1st Round - Andrew Luck, QB - I'm even getting tired of writing the sentence justifying not justifying the pick.
2nd Round -Stephon Gilmore, CB - Our secondary is bad, and Stephon Gilmore, a relatively large, physical cornerback who is a good tackler with pretty good athleticism will fit in whatever scheme we end up running in the future under Pagano.
3rd Round - George Iloka, SS - We've been so inconsistent at safety for too many years, and every year there's some new excuse as to why we shouldn't draft one. "Sanders will be back," "Bullit will be back," "the draft class is weak." And I'll admit, this years draft class is not especially strong as far as safeties go. However, at a certain point, you can't let yourself get locked in by the best available player philosophy. Sometimes, you really have to draft by need, and I think Iloka definitely fills a need, and isn't a half bad player as it is. He's big and strong at 6'3" and 216lbs with good athleticism and decent coverage skills from his time playing cornerback. In a league increasingly dominated by big, athletic tight ends, Iloka could become the closest thing to a counter for the Jimmy Grahams and Rob Gronkowskis of the league. Although he currently isn't the best of tacklers, if our coaching staff cannot help such a big, well-built safety become a more dependable tackler, then they are worthless.
4th Round - Alameda Ta'amu, DT - We need a nose tackle. I'm tired of Antonio Johnson getting blown back by offensive lineman and if we want to be able to run a 3-4 or 4-3/3-4 hybrid, we'll need a more effective nose tackle to hold the point of attack. Ta'amu is big, at 6'3" and 337lbs. However, he displays good athleticism for his size, has a high motor, and great anchor strength.
4th Round (Compensatory Pick) - Brandon Brooks, OG - It seems like this has been a year off super-sized guards, and Brandon Brooks is no exception. At 6'5" and 343lbs, Brooks would be the biggest player on our offensive line. He is extremely powerful and is effective in both run-blocking and pass-blocking with his natural strength, but would be even better with work on his technique and balance. I think that our GM, a former offensive lineman, will be sure to choose a quality offensive line coach and that with good coaching, Brooks could become a dominant interior lineman.
5th Round - Jarius Wright, WR - Bruce Arians has had much success with small, fast wide receivers like Mike Wallace, Antonio Brown, and Emmanuel Sanders. Why not draft one for him to use here in Indianapolis. Jarius Wright is fast with good route-running skills, consistent hands, and toughness. Really, the only knock against him is his size, and that's something that I'm willing to overlook in a wide receiver, especially one who comes as such a low price.
6th Round - Juron Criner, WR - Juron Criner doesn't have stunning athleticism and had a rather poor showing this year, resulting in a major decline in his draft stock since last year. However, there's still a lot to like about Criner. He's a great route-runner with good agility and speed off the line and has enormous hands which let make some pretty spectacular catches. I really hope he's available here, but after a strong showing in the Senior Bowl, he might be taken by the 6th round. Still, I would definitely consider taking him higher than this.
7th Round - Asa Jackson, CB - I'm going back to my old standby pick of Asa Jackson. After a less than impressive Senior Bowl in which he looked out of place compared to bigger-school prospects, I believe Asa Jackson will now be available in the 7th round. Still, his great athleticism and good ball skills keep him an intriguing prospect and I believe that Jackson could at least displace Jacob Lacey. If we come out of this draft sporting 4 new players in the secondary, their development will certainly be interesting, but it could help us turn a current weakness into a developing strength.
7th Round (Compensatory Pick) - William Vlachos, C - If Jeff Saturday retires after this year, it will certainly be a great loss to the Colts organization, but I see too many other team needs and a lack of impressive centers (other than Peter Konz) that led me to put off drafting a center until very late in my mock draft. Vlachos, much like Saturday, is an undersized center at 6'1" and 295lbs. However, Vlachos has plenty of experience as a three-year starter on Alabama's dominant offensive line, is a consistent and dependable center, and is a very mature and hardworking individual. Vlachos may never and probably will never become the special player that Jeff Saturday was. However, he has a work ethic, drive, and determination that I believe make him the best suited a player can be at taking the place of a man who has long been at the heart of this team.