We are just hours away from the 2017 NFL Draft and it feels like Christmas. But who will the Colts take with the 15th overall pick in the first round? That remains a mystery.
This draft is uncertain, mainly because of the weaker quarterback class. Will Cleveland shock the world and not take Myles Garrett first overall? Who knows, but whatever happens at one will start a spiral effect until the Colts are on the clock.
But here are my final three mock drafts headed into tonight.
|3||80||D. Rivers||EDGE||Youngstown St.|
|4||144||C. Elder||CB||Miami (FL)|
|5||158||R. Jenkins||S||Miami (FL)|
This is my ‘Hype Draft’ which is pretty much what I want to happen that I personally believe has a realistic chance of happening. Let’s start with the first pick if you read my previous article about the OL you see what I think an explosive and patient RB like McCaffrey could do for the team, not to mention what he would bring to the return game.
For the second round pick, the Colts need to get a bit lucky, Awuzie is viewed as a fringe first round pick, but mid second round isn’t out of the realm of possibility. If he does fall, the Colts get a CB with experience at slot CB, boundary CB, and Safety, and his versatility and talent would be huge upgrade for the secondary.
After that the Colts gain some help for the front 7, Derek Rivers is a small school prospects with the talent of a big program star, and Trey Hendrickson tested comparably with Myles Garrett, but his shorter arms will drop him to late day 2 to day 3. These two could help give the Colts some cheap PR pieces. Blair Brown in the 4th round could realistically start day one for the Colts, another small school prospect that NFL.com compared to Colts stud Gary Brackett, and who wouldn’t love to have Gary Brackett again.
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To finish up this mock the Colts add more ‘U’ to the horseshoe with two defensive back prospects out of Miami with Elder and Jenkins. Elder is a CB who will help fill the role of nickel corner for the colts and could be the new Darius Butler there, with impressive ball schools and surrounded by Davis and Awuzie, Edler could flourish early and often. Jenkins is actually similar to the Colts two young CBs Geathers and Green, with the hard-hitting run support skills of Geathers with similar combine numbers as Green. Jenkins could provide some much needed depth at the safety position.
|1||15||G. Conley||CB||Ohio St.|
In this final draft, I went with adding a top prospect at the biggest depth chart need, CB.
Gareon Conley has been a late riser in the NFL draft with versatility and size to possibly give the Colts two “Number 1 CBs,” which would be great insurance if Davis regresses or gets injured again. The next pick will be controversial, Joe Mixon. Mixon’s draft position is in a constant state of flux due to the release of the domestic violence incident video, and some have taken Mixon completely off their draft boards.
Recently when Chris Ballard was asked about question mark players such as Joe Mixon, Ballard did say that no player was taken off their board, and with Ballard’s history of dealing with players with off the field incidents (Marcus Peters and Tyreek Hill) I would trust Ballard’s evaluation of Mixon.
If Mixon did not have his off-field concerns, he would be a top 10 pick easy, only slightly ranked below Fournette, he’s that good. He is a combination of Lev Bell and David Johnson, and could be equally as productive. Pass rushers Phillips and Mathis do come with concerns (injury and system) but their talent is undeniable and adding both of them would help the Colts make PR a position of strength.
Jalen Myrick is an intriguing prospect, his 4.28 speed (fastest by any Big 10 CB at the combine all time) could shoot him up the boards higher than round 4, but his tape doesn’t show the skills nor posses the size of a day 1-2 CB, but if developed correctly he could become a solid producer for the Colts secondary. With the last pick of the 4th round the DL Eddie Vanderdoes from UCLA could provide the Colts with more versatile depth on the DL. Possessing the ability to rush the passer and anchor against the run, he can be a nice replacement for recently departed Zach Kerr.
Lastly, linebacker Ben Gedeon, a stud special teamer and ability as a thumper at ILB, he could provide some much needed depth to the Colts linebacker core.
|4||144||D. Kazee||CB||San Diego St.|
Another interesting prospect to start, Reuben Foster. Turn on the tape and he is possibly the best defensive player in the draft behind Myles Garrett. He could be the Ray Lewis for Chuck Pagano’s defense for the next 10 years. However, after getting kicked out of the combine after getting into an argument with medical officials, and then his medical recheck revealed that his rotator cuff has not healed and may need another surgery. It is unknown how this will affect his stock, but if his medicals check out for the Colts they must take him if he slides to 15.
The next two picks follow the idea of top talent with red flags, Carl Lawson and Teez Tabor. Lawson is a favorite of a lot of people, some people have him in the mid-first round, but injuries and questions about his effort could slide him all the way to the third round. When Lawson is on, he is ON and adding him will give the Colts a number one PR from day 1.
Tabor was at one point viewed as the top CB in the draft and a top 5 pick, but after poor testing and horrible interviews, he can slide all the way to round 4, but I think Chuck and co. could mold him into the CB that he was projected to be. Next, Marlon Mack, the USF product is the definition of big play ability, and you know what I think about explosive RBs this year. He needs to improve on his vision at times but hopefully learning from Gore, an all-timer in that talent could make him a big contributor early on. Delano Hill is a Michigan safety who has the size and speed to be a great starter in the NFL, and his instincts are great, he will at worst be a great special teamer for the Colts.
To end the fourth round, Kazee is another less known prospect who fits perfectly in the role of a slot corner early on and could help give the Colts some depth at the position. Rounding up my final mock, is Jeremy Sprinkle, even though tight end might not seem like a need, in a really deep TE class, the Colts may tap into it. If Doyle or Swoope gets hurt, Sprinkle could step and be a serviceable back up. He did have a incident at the Belk Bowl where he was charged with shoplifting at a store where the team was given $450 gift cards for.
This is another scenario where I will trust Ballard’s evaluation of his background and character if the Colts do pick him.