On day two of the NFL Draft, the Colts demonstrated a clear interest in specific prospects. We took a look at those selections, as well as the trades that facilitated them.
After deciding to sit out on the first round in favor of DeForest Buckner, the Colts were extremely active during rounds two and three of the NFL Draft. The Colts targeted obvious team needs, while also trading up for players that some would consider more of a luxury pick. With three selections and two trades, there is plenty of material to grade, so let’s jump right into it.
A pick after the Cincinnati Bengals provided a little shock and selected Tee Higgins, Indy came back to select USC wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. with the second pick of round two. Pittman is your prototypical X receiver, standing at 6’4 and weighing in at 223 lbs and is designed to play the outside receiver, something the current Colts roster is lacking.
Productive, big, and sure-handed, Pittman is a great selection for a team that is seeking a true outside receiving threat. He should pair nicely with T.Y. Hilton and Philip Rivers to create an interesting offense, potentially the best in the division.
The Colts were also able to snag Pittman without trading up, a testament to their patience and confidence in their board. There are some injury concerns: between an ankle injury that caused him to miss games and a shoulder injury that required surgery, there are some questions about Pittman. But his rare combination of size, production, and athleticism make him a solid pick for Indianapolis.
With their first trade of the night, the Colts moved up three spots – from 44th overall to 41st overall, in order to select Wisconsin bell-cow back Jonathan Taylor. The Colts, who also sent the Cleveland Browns a fifth-round pick, clearly had their minds made up on Taylor, and felt that his slide in the draft needed to come to an end.
This pick concerns me for a few reasons. First, Taylor would’ve most likely been available at 44, unless one believes that Jacksonville was interested. Secondly, this trade up surrendered a fifth-round pick, in addition, to pick 44 for Indianapolis. While adding depth at a position that does not need it on their roster. Marlon Mack was phenomenal last season, while Hines proved to be a great third-down back.
Lastly, Taylor’s playstyle is concerning for me. He seems to be a clearly limited first and second-down back, with fumble issues, who will be chosen over on third down for Nyheim Hines. Taylor only provides the Colts so much versatility offensively, and they needed to use a second and a fifth-round pick to secure him. This trade doesn’t do it for me.
After trading up for Taylor earlier, the Colts trade back 10 spots to 85, pick up an additional fifth-round pick and snag a day one defensive contributor. Blackmon is a three-year starter out of the University of Utah.
In those three years, Julian compiled 9 interceptions, as well as played in some very big games. He should come into a depleted Colts secondary experienced and eager to learn more. There are some red flags here: Blackmon tore his ACL in the PAC-12 Conference Championship game last season, so injuries are going to have to be watched.
Overall, given their lack of early-round selections, Indianapolis ends day two on a positive note by adding much-needed firepower to a position room that desperately needs it.
The Colts will have more selections today, and we will keep you up to date on all of those as well. Hopefully, this class can be rounded out to be an extremely productive one.