Post FA Pre-Draft Needs

Post Free Agency, this team looks a lot different than it did prior. Some needs have been addressed, some partially addressed, and others remain open. I will list the the holes as I view them in order of priority and then look at draft scenarios that could address those issues.

Offensive Guard - Partially Addressed

Donald Thomas is a solid if unspectacular player who should hold down one side of the line. However, coming into the offseason we really needed upgrades at both guard spots. This leaves one speed still needing significant upgrade. I consider this our biggest unaddressed need at the moment. I expect a guard to come off the board within our first couple picks and then perhaps a second lineman later in the draft to provide depth.

Draft Possibilities -

Round 1 - Johnathan Cooper - UNC

Round 4 - Alvin Bailey - Arkansas

Round 6 - Hugh Thornton

Round 7 - Blaize Foltz - TCU

Wide Receiver - Not Addressed

Having addressed many of our other needs in free agency, we may be able to make what I originally thought was a luxury pick at WR. Hilton looked promising in his rookie season, but he had a lot of drops and I question how well he fits in Hamilton's offense. We need a big WR to run intermediate routes who can eventually step in for an aging Reggie Wayne.

Draft Possibilities -

Round 1 - DeAndre Hopkins - Clemson

Round 1 - Justin Hunter - Tennessee

Round 6 - Marcus Davis - Va Tech

Outside Linebacker - Potentially Addressed

Erik Walden was probably the most controversial signing the Colts made this offseason. Positionally it makes a little more sense now that they stated Mathis will move to the rush side, but I still consider the OLB spot to be less than fully filled. Mathis is aging and Walden is very unproven.

Round 1 - Barkevious Mingo - LSU

Round 3 - Trevardo Williams - UConn

Round 3 - Chase Thomas - Stanford

Cornerback - Partially Addressed

Greg Toler is an adequate starter opposite Davis, but he is far from being a lockdown corner. This position isn't the gaping hole it was when Cassius Vaughn was out there chasing his tail, but it never hurts to add depth at defensive back.

Round 1 - Despond Trufant - Washington

Round 6 - Brandon McGee - Miami (FL)

Defensive Line - Future Need

Franklin and Francois give a big boost to the D-Line. Redding should continue to hold down one DE spot and we have decent depth behind those three. However, there isn't any one player you would point to as a stud and two of them (Franklin and Redding) are over 30.

Inside Linebacker - Wait and see...

I may be in the minority here, but I am very concerned about Angerer's ability to play in a 3-4. His size is much more conducive to a 4-3 middle and he look unimpressive last year when he returned from injury. It is worth giving him another year to become accustomed to the defense, but I would keep my eye on this situation throughout the season.

Mock Draft Summary

Round 1 - DeAndre Hopkins - WR - Clemson.

This is quickly becoming my man-crush pick. We need a big bodied west-coast style WR. Hopkins excels at nothing, but does everything well. Great route runner and plays bigger than he is. Really fights for the tough catch which is what you need in a West-Coast receiver. Solid speed, but not a burner. Massively productive at Clemson. Seen him compared to Reggie Wayne which is never a bad thing.

Round 3 - Chase Thomas - OLB - Stanford.

Gratuitous Stanford connection... but Thomas also happens to fit a need. Not the freak athlete of some other pass rushers, but gets good pressure off the edge and strong in run support. Very intelligent and just a solid all around player. I would expect him to compete for reps (and win) against Walden.

Round 4 - Alvin Bailey - OG - Arkansas.

Bailey was a monster as a junior before having a down year last year. All the talent is there though in both pass block and run blocking. We have a need at the other guard position opposite Thomas and Bailey would be in line to compete for immediate reps.

Round 6 - Brandon McGee - CB - Miam (FL)

Toler will man the #2 spot this year and Butler isn't too bad as a 3rd CB. McGee has the physical tools to be a starting corner, but can get sloppy from time to time. He is the kind of player you would hope to bring on for depth and eventually develop into a starter. We certainly need the depth and he might be in the running for nickle corner with Butler.

Round 7 - Blaize Foltz - OG - TCU

First off, dude's name is Blaize! Have to appreciate the irony for a 310lbs guard. NFL size and decent ability in both pass and run blocking. Had a good showing at the EW Shrine game. Even with the upgrades, I don't think our OL retooling is in any way complete. No one wants to see Mike McGlynn back in there any time soon. Foltz provides good depth who just might surprise you with some positive play in a pinch.

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.

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