The NFL draft is tonight and after a few more free agency moves (since my last mock draft), these are the top needs:
- 5 Technique Defensive End
1st Round -- 29th Overall Pick
Cameron Erving -- Center / Offensive Guard -- Florida State
Erving is a well-built, versatile player with good experience at a few different positions. He gets out of his stance quickly and is plays with good knee bend. He is athletic and can move around very nicely. Despite playing offensive tackle this past season, he fits well as a center as he has the athleticism and power you look for. He needs to be a little more explosive off the line and get his hands on the defender first. Overall, Erving could become one of the best centers in the NFL due to his athleticism and technique. He should be a 1st round pick and can help and start immediately.
2nd Round -- 61st Overall Pick
P.J Williams -- Cornerback / Safety -- Florida State
Williams is a versatile, athletic cornerback from a good system. He has experience as a safety and as a cornerback, and has potential at both positions in the NFL. He has the traits you look for in a cornerback, as he covers well and plays very well in man/jam coverage situations. He isn't as good in zone and isn't quick to react to things around him. He needs to also improve his motor as he doesn't give a consistent effort.
Williams fits well with the Colts as he can start out as a rotational cornerback and can step in for injuries. He also provides depth at safety and can eventually become a good long-term option at the position. If he develops properly, he can become a very good asset for the Colts.
3rd Round -- 93rd Overall Pick
Jeremy Langford -- Running Back -- Michigan State
Langford is a good all around running back with very good top speed. He is able to beat defenders with his speed and has good enough elusiveness. He has a hard time breaking tackles and isn’t the best in between the tackles runner. Despite not being a tackler breaker, he knows how to use the stiff arm well. He accelerates quickly and if you get him out in space he’s dangerous. Despite not being a great runner, he catches the ball well and shows good effort as a pass protector, making him a good Day 2 prospect.
Langford would fit in nicely with the Colts in a complimentary role, and could be a good receiving running back for the Colts (who like to use their running backs as receivers). Langford would also develop behind a hard nose runner like Frank Gore and has a high ceiling, meaning he could definitely become the future starter in Indy. On top of that, Michigan State has a pretty good reputation for running backs, which is a positive.
4th Round -- 128th Overall Pick
Henry Andesron -- Interior Defensive Lineman -- Stanford
Anderson is a hard working player with a very good frame. He fights to disengage and gets past his opponents. He uses his hands well and he has a good repertoire of moves, which shows his intelligence.He was used in a few different positions, showing good versatility. He has room to grow and he must get stronger in the NFL.
Overall, Anderson has starter potential and if he can work on his strength and athleticism, he could become a good starter in a couple of seasons. Anderson would start his career as a backup, but could be used as a rotational player. He has starter potential down the line.
5th Round -- 165th Overall Pick
Jordan Hicks -- Inside Linebacker -- Texas
Hicks has a good build and on top of that, has good athleticism and speed. He is a "studier" type of player, who adapts well to each opponents (playing style changes game to game). He has good tackling skills, with a low percentage of missed tackles. He can fit in either a 3-4 or 4-3 system. He does need to improve his instincts and he isn't someone to figure things out right away. He also needs to improve in coverage.
Overall, Hicks has the athleticism and build to become a starting linebacker, but must have a good coach to develop his lacking traits/skills. He could start out as a rotational/backup linebacker who can eventually start a couple of years down the line when Jackson is gone or when he retires.
6th Round -- 204th Overall Pick
Takoby Cofield -- Offensive Tackle -- Duke
Cofield is a well-built offensive tackle with plenty of starter experience. He shows a lot of effort and plays until the whistle. As a run blocker, he gets his hands in the right place and he is able to finish his blocks. As a pass blocker, he lacks great footwork and he lacks awareness, sometimes letting untouched blockers hit the QB. He doesn’t kick slide well, which is an issue versus quick pass rushers. He isn’t explosive off the line either and needs to be more impacful and powerful with his blocks. Cofield could be a good right tackle candidate a few seasons from now, but he needs to develop as a pass blocker and finish his footwork and power issues.
Cofield fits in well as a backup for his first couple of seasons and could be a future starter for the Colts, if he continues to develop, but for now, he's a good depth player.
6th Round -- 206th Overall Pick (from the Seattle Seahawks)
Terry Williams -- Nose Tackle -- East Carolina
Williams is a very big man at 353 pounds. At 6’1, he isn’t stout, but rather very round. He is impossible to stop in one-on-one situations. He gets his hands in the right place, has decent knee bend, drives defenders well and he gets out of his stance quickly. He has an inconsistent motor, but that’s due to being too big. He will need to improve his conditioning, as he’s too big; he will have to shed some pounds. Williams will have to be a pure run stopper.
Overall, Williams is too big and will need to lose some weight, but for a man that big, he has good technique and could become a good starter. Williams could serve as a good backup to start his career and eventually become a good rotational nose tackle in short yardage or run stopping situations (50-60% of snaps kind of player).
7th Round -- 244th Overall Pick (from the Dallas Cowboys)
Mario Alford -- Wide Receiver -- West Virginia
Alford is one of the fastest players around and is an explosive returner. Alford would line up as a slot receiver in the NFL as he is too small and not strong enough for an outside position. Although he’ll be easily pushed off course if jammed on the line, Alford has the speed to beat you over the top and can be considered a deep threat. He’s also a sneaky route runner, who finds the open space.
Overall, Alford’s potential will be as a slot receiver who plays 60% of the snaps (like a John Brown or Tavon Austin). He is a little small and needs to fix up other areas before he can reach that potential. Do the Colts need another receiver? Not really, but they could use an explosive returner, as Josh Cribbs is getting older and had a terrible playoffs last year. Alford could serve as a solid depth player (slot receiver) and become both the kick and punt returner for the Colts.
7th Round -- 255th Overall Pick (Compensatory Pick)
Erick Dargan -- Safety -- Oregon
Dargan is an intelligent player apart of a very good school. He is best used for "in the box" situations as he is a good tackler and he shows good form. He is a quick reactor and sniffs things out pretty well. He is a fluid athlete with smooth hips. He is good enough in coverage as he stays with his receivers and he has soft hands, showing potential playmaking ability. He doesn’t possess very speed and he isn’t an aggressive player. He also needs to play "centerfield" better and take away the deep portion of the field.
Dargan has the traits that you look for, but must improve a few physical areas before he can start. He could serve as a good backup and special teams player and can eventually move into a starting role a few years down the line, as he possesses that potential.