From the looks of it, the Indianapolis Colts pulled in a solid draft class on paper. Yes, they took a couple players that many thought would be selected a little later than when the Colts picked them, but they all are good prospects. As everyone knows, the Colts are in rebuilding mode and that means that they are trying to strike gold with all of their draft picks, from the first to the seventh rounds.
The Colts were able to pick up some promising players on Day 3 (Rounds 4-7), so let’s take a look at which of them might make the quickest impact.
RB Nyheim Hines — Round 4, Pick 104 Overall
I think everybody is on board with Hines now. He’s been compared to Darren Sproles, but I think there’s a chance that could be putting it lightly. Sproles has been arguably the NFL’s most dangerous scatback over the last decade, but he has always just been a change-of-pace player. Hines could actually be a team’s eventual starter. He will do the same things as Sproles — run, catch the ball out of the backfield and return kickoffs and/or punts — but Hines may also have the physical capability of contributing on all three downs.
WR Daurice Fountain — Round 5, Pick 159 Overall
When you’re looking for small-school players in the draft, you want to make sure that they dominated their lower level of competition. In the event they were invited to a postseason all-star game, you want to make sure that they measured up to the higher level of competition there. Check both boxes for Fountain. He had 66 catches for 943 yards (14.3 avg) and 12 touchdowns for UNI in 2017, and he was named Offensive MVP of the East-West Shrine Game. Although Fountain has shown he should be able to hang with the big boys, I would not be surprised for the Colts to take their time with him.
RB Jordan Wilkins — Round 5, Pick 169 Overall
The more I watch Wilkins, the more I like him. I have to imagine he would’ve gone higher in a different draft class and if he didn’t miss all of 2016. Wilkins’ 2017 tape is solid, though. He shows a ton of patience and then vision so that he can get to the best hole, and he catches the ball very well. The only thing with Wilkins is that he is not a change-of-pace player, so he may be relegated to a pure backup role with occasional snaps if Marlon Mack proves to be a quality starter.
WR Deon Cain — Round 6, Pick 185 Overall
Cain’s 2017 tape was a little disappointing because of the anticipation of how good he would be coming off of a really nice 2016 campaign. However, it did show that he could be the total package. In 2016 when he played with Deshaun Watson at quarterback, Cain consistently used his speed to stretch the defense and make plays downfield. In 2017 with a first-year starting quarterback, we didn’t see Cain’s downfield prowess as much, but it gave him a chance to show off his route running and ability to make plays happen closer to the sticks. Put those two years together and you have a dynamic receiver. Cain needs to be more consistent with his hands, but he has a lot of promise.
LB Matthew Adams — Round 7, Pick 221 Overall
Adams is a hard-hitting box defender with the speed to provide a bit in coverage. He is a high volume tackler, and his pre-draft strength and movement/agility testing shows a lot for coaches to work with. Adams is a dark horse candidate to start at SAM. Why not? The Colts are trying to completely overhaul the linebacker corps, so they’ll let the best player win. He may be it. He could also play MIKE, but there is more competition there to start.
LB Zaire Franklin — Round 7, Pick 235 Overall
Franklin is a rangy MIKE linebacker (he even ran-down Hines once) who could be a stud special teams standout. I’m sure he too will get a chance to prove himself on defense in camp, but his tape showed he has to work on his discipline when engaging with ball carriers. He needs to become a more sure tackler. Franklin is a smart linebacker, however, and has a ton of experience as a MIKE, playing it since high school.
THE PICK: NYHEIM HINES
General manager Chris Ballard and head coach Frank Reich have already mentioned multiple times everything that Hines is capable of and how they can use him both on offense and special teams. I don’t think we’ll see Hines surpass Mack soon, but I do think that we will see both guys making big plays on a regular basis on the ground and through the air, especially after the new additions to the offensive line.
Which player do you think will have the quickest impact?
This poll is closed