The 2015 NFL Draft will be held on April 30 through May 2 in Chicago, Illinois, and it is a time where the 32 NFL teams will look to add some pieces to improve both this year and in future years. The Indianapolis Colts currently have nine picks in the Draft, including at least one in each round, and therefore they should be active on Draft day. Who might they target? We're taking a look at a number of different prospects, and today we take a look at Georgia running back Todd Gurley.
Gurley is a 6-0, 222 pound running back out of Georgia who had an excellent collegiate career. In three seasons, Gurley rushed for 3,285 yards and 36 touchdowns while averaging 6.4 yards per carry. He also added 65 receptions for 615 yards and six touchdowns in the receiving game. He has returned eleven kickoffs as well, averaging 38.4 yards per return and taking two back for touchdowns. He rushed for at least 100 yards in eighteen different games during his time at Georgia, playing in 30 total and starting 27. His 2014 season was cut short due to a torn ACL, and that is the primary reason for some questions about his draft stock.
The combination of size and speed that Gurley brings is rare and as a result he is a player with terrific upside at the NFL level who can be a true number one running back for a team. Not only is he a good power back, he also can beat you with his speed as well. He is an able threat out of the backfield in the receiving game and can hold his own in pass protection, and he has even had success returning kickoffs occasionally at Georgia. I think he's the best running back in this draft class.
The biggest concern with Gurley is his health. He missed three games in 2013 due to an ankle injury and then suffered a torn ACL a year ago - and this in addition to the normal wear and tear of carrying the ball 510 times with Georgia, many of which were against SEC defenses. The question of durability is easily the biggest one for both Gurley's draft status and his NFL career moving forward.
Big Board Rankings
NFL.com - 12th overall, number 1 running back
CBSSports.com - 18th overall, number 1 running back
Mocking the Draft - number 1 running back
Mock Draft Predictions
Stephen Reed's most recent mock draft: selected by Dallas Cowboys, 27th overall
Josh Wilson's most recent mock draft: selected by San Diego Chargers, 17th overall
How Would He Help the Colts?
The Colts will likely be looking to add a running back in the draft, as Frank Gore is 31 years old and the team will want to start grooming the hopeful running back of the future. Gore will be the starting back in 2015 and likely still has a year or two left of good play, and behind him the Colts currently have Boom Herron and Zurlon Tipton, but I would expect them to look in the draft at a running back.
Todd Gurley, meanwhile, is the best running back in the draft and, should he slip to the Colts' pick at number 29 overall (which I don't expect), he would be a player that many fans would want the team to target. And without any doubt, he would help the team out significantly both this year when recovered from his injury and then moving forward in the future. With all of that said, however, the Colts need defense much more than they need a running back and therefore it's expected that the first pick should definitely focus on defense, and so while Gurley is a good player and would help the team, they might choose to go a different direction in the first round.
ESPN's Mike Wells mentioned that, "the Colts are big fans of the depth at running back in the draft" and that the Colts like a lot of the depth at the position behind Gurley, Melvin Gordon, and Tevin Coleman. So to sum it up, Todd Gurley is a good player and would really help the Colts, though I think they will and should target the defensive side of the football with their first round pick while then addressing the running back position later in the draft. I don't expect the Colts to be faced with this decision anyway, however, as I expect Gurley to be gone before the Colts' 29th overall pick rolls around in the draft.