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Final 2008 Mock Draft: Indianapolis Colts

So, this is my last, pathetic attempt at a mock draft. I’ve done more mocks this year than any other year, and the reason why is I’ve been more focused on this year’s draft than any other. It was a goal of mine (a small one, mind you) to have better draft coverage in 2008. I hope I’ve done that for you guys. So, without further ado, here’s my final mock with explanations:

2 (59): Matt Forte’ (RB, Tulane) I have a suspicion that East Carolina’s Chris Johnson will get gobbled up by a team like San Diego or Tampa Bay, aka teams looking for part-time RBs with game-changing ability. Unless Chicago takes Forte’ at pick #44, I think he will fall to Indy. If he does, it’s a major coup. Forte’ is a complete stud, and much better than other backs ranked higher than him. He’s a more complete player than Mendenhall and doesn’t have the injury concerns Jonathan Stewart does. Forte’ would add a totally new dimension to the Colts offense, which will be in the top 5 in running the football next year if it sports both Addai and Forte’.

3 (93): John Greco (OT, Toledo) Colts fans expect DE Marcus Howard of Georgia to get drafted here, and he will likely be here at pick #94, but I think the Colts will pass on him to take Greco. The Colts are very big on Greco, and he fits the kind of player Howard Mudd loves to coach. If drafted by Indy, he will likely will play guard his rookie year, challenging Dylan Gandy for the starting spot. With the nagging injuries plaguing RT Ryan Diem of late, and the inconsistent play of Charlie Johnson, Greco is versatile enough to play guard and tackle, if needed. I think the Colts look at Greco as their future RT.

4 (127): Jack Williams (CB, Kent State) According to DraftTek, Marcus Howard is still on the board at this pick. If he is, the Colts will obviously take him with a big grin on their faces. However, in reality he’s likely gone here, which means a player like Jack Williams is perfect. Williams is a proto-typical Cover 2 corner who can contribute immediately on special teams. With Dante Hughes returning and Michael Coe growing into his own, the Colts will have a strong stable of CBs for the first time in a dog’s age.

5 (161): Arman Shields (WR, Richmond) This is actually a very tough pick because I think there are three guys in this area the Colts have targeted, but all three will be gone by the 6th round. C Kory Lichtensteiger, DT Carlton Powell, and LB Jo-Lonn Dunbar will all be there, and each offers something very special. But WR is a need position in this draft, and if a talented prospect like Arman Shields is still sitting there in the 5th round, you take him. I don’t care what Jim Irsay, Bill Polian, or Tony Dungy say. Until I see Marvin Harrison playing like Marvin Harrison, one has to assume he is still hurt. Shields offers speed, quickness, great route running, and good hands. He’ll struggle his rookie year a bit, but eventually he’ll catch on and play some slot receiver.

6 (196): Rudolph Hardie (DE, Howard) This is the first of four 6th round picks for the Colts, and it is here that Indy will target the pass rushers Colts fans are SCREAMING for. It will start with Hardie, who is an excellent rusher at 270 pounds. The reason you pass on Carlton Powell is because Hardie is big enough to play DT and DE in Indy’s defense. The last player the Colts picked from Howard in the 6th round was eventual Pro Bowler Antoine Bethea in 2006, and that worked out pretty well for them.

6 (201): Corey Lynch (S, Appalachia State) I cannot imagine a scenario where Polian and Dungy pass on this kid. Lynch is exactly the kind of special teams demon Dungy has sought since his tenure began in 2002. Lynch can also play both safety positions in a Cover 2. Remember, many players drafted in these late rounds have to be able to play special teams, and boy can Lynch ever play special teams.

6 (202): Mackenzy Bernadeau (OG, Bently) The Colts like this versatile guard who could challenge (along with, potentially, Greco) for the starting OG position. Bernadeau could play multiple line positions, providing a more stable back-up option than Charlie Johnson.

6 (205): Titus Brown (DE, Mississippi State) Titus Brown fits the mold for the kind of pass rushers the Colts are looking for. They want guys who can come in and provide speed off the edge on 3rd and 4th down, and who also play special teams. Brown has the speed to make an impact on special teams, and could develop into a Robert Mathis-type player. He also has the temperament and character to excel in this roll.

7 (236): Joey Haynos (TE, Maryland) The last true position of need is back-up TE, and the 6’7 Haynos can fill Ben Utecht’s old roll minus the fumbling. Haynos is a solid blocker and has excellent body control for someone his size catching the football.

Well, there you have it. I am likely 100% completely wrong about this mock draft. Hell, if I get one player right out of this, just one, I’ll consider myself a genius (yeah, I have low standards for genius). You’ll notice I left off players like QB Kevin O’Connell. Folks, I would be shocked if the Colts took a QB. I know they aren’t happy with Jim Sorgi, but the reality is there aren’t many good QBs in the later rounds of the draft. Maybe they will take someone like O’Connell, and I hope they do. But, a mock draft is a guesstimate of what the team may do, and what they should do.

You’ll also notice that many of these draft picks come from small schools or division IIA schools. This is because Bill Polian and the Colts do not subscribe to the "big school" mentality when it comes to drafting, and considering the Colts are the best sports franchise on the planet, I think that pretty much blows the "big school "theory out of the water. The best players do not come from Ohio State, Nebraska, Michigan, or LSU. Like Polian says, "If you can play, we will find you." I’ve seen far too many busts come from big schools, and too many great players from small schools, to subscribe to the "big school" theory.

So, tell me, how stupid is this mock?