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Colts Draft: Exploring Options — Round 3

Who might be the best options available to the Colts in Round 3 of the 2018 NFL Draft?

Via Darius Leonard’s Twitter, @dsleon45

We continue this series today by finding some options in the third round of the 2018 NFL Draft for the Indianapolis Colts. The following players would all fit the Colts’ schemes, and in some instances, the team has already shown interest in many of these players.

1. Darius Leonard | Linebacker | South Carolina State | 6-2, 234

Leonard is the perfect type of linebacker to add into the Colts’ new defense. They are looking to add speed and athleticism, and Leonard has plenty of both. He’s got sideline-to-sideline range, can play all three downs and has the ability to diagnose and attack plays before they get developed.

2. Antonio Callaway | Wide Receiver | Florida| 5-11, 197

I went into this topic big-time back in March. Callaway has had several off-field issues come up and was subsequently suspended for his final season in Gainesville. However, he is saying all of the right things lately. It might be legit, as he had his first child in February and says he needs to better himself for her sake. Callaway is among the most physically talented receivers in this class, as he can make explosive plays downfield but also runs good routes and makes plays after the catch. If he stays out of trouble, then getting him in the third round would be a steal.

3. Braden Smith | Offensive Guard | Auburn | 6-6, 315

Smith is a solid option at guard if the Colts haven’t already selected one by now. They signed Matt Slauson and re-signed Jack Mewhort this offseason, but both carry plenty of risk. Smith is adequate both in the run and passing games, and his film and pre-draft testing indicate his game should translate nicely to the NFL.

4. Rasheem Green | Defensive Line | USC | 6-5, 275

With the Colts dismissing Johnathan Hankins for not being fast and athletic enough, they could find the perfect long-term replacement here in Green. He is still very raw with a lot of work to do, but he has shown flashes of exploding through the line and into the backfield.

5. Chukwuma Okorafor | Offensive Tackle | Western Michigan | 6-6, 320

There are several spots along the Colts’ offensive line that have been in limbo for years, and right tackle has been one of the worst. Just when the Colts think they have a nice plan in place, an injury happens that forces them to change course. They could actually invest a Day 2 pick into the position here and come out quite happy with Okorafor. He’s got a great frame and uses it well to mirror oncoming rushers or veer them off track of the quarterback.

6. Arden Key | Edge Defender | LSU | 6-6, 238

A lot of people won’t want to touch Key at all, and I totally get it. However, the guy has early first-round talent and may be available in the third. To me, at a position like edge rusher, that’s worth the risk. According to Pro Football Weekly’s Eric Edholm, Key took time away from LSU last summer to seek treatment for marijuana. After that, it was revealed that he also had surgery to repair a shoulder issue. He also showed up wildly out of shape after being asked to add weight. The weight he did add was way too much, and it left him ineffective. By the time his season ended, he was getting into better shape and looked more like the explosive player we saw in 2016. He has posted terrible numbers in pre-draft testing, but his on-field workouts have been nice. Is Key worth the risk?

7. Martinas Rankin | Offensive Line | Mississippi State | 6-5, 305

While Rankin’s “home” position is tackle, many think that he could move inside in the NFL. The Colts would be able to slide him in wherever they see, though their best course of action may be to finally fill that right tackle role that’s been toyed with for years.

8. DaeSean Hamilton | Wide Receiver | Penn State | 6-1, 205

Give me a receiver prospect who is a technician over one who is some big, physical freak any day. Although Hamilton does have decent size, he is a technician before anything else. His ability to get open and pick-up first downs would be exactly what the Colts need to pair with Ryan Grant so that T.Y. Hilton and Chester Rogers can make plays all over the field.

9. Fred Warner | Linebacker | BYU | 6-3, 236

Warner is definitely not a finished product, but there’s a lot to like. He has the type of frame that fits the Colts’ new look on defense, and he is a plus athlete. He needs to get stronger in order to stick as an NFL starter, but his coverage ability, range and short-area quickness will make him a commodity.

10. Equanimeous St. Brown | Wide Receiver | Notre Dame | 6-5, 214

There’s loads of potential involved if you paired St. Brown with a quality quarterback like Andrew Luck. The passing attack at Notre Dame was tough to watch (to put it lightly), but St. Brown made tons of plays regardless. His ability to track the deep ball and use his speed to make plays after the catch was able to be utilized, but we won’t know if he can turn into a complete receiver until we see him with a good quarterback. I’ve seen him compared to Pittsburgh Steelers receiver Martavis Bryant a few times, and I think that comp makes a lot of sense.

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!