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National Football Post LOVES Indianapolis Colts 2011 NFL Draft Class

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I follow Wes Bunting on Twitter (and you should too). He and National Football Post did a great job pre-draft, during draft, and post-draft. I don't just say that because NFP is partnered with SB Nation. I loved NFP's work long before SB Nation started their relationship with them, especially the work done by Wes.

You all probably don't remember, but back in February Wes and I were Tweeting that the Colts might try and get Tryon Smith. However, since that was unlikely, Wes' February mock had the Colts taking Gabe Carimi and Stephen Paea in round one and two. During the actual draft, the Colts had a shot at both those players in those respective rounds, but opted instead for Anthony Castonzo in round one and Ben Ijalana in round two.

Side note: The Chicago Bears ended up taking Carimi and Paea in rounds one and two.

Now, while the Colts didn't end up taking the players Wes thought they would, he was damn close. And, in the end, who the Colts ended up taking was (for Wes) even better than who he thought they'd take.

Wes recently did a write up on the five picks he liked in the second and third rounds. Two of those five were Colts selections:

Indianapolis Colts: OL Benjamin Ijalana
I personally had Ijalana ranked ahead of the Colts’ first-round pick Anthony Castonzo and think he can end up being one of the best linemen to come out of his draft. He’s got the length and athleticism to play on the outside, the power and flexibility to play inside and just strikes me as a legit NFL talent who is only starting to scratch the surface of his potential.

Indianapolis Colts: DT Drake Nevis
The Colts were in need of a lineman who could consistently create initial pressure inside off the snap and Nevis has the skill set to shine in that role. He’s got as good a get off burst as any interior defensive lineman I saw on tape this year. He plays with a great motor, has a passion for the game and rarely stays blocked for long. Plus, Nevis does possess a strong lower half, a compact build and can be tough to move off the ball one-on-one. Overall, I expect him to make a lot of noise this year inside for the Colts creating negative plays behind the line

Wes also projected both Nevis and Ijalana to his 2011 NFP All-Rookie Team.

OL Benjamin Ijalana: Indianapolis Colts
No matter where the Colts end up playing this kid, I expect him to adjust to the game quickly and mature into a very good starter either inside or out.

DL Drake Nevis: Indianapolis Colts
Nevis is undersized, but he’s exactly what the Colts want inside. He’s explosive off the snap, can penetrate through gaps and plays with a great motor. Should have plenty of opportunities to hunt the QB in year one.

Wes also gave the Colts an 'A' with his draft grades, one of only two AFC teams to get 'A's in his book. The Baltimore Ravens got the other 'A.'

Gonna go out on a limb and say Wes really liked this draft for the Colts.