Avoiding the First-Round Bust for the Indianapolis Colts


It happens every year. A team spends countless hours in the war room going over film, interviews, combine results, pro day results, all to find that next guy to be their teams “stud”.

And each and every year someone lives up to the hype, someone is overlooked, and someone is the next JaMarcus Russell.

Some will say they saw it coming, some will swear that this guy is a can’t miss prospect. Simply put, there is not sure-fire way to find that out.

The Indianapolis Colts hold the 29th overall pick on April 30th, and many are still trying to decide in which direction the Colts are going in.

Do they strengthen their defensive line that still gave up over 100 yards a game on the ground last season? Do they find the long-term replacement for Mike Adams and Dwight Lowery at safety because both of whom are solid starters, but neither are All Pro players entering their primes. Or do they look at inside linebacker to against strengthen the run game and find a player who can matchup with tight ends and running backs in coverage?

The answer might be none of the above.

Gosder Cherilus is coming off the worst season of his career, as he finished with a Pro Football Focus (subscription required) rating of -16.8. Including, a pass block efficiency rating of -13.2. That puts him with the 13th lowest rating among the 84 qualified tackles.

The Colts should look to upgrade the offensive line in the draft, but not at the price of a first round pick. Players like La’El Collins and Brandon Scherff will be long gone by the time the Colts are on the clock. There are several other lineman that will be on the board at that spot, but most of them will be a reach to take. And we do not want another Werner situation on our hands.

So again, that leaves the Colts wide open at 29.

I have eliminated it down to three simple rules for the Colts when they are on the clock for the first round.

1. Avoid that reach pick. 

If you like a guy on the small chance that he can become that elite guy down the road stop. Taking a player in the first round should mean that he will be a starter come September.

None of the potential hoopla. Oh, and none of the “tweener” stuff either. If you are taking a player that many thing can fit at say safety or linebacker in the league, just leave him alone.

Player in mind? Yeah, Shaq Thompson, tweener extraordinaire from Washington University.

At 6’0″ and 228 pounds most scouts are split between him playing safety and linebacker in the NFL. The Colts need both.

Although, Thompson said his heart is at linebacker. Story HERE.  It is unsure where he better fit in the pros is.

Now Thompson did play safety in high school, but that was years ago. But, he has the athleticism to cover in the league.

The Colts need a free range roamer in the secondary. One who can cover the the line of scrimmage and also drop back and be the next Bob Sanders.

I do not see that in Thompson. My biggest problem with him comes when a blocker gets his hands on him, he is done.

Now, Thompson might go on to be a great player in the league, and the Colts should consider him. But not for the first round.

2. That “Just because he fell to us” player.

Look I get it, a player was supposed to go somewhere early in the first round but he just keeps sliding down. You have to take him right? How did that work out for Jacksonville with Blaine Gabbert? Or the Browns last year when Johnny Football dropped?

Now this might not be right for every player, because some do drop because other teams looks at needs first at the top of the draft. So if Landon Collins is sitting there at 29th I would be in 7th heaven.

But for a player like Dorial Green-Beckham no. Now the kid is talented, but after being kicked out of two schools (Oklahoma and Missouri), the kid has a giant red flag on his chest.

Not to mention he has not played a live game since 2013.

The Colts are loaded at the receiver spot, and can afford to look again in the later rounds add depth once Andre Johnson retires.

3. We loved his combine and pro day results.

Every year a player sky rockets up onto draft boards because of a workout he had in just shorts and cleats. No pads, no one lined up across from him.

This year that man seems to be Breshad Perriman. A player that reminds me too much of Darrius Heyward-Bey. Both of whom are fast as lightning, but their hands are a major question mark.

Now I am not saying Perriman is the next DHB, but there are flags being waved.

Picking at the end of the first round can be a tricky thing, and don’t forget that the Colts can always trade back for a team willing to jump in the first round to take a guy that might be off the board with the first few picks the next day.

Being patient is key here, and I know Grigson and the front office will be. But they cannot panic and just take a guy because they need someone.

The Colts are too close to becoming a true Super Bowl contender to waste a first round bust this year. Avoiding these three things will be key come draft night in Chicago.

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