As we’ve mentioned before, the ideas about what the Colts should do early in the 2017 NFL Draft are all over the place, as there’s no consensus.
That’s accurately represented in the latest mock draft from ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay, as the two of them conducted a dueling two-round mock draft recently. For some teams, both Kiper and McShay made the same picks - but that definitely wasn’t the case with the Colts. Let’s take a look at what their picks were.
Mel Kiper has the Colts taking Alabama inside linebacker Reuben Foster in the first round:
Foster is the best inside linebacker in this draft, but few teams above the Colts at No. 15 need inside linebackers. He's not dropping because of his bizarre combine ejection. This would be one of the best value picks of Round 1.
Todd McShay has the Colts taking Western Kentucky guard Forrest Lamp:
The Colts spent much of free agency adding more depth on defense, and while they still need more playmakers on that side of the ball, protecting Andrew Luck has to be a priority. Lamp is an excellent athlete, and the best all-around offensive lineman in this class. With Lamp, Jack Mewhort and last year's first-round pick Ryan Kelly, Indy would have a strong young interior O-line.
Meanwhile, in the second round Kiper has the Colts taking Temple offensive lineman Dion Dawkins:
Dawkins, a four-year starter, could move inside in the NFL after playing left tackle for the Owls. At 6-4, 314 pounds, he's a dominant run blocker who has good footwork and gets to the second level with ease.
As for McShay’s second round pick, he has the Colts taking Alabama outside linebacker Tim Williams:
A true pass-rush specialist who had 19.5 sacks in the past two seasons, Williams excels when his lone job is to attack the QB off the edge. But his off-field character concerns and lack of natural instincts could cause him to fall to Day 2.
One of the first things you’ll notice is that both Kiper and McShay have the Colts addressing the offensive line and the linebacking corps in the first two rounds. For Kiper it’s a inside linebacker in the first and a lineman in the second, while for McShay it’s a lineman in the first and an outside linebacker in the second - but they both see the Colts taking guys at those two spots.
It’s also worth mentioning that both guys could have made the other picks too. Sometimes in a mock draft the picks don’t happen the same way because some players are taken early, but in this mock both Reuben Foster and Forrest Lamp were still available in both Kiper and McShay’s mocks, while both Dion Dawkins and Tim Williams were both still available in Kiper and McShay’s mocks in the second round. So for example, this isn’t a case of Reuben Foster being off the board in McShay’s mock draft but rather him seeing Forrest Lamp as the better fit there.
As for the picks themselves, I think a combination of Foster in the first (Kiper’s pick) and Williams in the second (McShay’s pick) would be an absolutley terrific haul for the Colts. The opportunity to get a legitimate playmaking inside linebacker shouldn’t be passed up if Foster is there at number 15, while Williams could be a good pass rusher for a team desperately needing help there. I think adding those two guys would make for a really nice haul in the first two rounds.
But what about the offensive linemen? Well, it seems that a lot of national writers seem to think that the Colts should really focus up front, and it can’t be ruled out - especially since Chris Ballard emphasises the trenches and especially since both Ballard and Chuck Pagano have mentioned possibly adding a lineman in the draft. It’s definitely not near the biggest need on the roster, so the Colts would need to be absolutely convinced on a guy to pass up players like Reuben Foster and/or Tim Williams, who could really help a defense desperate for playmakers.
What are your thoughts on these picks from Mel Kiper and Todd McShay for the Colts?