The Indianapolis Colts made a quick turnaround from 2011 to 2012 thanks mostly to the presence of rookie quarterback Andrew Luck. When push came to shove, however, the Colts were not talented enough defensively to truly contend in the AFC. After a 2012 draft spent largely on providing Luck with help on offense, will the Colts shift their focus to the defensive side of the ball?
|24. Indianapolis Colts||Datone Jones, UCLA||DE||6'4"||283||SR|
Brad Wells: "I’ve done mock drafts like these for SB Nation for eight years, and this year was the hardest. At pick No. 24, there were literally four players left on the board that I REALLY wanted to take. They included NT Jesse Williams, OLB Damontre Moore and WR DeAndre Hopkins. However, based on most big boards I’ve seen, Datone Jones is the better player left available, and, at this pick, that’s the player the Colts will want. It also happens that Jones fills a big need: interior pass rusher.
"Yes, the team signed versatile DE-NT Ricky Jean-Francois to a contract that left many scratching their heads, but that doesn’t mean the weaknesses along the defensive line were adequately addressed. As Stampede Blue’s Matt Grecco noted in his scouting report on Jones, 'this guy was made to play the DE in a 3-4 scheme, with both his size and abilities, and by sheer coincidence the Colts are pretty thin at the position, with many people thinking this is where they'll go in Round 1.'
"It kills me that I can’t take a truly impressive receiver like Hopkins, giving Andrew Luck another weapon to wreck havoc with on opposing defenses. However, last year the Colts dedicated eight of their ten picks to players on offense. The results were that their defense in 2012 was just about bad as the unit that ultimately led to their 2-14 season in 2011. The Colts need blue chip players on defense if they mean to contend, and it just so happens that the best player at No. 24 is, indeed, a defensive player that fits a BIG need."
Here's our own Dan Kadar to break down the pick:
Of the three defensive players mentioned, they all make a degree of sense. Much more so than a wide receiver. The Colts should be set there. For 3-4 teams looking for a J.J. Watt-style player (and who isn’t?), Jones fits the bill. He’s not as lanky as Watt, but he can generate a pass rush from the five-technique spot. At UCLA, Jones was used at end and tackle, so he’s strong enough to take on blockers solo at the point of attack. He showed good enough burst and quickness to beat them off the block as well.
|19||Tyler Eifert||TE||Notre Dame||6'6"||250|
|20||D.J. Fluker *||OT||Alabama||6'5"||339|
|21||DeAndre Hopkins *||WR||Clemson||6'1"||214|
|22||Damontre Moore||OLB||Texas A&M||6'5"||250|
|23||Cornelius Carradine||DE||Florida State||6'4"||276|
|1||Kansas City Chiefs||Luke Joeckel||OT||Texas A&M|
|2||Jacksonville Jaguars||Geno Smith||QB||West Virginia|
|3||Oakland Raiders||Sharrif Floyd||DT||Florida|
|4||Philadelphia Eagles||Eric Fisher||OT||Central Michigan|
|5||Detroit Lions||Ezekiel Ansah||DE||BYU|
|6||Cleveland Browns||Dion Jordan||OLB||Oregon|
|7||Arizona Cardinals||Barkevious Mingo||OLB||LSU|
|8||Buffalo Bills||Jarvis Jones||OLB||Georgia|
|9||New York Jets||Chance Warmack||OG||Alabama|
|10||Tennessee Titans||Dee Milliner||CB||Alabama|
|11||San Diego Chargers||Star Lotulelei||DT||Utah|
|12||Miami Dolphins||Desmond Trufant||CB||Washington|
|13||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Xavier Rhodes||CB||Florida State|
|14||Carolina Panthers||Lane Johnson||OT||Oklahoma|
|15||New Orleans Saints||Alec Ogletree||LB||Georgia|
|16||St. Louis Rams||Tavon Austin||WR||West Virginia|
|17||Pittsburgh Steelers||Cordarrelle Patterson||WR||Tennessee|
|18||Dallas Cowboys||Jonathan Cooper||OG||North Carolina|
|19||New York Giants||Sheldon Richardson||DT||Missouri|
|20||Chicago Bears||Arthur Brown||LB||Kansas State|
|21||Cincinnati Bengals||Kenny Vaccaro||S||Texas|
|22||St. Louis Rams||Jonathan Cyprien||S||Florida International|
|23||Minnesota Vikings||Bjoern Werner||DE||Florida State|
|24||Indianapolis Colts||Datone Jones||DE||UCLA|