1. Skai Moore | Linebacker | South Carolina | 6-2, 226
I’m a big fan of Moore as long as his medicals are all good. He missed all of 2016 with a herniated disc in his neck but rebounded to play all of 2017. He’s got really good range and agility against blockers. Moore is a tackling machine, averaging 98.7 in his final three seasons at South Carolina.
2. John Kelly | Running Back | Tennessee | 5-9, 205
Kelly’s got a great frame, as he’s compact and can stay low. Although only 205 pounds, he’s got the power to run up the middle and break tackles. He has great feet, which leads to him making defenders miss, plus he’s got the speed to break long runs. I think Kelly could wind up being one of the steals of the draft if he falls into the right situation.
3. Genard Avery | Linebacker | Memphis | 6-1, 255
Avery is already a beast who has room to grow into a stud linebacker at the NFL level. He’s got a high football I.Q. and always seems to diagnose what’s going on in front of him. He covers a lot of ground quickly, and he’s very strong. He’ll need to learn how to use more finesse when engaged with defenders, though, as trying to get off blocks with sheer strength won’t work in the NFL. Avery uses plenty of moves when rushing the passer as well, so if he can put some of those towards his play as an off-ball linebacker, he’ll make a huge impact on his NFL team.
4. Royce Freeman | Running Back | Oregon | 5-11, 234
Freeman would be a good complement to the speed and big-play ability of Marlon Mack. Freeman is more of a methodical, power runner. However, he has three-down ability. The Colts still have Robert Turbin around who can handle short-yardage and pass protection duties, but they could feel that there are upgrades in the draft. Freeman could be one, as he is a better runner, can catch the ball and has proven capable in pass pro.
5. Holton Hill | Cornerback | Texas | 6-2, 196
The first thing that jumps out about Hill is his length. He’s almost 6-2 and has 32” arms. He has nice speed and movement skills to where he could become a smothering corner. Hill has some reported maturity issues and was suspended to end the 2017 season, so that could pose an issue in the Colts drafting him if Chris Ballard and Brian Decker don’t foresee him being a team player.
6. P.J. Hall | Defensive Tackle | Sam Houston State | 6-1, 310
Every year, there seems to be a couple of small-school interior defensive linemen that light up the pre-draft process. This year, Hall is one of them. At his pro day, his unofficial 40 was around 4.7, he had a 38” vertical and a 9’8” broad jump. Hall, like current Colts defensive lineman Margus Hunt, also has a knack for blocking kicks, as he posted a ridiculous 14 in college. On talent alone, Hall should go on Day 2, but his frame (short arms) and being from the FCS may slide him a little.
7. Tegray Scales | Linebacker | Indiana | 6-0, 230
I had hoped to like Scales more than I actually did when watching him, as many people see him as a Day 2 pick. However, I saw a very smart player who has some physical limitations he’ll have to work through. His read-and-react skills and the fact he keeps his eye on the ball in pursuit allows him to track plays down before they’ve developed much. Unfortunately, he gets swallowed up into the trenches or on blocks if he doesn’t get the initial advantage. If he can improve his play strength and technique in getting off blocks, he should be able to meet his potential as a starting NFL linebacker.
8. Brandon Parker | Offensive Tackle | North Carolina A&T | 6-7, 314
The Colts were in attendance at Parker’s pro day and even had lunch with him afterward. He is a huge tackle prospect who would remind some of former Colts draft picks Ulrick John and Denzelle Good, as he is from a small school and is more of a long-term project than a ready-made player. Being from a school like NCAT, you’d like to see what a pro staff could do with him.
9. Josey Jewell | Linebacker | Iowa | 6-1, 235
Like Scales, Jewell is a mentally sharp defender who could find a way to succeed despite not being a primo athlete. He may not have pure sideline-to-sideline range, but he’s good at keeping plays in front of him and anticipating what will happen. His instincts are up there among the best of this linebacker class.
10. Isaac Yiadom | Cornerback | Boston College | 6-1, 190
Yiadom has really good length and overall size. He plays to his size, getting physical which includes the run game. When he gives a little cushion, he’s got good shadowing skills and closes on receivers quickly.
11. Cedrick Wilson | Wide Receiver | Boise State | 6-3, 188
If the Colts are going to be using a rhythmic offense that gets the ball out of the quarterback’s hands quickly, then Wilson’s ability to run after the catch should be a big asset. With how he plays, Wilson could be the Colts’ second attempt at having a receiver similar to Donte Moncrief. He gives the Colts a big-bodied option that they currently lack.
12. Mark Walton | Running Back | Miami (FL) | 5-10, 188
So much about Walton screams “Gio Bernard” to me. Walton is smaller in stature but runs tough and catches the ball very well. He’s quick to hit a hole and has the speed and agility to bust big plays. Walton has thick legs, so that could help him find success to where he’s not just a change-of-pace back.
13. Jack Cichy | Linebacker | Wisconsin | 6-2, 234
Cichy is a very active, energetic player. He fits the size profile of a lot of these other linebackers that used to be considered undersized, but he doesn’t care about ripping through the line to try and get into the backfield although he may be a little thinner. Cichy hasn’t played in the last season and a half because of pectoral and knee injuries, but his best ball is ahead of him. Because of how long it’s been since we’ve seen him play, his stock has taken an obvious hit, but it could very well make him a steal.
14. Jaylen Samuels | H-back | NC State | 5-11, 223
Samuels doesn’t really have a defined position to declare him as, but if I had to, it’d be an H-back. He does most of his damage catching short passes — often while in motion — and moving the chains. He occasionally runs the ball and blocks as well. I could see him lining up in the slot quite a bit. The Colts won’t have much use for him as a traditional tight end, but they could definitely throw him out there in passing situations to be a mismatch and pick up yardage.
15. Ade Aruna | Edge Defender | Tulane | 6-6, 262
Aruna is a height (6-6)/weight (262)/speed (4.6) prospect that is worth taking a gamble on in the mid-to-late rounds. There is a good chance he’ll be a developmental player, as he lacks consistency and some technique. He took a step back in 2017 from 2016 production-wise, but still has the potential to be groomed into a player who is a thorn in the side of opponents. Colts pass rush consultant Robert Mathis could likely do wonders with a malleable player like Aruna.
- Colts Draft: Exploring Options — Round 2
- Colts Draft: Exploring Options — Round 3
- Colts Draft: Exploring Options — Rounds 6 & 7
For more on the upcoming 2018 NFL Draft, buy the very first Stampede Blue Draft Guide! Tons of information about this year’s draft including position-by-position scouting reports, needs for all 32 teams, an extended look at the Colts’ needs, mock drafts, seven-round Colts mock drafts and much more!