Taking a look at which players could be considered migraines, headaches, and pain relievers for the Colts in the first three rounds of the upcoming NFL Draft.
Migraine - Ereck Flowers, OL, Miami (FL)
Flowers has become a popular pick for the Colts in many mock draft and all I can say is their analysis seems lazy. It amounts to this, "The Colts need to protect Andrew Luck. Oh, it looks like the right side of the offensive line was bad. They should go right tackle and Flowers kind of looks like a right tackle kind of guy."
First, those writers all talk about needing to protect Luck but Flowers is arguably the worst projected Round 1-3 tackle in pass protection. He plays like he has no interest in it. Now don't get me wrong, the guy can just maul people in the running game but every analysis starts and ends with protecting Luck, which Flowers simply can't do. Yes, Gosder Cherilus wasn't great last year but the guy played hurt. If he fully heals, this is a non-issue. Also, don't forget the rise of Ulrick John, a Grigson favorite who is already up to 310 pounds, which is 20 pounds more than when he was drafted.
Second, they say he could start immediately at right guard. That may be true but what does the team do with Donald Thomas, Todd Herremanns, Hugh Thornton and Joe Reitz. Seems like drafting a guy to play right guard creates even more of a logjam than what they had before.
As you can tell, Flowers simply doesn't make sense for so many reasons but the main one being, he can't protect Luck.
Headache - Jordan Phillips, DT, Oklahoma
Phillips is kind of like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're going to get. He runs hot, then runs cold. He's yes and he's no. Alright, enough of that now.
Phillips has the prototypical measurements for a 3-4 NT. He's massive and can move. He can take on double teams and shed blockers to engulf a running back. However, all of this happens when he wants it to happen. If he could become consistent, he's a no doubt Pro Bowl DT. Another issue to consider but has largely been dismissed by teams is his noted back issues. If that's really a non-issue then Phillips could dominate... when he wants.
Pain Reliever - Landon Collins, S, Alabama
Landon Collins is the best safety in this draft. Saying otherwise is tough to argue.
Collins is at his best when attacking the line of scrimmage and rarely ever takes a bad angle or a false step. He's a disciplined tackler and can help shut down an opposing team's running game. He has the ability to easily match up with opposing tight ends in coverage. However, Collins is not his best when asked to constantly drop into coverage or play the "center field" type safety position. He doesn't possess the best straight line speed so big play receivers could get by him if he's forced to play back.
If the Colts took Collins, it would be a huge coup for the team. He's exactly what they need in the center of their defense and exactly what they thought they were getting with Laron Landry. I would sleep very sweetly on Thursday night if Collins became a Colt.
Migraine - Damarious Randall, S, Arizona State
Multiple "sources" have linked Randall to the Colts, which would be fine in and of itself except these same sources say Randall also has all but been assured he'll go in Round 1. Yes, the Colts need safety help. Yes, Randall is a safety. However, Randall's not a good safety and definitely not a Round 1 safety.
It's easy to see why Colts GM Ryan Grigson likes Randall. He's a "horseshoe guy" who plays very hard and likes to make the big hit. Problem is he too often misses when he tries to make said big hit. Remind you of anyone? If that wasn't clear I was referring to Laron Landry, the absolute disaster of a safety Colts fans suffered through for the past two seasons. Randall doesn't have a great feel for coverage and consistently takes false steps in play action allowing receivers to get onto him quickly and blow by him. He is also undersized so playing primarily in the box may not be the best for his long-term success, just like Bob Sanders.
Randall is largely a developmental safety who could turn out to be great but he needs a lot of work in his coverage skills and technique. He put up solid numbers at the Combine, which caused him to shoot up boards. But I'd rather trust the tape and the tape screams Round 4.
Headache - Paul Dawson, ILB, TCU
Dawson is an interesting player. Grigson is on record as saying they won't take any character concern guys until at least Round 4. Well, Dawson is a bit of a concern. He wasn't well liked at TCU and didn't have a reputation for being a film rat. Dawson also flopped very, very hard at the Combine, which raised some eyebrows.
However, Dawson is an absolute beast on the field. He makes plays from sideline to sideline. Dawson is terrific in coverage and has phenomenal instincts in both the running and passing game. He has a high motor and plays hard.
Dawson wouldn't be a reach here and could easily turn into the best ILB in what appears to be a weak ILB class.
Pain Reliever - Eric Rowe, S, Utah
Rowe is projected by many as a Round 2 pick and getting him would be a great selection for the Colts, regardless which direction they go in Round 1. I recognize some classify Rowe as more of a Cover-2 corner, he'd be best suited as an over-the-top style free safety.
Rowe has experience playing safety and corner but ideally, he'd project as a free safety. He's got excellent instincts and will attack the ball at the point of attack, either picking it off or at the very least breaking up the pass. He can match up with receivers and has the strength to jam them but doesn't have the recovery speed if he gets beat.
Rowe should be moved back to free safety at the NFL level. He could become the next Earl Thomas style free safety, which would be what the Colts seemingly would covet at the position.
Migraine - Gerold Holliman, S, Louisville
Some people still have Holliman as an option for the Colts in Round 3. Choosing him there would be a huge mistake.
Holliman is a player you know exactly what you're going to get. He's a free safety who likes to make the big play with the ball in the air but runs and hides when a ball carrier comes anywhere near him. Holliman had one year of outstanding production but would beaten frequently by NFL quarterbacks. He's not disciplined and will get moved around like a rec league player with a slight pump fake or even when the QB looks one way. As I mentioned before, if there was a word more beyond disinterested that would be how I would describe his interest in tackling.
The Colts simply can't have a safety who can't tackle. If the front seven were better and teams weren't running all day on them, then maybe Holliman is just a headache. But at this point in Round 3 and with the current roster, he's a migraine.
Headache - Hau'oli Kikaha, OLB, Washington
Kikaha doesn't give me any pause for his on the field play and has no off-field issues to date. He's got a relentless motor and is a pass rushing animal. He has great hands and always seems to find a way to fend off pass blocks to get to the quarterback.
While Kikaha can get engulfed by the run and has some issues in coverage, the main reason he's a headache is his medical concerns. The guy has had two ACL tears while at Washington. Even if his medicals check out, I'd be hesitant and concerned he'd have another injury and this could be a wasted pick with no fault to the player.
He's a high motor guy who will give his all on the field but the question is, will his body betray him?
Pain Reliever - Henry Anderson, DL, Stanford
Anderson may be one of the more interesting defensive line players in this draft. He played all over Stanford's defensive front but s best suited as a 3-4 DE. He could add some bulk to his frame but make sup for his "lack of size" with his relentless motor. As overused as this sounds in describing a Stanford player, Anderson has tremendous football intelligence and knows when to get his hands up to crowd the passing lanes, similar to J.J. Watt, and yes, that's the only Watt comparison I will make between the two.
The problem with Anderson is he doesn't have a lot of pass rushing moves and can be blocked fairly easily if he's engaged. If the Colts coaches can help solve those issues, Anderson could be a steal in Round 3.