When it comes to mock drafts for the Indianapolis Colts, the overwhelming majority of picks have been either an offensive lineman or pass rusher. Bleacher Report's Matt Miller is going away from that group in his first post-Combine mock draft, however, as he has the Colts taking Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliott in the first round.
This is a hard sell for Colts fans, and I know that. But I'm going to try anyway...
Ezekiel Elliott in the first round gives Indianapolis a true three-down back to build an offense around alongside Andrew Luck, T.Y. Hilton and an offensive line that improved down the stretch in 2015.
Even if the line needs to be addressed, and it does, there isn't an offensive guard or center with a value at pick No. 18. That's a hole to fill in free agency or later in the draft. Round 1 is about finding impact players.
There may not be a better impact player on offense than Elliott, who did it all at Ohio State while being a stud inside runner, a talented receiver on swing routes and even a rock-solid lead blocker when Cardale Jones and J.T. Barrett were tucking and running.
In the second round, Miller has the Colts taking LSU tackle Jerald Hawkins.
Elliott is without a doubt the best running back in this year's draft class and has drawn some Edgerrin James comparisons, which should certainly catch the attention of Colts fans. Elliott was the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year in 2015 as a junior and during his career at Ohio State played in 39 games (starting 27) and rushed for 3,961 yards and 43 touchdowns, averaging 6.7 yards per carry. He added 449 yards receiving to finish with 4,439 total all-purpose yards. He is a very capable rusher, receiver, and blocker and will absolutely help an offense.
It's questionable whether he even makes it to the Colts' number 18 overall pick, however, as it's likely he will be gone before that. Even if he does make it there, it's not a sure thing that the Colts would take him, as they have much bigger needs elsewhere. With Frank Gore in line as the starting running back for another season, the Colts certainly could stand to add a younger back to develop behind the veteran, but that doesn't mean they have to spend their first round pick to do so. A lot of this decision would be impacted by who else is available, but odds are there would be a quality lineman or defensive player available still. The pick would likely be sticking to the Colts' philosophy of best player available, and without a doubt Elliott would be a playmaker for Indianapolis and, hopefully, this era's Edgerrin James.
What would you think of the pick? Elliott can be an absolute playmaker and would help the offense, but would you be in favor of the team adding him in the first round?