The Indianapolis Colts have certainly made some interesting moves through free agency so far. But as it stands, the Colts have clearly focused on building depth and competition on defense. The additions of Sheard, Mingo, Simon, and Hunt show that Chris Ballard is trying to create competition and add depth. The Colts still have many holes that need filled, but they are moving in the right direction. There are many who are curious though, as to who the Colts are now going to draft?
Round 1 – Pick 15: Jabrill Peppers, Defensive Back from Michigan
I was having a conversation with a friend of mine named Evan on Sunday and he said, “do you think the Colts should draft Peppers? I do!”. At first I thought, “NO! We need Dalvin Cook or offensive lineman”. But thinking more about it, Evan had an interesting thought. He said to me, “move Geathers to inside linebacker and draft Peppers to play strong safety”.
I have thought about that for 3 days and that is certainly not a bad idea. The Colts could get a player that is INCREDIBLY athletic and versatile. Peppers also could possibly help the Colts defense improve two positions at once. Clayton Geathers is 6 foot 2 inches and weighs 220 pounds with great strength for a safety. He would need to put on another 15 to 20 pounds at least to make the switch. But he could be a fantastic inside linebacker option in nickel formations and pass protection schemes due to his covering skills and speed.
Player Comparison: Tyrann Mathieu
Round 2 – Pick 46: Pat Elflein, Guard from Ohio State
After signing Brian Schwenke, who was formerly with the Titans, it helped give the Colts more depth. But it definitely doesn’t mean that the Colts feel they have everything they need at offensive line. Indianapolis has a real opportunity to improve their right side by adding another Ohio State Buckeye. Some may know that the Colts outstanding left Guard, Jack Mewhort, also was a Buckeye. It may be a smart move to snag the Remington award winner from 2016. The Remington award is given to college footballs best center. The Colts of course have their center of the future with Ryan Kelly. But adding Elflein would definitely improve their right side and give them a versatile lineman that could fill in at center in case Kelly suffers another injury like last season.
Player Comparison: J.C. Tretter
Round 3 – Pick 80: Tanoh Kpassagnon, Defensive End from Villanova
When you think of how committed Ballard has been, so far, to finding young players that are athletic and have good height, weight, speed, and strength. Then you should know that there are few players that have all of that in one package for this years coming draft. Kpassagnon is a freak when it comes to size and athleticism. He is 6 foot 7 inches and close to 290 pounds. His 4.8 forty at the combine for being that big, was very impressive. He is very raw and will definitely need some coaching to improve his game. But he checks every box on Chris Ballard’s list when it comes to what kind of players he’s looking for. I wouldn’t be to surprised though if he is taken before the Colts can grab in the 3rd round.
Player Comparison: Margus Hunt (Signed with the Colts this offseason)
Round 4 – Pick 122: Samaje Perine, Running Back from Oklahoma
Perine is a player that many people have apparently forgot about because of his teammate Joe Mixon. When comparing the two, Mixon was clearly the more gifted player overall but Perine still was very productive. He did battle some injuries throughout his collegiate career, which concerns some GM’s. He struggles with agility and making quick cuts when holes open up in the second level. That all being said, he was still very productive and is currently the record holder for most rushing yards in a single game. His size, speed, and strength make him a very dangerous player inside the goal line. Perine is definitely a power back and will make his money in between the tackles.
Player Comparison: Johnathan Stewart
Round 4 – Pick 137: Rasul Douglas, Cornerback from West Virginia
The Colts are needing to improve their secondary along with adding depth. Douglas had a stellar senior season for the Mountianeers with 70 tackles, 8 pass breakups, and 8 interceptions (tied for 1st in NCAA). His length and ball skills make him a valuable weapon when going for 50/50 balls against opposing big body receivers. He is also a very good zone corner who plays the quarterbacks eyes and doesn’t get caught staring down receivers. His struggles come in man coverage and staying with receivers on crossing routes. He has some things to work on but would be a great addition to add depth to the Colts roster.
Player Comparison: Daryl Worley
Round 5 – Pick 158: Anthony Walker, Inside Linebacker from Northwestern
There are many players that have great late round value in this years draft class. Walker is certainly one of them. What’s nice for Indianapolis is that Walker put on 20 pounds for his senior season to help with getting off blocks. This caused his numbers to drop his senior season and lowered his value. Some of you may be thinking, “how is this good for us?!”. Walker still had solid numbers his senior year with 105 tackles, 10 for loss, 2 sacks, 4 forced fumbles, 5 pass breakups, and 1 interception.
When you compare that to his junior season where he tallied 122 tackles, 20.5 for loss, 3 sacks, 4 pass breakups, 1 interception, and 1 forced fumble. You can see the drop in production. Walker would have been a possible 3rd rounder in last years draft. But this drop in production makes him a late round possibility for the Colts at a position they desperately need. His speed will not wow you but he is outstanding against the run and has very good read and react capabilities. This is a guy who plays the position how you would want it to be played. Hard nosed and relentless effort. Great value for a fifth round selection.
Player Comparison: Paul Worrilow