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Who the hell are the Colts going to pick?

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Jon Beason

Two draft websites, NFL Draft Countdown and Draft Tek, have the Colts taking Miami LBer Jon Beason with their first round pick. The first round pick has added meaning this year for the Colts, and value is extra important. Indy traded their second round pick this year to Tampa Bay for Booger McFarland in a deal that was, in my opinion, one of the greatest in Colts history. Heck, maybe even in recent NFL history. Rank it there with Corey Dillon to the Pats, or the Colts trading Marshall Faulk to the Rams.

The Draft Tek site is interesting in that it uses data simulation to compile its results, unlike NFL Draft Countdown which is just the opinions of the writers there. Interestingly enough, both the computer simulation site and the writer opinion site both have Indy taking Beason. Why? Because, it seems, he's got "Dungy Linebacker" written all over him:

Strengths:
Terrific athlete...Short but not necessarily small...Very good speed and quickness with a burst...Outstanding instincts and awareness...Is strong, physical and plays much bigger than he is...Solid tackler and a violent hitter...Has sideline-to-sideline range...Solid in coverage...Always seems to be around the action...Versatile with experience at all three (SAM, MIKE, WILL) linebacker positions...Has a motor that never stops...Fantastic leader with excellent intangibles...A great special teamer.

Weaknesses:
Undersized and does not have the ideal height that you look for...Frame might be maxed out...Overly aggressive at times and as a result he will miss a few tackles and get fooled...Doesn't have real fluid hips...Not a great blitzer...Gets engulfed by massive blockers...Battled some injuries and durability is a legitimate concern.

Notes:
Began his career as a fullback...Also participated on the indoor track team in the spring of 2006...Best suited for the weakside at the next level but could also play the middle in certain schemes...Could be the next in a long line of great Hurricane linebackers such as Ray Lewis, Jonathan Vilma and D.J. Williams...Has just about everything you look for except height and can be a three down player in the pros.

That's exactly how Tony likes them: fast, small, and hits hard. However, the Colts haven't taken a LBer in the first round since Rob Morris in 2000, when Jim Mora was still the coach. Morris was a big reach back then, even though he developed into a fine LBer. It seems the writing is on the wall though. If Cato June is offered a David Thornton-like contract by, say, the Bucs or Vikes or something like that, the Colts will let him walk. Dungy himself stated at the Combine that Cato's replacement is already on the roster:
"Freddy [Keiaho] could play there," Dungy said. "Freddy's going to be an excellent player for us, and the times that he got to play, he did a great job.

"He could be one guy we'd look at for sure."

I like Keiaho a lot myself. He played outstanding against the Patriots in the game in New England this past year, subbing for an injured Gary Brackett. But that was at middle LBer. Cato June plays WILL, or weakside LBer. The WILL backer is the most important backer in the Cover 2. If June and Rob Morris leave, and the Colts draft Beason, that means they will have a second year player at WILL and a rookie at SAM along with defensive captain Gary Brackett.

I'm not to jazzed about that. As soon as Beason's Combine results are posted somewhere, I'll get them on the site.