The consensus on the Colts 1st round pick is that there is no consensus. With the draft still 3 months away, a pick in the back half of the round, plenty of team needs and an organization with a history of leaking very little draft information that's not a surprise. The countless 2013 mock drafts out there do however give a nice, wide overview of the possibilities, and the right pick is probably in there somewhere. A long shot isn't so long with hundreds of attempts.
The Colts 1st round pick according to the first 25 mock drafts listed on Walterfootball's mock draft database:
Johnathan Jenkins, NT, Georgia (3 mocks), Massive 6'4" 359lb with the kind of "A person that big shouldn't move like that", agility which makes great linemen. Using a 1st round pick on a player who won't be a major factor against the pass and simply can't play every down isn't ideal, but it's pretty hard to run an effective 3-4 without a great NT. (Scouting Report)
Barrett Jones, G/C, Alabama (2 mocks), Smart (got an accounting degree in 3 years with a 4.0 GPA), experienced (49 college starts with 10+ at LT, C and G), tough (played the last half of this season with a Lisfranc injury) and a little nasty (see .gif) Jones has everything you could want in an offensive line prospect. Jones will very likely play inside in the NFL, but versatility is always a plus. (Scouting Reports)
Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma (2 mocks), A JUCO quarterback turned tight end and defensive end for Oklahoma, Johnson found a place at OT. He's still learning, but has lots of potential and shut down some talented pass rushers. (Scouting Reports)
Jesse Williams, DE/NT, Alabama (2 mocks), Williams played alongside Josh Chapman as a 5-tech DE in 2011 then moved into Chapman's NT spot after his graduation. At 6'4" 320lbs William's has the size and strength to be a run stuffer at DE or NT, though he's not much of a pass rusher. Williams is, to the best of my knowledge, the best prospect in NFL Draft history to have "YOLO" tattooed on his face. (Scouting Reports)
Sharrif Floyd, DE/DT, Florida (2 mocks), the 6'3" 303lb Floyd lined up everywhere from directly over the center as a NT to stand-up rushing at DE. Floyd can be a useful piece in many alignments and schemes. While not a top pass rusher he recorded 1.5 sacks in Florida's bowl game each of the last two years and lead the team in tackles for loss last season. (Scouting Reports)
Ezekiel Ansah, DE/OLB, BYU (2 mocks), Ansah came into the 2012 season with zero starts, 10 tackles and no sacks in two years. After a 62 tackle, 13 TFL, 8 QB pressure, 4.5 sack senior season he came onto the scouting radar where his phenomenal athleticism has him as a potential 1st round pick. The 6'6" 270lb Ansah originally came to BYU to run track. (Scouting Reports)
Justin Hunter, WR, Tennessee (1 mock), WR isn't an area of immediate need for the Colts, but if the right WR drops I'm for it. Hunter or Cal WR Keenan Allen would likely be the right WR. (Scouting Reports)
Jonathan Cooper, C/G, North Carolina (1 mock), Along with Alabama's Chance Warmack and Barrett Jones, Cooper is a likely exception to the "interior linemen don't go in the 1st" guideline. Cooper has good size, is quite athletic and performed at a high level at UNC. (Scouting Reports)
Johnthan Banks, CB, Mississippi State (1 mock), With 12 interceptions (3 returned for scores) in his career Banks is a dangerous CB to throw at, but having played mostly off-man in college there are questions about his speed and ability to translate into playing tighter coverages. (Scouting Reports)
Dion Jordan, DE/OLB, Oregon (1 mock) Long, lanky edge player at 6'7" 243lbs Jordan was a disruptive player off the edge with 14.5 sacks and 39 TFLs in 3 years after playing TE his freshman season. Obviously needs to bulk up to be an every down player at the NFL level, but has a rare size/athleticism mix. (Scouting Reports)
Arthur Brown, ILB, Kansas State. Manti T'eo, ILB, Notre Dame. Kevin Minter, ILB, LSU (1 mock each), While the Colts ILBs aren't exactly world beaters the Freeman, Conner, Angerer, Foku group is solid enough that it's the unit I'm least concerned about on the D going forward. With as many holes as the Colts have I'm not excited about the idea of spending a 1st round pick to upgrade a unit that has youth and depth, but is just decent rather than great.
Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas (1 mock) Great size, solid range and experience manning up as a nickel corner means Vaccaro can be an effective contributor in a number of roles. The Colts need DB help badly and adding a safety who can play the run and cover a deep half or slot WR would be huge. (Scouting Reports)
Datone Jones, DE/DT, UCLA (1 mock) Tall and strong, but without edge rushing speed or the bulk to play DT Jones seems like a perfect fit for a 3-4 DE spot. 6'5" 280lbs with 17.5 TFLs last year, Jones has great potential if he finds the right role. (Scouting Reports)
Sam Montgomery, DE/OLB, LSU (1 mock) 16 sacks and 25.5 TFLs in the last two years for one of the best defenses in the country, Montgomery isn't always the highest rated prospect off LSU's D, but he was the most productive. Does his college production negate concerns about agility and burst off the snap or are they a sign his college production won't hold up against NFL opposition? (Scouting Reports)
DJ Fluker, OT, Alabama (1 mock) An enormous Right Tackle prospect, Fluker measured a hair under 6'5" and all of 355lbs at the Senior Bowl. Fluker occasionally had trouble with top edge rushers, but generally, if he could get his hands on it, it was headed away from the play, fast. (Scouting Reports)
Alex Okafor, DE/OLB, Texas (1 mock) Productive rusher who finished strong with 4.5 sacks in the final game of his career against Oregon St. Not super fast around the edge and wasn't at his best playing in space so may be better suited to a 4-3 DE role. Was arrested last year for failure to obey, but charges were dropped. (Scouting Reports)
Sheldon Richardson, DE/DT, Missouri (1 mock) Richardson's always had the talent, but academic issues forced him to start his career at a JUCO and were reportedly the reason he was suspended a game this year. His disruptiveness on the interior (10.5 TFLs last year) has him a 1st round pick despite the limited time on the FBS level (13 starts) (Scouting Reports)
The Colts have plenty of needs going into the draft, but are in a position where they have a good shot at addressing one with a very talented prospect who slid a bit. They will need impact though with expectations raised by an 11-5 season and without a 2nd or 5th round pick due to trades (Vontae Davis and moving up for T.Y. Hilton).
@Kyle Rodriguez @Snake3 @AJ_ @Colt_Following @DougEngland @smonroe @unitas19 quick question, how many of you feel that Chapman, if he would have came in healthy would have been our answer at NT, and what do you think he will turn out to be now. I ask these because Jessie Williams I think can become a stud(well as far as eating up blocks and stopping the run), but do we take a chance on him, or do we roll the dice with Chapman for a year and see what we have before we invest heavily in that position.
I like a player out of North Carolina, DT Sylvester Williams. I also like Xavier Rhodes CB and Jerome Williams DT out of Alabama.
I'm glad I'm seeing a lot of defensive line players being mocked because that's where the draft is supposed to be strong this year. So while I'd normally not be a fan of going after a front-3 player, this is the year to suspend that preference.
As far as O-line: Yes, it's a priority, no question, but that talent is almost always there in the latter rounds. And is likely of better draft/pay value at those points.
I wish Indy still had its second round pick. Don't get me wrong, I'm not unhappy with Vontae Davis, but at the same time I'm still aching at the loss of the pick. And bluntly speaking I'm not certain we got the proper trade value for him, despite the fact that I think he's actually performing well and is worth having on the team. I wish we had the option in this draft to get some of the 2nd rounders available because I see them as being decent prospects. Oh well...
I noticed only one mock had Indy picking a safety. But I don't know how to evaluate that. Does anyone know what the draft class strength is for safeties this year? I'm just wondering if one is worth drafting this year, or if free agency will have anyone worth going after. Or if the pickings are so bare that it's worth just sucking up and dealing with the problem so as to avoid getting saddled with a bad player and contract. I really don't know.
I used to be high on Barrett, but that cooled off after watching some tape, he is still super smarty, but he does not play physical, the only nasty streak he had was the video that was posted, I like his versatility, but he does not really drive his guys off the line, more of a good zone blocker that sometimes gets pushed into the backfield.
I think the Colts go for the BPA at a need position, unless someone really talented drops at a position outside of that.
Those positions being
C - guy with ability to play guard as well, but Samson is trash and could be released
G - although I think we will target this in FA
DE - I like the group, but Redding getting older, Moala might be let go, Nevis can't stay healthy
NT - even though it is not a sexy pick, we still don't know much about Chapman, and why not let them battle
OLB - Pretty obvious, but I think Kruger, Barwin, or Spencer could easily be here
CB - Although I think we may just grab one in FA I really like Xavier Rhodes
S - Another obvious thing, but only if it is Vaccaro, I am not as interested in Matt Elam
Finally, no Fluker, no Johnathan Banks, no Justin Hunter
Anyone listed on either side of the line would be nice to have, although I prefer we go FA for the O line. It's going to be very interesting to see how some of those players stock rises or drops after the combine. For example, Barrett Jones just doesn't look like a player in shorts. Some foolish GMs will ignore his tape and drop him on their board. Probably the same GMs who drafted a guy for jumping out of a pool.
If the Colts are really going full blown 3-4, you are so right... they have to get a stud NT. Maybe they already have that player on the roster in Chapman if he can get healthy, but if not, and Jenkins is available I don't see how the Colts pass on him.
(Althought I do think that Barrett Jones and Andrew Luck would eerily be the Saturday/Manning combination for the next decade plus.)
@Kyle Rodriguez @Snake3 @AJ_ @Colt_Following @DougEngland @smonroe @unitas19 Thanks all, I think this year is an interesting draft, especially for NT's this years group has the most of any that will most likely go in the first round that I can think of, Jenkins, Star, Williams, Hankins, I wonder if we will ever see this quality of NT in one draft again.
Sad part is, I think we have other areas that may require more attention, and I think it hurts even more that we don't know much about Chapman right now, coming off injury, undersized, basically a rookie. I am really stuck in between this one, but good thing is the draft comes after free agency, that will really help us out.
I don't know. I honestly don't. Ask me one day and I'll say Chapman's there and shouldn't be out again for a second year, don't waste the draft slot when offensive linemen and defensive backfield help is needed.
But ask me another, and I'll say that you don't turn down a quality 3-4 NT because they're rare. And there's nothing wrong with competition, and if he's truly BPA then you follow the principle and grab him, because deviating from BPA for pure need is a risky proposition.
I wish I knew. I simply haven't made up my mind yet.
@paulcareyjr @Kyle Rodriguez @Snake3 @AJ_ @DougEngland @smonroe @unitas19 I honestly don't have much idea. I am a self-proclaimed ignoramus when it comes to college football, I don't watch it, I don't really enjoy it, and I don't pretend to have any real knowledge of what makes a good college player a good professional (though I have to think work ethic and intelligence are 1A and 1B). Based on what I've read about Chapman he has the work ethic, and his heart can't really be questioned when he put off surgery to help Alabama win a national title, even at the expense of missing his rookie year and likely costing himself 3 rounds in the draft and a lot of money. I would love to think that Chapman is the prototype NT that we need for our system, and he might be, but having surgery on both knees for a man his size (and the seemingly slow recovery from said surgery) is certainly a red flag to say the least.
I think ultimately we have so many needs that the Colts will practice what they preach and take best player available. If that happens to be a NT I wouldn't be shocked if they take him (Chapman as depth is not a bad thing considering he's getting paid 5th round money). I hope that's the not the case, I hope someone the Colts need more will drop to our spot, but I don't think it's impossible. But again, I am no college football expert (or expert of any kind really).
@unitas19 I think you mean Jessie Williams and yeah he seems like a good prospect for NT, and yeah I think Xavier Rhodes is going to be the next shutdown corner in the NFL, I think some people sleep on him a little right now, would not be surprised to see his draft stock soar come around draft time.
Not as big of a fan of Sylvester though.
@Kyle Rodriguez I think he will struggle with bull rushes at the next level, I think he does well with quickness, but there were times he was close to being in the QB's way because of his lack of strength, he still has a ton of upside, and looks like he could add bulk to his frame, lots of potential there, especially since he has not been playing the position very long.
@AJ_ I know it's easy to dream about all the players that we could potentially get in the second round and lament the loss of that pick, but the simple reality of it is that college prospects taken in the 2nd round, more often than not (less than 50% of the time), amount to little more than nothing in the NFL. Talent evaluation is so far from an exact science it's laughable, and while you can certainly find a hall of famer in the 2nd round, the truth is you mostly find occasional contributors, some solid starters, and a lot of busts. Also consider what our secondary would look like right now if we didn't have Vontae Davis. I seriously doubt we would have made the playoffs and we would be heading into the off season with Cassius Vaughn as our #1 CB with Darius Butler #2... that's a scary thought, it's bad enough with Vaughn being our #2.
@AJ_ there are 3 possibly 4 first round safeties available, Reid from LSU who I wouldn't take in the first, Elam from Florida who is a good hard hitting player, but who makes a decent amount of questionable decisions and I think will get fined a lot, Kenny Vaccaro, who I like can play all the way from CB to SS at times, biggest problem not many turnovers, and the dark horse is DJ Swearinger crom SC.
I think right where we are drafting is where the safeties could be selected, good chance Vaccaro and maybe Reid are gone, but Elam will be there.
@smonroe Jones showed some limitations on tape and not sure he will be at the combine working out since he just had surgery on his lisfranc injury
@Colt_Following @paulcareyjr @Kyle Rodriguez @AJ_ @DougEngland @smonroe @unitas19 I have watched both play Chapman always seemed to be the more disruptive force. Williams is outstanding as well. There is a reason why Saban played both together in 2011 one in a NT and one as DE. If each one takes up 2 blockers then your linebackers suddenly get much cleaner looks at RBs. If the offense decides not to double them then suddenly your d-line gets a lot of push into the backfield. He did the same thing with Marcel Darieus and Terrence Cody. I will also add that the knock on Williams being behind Chapman had more to do with wanting the best players on the field and less to do with talent.
I think they would both help solidify our D-line. Together they would be what Henderson and Stroud were for the Jags of the early 2000's, only in a 3-4. Personally I would prefer to see a versatile o-lineman that is from UA as well. Maybe then i can get my friends down here to cheer for the colts. They really carry a grudge for those loses to Tennessee and Auburn.
@paulcareyjr @smonroe I can understand that concern but you also have to look at the talent he has played/practiced against. Look at just the guys that he has practiced against the last 4 years: Terrence Cody, Donta Hightower, Courtney Upshaw, Rolando McClain, Jesse Williams, Josh Chapman, and Marcel Dareus. Then you add in other guys he played out of SEC that are drafted or draft-able talent (LSU's defense has produced some monsters). It is hard to find fault if it looks like he holds his ground in pass protection against that kind of NFL grade talent. I would love to see our linemen hold their ground. I feel like you can't hold it against him that he played in system that often saw him double teaming a nose tackle to open up the inside run game. Power run is always dependent on getting guys that work together to open up the point of attack, often through good double team work. I think he would fit any kind of interior blocking scheme.
Give him 2 years of NFL level strength and conditioning and he will be a beast. He has the fundamentals and the mentality already to excel, which is far better then most of the linemen we have drafted in the last 4 years. He won't be a liability in either aspect.
Strength is teachable at this level. Mentality isn't. That is just my opinion though.
@Snake3 @paulcareyjr Same here. My point was that he doesn't "look" like what the scouts want to see when he's in shorts. I think they'll get hung up on his arm length and his physique and forget his body of work. I'm not sure he's a reach for a first rounder, but he'll definitely be gone by our next pick.
@Snake3 The trophies are good, but they do not always lead to wonderful production in the NFL, as far as Bruce Matthews I would love that as well, but what Saban said about Jones was that the only guy he has seen versatility and consistency from that was similar was Bruce Matthews. He did not say he was the best, but this is what Jones gets praised for and that is well deserved. But he was asked to do a lot of double team blocking at the college level, at times when he had to block man to man, he did not get much drive off the line in run plays, and seemed like a bend don't break type of guy in pass protection, as the level of competition increases by going to the NFL he will need to become more physical and add strength if he is not in a zone blocking scheme, and even then those will help.
Matthews was dominate and consistently held his own in double team situations and man to man, if we Jones were that he would be a lock top 10 pick, there would be no question of if he was a 2nd or 1st round pick in the upcoming draft.
Again, I really liked him for the Colts until I went back and watched some of his tape, and if we are planning on having a power run system where we will need our guys to open up holes I think there are better options out there, but that is just my take.
@paulcareyjr What limitations did you notice? I am not trying to be sarcastic. but i can't debate the limitations without knowing what you are talking about. You have to take into account that he was rated as arguably top 10 player at 3 different positions 3 years in a row (outland watchlist 2010, outland winner 2011, outland finalist 2012). Saban compares him to Bruce Matthews, i will take 10-15 years of someone like Bruce Mathews playing for the colts for a first. Saban doesn't idly compare people, he coached with the oilers while Matthews was playing. Read his bio it might make you change your mind, the man has a phenomenal body of work.