Colts select a defensive end in Cris Collinsworth’s first mock draft


With free agency winding down, a new mock draft has the Indianapolis Colts focused on the defensive line.

The Colts have remained very quiet in free agency and are looking towards the draft to fill all of the team’s various needs. Last year, the Colts invested two picks on the defensive line and brought in a free agent to help shore up the run defense. The infusion of young talent helped bolster what had been a porous run defense, but slowly crumbled last year to to injuries.

A new mock draft, from a surprising source, has the Colts paying attention to the line again in the first round. NBC analyst and Pro Football Focus patron Cris Collinsworth has the Colts selecting Alabama defensive end A’Shawn Robinson with the 18th pick in the draft.

Here’s what Collinsworth said about the pick:

"Robinson is a classic defensive end in a 3-4 defense. While he’s not really a pass-rusher, his strength will be anchoring the run-heavy defensive left side and pushing the pocket in the pass rush. Most defensive coordinators share the same line every time I meet with them: “If we can stop the run and make them one-dimensional, we will get after their quarterback.” A’Shawn Robinson will help his NFL team stop the run."

More from Horseshoe Heroes

Every scouting reporter lists Robinson as an elite run stopper who can play all three downs and will be able to start from day one on most teams. Robinson is a massive space clogger at 6-4 and 307-pounds, he was generally asked to eat up two blockers and force running backs to change direction, usually right into the arms of a linebacker.

He is really raw as a pass rusher but his upside is extraordinary. He was rotated in and out of Alabama’s scheme and didn’t play on third downs last year. Given the opportunity, he is able to push the pocket and at the very least disrupt an opposing QB or allow someone else to sack him.

As far as scheme fit, Robinson would be perfect for the Colts, if they didn’t already have Kendall Langford who was exceptional last year. That said, this would allow for the Colts to have a deeper rotation along the line, and Robinson would be a nice addition of young talent (Langford is 30) to pair with Henry Anderson and David Parry.

While Robinson would be a very good player to add to the team, he doesn’t exactly fill a clear need on the roster. The Colts have far more glaring needs along the offensive line, at cornerback, and inside linebacker. If Robinson wasn’t fairly one-dimensional, and could effectively rush the passer right away, it would be a much better selection.

Next: Colts well represented at Michigan State Pro Day

It remains to be seen whether or not the Colts will draft based on need or best available. In 2013, GM Ryan Grigson went with need and took Bjoern Werner, who is no longer on the roster. 2014 should be burned from memory as the Colts used their first rounder to trade for Trent Richardson, who also more or less filled a need (but not one that was worth a draft pick).

Last year, the Colts clearly drafted based off their best available and took Phillip Dorsett, even though they were theoretically loaded at wide receiver. The jury is still out on Dorsett, but the Colts recent use of first round picks makes it impossible to determine what they’ll do with the 18th.