Colts focus on defense in McShay’s latest mock draft
The mock drafts are flowing in following the Scouting Combine, and one ESPN draft expert has the Indianapolis Colts looking at defense.
The Colts should have plenty of options available to them with the 18th pick in the draft. They certainly need help along the offensive line and at pass rush. However, there is a chance that there isn’t a value pick filling the need to protect Andrew Luck (and there is always the possibility they address some of these needs in free agency). That means the Colts might be more focused on shoring up the defense (while also getting younger on that side of the ball).
ESPN’s Todd McShay looks at this possibility, and shifts focus to the problems the Colts have on defense. McShay has the taking Georgia outside linebacker Leonard Floyd. Here are his thoughts on the pick:
"If Tunsil, Stanley, Conklin and Decker are all off the board, the Colts will have to decide whether to reach for an O-lineman (Jason Spriggs and Germain Ifedi are next up on my board) or take an impact player elsewhere. Floyd would give Indianapolis an athlete who can pressure the QB and drop into coverage. He’s not a finished product, so that might scare off some talent evaluators, but Floyd has the raw tools to develop into a playmaker."
Floyd certainly would help round out a linebacking corps that is looking awfully thin heading into next season. With Jonathan Newsome gone, and the possibility of Trent Cole and Bjoern Werner being cut, the Colts would be left with Erik Walden and Robert Mathis. This is definitely a position where the team needs to plan for the future.
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Floyd has a number of boxes to check before he can be a complete player, but you couldn’t ask for a better foundation to build on. He has to put on weight, and is clearly doing so after weighing 244 pounds at the combine, up nearly 10 from his listed playing weight. Floyd also needs some work on his technique, but there isn’t a glaring flaw that stands out.
Floyd is also exceptional in coverage and able to close on ball carriers with impressive speed. This might be due to his formerly light playing weight, and it remains to be seen if he retains his speed as he adds bulk to his frame (although he was top five in 40-times at the Combine among linebackers with a 4.60).
Having Floyd as a rotation player who can learn from Mathis while still getting in productive snaps on the field. This might be the best case scenario for the Colts as they look to get younger on defense and add some much needed talent (and speed) to this unit.