Nov 10, 2012; Iowa City, IA, USA; Purdue Boilermakers defensive tackle Kawann Short (93) works against Iowa Hawkeyes offensive lineman Conor Boffeli (59) during the third quarter at Kinnick Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Byron Hetzler-USA TODAY Sports
With the season over, it's now Draft season! Mock drafts are being churned out on a daily basis, so here is a quick review of the players that have been mocked to the Colts over the past week.
The Colts' defensive line needs a little bit of work, but there are some great options in the draft, one of which is Kawann Short. As I have written before, Short has worked with current Colts Defensive Line coach Gary Emanuel at Purdue, whilst GM Ryan Grigson remains on great terms with the staff at his alma mater. Jeremiah said “Short's effort has been called into question by some evaluators, but Indianapolis general manager Ryan Grigson played at Purdue and should be able to get to the bottom of that issue.” A great Senior Bowl week has propelled Short into first-round discussion, and he looks to be a good fit to play defensive end in our 3-4 scheme.
Another mock, another defensive line pick for the Colts. Cherepinsky cites that Antonio Johnson's contract is up, as well as the Colts deficiencies in stopping the run as the reason for this pick. Standing at 6ft 4in/358lbs, Jenkins is a man mountain who uses his big frame to clog up running lanes. He looks to be a prototypical 3-4 nose tackle, a position where the Colts need some help. Josh Chapman may return from injury to fulfil his potential, but can we really rely on him just yet?
A personal favourite of mine, Cooper would be an instant upgrade on our offensive line. A great run blocker who possesses quick feet and fantastic athleticism, Cooper has been a key component in the success of Giovani Bernard, the UNC running back. Norris goes on to say “Cooper occasionally loses when attacked face up while in pass protection, but he shines when asked to pull or trap, showing uncanny athleticism out in space. Some schemes might consider him the top guard because of it.”
It's no great secret that the Colts need help at cornerback...badly. Vontae Davis improved towards the end of 2012, but talent across from him was hard to find. Cassius Vaughn was starting when he shouldn't have been, and Jerraud Powers is set for free agency, leaving a big gap in the secondary. Picking at #24, the Colts have a few options at cornerback – Xavier Rhodes (Florida State) and Desmond Trufant (Washington) could be nice scheme fits, but Kiper went with Banks here, saying; “The chance to take the second-best CB in the draft is something that could make sense here. Banks can start early and help this defense.”
With Dwight Freeney seemingly heading for the exit, the Colts need to add another pass rushing option at outside linebacker. Robert Mathis was more the serviceable in an unfamiliar role, but now they need to add somebody else to pressure opposition QB's. Miller slots Alex Okafor in here, a player who had a decent Senior Bowl week and showed impressive hand placement to get after the QB. “Okafor was used out of position often at Texas, but because of that, he had to learn to take on the run and disengage from blocks. Those skills will help him make the move to a standing outside linebacker position in the 3-4.”
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So this probably is not the popular decision, and I know we have a ton of needs and this is not one, but if Alec Ogletree falls to us, we need to be on him, he is a game changer, is super gifted and extremely versatile, in situations we could line him up at MLB, OLB, even use him in deep coverage if we put a safety on a blitz, he would actually probably be a better safety than Zbo, that is not saying much but I think his future is super bright, and I think he will be a pro bowler the majority of his career.
I think Short makes sense. I also think Banks make sense (although I don't think he is the best out there. I just don't want O-line in 1st round unless a really good Tackle slips down the board.
I love guards that can pull, but I'm hoping the Colts target the O-line in free agency and go either D-line (including outside linebackers in that), CB, Safety, or (and I know people will hate this) WR.
I really am sold on Jonathan Cooper. Colts need an interior o-lineman who can both protect Luck (46 sacks, he's the future of our franchise) and help out in the run-game. Maybe he will excel like a former Colts offensive lineman out of UNC, too...
@jelewin I just don't value interior lineman as first round assests. We have other needs that are more important.
@mattshedd @jelewin Do you remember in the 2010 draft 49ers selected Anthony Davis and Mike Iupati both in the first round, the solidified their right side for years to come, they probably have the best line in football and this only happened because they took Iupati with the 17th pick in the draft.
Most guards that are taken that high are typically successful and tend to have better careers than tackles taken in that same range.
For example in 2005-2010 all the interior lineman taken in the 1st have either been to a pro bowl already, or have had a ton of success, besides one guy who ended up with Neurological issues due to concussion.
MIke Iupati, Alex Mack, Ben Grubbs, Markice Pouncey, Davin Johnson, Eric Woods, Nick Mangold, Logan Mankin, the lone exception is Chris Spencer for the Seahawks.
So if we go interior lineman in the first there is a really good chance that we will get a star.
@paulcareyjr @mattshedd I agree, and appreciate your comment. Indeed, I have never been high on the "rule" that interior lineman should not be taken in the early round. Any touted G/C that may not fall is worth reaching for. Especially since the Colts (as of now) do not have a 2nd round draft pick. Also, Costanzo is a good T, and they can get any of the solid Tackles off free agency. Further, Colts need to protect their franchise QB, give Luck that extra second or more that he desperately needs, and an aggressive lineman to help out the run-game.
@jelewin I'm a massive fan. Been watching the Stanford offense and they like to use the pulling Guard, something I think Cooper has the athleticism to be useful at. I'd love to be able to grab him, but I get the feeling they might go Defense...intriguing period ahead.
@OllyDawes Short not big enough for ya, also he is not a 3-4 DE he is better suited to play the 3tech DT in a 4-3
@OllyDawes saw Ratliff have same problem with Dallas and he is 6-2 & 290 as for DE in a 3-4 u need a 6-5 300+ Guy, check Williams Sth miss
@OllyDawes not big enough 2 play NT in 3-4 you need a guy around 330-340+ he needs both OG & OC to block him as his job to collapse pocket
@OllyDawes bama Williams would be better he can play both DE/NT in a 3-4 & DT in a 4-3 & also played rugby B/ball so will have good footwork
@OllyDawes but that's waste of a 1st 4 someone who will only play on 3rd downs you can find them 3rd round onwards 1st rounders r every down
@LEEDSCOWBOY Yeah I know, but I'm thinking 3rd downs, he can penetrate the line. Obviously not a 3 down NT.
Okafor seems to have a low ceiling to me, he seemed to struggle to find the ball carrier often, but he did make a lot of plays and create a decent amount of turnovers.
For those reading - you can click on the player's names and I've set up some playlists of their games that you can watch. Full series of playlists can be found here: http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCe8OMhK3uaeRbqrcPyP-xLw/videos
@ojgilmour just a bit of guesswork, but Paul Kruger makes sense at OLB, and Grigson tried to trade for Mike Jenkins at CB from Dallas.
@ojgilmour I'm not huge on Jenkins tbh. I can live with Okafor or Banks, but I think we'll be attacking both of those positions in FA...
@OllyDawes I'm not keen on Jenkins but I definitely would rather us go OL/DL in the first than anywhere else. Especially OLB
@OllyDawes I really don't like Okafor in the first round, and I think CB is better fixed in FA/later rounds.
@OllyDawes that is something I am hoping as well, someone w/ an early pick trades with us, the Eagles even, Vick only has a 1 yr contract
@OllyDawes Of those, Vasquez and Phillips interest me the most. Reed looks like it's us and the Patriots.
@ojgilmour obviously still have Manusky - so there's Shaun Phillips, Antwan Barnes, Antoine Cason on D...Louis Vasquez at Guard?
@ojgilmour at cornerback, previous interest in Jenkins. Wondering if we got after a few Chargers players now Jimmy Raye is on board, and
@ojgilmour I'd take Kruger at OLB. Think Reed is definitely an option at Safety. ESPN said we're looking at Brent Grimes and Tracy Porter
@OllyDawes If he's gone I'm gonna be sad. Oh yeah, I definitely wouldn't mind getting a few pieces in FA, Kruger/Levitre/Byrd would be nice!
@OllyDawes @ojgilmour Cap floor is a bit of a myth, overspending teams will mean that others can spend less.
@ojgilmour Obviously I'd rather build through the draft than go mad in FA, but with the cap floor coming in, we're gonna have to, right?!
@OllyDawes That'd be a nice haul. I'm too fixated on Cooper swapping Carolina Blue for Colt Blue to want that, but if he's gone then yes!
@ojgilmour I'm hoping Arizona take Fisher at #7, then trade up to #24 to grab Glennon or Wilson or whoever at QB, we get their 2/3/5th rders