You guys know the drill by now. Read everything, read the comments associated with each pick, read the final thoughts and then you can bash me in the comments. I've ranked the top 5 needs:
- Edge Defender
- Center / Interior Offensive Line
- Running Back
- Inside Linebacker
1st Round -- 18th Overall
Noah Spence -- Edge Defender -- Eastern Kentucky
I'm just going to copy/paste what I wrote the last time:
We all saw in the Super Bowl how important a good pass rush is. A great pass rush can beat any offensive line and it can affect any offense. The Broncos went up against two completely different offenses (in New England and Carolina) and smoked them both. So, what does that have to do with the Colts? The Colts have had an abysmal pass rush ever since Dwight Freeney left town. Robert Mathis has had his moments since then, but he's slowed down significantly and his counterpart, Trent Cole, is getting up there in age as well. The Colts cannot rely on Erik Walden to be a pass rusher, so it's important that the Colts get a pass rusher.
Enter Noah Spence. The kid has some off the field baggage, but on the field, he is a pure stud. At the Senior Bowl, he dominated in drills and looked great in the practices. He is a natural bender and is explosive off the line of scrimmage. Explosiveness is something the Colts defense lacks. Spence is an instant upgrade to the Colts defense and it will allow them to develop a serious front 7. Spence is the right pick here.
2nd Round -- 48th Overall
Darian Thompson -- Safety -- Boise State
Darian Thompson has been getting a lot of buzz lately and for good reason. He is an experienced, well rounded safety with good size. He's the perfect piece to have on the last line on defense and with Mike Adams getting older, it's important that the Colts get new blood at safety. I'm not convinced Clayton Geathers can be a starter, and even then, Thompson is a much better "center-field" safety than Geathers so he can start immediately alongside Adams. Thompson would be an instant starter for the Colts and with Chuck Pagano as his coach, the sky is the limit for him.
3rd Round -- 82nd Overall
Jack Allen -- Center -- Michigan State
Jack Allen is one of the top centers in this year's draft. He's experienced and comes from a pro style offense in a tough, rugged conference. I also believe Jack Allen can be an immediate starter for the Colts. Allen took on some of the best defensive linemen in the country, from Ohio State, to Penn State, to even Iowa, whose linemen are "the biggest group of guys I've played against" according to a former Michigan State player I spoke to a few months back. Allen has the tools and size you look for in a center and the 3rd round is a very good place to pick him.
With the Colts lacking talent at the center spot, drafting Jack Allen (or Nick Martin, or another top center) will be very important in this draft.
4th Round -- 116th Overall
Jonathan Williams -- Running Back -- Arkansas
Williams' draft stock has been rising very quickly over the past month and for good reason. He's a powerful explosive runner whose injury history has preventing him from seeing the field. Also, being second fiddle to Alex Collins will also hurt your playing time. Nevertheless, when Williams is on the field, he impresses and he looks like a 3-down running back. Yes, it's a risky pick as he has an injury history, but because it's the 4th round and because he has such great upside, this pick is worth it. He wouldn't be relied upon in his 1st year and can eventually develop into a solid 3-down running back.
5th Round -- 155th Overall
Cody Kessler -- Quarterback -- USC
The Colts signed Scott Tolzien, so why the hell do they need Cody Kessler? Besides the fact that I think Cody Kessler is a top 100 overall player and the 4th best quarterback in his class, Kessler fills a minor need on the Colts. Tolzien is a short term backup for the Colts and his contract sets up so that the Colts can release him after one season (saving 1.75M). Kessler can become an effective backup almost immediately and after one season, there's no doubt in my mind that he can become the backup to Andrew Luck. These are the rounds where you look for solid, long-term depth players and Kessler certainly fits that bill.
7th Round -- 239th Overall
Jordan Walsh -- Offensive Guard -- Iowa
The Colts lack depth along the offensive line. Walsh would be a solution to that issue as he would provide immediate depth. He comes from a good, hard-nosed system at Iowa, a team that is known for breeding a lot of great NFL offensive linemen. Walsh would be a good backup to have for the Colts moving forward and can be a spot starter if needed.
No, the mock draft doesn't fill every need. You rarely get a draft that fills every need. This draft, however, fills a bunch of big needs that the Colts have. The Colts have a massive need at the edge defender position and in this mock draft, they get Noah Spence early on. The Colts have a lot of shuffling to do at offensive line and we still don't know whether Reitz will be playing as a guard or tackle. That makes a difference here. Personally, I think the best thing to do is for them to go Castonzo-Mewhort-Allen-Reitz-Goode and then draft some depth, but I do believe in drafting BPA (based on the top 5-6 needs) so if they take a offensive linemen early on, I will definitely not complain.
There should be at least two more mock drafts coming out before draft day, and you can expect a trade back in one of them, so be sure to check those out. There will be a lot of draft content in the coming weeks!
Want to buy a guide about quarterbacks? For the price of a cup of coffee, you can buy over 80 reports on every top NFL, NCAA and High School quarterback. If you want to know who's the top QB or who's a sleeper in the draft, this guide is for you. The top 40 NFL quarterbacks, top 30 NCAA quarterbacks and top 12 high school quarterbacks are broken down in very detailed reports. Check out the Stampede Blue post HERE or go straight to the PURCHASE AREA. Thanks for supporting my efforts and the guide.