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CAeveryday's 2013 Colts Mock Draft/Analysis (long/extensive)

WARNING, long post ahead: After holding off as long as I could, mostly waiting for the Free Agency dust to settle and draft prospects to finish their pro days, I decided to post my one and only Colts mock draft for the 2013 season. If you hate mocks or really long posts please stop reading now. But if you like them, are starving for anything Colts/draft related, or are avoiding doing any work (like me). For my draft analysis, I used various websites with stats and statistics (I'll site it all), my own knowledge of college football and the Colts team, rumors flying around, and mostly the opinions I have been making note of from all of you intelligent fans. I followed a process of first looking at the Colts current roster, determining what needs the team has entering draft weekend, and then making picks based off of those needs. First things first, my breakdown of the currents Colts team (depth chart, left to right):

* = denotes a 2014 FA [1]

Quarterback: A. Luck > M. Hasselbeck > C. Harnish

This is arguably the best trio of quarterbacks, combined on one team, in the NFL. There's not much more that needs to be said other then we're fine here. A quarterback should not be selected this year, period.

Wide Receiver 1: R. Wayne > N. Palmer > G. Whalen

Wayne was outstanding last year, but age is certainly a concern and he had two years left on his contract. His replacement should be considered a relatively high priority, as they will want to be able to groom the future franchise wideout. If a WR is not drafted this year, it would not be the end of the world as Wayne can still help develop them following year and the roster has good enough wide receivers for the year. Drafting one is still a preference, though. I'm interested to see what a healthy Whalen can do too.

Wide Receiver 2/Slot: D. Heyward-Bey* > T.Y. Hilton > L. Brazil

DHB is in on a one year prove-it contract. He has a lot of upside and will be looking to prove he was not a draft bust. Hopefully having a talented (and competent) quarterback will help. Hilton, who will mostly be playing in the Slot, has a lot of talent we got to see flashes of last year, and will hopefully sure up his hands. Brazil is an adequate backup that could lineup on either side, but he is primarily used in the slot and is still a little raw, looking to improve. Again, having another receiver would be nice, but it won't be a 2013 weakness.

Running Back: V. Ballard > D. Brown* > D. Carter

Ballard was a pleasant surprise last year, and saw some pretty solid production with one of the worst lines in the NFL. He'll be the starting back on day 1. Brown is a free agent after 2013 and I cannot see the Colts keeping him. He has struggled mightily to live up to his hype and, while also never having a great line to run with, the new regime and west coast offense doesn't fit well with Brown. Drafting a quick-cutting, complimentary back to dual-run with Ballard ranks pretty high on the Colts "need" board heading into the draft.

Tight End: C. Fleener > D. Allen ...Fullback: S. Havili

Fleener will most likely be listed as the #1 TE, but both he and Allen will be used often in Pep's offense. This two are going to be great this year and will flourish playing in the West Coast system. We're simply set at this positon. As for fullback, we have one; Havili, and he'll be good enough, with Allen able to spot at FB.

Kicker: A. Vinatieri* ...Punter: P. McAfee

The sad truth is that Vinatieri is most likely in his last year of the NFL (or at least as a Colt). He has been a great player and will be sufficient as our kicker this year, even though his accuracy and distance has diminished a lot. Signing an UDFA kicker is a plausible option, especially with some decent prospects entering the draft. Pat McAfee is arguably the best punter in the NFL (and pretty entertaining) and will be a Colt for a long time, hopefully.

Center: S. Satele > A. Shipley

Satele, even when healthy, was just not a great center last year for unexplained reasons. He came in expecting to replace the great Jeff Saturday and didn't even come close. It wouldn't surprise me if Shipley took the starting job from Satele this year, as he played reasonably well last season, or if Satele was cut from the roster. However, Shipley is still best as a backup lineman, and drafting a center would certainly be a smart option.

Left Tackle: A. Costanzo > B. Sowell

Costanzo is certainly an above average left tackle and will hopefully be locked into that position in the Colts line for many years. Sowell is a subpar backup, but hopefully he never has to play. Let's just pray Costanzo stays healthy. Drafting an offensive lineman who could spot start at LT in an emergency would certainly be beneficial.

Right Tackle: G. Cherilus > B. Ijalana (?)

Cherilus was signed as a FA this year to a nice hefty contract and will be expected to perform well as the Colts starting RT for the foreseeable future. He is a great pickup and I have faith he will to a great job protecting Luck. The question is really who will back Cherilus up. Justice has not be resigned yet. Ijalana could be slotted in as the backup, and there is hope he will stay healthy get healthy, but it's still a big question mark especially since Grigson's latest remarks don't speak highly of him. Drafting someone who could play Right Tackle would be strongly advised.

Guards: Left - D. Thomas > J. Reitz*, Right - M. McGlynn* > J. Linkenbach*

Thomas was a great signing, touted by the Patriot coaches and Tom Brady for being a standout guard. He's going to be a huge improvement to the right guard situation that was attempting to protecting Luck last year. Linkenbach and Reitz are decent enough backups and can step in when needed on the left or right side, though I do prefer Reitz slightly. It's important to note that both of these guys will be FA's after this year, so the depth at guard could be all but gone in 2014. The biggest concern remaining on the offensive line is Right Guard, where Mike McGlynn is currently slotted as the starter. Could McGlynn start at RG? Yes. Do we want him to? Absolutely not. Drafting a guard is an absolute must in this years draft.

Cornerback: Right - G. Toler > C. Vaughn* > J. Gordy*, Left - V. Davis* > D. Butler

Toler and Davis are projected as the starting CB's this year, and have high expectations as great improvements over the terrible secondary we saw in 2012. Butler and Vaughn are suitable backups and has up and down moments when getting starting nods. Toler and Davis could/should be reliable, but there are still a lot of question-marks regarding this position on the roster. Both of those guys missed 5+ games last year with injuries, which sets up a fine line between having a good secondary and last years secondary all in one bad play. Also, 3 of the 5 CB's on the roster will be FA's this year, and if Davis performs well he could be difficult to retain. With passing-dominant league taking shape it is becoming common, and necessary, to have 3 starting quality CB's. Adding a quality CB in this years draft would be another wise decision, not only for this year, but for next.

Safety: Strong - L. Landry > S. Brown*, Free - A. Bethea* > J. Lefeged*

Colts fans have a lot to be excited about with Landry and Bethea manning the middle of the field as this years safeties. Landry brings a lot of size and hard hitting power to the SS position, while Bethea will look to continue as a reliable FS down the middle. After them, things get scary. Brown and Lefeged are just simply not good, and are essentially extreme backups. This leads to the same problem as the CB position. If either Landry (who has a history of injury) or Bethea get hurt, then the secondary becomes quickly weakened. Also, 3 of the 4 are FA's after this season. Drafting a safety this year to, not only serve as a reliable backup, but also develop into a future starter is also a big need.

Inside Linebackers: RILB - J. Freeman > M. Harvey, LILB - K. Conner* > P. Angerer*

For this year, the Colts are in pretty good shape when it comes to ILB. Freeman was a a genius pickup by Grigson, Conner is solid, and Angerer is starting caliber when healthy. The issue here will be next season, when Conner and Angerer (who will likely walk without much resistance) become FA's. If a suitable ILB is available in this draft, whether it be late or if someone talented falls to the Colts, it wouldn't be the worst thing.

Outside Linebackers: ROLB - R. Mathis > J. Westerman > J. McNary, LOLB - E. Walden > J. Hughes > L. Sidbury

Outside Linebacker is deep on both sides of ball, but not with talent, just bodies... Struggling to transition into the 3-4, beloved Dwight Freeney was allowed to walk away, and it has been reported that Mathis will switch to the right side as the main pass rusher. Mathis has the ability to get to the backfield and produce sacks, but not as an elite pass rusher, and tends to do a better job in run stopping and in coverage. Penciled in on the left side is the biggest befuddlement of free agency: Eric Walden. A mediocre at best OLB, paid as an above average starter, will be used to "set the edge". After hearing mixed reviews on Walden, I have confidence that Grigson has signed him because he truly believes that he will make a big difference and help the Colts win. I can't for the life of me come up with his contract numbers, but fingers and toes crossed that he pays off. It has been noted by most scouts that Walden does play better when he is splitting time on the left side with someone else. Right now, this "someone else" is not on the roster. Hughes, Westerman, and Sidbury are abled-body backups, nothing more. I have hope for McNary, because I like him and his success means Grigson is a genius, but could probably be cut before the dog days of summer. A true pass rusher should be at the top of the list for the Colts in this upcoming draft.

Nose Tackle: J. Chapman > A. Franklin* > M. Tevaseu* > B. McKinney*

There has been a lot of debate as to who will be the starting Nose Tackle come September, and I truly believe it will end up being Chapman, and if not then he will split a lot of time with Franklin, who was a great FA addition. Chapman was projected, talent wise, as a 2nd rounder in the 2012 draft, having led Alabama and the best defense in college football to a National Championship that year. A bad ACL, which he played on a majority of the season, bumped him back to the 5th where the Colts were able to draft him, knowing full well he might not play that season. The kid is a stud and has the talent o be great. Pogano loves him and, as long as the year off hasn't caused any major drop in skills, he should win the starting job, even though Franklin is a decent guy if not. NT is relatively deep, and will be a strength this year for the Colts, though most of these guys are FA's next year, so a NT wouldn't be terrible to walk away with after the draft.

Defensive Ends/Tackles: DT - R. Jean-Francois > D. Nevis > F. Moala*, LDE - C. Redding > R. Mathews* > L. Guy*

The Colts defensive ends and tackles look pretty decent this year. Redding and the newly signed RJF look to have great seasons and do a fantastic job stopping the run. Finally, we're seeing the 3-4 monster take shape. Nevis, Mathews, and Moala are all serviceable backups, however we see a lot of these guys hitting free agency in 2014 and this group does lack a strong pass rusher. This is certainly a possible draft day position of need and where we could see a pass rusher found, aside from the OLB position. Building future depth would be extremely beneficial.

[1] Looking Into the Colts Future

[2] Walter Football Mocks

[3] NFL.com Mocks

After reviewing each position (my backup guesses could be completely wrong... sorry), I see the Colts needs heading into the draft as follows:

OLB > OL > S > RB > CB > WR > DE > ILB > K

Now that the needs are assed, it's time to turn to my mock draft and make some picks! I tried to focus on needs, recent rumors, possibility of BPA and, also the opinions of fellow fans as well as "experts" [2] [3]:

Round 1, Pick 24 (24): DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Clemson. - I know this pick pretty much throws my "need analysis" out the window, but hear me out. Pass Rush and OL are by far the biggest needs for the Colts, but the top talent at both positions will likely be gone before they pick at #24 and then the next players in line have some major question marks, especially for a possible first round selection. Hopkins is an absolute STUD wideout with good size (and room to build), fantastic hands, a great YAC motor, solid speed, and has consistently produced every year, including an 82 catch, 1,405 yd., 18 TD season last year. We've been asking who will be Wayne's replacement... it would definitely be Hopkins. He simply presents too much talent and upside, not only this year, but for the long future for the Colts to pass up, and could develop nicely with Luck without the pressure of needing to be the #1 guy right away. Taking the BPA just makes sense at #24 this year, and I truly believe Hopkins is that guy. If Jarvis Jones gets past the Steelers, Cooper, Warmack, Mingo fall they would be the obvious pick, otherwise.

Deandre Hopkins vs 5 teams 2012 (via JmpasqDraftjedi)

Round 3, Pick 24 (86): Barret Jones, OG/OT, Alabama. - I've seen Jones be mocked from the late 2nd to early 4th round of the draft, but in recent weeks he has been falling right around the Colts 3rd round selection at #86. Jones would solve some MAJOR problems that the Colts currently have on offensive line. He would come in and immediately be able to start at RG. He also has experience at LT and Center, which could prove very useful when the injuries start to come in the middle of the season. Jones has great size and sound blocking skills to go along with his National Championships (damn I'm sick of the Tide...). Another option I would consider here would be Chase Thomas, OLB from Stanford.

Chance Warmack & Barrett Jones vs. Tennessee (2012) (via Mario Clavel)

Round 4, Pick 24 (121): Sean Porter, OLB, Texas A&M - I went back and forth on this pick, positionally, because I think this is a good round to snag a good RB and the Colts lack a 5th rounder. But pass rush is a glaring need, and with Sean Porter being more recently mocked in the 4th round it is also very hard to pass him up. Porter has been very successful in the 3-4 scheme, tallying 17 tfl, and 9.5 sacks in his junior season. He managed 6.5 tfl and 3.5 sacks last season, and a big reason was his forced switch to a 4-3 defense, but he improved really well in pass coverage. With great skills in exactly the are of need for the Colts, as well as some 4-3 experience (making the hybrid defense not terrible to transition to) he would do a great job splitting time with Walden and present a great threat on the outside. Other players I like are Kenjon Barner (would love him too, actually, especially for his return skills), Mike Gillislee, and Cornelius Washington.

Sean Porter vs Alabama 2012 (via JPDraftJedi)

Round 6, Pick 24 (192): Josh Evans, S, Florida - Backup Safety, as well as a future replacement for Bethea is another big need this year especially with a lack of talent after the starters and a risk of injury always looming. Evans was a vocal leader in Florida's secondary last year, leading the top-5 college defense in tackles with 79, and adding 3 int's. He would definitely need to develop, but he possesses the skills and leadership qualities to become a great safety in the coming years. Plus, I wouldn't cringe if he was the one going in to play due to an injury or breaks. Adrian Bushell, CB for Louisville was a close 2nd for me in the 6th round.

Josh Evans vs Georgia 2012 (via JPDraftJedi)

Round 7, Pick 24 (230): Sheldon Price, CB, UCLA - Cornerback is another precarious position for the Colts depth wise, and I can't see them leaving this draft without one. I think Price has the size to match up with bigger recievers, room to bulk up his frame some, and the skillset to develop into a solid cornerback. I even think he has the potential to be great, especially under Pogano's supervision and coaching. Who knows who else could be picked here...

Sheldon Price vs. Houston (2012) (via Mario Clavel)

Round 7, Pick 48 (254): Devin Taylor, DE, South Carolina - I really wish we had a 2nd and 4th round pick this year... don't get me wrong, I like the reasons why we don't, but with such a deep class at many positions, the Colts could do so much with those two picks. That being said, these last few picks are a crapshoot, and Taylor could well be gone by now. But if not, he would be a nice late addition round addition who could add some depth to the defensive line, and has the ability to add weight and improve to a reliable player, maybe even a good one.

Devin Taylor vs Georgia 2011 (via JPDraftJedi)

UDFA Signings:

Caleb Sturgis, K, Florida - He'll be great and reliable, trust me. Sturgis is a big reason the Gators went 11-2.

Michael Ford, RB, LSU - Check out my article from a few weeks ago on why.

Edward Kugbila, OG, Valdosta St. - The Colts seem to like him, and nothing wrong with more OL.

Trading Back: There had been a lot of stipulations, cries of "Please!", "Hell no", etc in regards to trading back this year, and giving up the #24 pick. I see the reason why a lot of people don't want to, because you pass up on a talented player that you might not even come close to finding later on. But, I still think this draft is so deep, the end value would be more than worth it and more needs could be filled by doing so. This is much easier said than done, and a few possibilites would be the Eagles, 49ers, and maybe Bengals. I previously broke down, using Walter Footballs point system, a possible trade with the 49ers and how it could work. They will be dealing a lot of picks to move up since they're pretty loaded already and don’t have many needs, so the players they get they will want to be great. Also, they have 12 picks (and they do not have the roster room to keep all of them…). With two 2nd rounders and two 3rd rounders, I would be on the phone with them if I were Grigson. Our #24 pick is worth 740 points. The 49ers 1st round pick, 2nd, and 3rd round picks are valued at: #31 – 600 pts, #34 – 560 pts, #61 – 292 pts, #74 – 220 pts, #93 – 128 pts. So doing the math for us:

740 (#24) ~= 560 (#34) + 128 (#93) + 44 (#128) -—→ I even added in their 4th round pick (they have two) and the score = 732 pts.

They can match our value with relative ease, and we can even get more than just two picks out of it. Again, this is my reason for at least being on the phone with them. Adding up numbers is one thing, but them actually wanting to do it is another totally different conversation.

If you're curious, since I've already talked about everything under the sun and can always kill more time doing my PhD research. here is what my Colts mock would look like for this trade:

Round 2, Pick 2 (34) - Robert Woods/Justin Hunter, WR's

Round 3, Pick 24 (86) - Barrett Jones, OG

Round 3, Pick 31 (93) - Chase Thomas, OLB

Round 4, Pick 24 (121) - Kenjin Barner, RB

Round 4, Pick 34 (131) - Duke Williams, S

Round 6, Pick 24 (192) - Arian Bushell, CB

Rounds 7 - Same as above.

Well, I hope I was able to kill some time for you guys and gave you some entertaining stuff to read. I promise I did not sit at my computer for hours typing all of this, I just chipped away over the last few weeks. Thanks to all of you for your insight and dedication, I'm definitely proud to be a fellow Colts fan with you guys!

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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