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NFL Draft 2017: Todd McShay’s three-round mock draft has Colts focusing on offense early

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NCAA Football: Western Kentucky at North Texas Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports

No, you didn’t mis-read that headline: Todd McShay’s latest mock draft has the Colts focusing on offense early.

Yes, that’s contrary to the Colts’ biggest needs. But in his most recent mock draft, released today, McShay looks at the first three rounds - and has the Colts taking two offensive players with their first three picks.

In the first round, McShay has the Colts taking Western Kentucky guard Forrest Lamp. Then in the second round he has them going defense with Kansas State defensive end Jordan Willis, while in the third round he has the Colts taking Alabama wide receiver ArDarius Stewart.

Nearly 80 percent of the Colts' designed runs last year were inside or outside zone, and Lamp is a highly athletic O-lineman who would thrive in such a scheme. The Colts need to find a way to improve their pass rush, and Willis had good production at Kansas State. He tested off the charts at the combine, but that type of elite athleticism didn't always show up on tape. Stewart has reliable hands, and the Colts are still searching for a consistent No. 2 to play opposite of T.Y. Hilton; Donte Moncrief struggled with injuries last season, and Phillip Dorsett has just 51 catches in two seasons.

This mock draft is... not great. Let’s start in the first round with Forrest Lamp. I actually don’t mind Lamp and think he could be a good player, and therefore I wouldn’t hate the Colts taking him. But the draft never happens in a bubble, and in McShay’s mock draft defenders such as Haason Reddick, Takkarist McKinley, Gareon Conley, Malik McDowell, and others are still on the board when the Colts pick. To me, the incessant clamoring for an offensive lineman early for the Colts isn’t really about ‘BPA’ but about a misunderstanding of the team’s needs. And that has nothing to do with Lamp as a player.

In the second round, then, Jordan Willis is an ok pick, and with the way his stock is rising he would probably good value in the mid-second round. He’ll play outside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme and was a capable edge rusher in college, so the hope would be that he could provide some pass rush for Indianapolis.

And in the third round, the Colts taking a wide receiver would come as a surprise, just like it might come as a surprise to Todd McShay that the Colts signed Kamar Aiken to compete with Donte Moncrief and Phillip Dorsett. You can never have too many receivers, but taking one in the third round would be earlier than most would expect for the Colts.

Ultimately, if day two of the draft ends and the Colts have come away with only one defender in a very good defensive draft class, something probably didn’t go right for them. There’s always a fine balance between team needs and player value that mock drafts try to find, and I’m not sure Todd McShay quite hit that balance for the Colts in his latest mock draft.