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5 Prospects to Watch for the Colts — Part 5

Syndication: The Courier-Journal Jeff Faughender/Courier Journal and USA Today Network / USA TODAY NETWORK

Will Anderson — Edge Rusher — Alabama

While the Colts are most likely going to pick a quarterback, you can’t discount the fact that Chris Ballard might just take a defensive linemen with their first pick, especially if 3 quarterbacks go in the first 3 picks. One thing I’ll always remember from every tape of Anderson is how smooth he is. He isn’t an explosive monster (although he is explosive), but he always wins his 1on1 battles and creates havoc. He also does an incredible job of reading and reacting to developing plays. He has a tremendous build with good arm length and I find he is very quick off the line with powerful hands. He’ll be best as an edge rusher, but I think he can play as an undersized 4 tech (in a 3-4 system) or an off-ball linebacker at times if needed. Anderson bolsters any front 7 and is my #1 player in this year’s draft.

Michael Mayer — Tight End — Notre Dame

Mayer is a big-boded, versatile tight end who can play on the line, in the slot, out wide or as an H-Back. He was very productive at Notre Dame and was used as one of their primary receiving options and oftentimes in big on big blocking situations. I love his effort when he blocks and while he doesn’t possess great finishing ability, I would say he’s an above average blocker who does well in space. He has a basketball background and he plays the position like a power forward who uses his body well to shield defenders from the ball. I find he’s a little heavy footer and isn’t smooth in and out of cuts. I’d also like to see him break more tackles, especially from defensive backs. To me, he looks like a good early 2nd round pick and I think taking him in the 1st round is a slight reach, but he should become a good tight end with top 10 potential due to his good blocking and his receiving ability, where he demonstrated a good variety of routes run, good hands and fight for balls in traffic.

Josh Downs — Wide Receiver — North Carolina

Downs is a small bodied, quick receiver who is shifty and smooth in space. He isn’t the best route runner as he doesn’t run a wide variety of down the field routes and he tends to round some of his routes, but he does do a decent job of getting open. He wins 50/50 balls and can make great catches in traffic, which is intriguing as an undersized receiver. I don’t feel he has tremendous top end speed but he is quick. I think he will be limited to the slot since outside cornerbacks, especially physical ones can pose him problems, but I think he can be a quality slot receiver in the right system and I believe that could be Indianapolis in a role that is similar to Quez Watkins. I don’t think he’s worth being taken with the 2nd round pick, but if he’s there in the 3rd round, it could be a good value selection.

Jonathan Mingo — Wide Receiver — Ole Miss

Mingo is a big bodied athlete who reminds me a lot of AJ Brown, who had a similar build, a similar playing style from Ole Miss. He is a very good athlete who is tough with the ball in his hands. He can make tough contested catches down the field and has strong hands. In terms of receiver rankings, most mock drafts have him outside the 1st round and top 5 for receivers, but after deeply studying his film in the last few days, I wish I could go back and change my mock draft and put him a lot higher. He has a first round tape. He isn’t overly explosive or sudden off the line and he doesn’t separate himself a lot (hence the reason why he makes a lot of contested catches), but he’s a dog and he’ll have a very good career and is worthy a first round pick. If the Colts use their 2nd round pick on him, I will be very happy.

Will Levis — Quarterback — Kentucky

Levis is a well built, big armed quarterback with a lot of positives and a lot of negatives. For the sake of this blurb, I will not get into the rumours about his personality/attitude since I or the general public don’t know about it.

As a passer, the arm jumps off the screen, mostly at how easy and smooth he can rip the ball. His lower body mechanics aren’t anything special and at times he fails to set his feet properly when he throws; this has led to a lot of inconsistent ball placement and a lot of turnover-worthy passes. When he does set his face and rip off a pass, the ball spins beautifully and pierces through the air; he can easily make all the throws. The raw arm talent is definitely there and he’s a good enough athlete that he can be used on option plays.

One of his biggest, if not his biggest, negative traits is his decision making. He takes a lot of time to go through his reads and if his first read is taken away, the pressure gets to him and the pocket starts to collapse. A lot of his throws are screen or bubble passes because he’s very good at quick hitters, but as we know in the NFL, the amount of times a screen or short quick hitter passes are called are not nearly as high as they are in college.

So much of quarterback development comes down to the coaching staff and the system; I don’t think Levis would be a poor fit in a Shane Steichen system, but the Eagles like to throw the ball down the field and while Levis has an incredible arm for that system, I’m not confident he can consistently make the right reads and the Colts’ offensive line in it’s current state will not do him a lot of favours in terms of protection.

He is a true boom or bust prospect and he’s the 4th best quarterback prospect in my opinion. The numbers don’t jump off the page either and according to PFF, his deep ball grade was below average, so I’m not even sure he can be that great of a deep ball passer behind a mediocre offensive line. With Levis, you are essentially going all in on his arm and frame and that’s dangerous.