The Indianapolis Colts are going to be able to go a number of different directions with the 18th pick, and we’ve got more mocks hinting at what they might do.
There are still three months until the NFL Draft, but that hasn’t stopped the deluge of mock drafts from flooding in. Over at Bleacher/Report their draft expert Matt Miller has put together his Senior Bowl notebook. In it, Miller has the Colts selecting Leonard Floyd, outside linebacker from Georgia.
Miller doesn’t break down the reasoning behind this pic, but we’ve finally got a mock draft that addresses a clear need. The Colts desperately need to find a dominant edge rusher, and Miller has the team addressing a clear need.
More from Horseshoe Heroes
- Colts explored hiring former quarterback and current ESPN analyst Dan Orlovsky
- When is the NFL Combine 2023? NFL Combine schedule, events, how to stream
- Latest NFL mock draft has Colts trading up to No. 1 for star QB
- Eagles offensive free agents that could follow Shane Steichen to Colts
- Here’s why Colts linebacker Shaq Leonard is going to love Shane Steichen
The Colts absolutely have to find an effective pass rusher in this draft. The defense needs much more help than the offense and they have to get younger on this side of the ball. The past three moves that the Colts have made to improve the pass rush have failed horribly (Trent Cole is a free agent bust, Jonathan Newsome has regressed, and Bjoern Werner has been a monumental first round bust).
Floyd would give the Colts an outstanding edge rusher who is also versatile when it comes to coverage and run support. Floyd is a bit on the lean size and will need to add weight and strength to be a true threat in the league. Bottom line is he has the traits to be an exceptional pass rusher and that is something the Colts sorely need.
Floyd is another player whose production is a bit concerning. He had 17 sacks in three years, and led the team with four sacks this season. But that is partly due to how the team used him, featuring his versatility to drop him in coverage as opposed to a pure pass rusher. He was a finalist the Butkus Award this season as well.
In a two round mock last week, Miller had Floyd going to the Cardinals with the 31st (at the time) pick. In that mock, the Colts took left tackle Taylor Decker from Ohio State in the first round and defensive lineman Andrew Billings from Baylor in the second.
Miller has Floyd as his 36th best prospect while CBS Sports has him 21st overall (and the third ranked outside linebacker) in this draft class. NFL.com had him with the 13th highest grade in this year’s draft class.
We’ve talked about the Colts team needs, specifically pass rush and pass protection. This is the first mock draft I’ve seen that really addresses the former issue. We could go over how Andrew Luck needs to protect himself, but that’s getting redundant. The real issue is that the Colts have two aging veterans (who are marginally effective) at outside linebacker and two young players who are disappointments.
The Colts need to find a strong talent to fill the shoes of Robert Mathis and provide the team with an effective pass rush. So many of the defensive issues stem from the lack of a pass rush and if they can solve this one aspect, we will see a much better overall team heading into 2016.