Colts make a bold first-round trade in this 2024 NFL Mock Draft

Anthony Richardson will be smiling after this one.

Indianapolis Colts, Chris Ballard
Indianapolis Colts, Chris Ballard / Justin Casterline/GettyImages
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. player. D.J. James. CB. D.J. James. D.J. James. 525. . . 3

Staying in the secondary, the Colts go after the cornerback position, selecting Auburn's D.J. James at no. 82 overall. The 6-foot-1 James coms into the NFL as a highly-versatile player who can line up both outside and in the slot. He's experienced in both zone and man coverage, which is a huge strength coming into the NFL where many defenses are deploying more zone.

James is instinctual and aggressive in coverage. He has the ball-hawking mentality, as evidenced by his 18 passes defensed over the past two seasons combined. He's added three interceptions, 4.5 tackles for loss and a defensive touchdown over his two years with the Tigers.

This is a player who is an above-average athlete with very fluid movement, especially in his hips. If you read up on his most recent scouting reports, that's one thing that keeps popping up: fluidity.

Look, there's something to be said about being a Round 2-3 prospect, playing cornerback in the SEC. James has experience playing against some of the best football teams in the nation, and playing well. The Colts very well could get a Day 1 starter in James, allowing he and Nubin to grow as the leaders of this secondary for years to come.