Two weeks from this moment the first three rounds will be in the books and the draft will be working through the final 4 rounds. The draft is (finally) right around the corner. So who do all the predictors, amateur and professional, expect Indy to select?
Rodger Saffold, OT, Indiana (DS) Also available: Brian Price, Jerry Hughes, Sergio Kindle, Devin McCourty, LT is the clear starting level need, but that never means a reach for Indy. Saffold is only a possibility if the Colts scouts (Indy is one of the handful of teams with their own scouting staff instead of using one of the two major scouting services). Saffold could be like the Addai pick. A player at a major need position, rated in the 2nd round by most, that the Colts had a 1st round grade on. On the other hand if Saffold gets a grade from the Colts scouts that's similar to the consensus, he won't be the pick in the 1st.
Jermaine Cunningham, DE, Florida, (DS, MtD), Also available: Daryl Washington, Corey Wootton, Jason Worilds, Alex Carrington. As many sacks in his career as teammate Carlos Dunlap, but much more lightly pursued because his size (6'3" 266lbs) is sub-par while Dunlap's is exceptional. Colts tend to like their undersized ends stockier than Cunningham and taking a 2nd banana DE off a hugely talented front carries the risk that his college success was the result of teams scheming against the better teammates.
Donovan Warren, CB, Michigan, (DS, MtD) Also available: Austen Lane, Jacoby Ford, Jason Fox, Kyle Calloway, Ricky Sapp, Javier Arenas, Arthur Jones, Eric Norwood. Warren compares to Marlin Jackson in a lot of ways. He's a zone CB whose stock took a dive with a slow combine 40, but who excels in run support and underneath coverage.
Jeff Owens, DT, Georgia, (DS, MtD) Also available: Roddrick Muckelroy, Sam Young, Sean Lee, Jordan Shipley, Daryl Sharpton, Vince Oghobaase, George Selvie, Tony Moeaki, Owens doesn't have great size or athleticism and lost the 08 season to a ACL tear, but his strength commanded attention inside, drawing blocks away from teammates. Could be a solid 1-tech tackle, but Indy already has two of those.
- Mike Tepper, G/T, Cal, (DS) Also available: Corey Peters, C.J. Wilson, Larry Asante, Brandon Carter. Despite 6 years of eligibility Tepper played just 3 seasons due to a redshirt, a gruesome broken leg suffered protecting a female neighbor from being pulled into a stranger's car and preseason torn pectoral. Played right and left tackle at Cal, but a lack of quickness might limit him to RT or just guard.
My ideal picks: CB McCourty, DE/DT Wootton, OT Fox, OLB Muckelroy, G Carter.
Jerry Hughes, DE, TCU, (WTHWTD?, DS, MtD) Also available: Brandon Graham, Devin McCourty, Jermaine Gresham, Brian Price. Hughes will be a great pass rusher, but it's a big question mark whether he can hold up at end. There's no such question about Brandon Graham who isn't the edge rusher Hughes is, but can hold up very well against the run and was nearly as productive a sacker playing better competition. Graham would be my pick here, no doubts.
Jerome Murphy, CB, South Florida, (DS) Also available: Chris Cook, Akwasi Owusu-Ansah, Matt Tennant, Jermaine Cunningham, Amari Spievey, Better in man that zone with a tendency to draw dumb flags and reportedly interviewed quite poorly. He is a great run supporter though.
Mike Johnson, RT/G, Alabama, (DS) Also available: Austen Lane, Anthony McCoy, Kyle Calloway, Jason Fox. Soild all-around lineman with 36 career starts including starts at LT, RG, and RT along with two seasons at the primary starter at LG.
My ideal picks: DE Brandon Graham, CB/KR "The Ansah", OT Jason Fox.
- Charles Brown, LT, USC, (WTHWTD? DS MtD) Also available: Brian Price, Carlos Dunlap, Jerry Hughes The player I'm really hoping for. Brown has NFL LT tools and was a very good pass protector in college. He's lightweight, but not any lighter than current LT Charlie Johnson and could add more weight as he did before the combine.
- Lamarr Houston, DT, Texas, (DS, MtD) Also available: Corey Wootton, Amari Spievey, AOA, Jason Worilds
My ideal picks: LT Brown, DE/DT Corey Wootton
Brian Price, DT, UCLA, (WTHWTD?, DS, MtD) Also available: Rodger Saffold, Golden Tate, Chad Jones, Jermaine Gresham, Carlos Dunlap Really barren board for Indy. Reach for an OT, take a non-need in Tate or Gresham or take Price with the questions about his shape and conditioning.
Patrick Robinson, CB, Florida St. (MtD, DS) Not a good fit for a zone heavy scheme like Indy's, much better in man. Also available: Corey Wootton, Daryl Washington, Jermaine Cunningham, Amari Spievey,
- Jerome Murphy, CB/S, South Florida (DS) Discussed above, Murphy doesn't seem like a great scheme fit. Also available: AJ Edds, Toby Gerhart, Rodrick Muckelroy, Matt Tennant, Geno Atkins, AOA, Alex Carrington
- Pat Angerer, MLB, Iowa (DS, MtD) Angerer isn't big or an elite athlete but great instincts, awareness and effort makes him a very solid player in run D and coverage. Might not have the cover skills to stay at MLB for Indy, but could be a Brackett-esque player making an NFL living without great physical tools.
My ideal picks: DT Price, DT/DE Wootton, CB/KR "The Ansah", LB Angerer.
Maurkice Pouncey, C/G, Florida (WTHWTD?, MtD, DS) Also available: Brian Price, Devin McCourty, Jared Odrick, Sean Weatherspoon, Jerry Hughes. Some interesting players fall here, but none better than Pouncey who will be a stud interior lineman for years to come.
- Jason Fox, OT, Miami (DS) Also available: Alex Carrington, Amari Spievey, AOA, Matt Tennant, Jermaine Cunningham A bit early for Fox, who has LT potential but his coming off a serious leg injury. I love Fox as a 3rd round pick, but he's a risk this early.
My ideal picks: G/C Pouncey, DE/DT Carrington
- Charles Brown, LT, USC, (WTHWTD?, DS, MtD) Also available: Brian Price, Jerry Hughes, Golden Tate I really hope Brown makes it to #31.
- Geno Atkins, DT, Georgia, (MtD, DS) Also available: Corey Wootton, Matt Tennant, AOA, Jermaine Cunningham, Jason Worilds. 300ish pound disruptor for the 3-tech. I like him, but think it's too early to give up on Fili by taking someone who isn't a clearly superior prospect early on.
- Austen Lane, DE, Murray St. (DS) Also available: Chris Cook, Amari Spievey, Jason Fox, Eric Norwood, Kyle Calloway. I can more than forgive the 2nd round with Lane in the 3rd. Lane's a tremendously productive small school end (23 sacks as an upperclassman), but with legit NFL size at 6'6" 274lbs.
- John Jerry, G/RT, Ole Miss. (DS) Also available: Anthony McCoy, Tony Moeaki, CJ Wilson Brother of 1st round pick Peria Jerry, John is a massive 330lbs and could struggle to stay there over his career, but surprisingly agile and mobile for his size. If Indy wants size Jerry would be it.
My ideal picks: LT Brown, DE/DT Wootton, DE Lane, TE McCoy
Jared Odrick, DT, Penn State, (WTHWTD?, MtD, DS) Also available: Brandon Graham, Sergio Kindle, Everson Griffen
- Tony Washington, OT, Abilene Christian, (DS) Also available: Jason Worilds, Alex Carrington, Matt Tennant, AOA It's the understatement of the year to say that Washington has deeply concerning issues in his past, but he's got NFL LT tools and seems to have gotten his life turned around. Still, ... icky.
My ideal picks: DE Brandon Graham, CB/KR "The Ansah"
- Charles Brown, LT, USC (WTHWTD?, DS, MtD) Others available: Mike Iupati, Jerry Hughes, Jared Odrick, please please please please
- Greg Hardy, DE, Ole Miss (MtD, DS) Others available: Rob Gronkowski, Greg Romeus (note: not actually declared for 2010 draft), Nate Allen A first round talent with a whole host of issues, most notably a waistline that's continued to expand this offseason to over 280lbs on his 6'4" frame and an ugly history of injuries. At his best he's drawn comparisons to Julius Peppers and Mario Williams, but he's struggled to remain on the field and has shown questionable effort.
- Keenan Clayton, LB, Oklahoma Others available: Amari Spievey, Kyle Calloway, AOA, Devin McCourty, Austen Lane Undersized (6'1" 229lb) converted safety was a hard hitter and a factor against the pass, but is usually projected as a late round pick, or undrafted because of struggles against the run and a lack of elite speed and cover skills to compensate.
- Willie Young, DE, NC State (DS) Others available: Larry Asante, Selvish Capers, Tony Moeaki, Alteruan Verner, Jared Veldheer
- Sean Cantfield, QB, Oregon St. (MtD, DS) I will be shocked if the Colts draft a QB this year. Yes Sorgi is gone, but what rookie would be more ready to step in for Peyton significantly better than Painter who would have more than a year in the system? The Colts don't need 3 QBs on the roster. They carried just 2 for years. If the Colts add a QB it'll be a veteran backup or a undrafted campbody.
My ideal picks: LT Brown, TE Gronk, DE Lane, CB Verner, DE/DT Wilson (ignored McCourty because of how unrealistic him even falling to #63 is)
- Charles Brown, LT, USC (WTHWTD?, DS, MtD) Others available: Sean Weatherspoon, Deven McCourty, Golden Tate, Carlos Dunlap. I won't ever get sick of this pick.
- Brian Price, DT, UCLA (WTHWTD?, DS, MtD) I would be SHOCKED, if he fell this far, but some people have serious questions about him (I believe the quote was "carrying more bad weight that Cody"). At #63 his talent totally overwhelms the questions.
My ideal picks: Those ones