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The Indianapolis Colts had what many would consider a down season last year after going 9-8 and not making the playoffs. With Carson Wentz out and Matt Ryan in, it’s seems like Indy is becoming a transition point for veteran quarterbacks.
There a plenty of questions surrounding the draft for the Colts but the major one is, what is the top need? With no day one picks it will be important for them to hit on the picks they do have. Here is how that can happen:
No Day One Picks
This is a glaring concern for Indy. With some major needs on the roster, especially at quarterback and receiver, the team should look to trade up into the first round.
Round 2, Pick 10: Desmond Ridder, QB, Cincinnati
Round 3, Pick 9: Velus Jones Jr., WR, Tennessee
The Colts traded for former MVP Matt Ryan, but he is a bit older and isn’t quite the player he was in his younger days.
Drafting a quarterback of the future should be a focus for the Colts and the second round will have some good options. Desmond Ridder is one of those options. Ridder is a smooth athlete with a whip for an arm. He is a winner and a leader who rarely puts his team in bad situations. His long ball is one of the best in the class and him sitting behind Ryan for a year or two could help him develop into a perennial pro-bowl starter.
Indy has to replace long time number one receiver T.Y. Hilton as well. Grabbing Velus Jones Jr. would be perfect. He has the speed to change a game and can be the deep threat Hilton was for so long. Jones Jr. has all the tools to be a solid starting receiver in the league and being able to get his services in the third round is a steal.
Round 4, Pick 17: Myron Cunningham, OL, Arkansas
Round 5, Pick 16: Jahleel Billingsley, TE, Alabama
Round 6, Pick 36: Tomon Fox, Edge, North Carolina
Round 6, Pick 37: Leonard Johnson, CB, Duke
Round 7, Pick 18: Nate Landman, LB, Colorado
Day three will be a scramble for depth and shoring up some positions on the roster.
Tackle is a position of need but isn’t glaring. Even with it not being a major need, the Colts should look to get a guy that can compete for the job.
Enter Myron Cunningham from Arkansas. His large frame and powerful hands make him a prime candidate for the power run scheme the Colts run. Also being in a division with some of the league’s top pass rushers means you need an imposing force protecting your signal caller’s blind side.
Billingsley, Fox and Johnson could be contributors as well.
Billingsley looks more like a big receiver than a tight end. He has quick feet and solid hands that he uses to trap the ball with natural hands catching ability. Using him in the red zone may be his role for the first year or two of his career.
Tomon Fox is a solid pass rusher who can cover in space when needed. He isn’t a three down player yet but on situational downs he could find a spot on the roster. His skill set lends itself to standing up but he can put his hand in the dirt and get after it as well.
Johnson is a good corner with ideal size and speed. After losing Rock Ya-Sin and Xavier Rhodes, the Colts need some depth. Johnson can provide that and be a spot filler on a team that has a stable of defensive backs.
The Colts will need to fill this roster with solid talent and could do that with a solid draft. Not having a first round pick shouldn’t be a problem if they can pull off this scenario.