Posted on: January 25, 2012 2:37 pm

1st 2012 Colt-Only Mock Draft

1) Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford.  It's gonna happen.  Deal with it.  Say goodbye to Peyton, and let's all move on.

2) Mohamed Sanu, WR, Rutgers.  Two things you should do when you draft a franchise QB: 1) get him a target with whom he can develop a special bond, and 2) resolve any ongoing OL problems.  The Colts drafted their OTs last year, and OG/C can wait until a little later.  Sanu is a special blend of size, strength, quickness, and speed.  Plus, he runs great routes and has exceptional hands.  He's also a hard worker.  His top-end speed isn't great, but he's got too many positives to pass up here.

3) Phillip Blake, C, Baylor.  A very good run-blocker who kept RGIII upright very well.  Saturday should retire when Manning leaves, and Pollack is no more than a stop-gap solution.  I have a feeling the new Colt draft team (whoever they may be) will want to add an element of a power running game.  After all, Luck benefited greatly from Stanford's run game, and a similar strategy in Indy would be wise to help his transition. 

4) Keith Tandy, CB, West Virginia.  This would be easier to predict if the Polians were still in Indy.  Tandy is the CB they'd take.  He's tenacious, tough, great supporting the run, and more than adequate in coverage.  If the new D-coordinator emphasizes more man coverage, Tandy won't be the choice though.

4 Compensatory for Clint Session) Ryan Miller, OL, Colorado.  Was considered a possible 2nd rounder until he had a poor Easst West Shrine week.  Still, he proved to be a good run-blocker all week long, but he looked inconstent lining up a RT.  He has great quickness for his size (6'7", 312 lbs) and has the feet and athleticism to develop into a RT.  For the Colts, I see a versatile guy that can play guard or RT.  He would fit well at OG in the power running scenario I mentioned earlier.  While not a rookie starter, he would really improve OL depth as time goes on. 

5) Jerry Franklin, LB, Arkansas.  I'm worried about LB depth.  Conner/Angerer/Sims are a great starting three, but Wheeler (if re-signed) and Edds is about the best depth we've got.  I consider Franklin pretty similar to the LB hits we've had lately.

6) Brandon Taylor, S, LSU.  I'd sever ties with Bullitt.  Caldwell and Lefeged took their lumps, but improved considerably during the year.  Here the Colts continue the safety-by-committee approach with a guy who quietly put together a good season in an extremely talente D. 

7) Drake Dunsmore, FB/TE, Northwestern.  The team ran fairly well behind a lead blocker last year, something they didn't do in the past.  The new management team will almost certainly look to continue that.  Augmenting the cast of other teams' rejects that are currently with the Colts may be a priority.  Dunsmore was a great receiving target in college who has some promise as a FB/lead blocker too.

7 Copensatory for Charlie Johnson) Micah Pellerin, CB, Hampton.  The CBs were epically bad last year.  Hopefully a small-school comer like Pellerin could help force Lacy off the roster...

Category: NFL Draft
Posted on: January 31, 2011 8:03 am

Post All-Star, Pre-Combine Colt Mock

For the reasons listed in the above posts:

1) Gabe Carimi, OT, Wisconsin.

2) Jurrell Casey, DT, USC.

3) Clint Boling, OG/OT, Georgia.

4) Joe Lefeged, S, Rutgers.

5) Lester Jean, WR, Florida Atlantic.  A little of a twist from my former mocks.  With Gonzo a possible salary cap/injury cut, Garcon going into the final year of his contract, Collie being a possible concussion-related retiree, Wayne aging, and Blair White being a step down in the talent category, we have enough question marks that I'd definitely want to start developing someone young and talented.  With a number of WRs stepping up at the Sr. Bowl, I think Jean could get lost in the draft shuffle.

6) To Washington for Justin Tryon.

7) Zane Taylor, C/OG, Utah.

Category: NFL Draft
Posted on: January 5, 2011 9:18 pm

1/5/11 Draft-tek Redraft

I like to do redrafts from the Draft-Tek site.  They already have a 7-round mock available, they constantly update their player rankings, their rankings are pretty accurate, and you can use their simulator to come up with good ideas.  By redraft, I mean using the site's projection of where various prospects will be selected to decide what I would do if I were the Colts in that situation.  Here's what I came up as our draft:

1) Gabe Carimi, OT, Wisconsin
2) Mike Pouncey, C/OG, Florida
3) Jurrell Casey, DT, USC
4) Rahim Moore, S, UCLA
5) Zane Taylor, C/OG, Utah
6) No Pick - used for Justin Tryon
7) Lawrence Wilson, LB, Uconn
7) (Compensation for Tim Jennings???) Jonathan Nelson, DB, Oklahoma

Category: NFL Draft
Posted on: December 6, 2010 8:00 am

3rd Colt Mock - The Over-reaction Edition

Went to my first home Colt game last night.  It was a fantastic game, and I enjoyed it thoroughly until ANOTHER PM interception in OT.  Looking at what's going wrong: it seems to me that the lack of any sort of running game has given PM an impossible task.  (Plus, I wouldn't be shocked to hear years from now that Manning is battling a painful injury of some kind.)  I believe that other teams are putting eight men into coverage, and the Colts STILL can't run the ball.  That's an OL problem, plain and simple.  Don't be fooled by the fact that Peyton's not getting sacked - the OL is doing awfully.  We need to get some hosses in there and get our running game going.  While a bruiser RB like Mikel LeShoure might be tempting, I would add bulk, power, and talent to the line and hope they can get going soon.  So, here's my over-reaction mock with three OL in six total picks:

1) Gabe Carimi, OT, Wisconsin.  A big strong man to take over for Ryan Diem, who's just not cutting it any more.  He's thought to have LT feet, but I'd put him on the right side.  CJ still gets a long-term contract IMHO.

2) Benjamin Ijalana, OL, Villanova.  I see him as a Jake Scott-like starting OG, who is also the top back-up tackle.  Short for a tackle, but with long arms.  His good feet also make him a possibility at RT.  At a time when we need to add general talent on the OL, he's a cog that will start early somewhere on this line.

3) Cedric Thornton, DT, S. Arkansas.  Very quick and active for his size.  Has the heighth and frame to bulk up and improve run defense. 

4) Brian Lainhart, S, Kent St.  Added depth to help ensure we don't have Aaron Francisco starting next year.

5) Zane Taylor, OG/C, Utah.  Golden-boy, high school student body president, leader-type.  At 6'1", 309 pounds, he's short and squat, and generally Jeff Saturday-like.  The Pollack/Richard/Devan/etcetera experiment has produced no future cogs, so let's keep bringing in new talent until things improve.

7) Jonas Mouton, LB, Michigan.  LB is one area I feel fairly good about.  I think Angerer and Conner will be good, though they're making their share of mistakes as rookies.  There's a reason the Colts have rarely started LBs as rookies, but I'm sure that these two will be better off for the experience.  Generally, the Colts have drafted a LB per year for succession reasons - every year a LB leaves, so you have to add one per year to keep up.

Category: NFL Draft
Posted on: November 30, 2010 1:20 pm

2nd 2011 Colt-Only Mock

A little more insight now as to which players have elevated themselve and which have gone the other direction.  Also, the Colt needs are a bit more evident.  Here's the latest thoughts.

1) Mikel LeShoure, RB, Illinois.  He's a beast (6', 230, 4.53), and he can catch the ball well.  The Colt runners have been horrid in the absence of Addai, and a straight-ahead, powerful runner like LeShoure is what the running back corps will lack once Addai goes bye-bye.

2) Benjamin Ijalana, OT, Villanova.  Projected as a guard by many.  At 6'4", 320, there is precidence that the Colts wouldn't call him too short for tackle.  He's got long arms and quick feet, and he only lacks experience against top pass rushers.  He'd get that quickly in practice in Indy.

3) Cedrick Thornton, DT, S. Arkansas.  Muir and Johnson will be UFAs after the year.  At 6'4", 295 lbs., this uber-productive small-school DT could easily be 305 by TC.  I mention that because I'm calling on him to replace Muir or Johnson in the Colts' run-stuffing role.

4) Brian Lainhart, S, Kent St.  Might remind us of Bethea, in that he's been a productive center-fielder and good tackler at a small school.

5) Brian Rolle, LB, Ohio St.  I'm in love with this tweener who is too small for LB (218 lbs), but too slow for SS (4.59).  He's a great player who will make his mark in ST and be a capable back-up LB.  He's from Immokalee, FL., which is Edgerrin/Javarris James country.

7) Rich Lapham, OT, Boston Co.  Big guy with good intangibles.  We just need more entries in the OT sweepstakes for next year.  Diem should be gone, Charlie Johnson isn't under contract (though I suspect he'll get one), which leaves us with only Jeff Linkenbach and PS player Joe Reitz returning. 
Category: NFL Draft
Posted on: September 21, 2010 4:25 pm

First 2011 Colt-Only Mock Draft

As usual, my draft ideas so far stem from what I'm relatively certain the Colts will NOT do.  Here's my general thoughts:

1) CB.  I think we will have an awful lot of viable returning candidates at CB.  Obviously, the top guys will come back (Hayden, Lacy, and Powers).  Then the Colts seem to really like this Justin Tryon guy, to the tune of trading next year's 6th (I believe) rounder for him.  Townsend should be back.  And we also have Brandon King on the Active Roster, Cornelius Brown on the PS, and Keving Thomas returning from injury.  It would really surprise me at this point if one of our first five picks was used on a CB.

2) OG.  This was my initial thought for our 1 rounder.  But on further reflection, I'm starting to doubt it.  We already have some developmental guys who we have spent quite a bit of time working on: Pollack, Richard, McClendon, Thomas, and Devan.  All of these interior lineman will be under contract next year (I believe), and the first three are potential long-term solutions to the center position.  I'm beginning to believe that we will defer upgrading the interior further until after another year.  After all, with one more year, we can better decide if any of these guys have a long-term future with the team.  Plus, if we're short of talent after 2011, we can always add a 1st or 2nd rounder and start him right away.

3) RB.  This is another one I considered a 1st round possibility until recently.  I still could change my mind.  I'm starting to believe we could find a way to hold onto Addai for another year or two.  If not, I think the Brown/Hart/Moore group may be sufficient.  There's so much talent there that I think it would be a sham to add a big name without giving these three a chance to do it more cheaply.

4) WR/TE/DE/P.  I think we have quite a bit of talent in these areas and therefore don'd need to augment them through the draft.

What's that leave?  This:

1) Anthony Castonzo, OT, Boston College.  A Rhodes Scholarship finalist.  We need a long-term solution at tackle and sufficient depth.  I'm as optimistic about Linkenbach as the next guy, and I personally believe CJ will be resigned to play LT.  But Diem is old and scheduled to make $6 million next season.  The Colts could find a way to keep him at a reduced salary, but Castanzo could be brought around slowly and even play LT if need be.

2) Quinton Carter, S, Oklahoma.  Smart guy and a playmaker.  Sanders' doen't have the physiology to stay on the field - weak joints.  He's done with the Colts, and there's no real depth beyond Bullitt.  Bethea is one long-term solution, and Carter will be another.

3) Ian Williams, DT, Notre Dame.  Johnson and Muir's contracts are up after this year.  Moala and King will return, and hopefully Muir can be re-signed.  But we need to space out the DT's contracts, so drafting another keeper here would be a good idea.  Williams is a playmaker who is shaped like we like 'em: 6'2, 305. 

4) Colin Kaepernick, QB, Nevada.  He would bring a different dimension to the offense.  Even though he's 6'6, 220, he runs a 4.55 forty and rushed for 229 yards in Nevada's first two games.  He also hit 72% of his passes for over 8 ypa.  Painter was a whiff: time to up the ante and go with a 4th rounder.  Of course, I know little of Kaepernick's mental capacity and Polian considers that more important than other I'm sure it will be a below average Big 10 QB instead...

5) Jonas Mouton, LB, Michigan.  I never pick the right LB for the Colts, but we seem to need to draft one a year.  We got two keepers last year, so next year may be less of need than average.  Mouton may be a hot-head (one game suspension for fighting), but he's also fast and shaped like Colt LBs.

6) I think this was traded for CB Justin Tryon.

7) Thomas Weber, PK, Arizona St.  AV hasn't been too good, and his contract will be up after this year.  Draft one and sign the best CFA you can get your hands on and have a good, old-fashioned kicking contest!  The winner doesn't have to do kick-offs, because McAfee rocks!

Category: NFL
Posted on: April 24, 2010 9:56 am
Edited on: April 24, 2010 9:58 am

Another Moment of Reflection - Day Three Thoughts

No OL yet?  I think that denotes confidence in Pete Metzelaars as the new OL coach, as well as in some of the fringe developmental players already on the team, like Kyle DeVan, Jaimie Thomas, and Gerald Codogan.  It could also indicate a plan to resign Charlie Johnson or Tony Ugoh after the season.  But something else is that Polian may be perfectly comfortable waiting until starters leave and replacing them in just-in-time fashion.  For example, Charlie Johnson leaves after the season, and Polian drafts a left tackle next year to replace him.  After all, we're sitting fairly pretty for 2010's OL.  All that being said, I don't have many OL prospects I like who can contribute immediately.  There are a few developmental guys left:

Andrew Tyshovnytsky, OT, Fordham.  I'd call him a poor man's Velheer, but he basically is Veldheer!  He played at a low level, always had a little bit of the scouts' attention due to size/speed combo, and then showed he's as athletic and strong as any tackle (outside of the 1st round) in off-season workouts.  Ran a 4.91 at 317 lbs at his Pro Day, and put up 33 reps.  That's special IMHO.

J'Marcus Webb, OT/OG, West Texas A&M.  Very big 6'8", 328.  But he ran a sub-5.30 forty.  Fits the large guard role (though 6'8" is too tall for a guard IMO), or he could be a RT if his feet are quick enough.

Casey Knipps, OT, South Dakota St.  He could be great.  Another impressive specimen.  6'8", 308, 5.14 forty, 28 reps.  But he's also highly intelligent and a great citizen.  Possible 7th round pick.

My new 4-7 mock:

4) Andrew Tyshovnytsky, OT, Fordham. 
5) Hunter Lawrence, PK, Texas
7) Mike Newton, FS, Buffalo
7) Vincent Rey, LB, Duke
7) Casey Knipps, OT, South Dakota St.

Category: NFL Draft
Posted on: April 23, 2010 10:01 am

Day 2 Primer

I like the new draft format.  Particularly, it's nice to have the chance to reassess the situation after Round 1.  It looks like things fell very closely to what I expected, except I really didn't think Hughes would fall to us.  I'm overjoyed, since I've written that Jerry Hughes was my top realistic target since the Combine.  But Hughes' fall wasn't the only positive outcome of yesterday's activities: I'm also overjoyed that there wasn't quite the run on OL that I expected.  Charles Brown, Rodger Saffold, Bruce Campbell, and Vladimir Ducasse have all somehow lasted into the 2nd Round!  I'm optimistic now that a tackle will last to us in the 2nd.  That definitely changes the complexion of the rest of my draft.  So, here goes:

2) Jared Veldheer, OT, Hillsdale.  Not a finished product, but he has the athleticism of a solid 1st rounder.  This will be Metzelaars' first great project.
3) Alterran Verner, CB, UCLA.  I love this guy.  He fits the mold of CBs that the Colts are pursuing nowadays.  He's primarily a cover corner, but he's a good tackler (albeit not a physical one).
4) Shawn Lauvao, OG, Arizona St.  Very strong, very mobile, and a little nasty.  It might be harmful to Pollack's self esteem, though, since Lauvao used to be one of his subjects when he was king of the Sun Devil OL.
5) Vincent Rey, LB, Duke.  Can't extol his virtues too much...but I know we need a LB here, Rey runs a sub-4.60, and the Colts had him in for a visit.
7) Mike Newton, FS, Buffalo.  Small-school guy who produced in college and ran well at his Pro Day.  Hopefully will remind us of Bethea.
7) Hunter Lawrence, PK, Texas.  If he lasts this long, I'd take this man and cut Vini.  Sorry to see him go, but he hasn't been special since he's been on the Colts, he's got a big salary, and McAfee was spectacular on kick-offs last year.  I'd rather have Lawrence at this point in time.
7) Brandon Brinkley, DB, Houston.  Good size/speed guy, who was a productive DB in college.  He's versatile enough that he could help safety depth when Bethea moves on or be a CB.  We need depth at both positions...
Category: NFL Draft
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