward, it's been two straight years now where the guy can't even go halfway through the season without tearing knee ligaments in non-game action situations. I wouldn't be against giving Jackson one more chance this season but I wouldn't count on him at this point, and Tim Jennings has to go so the Colts need to draft at least one cornerback. Spievey will be a great fit and addition to the Colts' cornerback depth.

3.95. Traded to Cincinnati

4.119*. Jammie Kirlew, Defensive End, Indiana, Senior (6-2, 259)

Kirlew is a personal favorite of mine for quite some time now. Raheem Brock needs to be released now, he's gone from okay (2007) to poor (2008) to awful (2009). Keyunta Dawson is almost just as ineffective, but at least he's much cheaper. Colts fans know the team desperately needs to add defensive end talent behind stud duo Dwight Freeney - best defensive end in the league as I've said for years - and Robert Mathis. The Colts did sign CFL Defensive Player of the Year John Chick, but they need to add at least one more guy to compete with Dawson this summer for a roster spot.

4.128. Chris Scott, Offensive Tackle/Guard, Tennessee, Senior (6-4, 319, 34 1/8)

If the Colts are going to fix for the better their finesse offensive line that has disappointed in consistently creating holes in the running game, Scott may be a great mid-round addition to help do that. A talented and very experienced starter for the Vols who played guard and left tackle, he'll be best suited playing guard in the pros. Although that said, he might have outright right tackle potential or could play right tackle in a pinch like the Colts had with Jake Scott (no relation I'm guessing). This Scott would give the Colts a good pass-protecting, physical run-blocking right guard which would be perfect for what they need. Of course for 2010 he'll have to compete for the job with Charlie Johnson and Kyle DeVan this summer, and may the best man win.

5. Nate Byham, Tight End, Pittsburgh, Senior (6-4, 268)

Hopefully Byham is still available at this point, if he is that would be phenomenal for the Colts as they have a complete black hole at #2/inline tight end. Gijon Robinson is not an NFL caliber player, he won't make any other 53-man roster for the other 31 teams in the league once the Colts cut him, just watch. I had high hopes for Tom Santi but the guy can't even stay healthy for consecutive games, he can't be counted on at this point (but I'd let him compete for a roster spot this summer). Byham is a capable receiver as a tight end and a very good blocking tight end, selflessly committing himself to the latter for the better of his team - helping contribute to strong running games headlined by LeSean McCoy and now Dion Lewis - which makes him perfect for the Colts and their offensive dynamic. Had a hard-nosed playing career at Pittsburgh under Wannstache, in the Big East, which I also like.

7. Walter McFadden, Cornerback, Auburn, Senior (5-10, 176)

This may be wishful thinking, hard to say at this point. McFadden is one my favorite late round prospects, I think he's similar to Jacob Lacey in that he has some natural instincts for a corner (I've come to appreciate instincts as just as important a factor at the position as anything else, if not actually more important) and is a willing tackler well past his light frame. For his last bowl game, his coaches moved him inside to cover the slot, which could speak to his ability and versatility. I'd really like to see the Colts pick up McFadden as their #5 corner, and I think they will be interested in him come the Draft if he can fall far enough.

7 comp (Darrell Reid). 
7 comp (Hunter Smith).

At this point I don't really have any picks to speak of, take your guesses.


Thoughts, ideas, criticisms? Feel free to chime in, however you like.

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Stampede Blue's writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of Stampede Blue's writers or editors.

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