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NFL Draft 2017: Mike Mayock, Todd McShay, and Mel Kiper all release final mock draft picks for Colts

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NFL: Combine Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

THE NFL DRAFT STARTS TONIGHT!

After months and months of mock drafts, we’ll finally be able to figure out for sure who each team is taking this weekend and move on. But because mock drafts are so popular and give us things to talk about, there’s a whole lot of final mock drafts being released leading up to the draft.

Three of the most prominent NFL draft analysts released their final mock drafts within the last 24 hours, so let’s take a look at what the three of them have the Colts doing with the 15th overall pick.

First up, let’s look at NFL Media’s Mike Mayock, who released his first and final mock draft last night. With the 15th pick, he has the Colts taking Tennessee EDGE Derek Barnett.

School: Tennessee. Once Barnett learns better technique, he's going to be a big-time DE.

Next up is ESPN’s Todd McShay, whose final mock draft has the Colts taking Temple linebacker Haason Reddick:

The Colts love Alabama LB Reuben Foster, but he didn't fall to them in this scenario. Reddick has elite athleticism and showed the ability to play in space during a superb Senior Bowl week.

And third, ESPN’s Mel Kiper final mock draft has the Colts taking UCLA EDGE Takkarist McKinley:

New general manager Chris Ballard came from the Chiefs, who put a premium on collecting pass-rushers and generating pressure. Robert Mathis has retired, and Indianapolis doesn't have any outside linebackers with double-digit sack potential. The speed rusher McKinley could be that guy in the Colts' 3-4.

So these three analysts all have the Colts taking a different player, but you can still see one clear similarity: all three players are defensive players, and all three of them are linebackers. After months and months of mock drafts in which we’ve seen plenty of people clamor for an offensive lineman or a running back, it’s interesting that a lot of these final mock drafts have settled on a defensive player. That makes perfect sense to me, considering that’s where the Colts’ biggest need is and also where a lot of the best talent in the first round is likely to be.

There are a lot of differing opinions from Colts fans on the two EDGE guys mentioned, Derek Barnett and Takkarist McKinley, just like there is on other EDGE defenders such as Charles Harris. So I’m not sure we’re going to reach a consensus on the best (realistic) EDGE for the Colts, though everyone can agree that it’s a big need. Furthermore, Haason Reddick has been an extremely popular pick for the Colts recently in mock drafts, and he would be a very good addition to the defense and would likely play inside.

So taking these three final mock drafts from three prominent analysts, which first round pick would you like the best for the Colts tonight?