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 29th, and carries on for two more days, ending on May 1st. 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, as in 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 couple of veteran free agents to 1-year deals at positions of need whilst also managing to re-sign most of their own free agents too. While 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 third-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft and a conditional second-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft to the Philadelphia Eagles for quarterback Carson Wentz. This huge trade knocks the Colts out of round 3 of the draft but adds a massively talented potentially elite-level quarterback which the Colts have needed for years since Andrew Luck retired. The Colts now have six draft picks remaining, one first-round pick, one second-round pick, one fourth, one fifth, one sixth and one seventh-round pick.
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 1 (Pick 21) - Kwity Paye - EDGE - Michigan
Paye, at 6’4 and 277 lbs, has great size, athleticism, and effort all of which will help him excel at the next level. Paye can rush the passer and also defends the run well too. He uses a mix of speed and power from the defensive end position to beat offensive tackles and collapse the pocket. Paye could start straight away for the Colts at the defensive end position while due to his already good foundational ability, but there is still plenty of room for improvement and development for him.
Round 2 (Pick 54) - Dillon Radunz - OT - North Dakota State
Radunz, 6’5 and 305lbs, was a three-year starter on the left side for North Dakota State. He has great size and is a powerful blocker in both run and pass blocking. Radunz has very good fundamentals and footwork when blocking. He should acclimate well to the NFL level and provide the Colts with a long-standing blindside protector for now and the future. Slotting in Radunz next to All-Pro guard Quenton Nelson will shore up the left side of the offensive line for the next 10 years.
Round 4 (Pick 127) - Paulson Adebo - CB - Stanford
Adebo, 6’1 and 198lbs, was a three-year starter on the outside for Stanford. He has great size and length for the cornerback position. Adebo has the size and ball skills that give him a distinct advantage against receivers. He fits what the Colts look for in cornerbacks under Chris Ballard and drafting Adebo gives the Colts a Xavier Rhodes future replacement or can step in instead of the inconsistent Rock Ya-Sin.
Round 5 (Pick 165) - Josh Palmer - WR - Tennessee
Palmer, 6’1 210lbs, has the size, hands, and route-running ability to be able to contribute straight away although he won’t need to in Indianapolis with the options ahead of him at wide receiver. The Colts give new quarterback Carson Wentz a new weapon in Palmer, who could line up opposite to Pittman when Hilton eventually retires. Palmer was hit with poor quarterback play in college but has the tools needed to be effective at the next level.
Round 6 (Pick 204) - Tre’ McKitty - TE - Georgia
McKitty, 6’4 246lbs, has good overall athleticism and has good hands, and offers a lot as a pass-catching stretch the field tight end rather than blocking. He is the perfect type of tight end to add to the Colts tight end group. McKitty offers a better pass-catching option than the other tight ends the team has rather than blocking upside.
Round 7 (Pick 247) - Derrick Barnes - LB - Purdue
Barnes, 6’0 238lbs, was a three-year starter at linebacker for Purdue. Barnes is a hard-hitting linebacker with position versatility in having played both linebacker and defensive end. He is a quick linebacker and who posted good speed numbers at his pro day and has lots of upside and potential at the next level. At worst Barnes is a special teamer with backup role potential.