Bill Polian is nearly impossible to guess when it comes to the NFL Draft. The one year it was obvious he would go for a specific type of player was 2006, when he used the Colts late first round pick on the versatile LSU running back Joseph Addai. Since then, players like Anthony Gonzalez, Mike Pollak, and Donald Brown have not been obvious first round selections for Polian and company.
That said, do not be surprised in the least if you see the Colts draft a defensive tackle in the first round, which is something the Colts have never done during the Polian Era.
According to Scouts.com's SD Bolts Report, Georgia defensive tackle Geno Atkins confirmed in an interview that his one "official" meeting at the Scouting Combine was with the Colts.
ML: Now, on to the interview process. How did that portion of the Combine go and who were some of the teams you had formal interviews with?
GA: The interviews went pretty good. I only had one official meeting, which was with the Colts, but I went downstairs [at Lucas Oil Stadium] and had a group session where a lot of the assistant coaches [there]. I talked to a lot of teams down there.
If you flip over to ColtPower.com, also part of Scout.com, right now they have a picture of Aktins on the front page with the headline "Active Tackle Gets Colts' Attention." The article is pay-to-read by the excellent Brad Keller.This makes two separate Scout.com sites pretty much confirming that the Colts have a strong interest in Atkins.
OK, so who is Aktins? Is he first round material? For this, we turn to Mocking the Draft:
10. Geno Atkins | 6'1, 290 pounds | Georgia
A strong competitor, Atkins uses excellent leverage as a one-gap defensive tackle. He was routinely double teamed, but still managed to have a solid career. Atkins consistently collapses the pocket and should only get better as he gets stronger.
Seems like an interesting prospect, but the 6'1, 290 pound frame seems to suggest he's more of a Tony Dungy DT than a Jim Caldwell one. Is Atkins the kind of guy who could replace Raheem Brock? Maybe, but when you look deeper into Mocking Dan's full scouting report on Atkins, some red flags pop up [emphasis mine]:
There were several effort and motor concerns with him at Georgia, and without the top tier physical package, that will be an issue in the NFL. However without any prior knowledge of him, one would think he could be a second round player after watching his performance at the Senior Bowl, as he was the one defensive lineman that gave Idaho guard Mike Iupati a fit on the field. His ability to penetrate a gap and free himself up in the backfield is something every defense wants. He will not get much bigger physically and his role at the next level will be limited, but he can be important piece to a strong unit if he remains focused. He will likely be a middle round option and especially attractive to the Tampa-2 defenses.
Concerns about effort are not going to go over well with Indy coaches and fans. However, if Atkins can get his butt into gear and start providing 100% on every play, he might have a future in this league. We will be keeping an eye on any new info regarding Atkins and the Colts. In the meantime, check out Brad Keller's article.