At this point, everyone knows the Indianapolis Colts have a lot of issues on the defensive side of ball. As a result, many people have different opinions on what their draft strategy should be.
The Colts had one of the worst pass defenses in 2016. Their unit ranked in the bottom-third of the NFL in every important statistical category (passing yards allowed, passing TDs allowed, etc.). Pro Football Focus ranked their secondary as the second-worst in the league.
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With this in mind, Kadar felt it was crucial for Indianapolis to find themselves a young shutdown cornerback.
"“The Colts often get a pass rusher or offensive lineman in mock drafts, but a cornerback should also be considered. Indianapolis finished near the bottom of the league in pass defense last season, and someone like Tabor could help make the defense better.”"
Tabor decided to forgo his senior season after three solid years with the Gators. He finished his collegiate career with 104 combine tackles, 28 pass deflections and eight interceptions (three of which he returned for touchdowns).
Tabor’s six-foot, 200-pound frame makes him the prototypical cornerback. He is strong and big enough to hold his own against big receivers. However, he has the speed and quickness to keep up with receivers on fast short routes or long deep routes.
His skills would be welcomed into a withered Colts’ secondary. Shutdown cornerback Vontae Davis did not have a good year, and No. 2 cornerback Patrick Robinson could stay healthy. Undrafted defensive backs Matthias Farley and Rashaan Melvin saw significant time as a result.
Meanwhile, veteran cornerback Darius Butler had to move to safety due to injuries elsewhere on the roster. It looks like Butler will be staying at safety in 2017.
Kadar’s pick makes a lot of sense for the Colts because it addresses a need. However, it is hard to pass up the other talent still on the board in his mock draft; specifically at pass rusher.
In his mock draft, edge rushers Derek Barnett, Taco Charlton and Takkarist McKinley would all still be available midway through the draft. These are the best pass rushing options outside of Myles Garrett. The Colts’ cannot risk not taking one of them.
The majority of the top NFL edge rushers in 2016 were former first round picks. While there is always a risk drafting a pass rusher in the first round, the chances of him becoming great are better than a guy drafted after the first round.
Kadar has the right idea with the Colts drafting Tabor to improve their awful pass defense. However, it would be better for them to draft a pass rusher in the first round. The cornerback class is deep this year so the Colts could find a future starter in the second round.