We’re less than a month away from the 2017 NFL Draft, and that means that there are plenty of mock drafts - too many to keep track of, for sure.
But one mock draft that it may be worth paying attention to for Colts fans is from NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein, because he and Colts GM Chris Ballard are good friends. Does that mean Zierlein has inside info in his mock drafts? Perhaps, but more likely is that Zierlein has an idea about how Ballard thinks. And in his latest mock draft, Zierlein has the Colts taking Wisconsin tackle Ryan Ramczyk in the first round.
Joe Haeg simply isn't strong enough to anchor and hold up at the point of attack. Ramczyk is a tremendous run blocker who will improve pass pro on the right side for the Colts.
Ramczyk began his collegiate career at UW-Stevens Point, but after two seasons there transferred to Wisconsin, where in 2016 he started all 14 games at left tackle and was named an All-American. He’s viewed by many as the top offensive tackle in this year’s draft class, and while he played left tackle in college it seems people think he could play on either side of the line in the NFL.
Chris Ballard has heavily emphasized the importance of building in the trenches and just this week neither he nor Chuck Pagano ruled out adding an offensive lineman in the draft. The right side of the Colts’ line is still up in the air, with Le’Raven Clark currently the most likely option to start at right tackle.
But adding an offensive lineman in the first round seems like a luxury the Colts can’t really afford this year. The Colts have several other needs that are much more pressing - outside linebacker, cornerback, inside linebacker, running back - and even with a true BPA approach, that’s not likely to be an offensive lineman at pick number 15 in a weaker offensive line class. I’m sure Chris Ballard would love to add competition to the offensive line, but it doesn’t seem like something he can afford to do with his first round pick this year, with bigger needs and better players on the board.