Indianapolis Colts 2011 NFL Draft: Pick By Pick Analysis

I would just like to start off by saying that for me this year was one of the most successful drafts in recent memory.

I think Indianapolis drafted positions of need very well, and they received a bunch of talented players.

Some players slipped to us due to miscellaneous reasons, but I'm not complaining.

I feel like we did the best with what we had, which was only five picks.

Here's the pick by pick analysis, and the draft grade I gave the picks.

I might seem like an easy grader, but I really loved this year's draft.

Good job Indianapolis. I feel like you got it right this year!


1st pick - Anthony Castonzo, OT, Boston College

Well basically this is going to be our franchise left tackle for the next decade or so. What don't you like about this guy? Many people had him rated as the number one overall tackle in this year's draft. If it weren't for all the other positions sneaking their way into the first round, this guy would of never of fallen to us. We are extremely fortunate to land this sort of talent. He's extremely built for the position at 6'7 and 300 plus pounds. He's extremely smart on and off the football field, as he went to college to earn a biochemistry major. He knows what he's doing on the football field, and he's labeled as an extremely smart athlete. He's very good in pass protection, which is really ideal for a left tackle, especially playing for Indianapolis. He also has extremely crisp technique, and he will excel in our scheme. Something Indianapolis likes in their offensive lineman is something Castonzo possesses. He is extremely versatile. He can be moved around pretty much anywhere on the offensive line. He also is a four year started, and has plenty of experience. Last, but most definitely not least is he is very durable. That's a word that I like hearing, especially since of last year's injury bug. Not with Anthony Castonzo. He has started all 54 of his college games, and never really had any major injuries. One last thing about Castonzo is that he is said to have shown a mean side, and that's something I love reading about. Not to many Colt's have a mean side, so that's something nice to hear.

Grade - A+


2nd pick - Ben Ijalana, OT/OG, Villanova

Indianapolis made sure they were going to sure up their offensive line when they traded up to draft this young man. When the fans outraged the fact that we needed offensive lineman, Bill Polian finally listened and drafted another very good one. I've seen some pretty high draft projections for this player. I've seen him as early as a late first round talent. One of the most notable features he has is his ability to just flat out overpower a defender. He's about 6'4 and 310 plus pounds. He has sheer strength and is kind of a mauler. He, also like Castonzo has four great features. He has a little bit of a mean streak, which like I've mentioned before, I absolutely adore. He is an extremely versatile player. He can play tackle, or guard. I'm thinking he'll play right tackle in our system. Multiple position players is what Indianapolis got with their first two picks of the draft. Also, like Castonzo he is a four year starter, with plenty of experience. He is very durable. He's played all 53 games at the collegiate level, and is considered to be more of a dominant offensive lineman. People have knocked on him, because he supposively hasn't played against top-notch talent, but this kid will be a great player. His pass blocking is acceptable, as he buys his quarterback plenty of time. The real thing this guy brings to the table is his run blocking ability. I have no doubt he will be the best run blocker on our team, as he's considered to be one of the best in this year's draft class. Overall, I think he's a great fit, and he will be an exceptional Colt.

Grade - A


3rd pick - Drake Nevis, DT, Louisiana State University

I saw this guy in a few mock drafts for the Colt's, and he was supposed to be our second round pick. I've seen this guy ranked a little bit higher than that. In this year's draft I felt like a lot of really good talent had slipped, not just for defensive tackle's, but for a lot of positions. I really believe he was one of the guys who slipped. He's listed at 6'1 and around 300 pounds. I want to say the only reason teams passed on him was because he's not the ideal height you want a defensive tackle to be. That's never been a problem for Indianapolis, especially because this guy can play some football. This guy has so many positives attached to his name, and heres just some of them. He's very explosive, and he fires out of  his stance. He has amazing upper body strength, which makes for an impressive bull rush. He's a very good athlete with quick movements, who carries his weight very well. My favorite thing about him is his motor. He plays 100% on every down, and never takes a play off. He's also said to have a nastiness about him, which if you've ever read any of my posts, I cherish about football players. He's tough, durable, and plays through injury. He is surprisingly stout against the run for a tad undersized defensive tackle. He knows his way into the backfield, and is one of the best pass rushers for a defensive tackle in this year's draft. One more thing I liked is that he played his best football his senior year. He started 13 games as a senior and he had 56 tackles, 30 solo, 13 tackles for loss, six sacks, four QB pressures, three forced fumbles, one fumble recovery and one interception. This guy will free up holes for Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis. He really has everything that I like in a defensive tackle, and everyone else as well. How he slipped to pick number 87 is beyond me.

Grade - B+


4th pick - Delone Carter, RB, Syracuse

This pick is very interesting. At first I wasn't very happy with the pick, and nobody around the Stampede Blue community really is either. I mean we have six running back's on our current roster, he's not a position of need, and there was other players good on the board we could of taken. Then I started looking into this kid, and the more I did, the more I loved him. This might be my favorite pick in the whole draft. This young man is the first bruiser back Indianapolis has had in a while. He's 5'9 and 225 pounds. He's been compared to players like Michael Turner. He's a big short man. He's low to the ground, with a low center of gravity. He is a compact player, and seems to be the type that loves being physical. He's going to fight for every yard, and he's a punisher, which is a title I like to hear for running back's. With this running back, and the two offensive lineman we drafted, I think 3rd and 1's won't be so tough to convert. He gets so many yards after contact, which is something we really haven't seen too much of. Not only is he a big, strong, and physical, but he's exceptionally fast. After watching some tape on this player, I noticed his burst is incredible. He isn't the type that takes a while to get to his full speed. He bursts out to full speed very quickly, and it's very impressive watching a man with his weight move so quickly. He ran a 4.5 40 yard dash, which isn't Chris Johnson speed, but it isn't bad at all. He had a 37 inch vertical jump, and for a 5'9 guy that's pretty amazing. Another combine stat is he had 27 reps on the bench which is pretty awesome for a running back. He's so strong. He isn't a fumbler which is such a sigh of relief to hear. He ended the year with 215 straight carries without a fumble. He has only had a couple in his entire career. So he's definitely reliable in that aspect. I've heard people on this website talk about his inability to block, and I don't know where that came from, because that's one of his strongest assets. At least that's what is says on NFL's official scouting report. There's also a quote by him saying "I can't wait to stick my nose in a linebacker or defensive end." That's the attitude I like to see from an Indianapolis running back. This is vital for an Indianapolis running back. His only knock is that he isn't a great pass catcher, but I would disagree. He did only have a handful of catches, but when the ball was thrown his way he was very reliable in that regard. Overall, he's a tough, physical, non fumbling, fairly speedy, willing to knock a linebacker on his ass, do whatever it takes to win, possibly a pass catching running back. I'm high on this kid, and I think he's a great pick. I believe Addai will be back, but Mike Hart will not be here next year. I believe Carter will compete with Brown for the number two running back spot on the depth chart, and ultimately I think he will receive that roster spot. I really love this kid, and I hope he becomes a fan favorite once we see him play.

Grade - A+


6th pick - Chris Rucker, DB, Michigan State

For me this pick was kind of a head scratcher. I was with the community on this pick, and I really wanted to see Tyler Sash. He seemed like a promising player, and the front office must of known something I don't about him, because he shouldn't of been passed up so many times, including by Indianapolis. Anyway, this seems like an out of the ordinary pick for the Colt's. He's been arrested a few times, and has been in trouble. He has character issues, and I don't see what exactly we were thinking. I've been told that if his character issues can straighten out, he can be a fairly talented player. He's been called a boom or bust player. He does have prototype measurables for an NFL corner. At 6'1 and around 200 pounds, I like Indianapolis taking a risk on a lengthy cornerback, but I did feel that Safety was a bigger position of need, and we should of at least drafted a safety for depth. Which brings me to my next point. I kind of have this feeling that Chris Rucker will be converted to a safety. We already have many corners on our team, and even though that's a position of need, safety is a bigger position of need. Chris Rucker has the measurables, and skill set to be an okay safety in the league. We have to see how the character issues pan out, and then watch for ourselves to see if he's productive. If he isn't a great player that's okay, because he was only a 6th round draft pick. I just wanted to see Indianapolis get some true value with their limited picks. With Tyler Sash and others still on the board this one was a head scratcher, but again I'm sure Polian knows more than we do. Hopefully he can be a late round steal that we've been finding for years, but I don't see it happening.

Grade - C-



Look for Kevin Thomas from last year's draft to be a contributor. He's supposed to be a man to man corner, with measurables that are ideal. This year will truly be his first year, as he was injured during camp last year. If he's anything like Jerraud  Powers, we might of struck some gold in the third round. Also, look for Jerry Hughes to possibly step up and improve his game. Maybe he can get more playing time, but it starts with production on special teams. Pay attention to our young linebackers as well, because I have a feeling they will turn out to be something great. Even though we saw him a lot last year, watch out for Jacob Tamme. Look forward to seeing some two tight end sets with him and Dallas Clark. One other sleeper is on the offensive line. He's somebody we didn't see much of, but Bill Polian thinks will be a beast. Jacques McClendon. He's an intense run blocker. Watch him next year, because you can bet he will be seeing some playing time.


Overall Draft Pick's

We filled a few of positions of need, most noticeably offensive tackle. I really feel like this has been one of Indianapolis's best drafts in a while. I see a statement that this franchise is trying to make. Look at the pattern a little bit. We drafted two offensive tackles with a mean streak. We drafted a defensive tackle with nastiness to him. We also drafted a bruiser/punisher running back. It seems to me like Indianapolis finally wants to get a little more dominant. It looks to me like we want to win those battles in the trenches. It looks like we are trying to get a little more physical and tough, as weird as that sounds for Indianapolis, that's the very exciting reality. It seems like we have finally answered the call in being dedicated to our running game. We drafted two studs for offensive tackle, and a running back that not many people are high on, but I think is an amazing pick. We have the offensive line of the future to protect Peyton until he retires. This is the draft we needed, though it might not be flashy, I guarantee it will be well worth it in the long run. 

Grade - A-


I gave it an A- just because I'm not too fond of what we did with our last pick, but it's a 6th round pick so I'm not really expecting gold. We drafted positions of need, and we got really quality players. I think we did a great job this year.

That's my pick by pick analysis of this year's draft.

Thanks for reading

Rec'd if you liked it, and as always...

...GO BLUE!!!

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.

Log In Sign Up

Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Stampede Blue

You must be a member of Stampede Blue to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Stampede Blue. You should read them.

Join Stampede Blue

You must be a member of Stampede Blue to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Stampede Blue. You should read them.




Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.