The 2020 NFL offseason is well underway now and one of the biggest dates on the calendar, in talent acquisition terms, is the NFL Draft. NFL teams, including the Indianapolis Colts, are allowed to draft/pick and sign players who have declared for the upcoming draft from the college ranks. The NFL Draft begins with day one on Thursday, April 23rd and carries on for two more days, ending on the 25th. Day one sees the first round of the draft, day two sees the second and third rounds and, finally, day three sees rounds four through seven.
The Colts, like previous years under General Manager Chris Ballard, are seemingly very well prepared. The Colts have some roster needs but not as many as they had before free agency. During the free agency period, the Colts signed a well known veteran quarterback in Phillip Rivers from the Los Angeles Chargers, a veteran defensive tackle in Sheldon Day from the San Francisco 49ers and a pair of veteran cornerbacks in Xavier Rhodes and TJ Carrie to one year deals. Where the team was relatively quiet in signing free agents, they certainly were not when making a trade. Chris Ballard made a huge blockbuster trade, when he sent the Colts first round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft to the San Francisco 49ers for defensive tackle DeForest Buckner. The Colts then signed Buckner to a 4 year contract extension worth $84 million. This huge trade knocks the Colts out of round 1 of the draft but adds a massively talented elite level defensive tackle which the Colts have needed for years. The Colts now have six draft picks remaining, two second round picks, one third round pick, one fourth, one fifth and two sixth round picks.
So, using the amazing NFL Draft Network’s draft machine I was able to complete a 7-round mock draft for the Indianapolis Colts.
Here we go!
Round 2 (pick 34 from WAS) - Josh Jones, OT - Houston
The Colts stay out at pick 34 and grab a left tackle prospect in Josh Jones here. Jones is a great pass blocking tackle from Houston who does need some work in run blocking. Even though Anthony Castonzo didn’t retire this offseason, the fact that he was contemplating retirement still means the Colts need to look into finding a future replacement for him and Jones could be exactly that. Jones dominated at Houston and earned a trip to the Senior Bowl where he continued his dominance. If Jones is available at pick 34, it seems like a no-brainer to select him.
Round 2 (pick 44) - Michael Pittman Jr, WR - USC
The Colts are in absolute need of a big wide receiver to pair with TY Hilton. It seems like we have been saying this every year since Reggie Wayne retired. Two words for you: Michael Pittman. He’s exactly the type of receiver the Colts need. He is a big bodied wide receiver, can run the full route tree, dominated at the Senior Bowl and even played special teams at USC. Everything Colts GM Chris Ballard loves.
Round 3 (pick 75) - Bryan Edwards, WR - South Carolina
Did I mention the Colts need a wide receiver? The Colts really do need one so why not double down on receivers to totally sort the need at the position. Bryan Edwards is sort of flying under the radar in this years wide receivers class and it’s probably due to the amazing depth. Edwards is what draftniks call a height, weight, speed prospect. He’s 6-foot-3, 212-pounds and has speed for days. Did I mention he was a four year starter too? The biggest knock on Edwards was his meniscus injury in 2019 which caused him to miss time.
Round 4 (pick 122) - Harrison Bryant, TE - Florida Atlantic
One of my favourite draft prospects in the whole class and at tight end is Harrison Bryant. Bryant dominated at Florida Atlantic putting up great numbers in his college career; 148 receptions, 2137 yards receiving and 16 touchdowns. Watching Bryant, you get Kelce/Kittle vibes and it’s clear to see he will be a matchup problem at the next level for linebackers and safeties. Bryant is fast but his testing numbers at the Combine were slightly underwhelming, running a 4.73 forty, and he could improve his in line blocking too.
Round 5 (pick 160) - James Morgan, QB - Florida International
This will probably be the pick you all came here to see right, a quarterback? Well the Colts take a good one from a smaller school. James Morgan comes from Florida International, the same school as TY Hilton, is a very capable quarterback, has a big arm and there isn’t a throw he can’t make at the next level. He’s got the size, mobility and arm you want in a quarterback so all the foundational pieces are there for Morgan. He does need work on touch throws, and his accuracy can become irrational at times, but pairing him with a mentor in Philip Rivers and a coach like Frank Reich should give him the step up to aid his development.
Round 6 (pick 193) - Tanner Muse, SAF - Clemson
Tanner Muse is a BIG, fast, hard hitting safety from Clemson. Muse stands at 6-foot-2 227-pounds and ran a 4.41 forty at the Combine. His physical presence and ability to match up with tight ends will be perfect for what the Colts are looking for in a Clayton Geathers replacement. Muse will likely fill the Geathers role at strong safety/dime linebacker. He does have deep range issues, as you don’t want him in a free safety role, but with the Colts already having Hooker in that role Muse will be used more in a box and around mid zones in coverage.
Round 6 (pick 197) - Casey Toohill, EDGE - Stanford
Casey Toohill is an athlete, he is 6’4 250lbs and ran a 4.62 forty. He has all the physical tools you want and look for in an EDGE rusher. He’s got an NFL ready body, flashes good traits as a pass rusher and has the length and bend to get around the corner. Where Toohill needs work is his work against the run, he gets stuck when trying to disengage run blockers and doesn’t always set a great edge. Adding Toohill would be a good addition to the Colts EDGE group and he would be a good special teams player early on.
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