WR Hunter Renfrow, Clemson
Projected Round: 4th-5th
Renfrow has been at Clemson for what seems like forever, having made a name for himself in two title games against Alabama, where averaged 8 catches, 90 yards and 2 scores. He would be best utilized as a chain-moving slot receiver in the NFL.
What he lacks in explosiveness, he more than makes up for with football IQ, crisp releases, smart route-running and sure hands. It helps his case that he steps up in games and at times he is needed most.
The primary concerns for Renfrow are his small frame (5’10”, 185 pounds) and lack of speed (4.59 sec 40 yard dash).
Renfrow would fill an immediate positional need for the Colts and could develop into a reliable slot receiver with Andrew Luck. Time and time again it has been proven that speed is overrated, and Colts fans need only look back to the first round a few seasons ago at Phillips Dorsett for proof.
LB Te’Von Coney, Notre Dame
Projected Round: 4th-6th
Coney is drafted all over the place in mock drafts. Some writers see him going in the latter portions of the third round, while others have him going in the 6th or even later.
Coney is an athletic backer with good size (6’1”, 240 lbs) and instincts, and he always seems to be close to the ball. Watching his tape, he is more comfortable playing downfield against the run than he is in coverage. He is a sure tackles but would be better served as an early down backer with some potential to rush the passer in Matt Eberflus’ scheme
Coney’s concerns include a lack of a particular elite trait or skill to separate him from the pack. He is a strong tackler but certainly not the best, he is not the most athletic prospects, and he certainly isn’t one of the better options in the passing game. Teams might have a hard time finding a situation that suits him best.
Still, Coney would provide key depth for Colts linebacker room and could excel playing alongside one of the best linebackers in the league, Darius Leonard.
CB Mark Fields, Clemson
Projected Round: 5th
I always considered the Combine to be a lot of smoke and mirrors, and never a true reflection of a player’s ability to play the game. Fields might be an exception. He never got much playing time on a stout Clemson secondary, but when he did, he showed flashes of talent to go along with his elite athleticism.
The problem with Fields is his technique and lack of experience, so he would not start right away. Turns out, later rounds are great for development prospects. Fields could ride the bench a year while polishing his technique and could be ready to explode as a sophomore.
OL Beau Benzschawel, Wisconsin
Projected Round: Late 3rd
Benzschawel (from now on, just Beau) is a mountain of a man (6’6”, 310 pounds) with good athleticism and polished technique as a pass blocker. It might be considered cheating to put such a highly touted player in a “late round gems” article as Beau could be a top 20 pick in this years’ draft.
While you might think that the Colts are finally set on the offensive line, Anthony Castonzo will be 31 when the season begins and the Colts should plan on developing his future replacement.
Beau’s weaknesses are likely coach able and playing alongside All-Pro Quenton Nelson would help him tremendously. He could turn out to be a homerun pick if he redshirts his first season and continues to polish his game.
S Mike Bell, Fresno State
Projected Round: 6th-7th
Bell was once sniffing top 50 consideration, but has recently suffered a knock due to a poor showing in the Combine in coverage drills, concerns about his tackling, and horrible measurements in Combine events. Still, the talent and potential is there. On tape he shows good acceleration and ball-hawking skills.
The Colts should take advantage of teams dropping Bell. Within a year or two, he could become a serviceable NFL safety.