Once a month, from now through April, I’ll take a look at 2018 NFL Mock Drafts from some of my favorite draft writers. Things change throughout draft season — the Senior Bowl in in January, the Combine in February and then pro days, workouts and meetings in March and April.
The Indianapolis Colts aren’t accustomed to having a pick this high up, and I’m not accustomed to having such a narrow list of candidates to write about for them in their top spot. For example, the Colts having the No. 3 pick means we’re not looking at guys who are projected mid-to-late first-rounders. There are only a handful of valid options.
Penn State Running Back Saquon Barkley
This is the “forbidden fruit” pick for the Colts in Round 1. They need help at running back, and Barkley is a freak of nature the likes of which we arguably haven’t seen since Adrian Peterson. However, the Colts have much bigger needs at positions that are more critical to building an elite team. Is Barkley’s talent too much to pass on, or does general manager Chris Ballard make a different, smarter pick?
NC State Edge Defender Bradley Chubb
This is the easiest choice that the Colts could make. They need pass-rush help, and they don’t have a premium, sack-producing rusher on their roster. The only way to acquire premium pass rushers is by drafting them, as teams don’t let players like that walk. Chubb would pair with Jabaal Sheard to form an edge tandem that can stop the run as well as pressure opposing quarterbacks. If the Colts would like to start holding onto their second-half leads, then picking up a high-motor edge rusher is a great option.
Notre Dame Offensive Guard Quenton Nelson
Benjamin Solak (NDT Scouting)
No one would be mad about this, either. To me, Nelson is the safest player in the draft and is someone who you can plug into your lineup for a dozen years. The Colts aren’t beginning the 2018 season without being confident in their offensive line. Between free agency and the draft, Nelson is the best lineman that the Colts could add this offseason.