On Thursday, NFL Network's Mike Mayock held his annual marathon pre-draft conference call with the media. I participated in that call, and got to pick Mayock's brain on players and trade scenarios that might interest the Indianapolis Colts at the No. 24 spot.
These were Mayock's thoughts and observations:
- Teams without a second round pick (like, say, the Colts this year) might be tempted to trade down, especially if the other team wants to move up to No. 24 and take a quarterback.
- The biggest need for the Colts is edge rusher. Mayock thinks Björn Werner from Florida State could be there at No. 24. Mayock compared Werner to one-time Ravens and current Browns linebacker Paul Kruger, a player Colts head coach Chuck Pagano is familiar with from his days in Baltimore.
- Mayock also said the Colts must get better along the interior of the offensive line. He specifically mentioned Ben Ijalana as a player who can't stay healthy, and, because of this, the Colts need to beef-up the interior of their line. He expects both Chance Warmack and Jonathan Cooper gone by pick No. 24, but said Indianapolis might have interest in guard Kyle Long, brother of Rams defensive end Chris Long and son of Howie Long.
- Corner is another position the Colts could look at, Mayock said. He feels that Houston's D.J. Hayden is a better prospect at corner than Alabama's Dee Milliner.
- Mayock thinks this draft is very deep, with 25-35 more "draftable players" this year than last year. There is more depth in this draft then there's been in a while, suggesting that, at pick No. 24, the Colts could still get a very good player.
- He views Clemson wideout DeAndre Hopkins as a second rounder.
- Wide receiver is the biggest question mark in this year's draft.
- Texas A&M running back Christine Michael has the most talent of any back in draft, but he has off-the-field issues.
- Tennessee wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson will slide a bit, and figures to be there at picks 23-25. Mayock thinks Patterson is the most explosive WR with the ball in his hands. However, there are off-the-field issues.
- Mayock thinks there is more uncertainty at top end of this draft then any other draft he has ever been associated with.
As always, great stuff from Mayock.