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NFL Mock Draft 2017: New seven round mock draft for Colts focuses on defense early

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NCAA Football: Michigan at Michigan State Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

The Super Bowl has come and gone, bringing with it the official end of the 2016 NFL season. All of the preseason, regular season, and postseason games culminated with the Patriots hoisting the Lombardi Trophy last night, which means today the offseason officially gets underway.

That means that draft talk will pick up considerably, especially with the NFL Scouting Combine less than a month away. Mock drafts are always popular, and Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller put out a seven round mock draft this morning.

Here’s who he had the Colts taking:

1st round, pick 15: Taco Charlton, EDGE, Michigan

“Taco Charlton can be inconsistent, but when he turns his motor on all the way, it's an impressive sight to see. He's long, athletic and has the hips to turn the corner and create issues for offenses. He's more Chandler Jones than Von Miller in terms of body and strength, but at Michigan he has proved to be the type of force off the edge who can wreak havoc on passing downs.”

2nd round, pick 47: Alvin Kamara, RB, Tennessee

3rd round, pick 79: Howard Wilson, CB, Houston

4th round, pick 119: Dalvin Tomlinson, DL, Alabama

4th round, pick 144*: Fred Ross, WR, Mississippi State

5th round, pick 160: John Johnson, S, Boston College

6th round, pick 201: Jamari Staples, WR, Louisville

*projected compensatory pick

The first round pick of Taco Charlton is one that Colts fans will probably be happy with, as the team desperately needs help at pass rush and desperately needs good young talent at the position (and really all over the defense). Charlton had an impressive collegiate career at Michigan, playing in 46 games (starting 15) and recording 94 tackles, 28 tackles for loss, and 19 sacks, while he was also named first-team All-Big Ten in 2016 as he racked up 9.5 sacks. He would give the Colts a good young player to work with at the position, which would help the defense considerably.

Position-wise, the first four picks in this mock draft really shouldn’t surprise anyone: three defensive players (including an edge rusher) plus a running back. That will very likely be the game plan for Chris Ballard in this year’s draft as well, as the Colts need a ton of defensive help plus a young running back.

But after that, Miller projects the Colts taking two wide receivers with their final three picks, something that probably wouldn’t be received too warmly by Colts fans. Again, though, a lot of that depends on who’s still available, and by the time you get to those mid-to-late rounds anyway getting a good player trumps position need, since there’s no guarantee of a player turning out with those picks. So while those picks wouldn’t excite Colts fans, they’re picks that could be worth taking fliers on if Ballard feels they’re truly capable receivers. It’s a different story than taking a receiver in the first round, since the Colts will be counting on their first round pick (plus second and third round picks, etc.) to contribute in big ways right away at positions of need.

What are your thoughts on this mock draft?