With the 29th pick in the NFL Draft the Indianapolis Colts select…
We won’t hear those words until April 30th, but that means we’ve got dozens of mock drafts predicting who the Colts will select. We will get even more after the NFL Scouting Combine here in Indianapolis starting February 17th.
We have talked in generalities about the upcoming draft and how the Colts need to focus on defense. There are some clear positions of need on this roster.
Specifically, the Colts need help at:
- Defensive Line (both nose tackle and end positions)
- Inside Linebacker
- Running Back
- Wide Receiver
To a lesser extent, the Colts could also use help at rush linebacker.
Here is what the draftniks around the country think the Colts will do with the 29th pick:
Carl Cockerham, WithTheFirstPick.com
We start with our Fansided counterpart who has given us two mock drafts in the past week.
- Tevin Coleman, RB, Indiana University
- In his first iteration, Cockerham selected running back Coleman from IU. Personally, I love Coleman as a player and believe that he is incredibly underrated in the Big Ten. He was able to rush for over 2,000 yards against stacked boxes. That said, the Colts have more pressing needs than RB and Coleman could still be there late in the second round.
- Jordan Phillips, NT, Oklahoma
- This is a better fit and fills a clear need for the Colts. Run defense starts up front, an area that has severely been lacking in the past two years (over 400 yards rushing given up in past two playoff losses). While he has the tools to be dominant, Phillips doesn’t have a first round grade due to a low motor and the fact that he disappears for long stretches in games.
Matt Miller, BleacherReport.com
- Vic Beasley, OLB/DE, Clemson
- Prior to the playoffs, Miller felt that the Colts needed help rushing the passer. That is certainly true, and they need another edge rusher. There are concerns about his speed and size, but the Combine will give a clear indication of his abilities. He would certainly fill an area of need, but I believe that the Colts have greater holes to fill on defense.
- Eli Harold, OLB, Virginia
- After the Super Bowl, Miller stuck with outside linebacker and there is an argument that Harold could be better than Beasley. Dropping three spots between these drafts means the Colts could lose out on either player. He played in a 4-3 but has the physical tools to be an OLB in a 3-4 with a combo of pass rush and edge setting. The one knock is his tackling ability where he is inconsistent.
Mel Kiper, ESPN
- Jaelen Strong, WR, Arizona State
- In his Mock 1.0, Kiper went offense for the Colts with Strong. At 6-2 and 212-pounds, Strong is the definition of a possession receiver who isn’t afraid of getting roughed up across the middle. While I’d love Strong in a Colts uniform, I think they have bigger areas of need than wide receiver.
- La’El Collins, OT, LSU
- In his Mock 2.0, Kiper whiffs as he has the Colts taking an offensive tackle. More on this later, but the Colts have much greater needs at other positions. They should almost just take the best available defensive player with the 29th pick.
Todd McShay, ESPN
- La’El Collins, OT, LSU
- In his Mock 1.0, McShay also went with Collins (albeit before the draft position was decided and the playoffs started). He believes that Collins would give the Colts a solid pass protector and a great run blocker. Again, offensive line isn’t a crucial need heading into 2015.
Dan Kadar, MockingTheDraft.com
- Paul Dawson, LB, TCU
- Kadar brings back the defensive focus in his mock draft. Dawson would be a nice combination of traditional middle linebacker and pass rusher. He was a playmaker on a very good defense at TCU. Although Colts fans might be wary of another defensive player from TCU after Jerry Hughes (who has been great in Buffalo).
- Kadar gave a couple other options with guard A.J. Cann and offensive tackle Cedric Ogbuehi citing the need for more talent up front along the offensive line.
NFL.com – Four analysts making their picks.
T.J. Clemmings, OT, Pitt – Charles Davis
Paul Dawson, ILB, TCU – Lance Zierlein
Dorial Green-Beckham, WR, Missouri – Bucky Brooks
Vic Beasley, OLB, Clemson – Daniel Jeremiah
CBSSports.com – Three analysts making picks.
Melvin Gordon, RB, Wisconsin – Rob Rang
Landon Collins, SS, Alabama – Dan Brugler
Eric Kendricks, ILB, UCLA – Pat Kirwan
All the analysts who have said the Colts need defensive help have done their homework. Anyone thinking offensive line just hears that Andrew Luck gets hit too much and it must be on the line play.
Its really not the line that is at fault. Or rather, its not completely their fault, Luck shares some of the blame too. He has to get the ball out faster and learn when to just eat a play. So many sacks and turnovers this year were due to Luck desperately trying to make something out of nothing and that doesn’t count against the line.
The truth is that the Colts have two very good players on the left side and the only question marks are at center and right guard. They have a few young players who could develop into long term options at those positions and two more players who need to get healthy.