Long time lurker, first time poster here at Mocking the Draft. Didn't want to get into a big mock draft yet, so here's my mock up for the Colts. I left out any potential compensatory picks since we have no idea where they'll be positioned in the draft order. Still, I think the Colts may get one or two. Anyway, I'd love to hear what you all think about it, so, yup. Here we go.
Of course, I've assumed the Colts are picking first.
1st Round - Andrew Luck - QB - Boring pick. For a while, I had hoped this pick would be traded to help restock the roster, but I just don't think that is a possibility anymore. Luck is the future of Indianapolis, whether we want him to be or not.
2nd Round - Dwight Jones - WR - This actually might be a little low for the wide receiver out of UNC, but I love him for the Colts. Jones uses his size well, has good acceleration and speed, and compares favorably to Greg Little, who, despite the situation in Cleveland, has been more successful than could be hoped for. His potential as a run-blocker, while not yet developed, makes him valuable to a team that is transitioning to a more run-heavy offense. The Colts have never had a receiver quite like Jones, and with the numerous soon-to-be free agents among our wide receiver corp, I think he would be a great pick.
3rd Round - Dontari Poe - DT - While the secondary remains a concern within the defense, the Colts lack of depth at defensive tackle is alarming. Apart from Antonio Johnson and Drake Nevis, the group is extremely underwhelming. Picking a defensive tackle as powerful Poe could do wonders in shoring up our defensive line and eliminating some of the double teams that our edge rushers face.
4th Round - Tommy Streeter - WR- I continue to see wide receiver as a major issue on this team. Wayne and Gonzalez are probably on their way out, due to desire for one last big paycheck and injury concerns respectively. Tommy Streeter fits the mold of wide receivers I hope the Colts continue to pursue: big receivers who can be successful against the improving pass defenses of the AFC South and could be successful even without an excellent quarterback throwing to them. With his size, speed, and potential, Streeter could have been a high round pick next year, and the Colts should take advantage of a bargain by picking him up now.
5th Round - Rokevious Watson - OL - Watson is a large offensive lineman who can play both OG and RT. Picking Watson would add some depth and versatility to our offensive line, where our players our often injured. If he manages to pan out as a RT, it would enable the Colts to move Ijalana to guard, a more natural position for him. If he can only be played as a guard, he could displace Jamey Richard, who is absolutely terrible, and eventually replace the aging Diem.
6th Round - Trumaine Johnson - SS/FS - Time to address some of the secondary concerns now. Johnson can play safety and cornerback in the Colts defense, adding some versatility and depth. He's a solid player whose stock has dropped some due to character concerns, but with the drafting of Delone Carter and Chris Rucker last year, the Colts' front office has shown their willingness to take some risks in later rounds.
7th Round - Asa Jackson - CB - A player similar in size to other Colts cornerbacks such as Jerraud Powers and Jacob Lacey, Jackson separates himself from the rest with his speed and athleticism. Although his his play is not always consistent and tackling technique could be improved, Jackson has the speed and fluidity to match up with speedy receivers and to play closer up to the line that most Colts cornerbacks are able to. He also could serve as a kick returner and special teams player, a consistent area of weakness for the Colts.
In this draft, the Colts have a great opportunity to build their offensive upon a young and talented offensive line strengthened by the additions of Ijalana, Reitz, and Castonzo. For too long the Colts have drafted skill players first, while disregarding the offensive line. Now, the Colts have the opportunity to continue to strengthen the offensive line in drafting Watson while drafting skill players in Jones and Streeter whose skills and abilities will be of greater use now that the quarterback, whoever he may be, will have time to allow the play to develop before throwing the ball to his receiver.
Some may argue that the defense has been neglected in this draft. To this, I have two counters. First, the Colts have always emphasized drafting first for the offense, then for the defense. While this may not be the best philosophy, I don't really see it changing this year. Secondly, the Colts defense has not been nearly as a bad as alleged this year. Right now, the Colts offense is terrible at sustaining drives and currently is last in the league in time of possession. The opposing offenses are just getting much more time with the ball than previous years, resulting in some pretty bad numbers for the Colts statistics. Additionally, without Manning, opposing teams are passing the ball more than they would have otherwise as it is no longer necessary to sustain long, run-oriented drives designed to minimize the time that Manning has the ball in his hands. This results in yards given up at a faster rate simply due to the greater efficiency, from a temporal perspective at least, of passing as compared to rushing. Still, it is clear that the defense needs improvement and I believe that in drafting Poe to strengthen the defensive line and Johnson and Jackson to shore up the secondary that some appreciable improvement will be gained in the defense. Combined with the return of injured players at the beginning of next year, although the Colts defense will certainly not be a powerhouse, I believe it will be enough to get the job done. Thanks for reading everybody.