Happy Presidents Day to all of you, and Happy NFL Scouting Combine Week as well.
As many of you know, Stampede Blue and SB Nation writers will be present at this year's NFL Scouting Combine. Writers attending are our own Matt Grecco, Stew Blake, Hog's Haven's Kevin Ewboldt, and Mocking the Draft's Dan Kadar. Speaking of Dan and MtD, the blog dedicated to the NFL Draft, each year the community at MtD engages in a HUGE seven round mock that includes trades. It's not always reflective of what actually happens in April, but it is still damn impressive nonetheless.
The 2012 MtD Community Mock draft was organized by MtD writer seton hall and steelers, and he did a fantastic job getting everyone on the same page. In the role of Ryan Grigson was Stampede Blue contributor TrueBlue87. He FanPosted his results here, but I'm going to take a moment to absolutely tear apart every single decision he made for the future of our beloved football team.
Please note that I'm doing this tongue-in-cheek because TrueBlue87 had the patience and the knowledge to do a proper mock for the Colts. Thanks to TrueBlue87 for participating, and remember we have our own mock coming up soon!
Here are TrueBlue87's selections:
Round 1, Pick 1: Andrew Luck, Quarterback, Stanford University
BBS comments: I should give TrueBlue87's entire draft an 'A' grade just for this pick alone. He doesn't know it, but I'm about ready to lose my mind with all the tweets I get from Colts fans screaming at me 'LUCK SUX! WE SHOULD TAKE RG3! RAAAWWWRRRRRRRR!' Luck the best choice at No. 1. The Only choice. It's the choice the Colts will make in April.
Round 2, Pick 34: Chase Minnifield, Cornerback, University of Virginia
BBS comments: The need for a corner is great. I mean, it's so great that actually fielded the defense seems pointless unless they get some people on this team who can truly cover. Staying healthy would be a nice bonus too. However, as important to the corner position is the NT position, especially since the Colts are switching to a 3-4. A 3-4 defense without a quality NT is simply a waste. At Pick 34, Memphis' Dontari Poe, considered by many to be one of the best NT prospects, was still sitting there for TrueBlue87, and he passed on him.
To TrueBlue87's credit, he addressed the Poe slight in his FanPost:
I want to go ahead and address Dontari Poe. I don't like him as a prospect and I've been very vocal about that. I don't think he can consistently produce at an NFL level because his disappeared too many times in games against Conference USA, much less better, competition. Poe wasn't even on my board.
That's fine. What we have here is a difference of opinion. I'd have taken Poe, and since he eventually went in the second round at pick 39, I'm not alone in that opinion. However, props to TrueBlue87 for sticking to his guns. Passing up Poe and also Alameda Ta'amu from Washington doesn't make sense to me, but it's not like Minnifield is lunch meat.
***Round 3, Pick 65: TrueBlue87 made a BIG trade. He gave New Orleans the 65th and 193rd picks for their 91st, 155th, 219th, a 2013 2nd rounder, and a 2013 4th rounder.***
Round 3, Pick 91: Nicolas Jean-Baptise, Nose Tackle/Defensive Tackle, Baylor University
BBS comments: TrueBlue87 admits to reaching here, and yes, he did. From the outsiders perspective, this move totally looks like 'HOLY CRAP! It's the third round and I haven't taken a DT! Who's left? Ahhhhhh, OK, him! I'll take the French dude from Baylor!' TrueBlue87 knows that coming out of the NFL Draft without a nose tackle is something Ryan Grigson cannot do. If he doesn't get one in a draft this deep with DTs, he'll lose credibility. Jean-Baptise is not a bad prospect, but taking him and Minnifield when he could have gotten Poe and, perhaps, CB Brandon Boykin from Georgia.
Even worse, the pick that was trade (65) was used by the Saints to take Jerel Worthy, a DT from MSU who could play NT.
The trade softens this blow a bit, especially getting a second rounder next year. Nice work on that.
Round 4, Pick 98: Ryan Broyles, Wide Receiver, University of Oklahoma
BBS comments: Reggie Wayne is likely gone, and even if he wasn't, he's old by NFL standards. Andrew Luck never had quality WRs at Standford. Broyles has the injury red flag as he down with an ACL-tear this past season. If healthy, he offers great speed from the slot position, or outside at a No. 2 receiver.
Round 5, Pick 129: Jordan White, Wide Receiver, Western Michigan University
BBS comments: TrueBlue87 goes receiver again, this time going for the 6'0, 210 pound White who had 17 TDs for Western Michigan in 2011. He isn't explosive or fast, and has strong durability issues after missing most of 2006 and 2008 with torn ACL injuries in both his knees! I'd have gone safety here, perhaps LSU's Brandon Taylor. The Colts still don't have a quality SS since Bob Sanders and Melvin Bullitt wilted.
Round 5, Pick 155: David Paulson, Tight End, University of Oregon
BBS comments: I like this pick a great deal. There is no guarantee Dallas Clark will return to the Colts in 2012, not with his contract and injury history. Andrew Luck excelled at Stanford throwing the ball to TEs, and Paulson (another fellow PAC 10 player) would help him translate that success into the NFL. Don't forget, the Colts also have Jacob Tamme, who is a fine TE as well.
Round 6, Pick 162: Joel Foreman, Offensive Guard, Michigan State University
BBS comments: At 6-4, 310 pounds, Foreman is big. With the Colts transitioning away from the Howard Mudd-Pete Metzelaars school of 'small-but-shifty,' bigger linemen are a necessity for the Colts. Also, consider that draft busts like Mike Pollak don't have Bill Polian around to cover for their suckiness anymore. Pollak, Jamey Richards, and other o-line disasters for Polian likely won't make Indy 53-man roster. Thus, there is a need for more offensive linemen.
Round 7, Pick 219: Mike Daniels, Defensive Tackle, University of Iowa
BBS comments: TrueBlue87 said he wanted to keep the Colts-Iowa connection going even though the Polians are gone. Thus, Daniels at pick 219. Daniels is indeed a 'tweener' defensive tackle at 6'1, 280 pounds. I think he's more of a DE in a 3-4, and that type of player is someone the Colts do need. Otherwise, we've got Fili Moala at DE next year. Yikes.
Here's TrueBlue87 defending his selects:
So there is the draft. Not as much defense as I went in with on my board, but people were overdrafting rush linebackers and 3-4 defensive ends. That let my get two great receivers in the fourth and fifth rounds. I did manage to address the biggest holes on the defense by nabbing another starting cornerback and a nose tackle, though there are questions as to whether Jean-Baptise can play from day one. I was also banking on some defensive conversions, including resigning Mathis and Anderson and turning Moala and Nevis into 3-4 DE's. I also didn't take any strong safeties because there weren't any for any kind of reasonable value. Barron went in the first andwas overdrafted in the second round. I gamble Delano Howell would be available as a UDFA and I was right, but I don't know if he offers much upgrade over Lefedge.
And now, here's me racking TrueBlue87 over the coals just as I used to do to Bill Polian after he would screw-up a draft...
Draft Grade: B
As I said earlier, take many of my comments with a grain of salt. This is probably the best Colts mock draft you will see this year pre-Combine. Big, big, BIG props to TrueBlue87 for doing this! Part of the reason my comments might be harsh is to, in effect, compliment this work. If TrueBlue87 made a mock so gloriously stupid that it made you snort when you read it, this article would have been two paragraphs, and me saying, 'Yay TrueBlue87! Good job, kid. Now, beat it!'
Since it was a great effort, and since there was real, intelligent thought put into it, it gets the grade treatment.
From a pure talent standpoint, getting Luck and Minnifield was excellent in rounds one and two. However, I think taking Poe or Ta'amu trumped anything Minnifield had to offer. Sometimes, need trumps talent, and the Colts have not had an effective NT since Tony Siragusa. With so many free agent corners likely to hit the market, I believe it is there where Indy can improve the defensive backfield. Thus, Poe or Ta'amu should have been taken in Round Two. Just my stupid opinion.
The two wideouts in rounds four and five are sketchy as well. Too much injury history, not enough playmaking ability.
I very much like the trade TrueBlue87 made, getting picks for next year. Remember, the Colts are rebuilding. Grabbing Paulson in the fifth was a good selection too.
So, there is is. Raise a glass to TrueBlue87 and the mockers at MtD. Fine work, fellows. Very fine indeed.