Step by step, the Indianapolis Colts continue to improve in the Chuck Pagano and Andrew Luck era. They've been 11-5 in the regular season for three straight seasons, and made the playoffs each year, but their two playoff wins and an appearance in the AFC championship game represented more gradual progress -- even if things did not go especially well for them in said championship game.
To take the next step, the Colts will need to continue to improve their defense, and that's precisely what Stephen Reed of Stampede Blue is doing with the No. 29 overall pick in our 2015 NFL mock draft.
29. Colts: Eddie Goldman, DT, Florida State
Reed: Goldman to the Colts is the perfect marriage of need and best player available. Measuring in at 6'4, 336, which oddly enough is about the same size of a certain former Baltimore defensive tackle (Haloti Ngata), Goldman is massive, but size is not the only thing he brings. Goldman plays the run fiercely, and is able to effectively shed blockers to take down running backs in the hole due to his excellent vision and situational awareness. He has violent hands to throw offensive linemen off balance, and is an effective bull rusher because he's able to explode out of his stance.
However, Goldman is not a natural pass rusher, and does not have any consistent pass rush moves, so that would be a definite area for him to work on. Realistically, though, the Colts likely won't ask Goldman to specifically rush the passer. He'll likely be asked to eat up blockers and help the defense stop the run, which are the areas where he excels.
The Colts' biggest need in the draft is on defense, and more specifically, stopping the run. Goldman gives the team a consistent presence in the middle like they haven't had in the Chuck Pagano era. This selection would also allow the current linebackers better opportunities to make plays, as Goldman will eat up blockers and keep the linebackers free. Overall, selecting Goldman could do wonders for improving a suspect defense all the way around.
Dan Kadar, SBNation.com: Here’s another pick where it’s hard to find fault. Goldman is the best player available in this fake scenario, and could be a vital cog for the Colts. The key with Goldman is making sure he’s giving good effort. When he does, he can dominate a game, like he did against Clemson last season. Goldman can be much more than simply a big body who occupies blocks, and that’s what you want in a first-round defensive tackle. Goldman has an explosive first step that helps him disrupt the entire pocket. That forces a quarterback to move around, and potentially messes up his timing.
Dan's Top 5 players remaining
- 17. Dorial Green-Beckham, WR, Oklahoma
- 19. Eric Kendricks, LB, UCLA
- 26. Shaq Thompson, LB, Washington
- 28. Jaelen Strong, WR, Arizona State
- 29. Maxx Williams, TE, Minnesota
- 1-29: Eddie Goldman, DT, Florida State
- 2-61: (coming April 20)
SB Nation presents: A breakdown of our latest mock draft