Even before the NFL Draft started last Thursday, the Indianapolis Colts had already underwhelmed. General Manager Ryan Grigson had traded away future picks to the point where the Colts had just five left.
Those five future players didn’t exactly impress the fan base. It’s difficult to make a splash when you don’t select a player until the 59th pick.
The Colts first round pick in this draft essentially went to the Browns in exchange for running back Trent Richardson. To put that in perspective, no running backs were drafted in the first round this year, and the first one taken was just four picks before the Colts’.
Simply put, running backs are not a valuable commodity in the NFL and are, in fact, a dime-a-dozen. So before the draft even began, the Colts had already lost. Richardson will need to average 3.5+ per carry and put up well over 1,000 yards to be worthy of that pick in 2014.
With their first actual pick, the Colts took Ohio State offensive tackle Jack Mewhort. He won’t be playing tackle, the Colts are set at that position (barring injury). Mewhort will likely be moved to guard, a position he did play for a while in college.
While I understand the need across the interior of the line, and more importantly to protect Andrew Luck, there were better linemen that would have suited their needs. Marcus Martin, a center from USC, would have filled the hole the Colts have at that position. Martin is very talented and actually has experience at a position of need.
Mewhort could push Hugh Thornton for playing time, but Donald Thomas will be back from injury and should regain his starting spot. It doesn’t sound very likely that the Colts will try and move Mewhort to center, but it is a possibility.
The Colts moved on to select Ole Miss wide receiver Donte Moncrief in the third round. Incidentally, this is the same round T.Y. Hilton was selected in and is the only pick I really like.
Moncrief is an athletic freak and he won’t be asked to start right away. He can sit behind three really good receivers and learn the finer points of the position, all while working on timing with Luck. Moncrief has a tremendous amount of potential and will hopefully develop into a viable replacement for Reggie Wayne (or just 75-percent of Wayne would be nice too).
The Colts then sat out the fourth round to pick up Ball State defensive end Jonathan Newsome. This is an interesting pick. Newsome has played both down lineman and rush outside linebacker, which is necessary to fit into the Colts system.
Newsome will probably be fourth on the depth chart, but he has an awful lot of potential. Watching his tape its hard not to see shades of Robert Mathis. If Newsome could turn into some even closely resembling that, then the Colts have gotten a great value pick. The problem is that he’s basically a one dimensional player and only really good at rushing the quarterback.
The sixth round saw Indy pick up Western Kentucky inside linebacker Andrew Jackson. I want him to make the roster and turn into a great player just to be able to call him “The President” (and if that isn’t his nickname, he’s doing it wrong).
Looking at his tape and player profile, its hard to see why he fell…until you read about his off-field issues. He’s been suspended from games for violations of team rules and academic reasons. He was also arrested in high school for attempted burglary. There is also questions concerning his work ethic.
Besides those red flags, he is a beast inside the hash marks. Jackson will make the ball carrier feel every hit and is very good against the run. He’s solid in coverage as well.
The Colts finished up the draft with Georgia State guard Ulrick John. John is essentially a developmental project who possesses the tools to develop into a solid NFL player.
The last three picks will all have to find their way onto the team via special teams. Don’t expect any of them the make an impact on this team in 2014.
The biggest need the Colts had, safety, went unaddressed in the draft. As of right now, they don’t really have a solid player downfield, and that included LaRon Landry. Grigson remarked that its rare to have two Pro Bowl caliber safeties on a team, to which I say, bull.
Most teams have at least one who can make a Pro Bowl and the Colts had times when they had two during the mid-2000s. Hopefully one of the players currently on the roster will pan out because there are no free agents available to fill that void.
We’ll take a look at the undrafted free agents the Colts signed later this week.