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Colts like talent still available at running back entering day three of 2017 NFL Draft

NCAA Football: Oklahoma State at Oklahoma Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

So far in the NFL Draft, the Indianapolis Colts have done a very good job of both drafting for talent and still addressing needs.

That approach has netted them a first round safety in Malik Hooker, a second round cornerback in Quincy Wilson, and a third round edge rusher in Tarell Basham. Addressing the pass rush and the secondary were viewed as the two most crucial needs by far for the Colts, but another need they have is at running back.

The Colts, however, think there is still good talent left on the board at running back entering day three of the draft.

“Yeah, we think there’s pretty good depth in the draft at running back,” Chris Ballard said Friday night. “We still think there are some guys on the board that we like. We’ll see how it unfolds tomorrow.”

The Colts all along seemed to be targeting a running back in a mid-to-late round rather than early on, as Jim Irsay said last month that they would love to find a guy who could impact them as “a later running back pick.” So, while the Colts likely wouldn’t have hesitated to take a back earlier had they thought he was the BPA, it seems that they were far more focused on a back in a mid-to-late round. In other words: it shouldn’t be surprising that the Colts think there is some good talent left on their board at the position.

For example, here are a few of the backs still available in the draft: Samaje Perine (Oklahoma), Jeremy McNichols (Boise State), Marlon Mack (South Florida), Brian Hill (Wyoming), and Wayne Gallman (Clemson), along with others. Likewise, there are a number of backs that the Colts reportedly had interest in during the pre-draft process. Brent Fatig compiled a document that kept track of those various reports, and he lists the Colts as having reported interest in Hill, Trey Edmunds (Maryland), Dalton Crossan (New Hampshire), and Derrick Craine (Tennessee-Chattanooga), among those players still available. Furthermore, the Colts reportedly brought Tion Green (Cincinnati) in for a top-30 visit and had interest in Hill and Aaron Jones (UTEP) at the Combine.

Out of those players named, whether the ones simply listed as some of the best remaining or the ones listed as reportedly drawing interest from the Colts, there’s still a range of where they might be drafted (if at all). Perhaps some of the players the Colts had interest in was in case that player went undrafted, not so that the Colts could select him in the draft. But there’s enough talent left on the board and the Colts seem to have enough interest in the running back position that it would be a bit of a surprise if they don’t come away with one at some point today.

That makes a lot of sense, considering the fact that Frank Gore will turn 34 years old next month and isn’t the player he once was. The Colts could really use a younger back to pair with Gore (and Robert Turbin) and who could grow and develop. Indy obviously didn’t take one of the top backs in this class as they instead focused on defense, but the Colts will likely be looking at potential options today. I doubt they’ll force a pick just so they can grab a back, but they do seem to like some of the talent still available.

The Colts are currently slated to pick four times today, with three picks in the fourth round (picks number 122, 137, and 144 overall) and once in the fifth round (pick number 158 overall).