What will the Indianapolis Colts do in the second round if they take an offensive lineman in the first?
As the 2016 NFL Draft quickly approaches, analysts are pumping out their last mock drafts. In the past week, the consensus among draft analysts is that the Indianapolis Colts will select offensive tackle Taylor Decker in the first round. If this happens, what will they do in the second round?
If the Indianapolis Colts take a lineman with their first round pick, they will have a lot of options in the second round. They can double down on another offensive lineman or take a defensive back to build their secondary depth. While they will have plenty of options, their second round pick needs to be an outside linebacker with impressive pass rushing skills.
The Colts currently do not have a lot of depth at outside linebacker. The only players who have started for them at that position are Robert Mathis, Erik Walden and Trent Cole. All three of these guys are over 30 years old and are no longer performing in their athletic prime. As a result, these three struggled to pressure opposing quarterbacks and only combined for 13 sacks in 2015. A young outside linebacker would provide a huge lift to the unit.
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The outside linebacker class is not very top heavy in their year’s draft. Leonard Floyd and Noah Spence are the only two first round pass rushers who can legitimately play as a 3-4 outside linebacker. The rest of the first round pass rushers project better as defensive ends.
Despite not being a top heavy class, there are still plenty of outside linebackers who have a lot of potential, especially in the second round. If the Indianapolis Colts are not going to or cannot take either Spence or Floyd, the next option would be to take one in the second round. In fact, they should take one in this round because they will get the best value from an outside linebacker in this round.
Colts’ general manager Ryan Grigson said he was looking to take the “best player available” with each of their picks. They will have that opportunity in the second round with a position that desperately needs to be addressed.
Kamalei Correa, Kyler Fackrell and Jordan Jenkins are only some of the prospects that are projected to be drafted at some point in the second round. In particular, these three prospects possess really good pass rushing skills, and both CBS Sports and NFL.com feel these they can all be productive NFL starters. If the Colts have an opportunity to grab one of these guys in the second round, why would they pass it up? Each of these players could be a contributor on the Colts’ defense immediately and in the future.
If the Indianapolis Colts take an offensive lineman in the first round, their second round pick needs be an edge pass rusher. With the 48th pick overall, their need for an edge rusher and desire to draft the best player available will overlap. It is a smart move and makes a lot of sense right now. However, thing can always change. Colts’ fans will just have to wait until April 28th to see what the franchise truly wants to do.