With the 2015 NFL season now officially over after Sunday's Super Bowl 50, that means the focus shifts toward the draft and free agency. In just a few short weeks, the NFL world will reconvene in Indianapolis for the scouting combine, a notable event in the draft process.
So with the transition into draft talk officially underway, Bleacher Report's Matt Miller has released an impressive seven-round mock draft early in the process. The mock takes place before compensatory picks, so even the picks themselves will change, but this is an impressive effort to undertake this early in the process and something that will prompt a lot of discussion.
In the first round with the 18th overall pick, Miller has the Colts taking Clemson defensive end Shaq Lawson:
With the 18th overall pick, the Colts could look to improve their offensive line, but their front seven on defense needs the most help after missed draft picks and free-agent signings. Improving a pass rush that was invisible at times in 2015 must be a priority, and the instant-impact ability of Shaq Lawson should excite the Colts front office.
Lawson can play standing up or with his hand in the dirt, and his combination of quickness at the snap and power in his counter moves should make him a no-brainer in the middle of the first round.
2nd round (48): Andrew Billings, defensive tackle, Baylor
3rd round (82): Rees Odhiambo, guard, Auburn
4th round (113): Miles Killebrew, safety, Southern Utah
5th round (143): Kenyan Drake, running back, Alabama
7th round (207): Henry Krieger Coble, tight end, Iowa
As you can tell, this draft is heavily focused on the defense in the early rounds, with three of the team's top four picks going on that side of the ball, including the top two. While many likely would want the team to spend higher draft picks on the offensive line, improving the defense needs to be a priority too and adding good young talent should be welcomed.
In the Colts' 3-4 system, Lawson would likely play as a pass rushing outside linebacker - something the team desperately needs. Some fans might be scared away because of the failure with Bjoern Werner, but Lawson does seem to have the talent to be able to do it and would seem to be a good addition for a Colts team that desperately needs pass rush help. Likewise, Billings would help solidify a defensive line that already looks pretty good, with Henry Anderson, Kendall Langford, David Parry, and Arthur Jones in place. By adding Billings, the Colts would get more depth at the spot and could continue their process of turning the defensive line into a strength. Adding a safety in the fourth round would give them another guy they could develop, like they did with Clayton Geathers last year, while adding Odhiambo in the third round would add the same along the offensive line.
What are your thoughts on this seven-round mock draft for the Colts? Would you be happy if this ended up being their draft?