After a promising season in which they finished 11-5 and qualified for the playoffs, the Indianapolis Colts would’ve been hard-pressed to unsettle their fan base this offseason.
However, they’ve managed to do just that with their conservative approach through the first waves of free agency.
Fortunately for GM Chris Ballard, he’ll have a golden opportunity to get back in fans’ good graces during this month’s draft, which is less than three weeks away.
Per the latest buzz, the Colts seem destined to address their left tackle vacancy in the first round at No. 21 overall. In a perfect world, one of the consensus top three prospects — including Penei Sewell, Rashawn Slater and Christian Darrisaw — would fall to them.
Well, CBS Sports’ latest mock just so happened to have Indy nabbing Darrisaw, who might have the most upside of any offensive lineman in this year’s loaded class.
While we would absolutely love it if the Virginia Tech product was available at No. 21 overall, however, our attention has been drawn to CBS’ sixth-round selection for the Colts: versatile defensive back Mark Webb.
Georgia standout Mark Webb is an intriguing late-round option for the Colts.
Ballard and the Colts will be looking for upside and potential in the later rounds more than anything else, and Webb, a former four-star receiver who converted to the defensive side of the ball in college, falls right under that category.
While the former Bulldog likely won’t be ready to play significant defensive snaps as a rookie, most scouts acknowledge that he could make an immediate impact on special teams, as he was one of the hardest-hitting tacklers in the SEC over the last two seasons. That speaks volumes given that it’s widely considered the most physical conference in the sport.
There are questions about whether Webb has the requisite speed to play safety in the NFL, but those could be nipped in the bud by spending a couple months in the weight room. Even if it doesn’t work out for him as a defensive back, he’d be a prime backup linebacker candidate.
Georgia’s defense didn’t ask much of Webb, but he was still productive in multiple games this campaign, producing nine tackles against Mississippi State and recording an interception in an absolute route of Auburn early in the year.
The Colts would have to strike gold in the later rounds to nab a readymade starter, so they might as well jump on someone with massive upside in Webb, whose football IQ and previous experience as a receiver should help cushion his transition to the speed of the NFL.