Since the last time I put out a seven-round Indianapolis Colts mock draft, the Colts pulled off a draft trade with the New York Jets. Oddly enough, my last mock included a trade with the Jets. While I used the draft trade value chart to receive the Jets’ first-rounder, a second and a fourth-rounder, the Colts were able to get much more out of the Jets in reality:
- Colts received: 1:6, 2:37, 2:49, 2019 second-round pick | Jets received 1:3
- This mock blends the Colts’ needs as well as a best player available approach, plus the fact that the Colts have shown interest in many of these players.
- Colts team needs: Pass rush | Offensive line competition | Off-ball linebackers | Cornerback competition | Potential starting wide receiver | Capable RB1/RB2
Colts 2018 Mock Draft
|Round 1: Pick 6 (from NYJ)||Bradley Chubb||Edge Defender||NC State|
|Round 2: Pick 36||Rashaan Evans||Linebacker||Alabama|
|Round 2: Pick 37 (from NYJ)||Will Hernandez||Offensive Guard||UTEP|
|Round 2: Pick 49 (from NYJ)||Ogbonnia Okoronkwo||Linebacker/Edge Defender||Oklahoma|
|Round 3: Pick 67||DaeSean Hamilton||Wide Receiver||Penn State|
|Round 4: Pick 104||P.J. Hall||Defensive Tackle||Sam Houston State|
|Round 5: Pick 140||Brandon Parker||Offensive Tackle||North Carolina A&T|
|Round 6: Pick 178||Darrel Williams||Running Back||LSU|
|Round 7: Pick 221||Tremon Smith||Cornerback||Central Arkansas|
- Pick 1:6 | Bradley Chubb — Chubb is the No. 1 player for the Colts on my board, but it will take some luck for him to get to them at No. 6. The New York Giants, Cleveland Browns and Denver Broncos all have picks in front of the Colts and may skip on quarterbacks, and Chubb is among the best non-quarterbacks in the draft. If he does get to the Colts, then it’s their most ideal scenario. They need a dominant edge player arguably more than anything, and just about the only way to acquire one is through the draft. The chances they succeed are going to be higher if you use an early pick on one like the Colts would be doing with Chubb. He is just as good against the run as he is at rushing the passer, so his contributions are potentially invaluable.
- Pick 2:36 | Rashaan Evans — A month or so ago, I would’ve thought Evans was a first-round lock. However, if you read the tea leaves then it looks like he could possibly slip to the second round. Roquan Smith and Tremaine Edmunds are almost universally considered the top linebackers in the draft, and even their stock has gone from top-10 likelihood to top 15. Leighton Vander Esch has also become a hot name in the last couple months, which could send Evans slightly down the board. If he’s available to the Colts, then they shouldn’t hesitate. They’re looking to revamp their linebacker corps, and Evans has the range, instincts, football I.Q. and athleticism to be an every-down player for them. He is also one of the best pass-rushing off-ball linebackers in the draft.
- Pick 2:37 | Will Hernandez — Without selecting Quenton Nelson in the first, the Colts’ chances of getting a truly nasty, mauler of a guard dwindle if they don’t grab Hernandez in the second. The Colts currently have Matt Slauson and Jack Mewhort penciled in as starters at guard, both of which are injury risks. Joe Haeg and Le’Raven Clark are depth options but neither has been able to stick to a positional home in their two years. Adding Hernandez gives them someone who should be able to grab a starting spot early on and leave less mystery about the line. It would give the Colts the option to “let the best man win” at the other guard spot.
- Pick 2:49 | Ogbonnia Okoronkwo — Okoronkwo isn’t a traditional defensive end who’s going to be in a three-point stance all game. He’s a dynamic, twitchy defender who can drop into coverage and play the run on early downs while kicking down to the line of scrimmage and rushing the passer on third downs. I envision him as a much quicker, more athletic version of John Simon.
- Pick 3:67 | DaeSean Hamilton — The Colts still need to add some competition near the top of the wide receiver group. We can assume that T.Y. Hilton, Chester Rogers and Ryan Grant are all in the plans for 2018, but then there are eight other players who have almost no body of work in the NFL. Hamilton is a technician at receiver, able to run crisp routes and create separation to get open, but he’s also a pretty good athlete.
- Pick 4:104 | P.J. Hall — When the Colts released Johnathan Hankins this offseason, their reason for doing so was because the new scheme calls for speed and athleticism. Hall can be added in at defensive tackle and meet those needs. The 300-plus-pounder has speed (~4.7-4.8 forty), strength (36 bench reps) and explosion (38” vertical, 9’8” broad), which gives him a very high ceiling. With Hankins gone and Henry Anderson likely playing defensive end, there is room at the top of the depth chart for someone like Hall to step in.
- Pick 5:140 | Brandon Parker — The Colts could use added depth at both guard and tackle. After grabbing Hernandez at guard in the second round, they now get Parker at tackle on Day 3. He’s a huge prospect (6-8, 305) who the Colts have shown interest in. If last year’s selection of Zach Banner showed us anything, it’s that Chris Ballard doesn’t see overwhelming size as a weakness in offensive line prospects. Getting Parker here in the fifth round is better value than taking a similar player in Orlando Brown Jr. in the second or third round.
- Pick 6:178 | Darrel Williams — I’ve thought a lot about what the Colts might do at running back and what type of back they may look for. What makes the most sense to me is drafting a running back on Day 3 who has the size and toughness to run between the tackles, can catch the ball and adequately protect the passer. Basically, an under-the-radar three-down back with size. That’s Williams. He has been overshadowed by Leonard Fournette and Derrius Guice in his time at LSU, so he hasn’t been in the spotlight. Williams has done a great job in the pre-draft process to this point and may prove to be a starting-caliber runner early in his career.
- Pick 7: 221 | Tremon Smith — From everything I’ve absorbed about Smith, he’d have much higher draft stock if he played at a major school instead of Central Arkansas. He has both short-area quickness and deep speed, moves very well in order to shadow the receiver, and he can make plays on the ball. There’s not much to dislike there.
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