The Indianapolis Colts have a number of needs. General manager Chris Ballard has been busy trying to fill holes and add competition, and so far he’s added guys who are projected to start at tight end, safety, inside linebacker, and outside linebacker, plus punter.
The team still has a number of needs in the upcoming NFL Draft, however, and those needs are largely the same they’ve been all offseason.
Today, NFL Media’s Mike Mayock released his updated position rankings for the 2017 NFL Draft, ranking the top five players at each position. Let’s take a look at his rankings for the Colts’ biggest positions of need.
1. Myles Garrett, Texas A&M
2. Solomon Thomas, Stanford
3. Derek Barnett, Tennessee
4. Takkarist McKinley, UCLA
5. Tim Williams, Alabama
The changes in Mayock’s latest rankings include Tim Williams dropping a few spots and Solomon Thomas and Tak McKinley both rising. That probably fairly represents the latest trends in draft analysis that we’ve been seeing, as a number of mock drafts have Williams (who was a popular pick for the Colts early in the mock draft process) dropping and others, like McKinley (who is a popular pick for the Colts right now) rising.
The Colts have added outside linebacker help this offseason, but neither Jabaal Sheard nor John Simon are true pass rushers. They should be an upgrade on the strongside and they can get after the passer if need be, but the Colts would be wise to target a playmaking pass rusher early in the draft. It’s still a big need.
1. Marshon Lattimore, Ohio State
2. Marlon Humphrey, Alabama
3. Kevin King, Washington
4. Gareon Conley, Ohio State
5. Fabian Moreau, UCLA
Mayock’s cornerback rankings have changed a lot, and that’s in large part due to the injury to Sidney Jones. Previously Mayock’s number one corner, it is now unlikely that Jones will be taken in the first round due to the torn Achilles he suffered at his pro day. So that has changed up Mayock’s rankings some, but Teez Tabor and Tre’Davious White also dropped off the list with Kevin King, Gareon Conley, and Favian Moreau moving up.
The Colts really need cornerback help too. Though that need has always been there this offseason, the release of Patrick Robinson highlighted the importance of the Colts adding help at the position. It would be a surprise if, in a deep cornerback class, the Colts don’t come away with one or two players at the position.
1. Reuben Foster, Alabama
2. Haason Reddick, Temple
3. Jarrad Davis, Florida
4. Zach Cunningham, Vanderbilt
5. Alex Anzalone, Florida
The changes at this position were very minor, with the only change made being Jarrad Davis and Zach Cunningham swapping spots. Reuben Foster is without a doubt the top inside linebacker in this draft and one of the best overall players, while it seems like Haason Reddick has established himself as the number two player at the position as well.
The Colts also could target an inside linebacker in the draft, as right now it appears Sean Spence, Edwin Jackson, and Antonio Morrison will be competing for the two starting spots. If nothing else, the Colts need to increase the competition level at that position to push guys.
1. Leonard Fournette, LSU
2. Christian McCaffrey, Stanford
3. Dalvin Cook, Florida State
4. Alvin Kamara, Tennessee
5. Samaje Perine, Oklahoma
Mayock previously had Dalvin Cook as the top running back in this draft, but in his updated rankings both Leonard Fournette and Christian McCaffrey passed Cook. McCaffrey’s stock in particular seems to be rising quickly, and at this point it doesn’t seem like it would be a total surprise if Cook was the third running back taken in a deep draft class at the position. Mayock’s rankings also had Samaje Perine cracking the top five as Joe Mixon fell.
The Colts need to come away from this draft with a running back or two as well, especially in such a deep class. It’s not the biggest need for them, but it’s still an important position to add given Frank Gore’s age. The Colts need a younger running back who could potentially be a long-term back, and this is a good draft class to try to find one in. It’s the biggest offensive need the Colts have entering the draft.
You can see Mayock’s rankings for these and every other position in the 2017 NFL Draft here.