This past week, ESPN draft analysts Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay each released their latest individual mock drafts. To the surprise of absolutely no one (at least no one who has looked at mock drafts through the pre-draft process), both of them had the Colts taking Ohio State offensive tackle Taylor Decker in the first round.
So, when the two came together on Friday to do a joint mock draft, I bet you can guess who they had the Colts taking in the first round: Taylor Decker. The format of the mock draft is simple: Kiper and McShay alternate picks and make the selection they would make if actually the general manager of the team. As it turns out, Todd McShay was the one actually making the pick for each of the Colts' three choices in this three-round mock draft, but it was certainly impacted by Kiper's picks as well. Let's take a look at the selections for the Colts in this three-round mock draft.
In the first round (number 18 overall), McShay has the Colts adding Ohio State tackle Taylor Decker, as I already mentioned.
He's the perfect fit for a team in dire need of a right tackle who can keep Andrew Luck's jersey clean. Decker has the skill set to be a solid NFL starter for the next decade.
There's really not much for me to add that hasn't been said already, as Taylor Decker has overwhelmingly been the most popular selection for the Colts in mock drafts. From McShay's standpoint, it seems that he is taking a two-fold approach to this pick: he notices the Colts' offensive line need and looks for a player at the position, but he also seems to really like Decker. Earlier this week, McShay said that Decker has "one of the highest floors of anyone in this draft," and in this mock draft he says Decker could be a solid starter for a decade. So it's clear that Todd McShay thinks very highly of Taylor Decker, and in that regard it makes sense why he has the Colts taking him. If Decker did wind up being a solid starting right tackle for the Colts for the next decade, it would be looked back on as a great pick, so it's hard to fault McShay for making the pick if he truly likes Decker that much.
In the second round (number 48 overall), McShay has the Colts taking Stanford tight end Austin Hooper.
After addressing our massive hole at right tackle in Round 1, it makes sense to grab a TE with good size and potential. Hooper has the raw tools to out-play this draft slot.
This is a very, very interesting choice by Todd McShay. After going with a tackle in round one, the Colts still would have big needs on defense and on the interior of the offensive line. Would the Colts really pass on a center like Nick Martin or a guard like Cody Whitehair to take a guard in the second round (as McShay has them doing)? I get that the Colts have their "best player available" philosophy, but it honestly would be a huge stunner to see them take a tight end in the second round. The Colts invested a lot in Dwayne Allen this offseason and brought Jack Doyle back as the number two tight end, so while we could see them add a player at the position to compete for the number three spot, it's unlikely that they would use such a valuable high pick to address the position. The only justification to this pick is the "BPA" strategy, and in this case it doesn't seem like too strong of a reason either. If the Colts are looking to draft a tight end early, though (I don't think they should be), then Austin Hooper makes a lot of sense.
Lastly, in the third round (number 82 overall), McShay has the Colts drafting Georgia Tech defensive lineman Adam Gotsis.
One of the most underrated players in this class, Gotsis shows terrific toughness on tape and fills a need for us at defensive end.
Again, the argument for this pick is that Todd McShay likes Gotsis a lot and thinks he is very underrated. This would be earlier than most seem to think Gotsis will go, but like always, if a team really likes a player we could see them take him. It's unclear what the Colts think of the defensive lineman, and they certainly do need defensive help after two offensive picks in a row in this draft, but this pick (like the first two) would also be met with a questionable reception from many fans.
What are your thoughts on this three-round mock draft?