While the NFL schedule release dominated a lot of the news last night as we look forward to the 2015 season, the NFL Draft will take place in just over a week, coming up much sooner than the start of the 2015 season.
ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay released his fifth mock draft of the season this morning, and he has the Colts taking Virginia outside linebacker Eli Harold at pick number 29.
Analysis: The Colts have needs at offensive tackle, safety and defensive tackle, but in this scenario Harold represents a good value who would also provide needed depth at the edge rusher spot. Harold isn't a finished product -- his instincts and recognition skills are just average and he's an inconsistent tackler -- but he has good upside as a pass-rusher with his length and quickness, and he flashed the ability to convert speed to power for the Cavs.
Harold is a pick that McShay has often mocked to the Colts, as he has had the Colts taking Harold in three of his five mock drafts now. As a two-year starter for Virginia, Harold recorded 141 tackles (36.5 for loss), 17.5 sacks, and four fumble recoveries. The 6-3, 247 pound edge rusher is a great athlete with good explosiveness and is a nice pass rush option, but he has struggles against the run.
Colts general manager Ryan Grigson said earlier this offseason that you can never have too many pass rushers, and that is incredibly accurate. For the Colts, it was a constant struggle a year ago and they need to make sure that doesn't happen again. They signed veteran Trent Cole, hope for the return of a healthy and productive Robert Mathis, and hope that Jonathan Newsome continues to develop entering his second season. At the same time, however, Harold could be a long-term pass rusher alongside Newsome and could provide good depth and help the team out this year as well. That would be the thinking behind drafting him in the first round.
What are your thoughts of the Colts possibly drafting Eli Harold at pick number 29?