I’ve often wondered just how good a talent evaluator the renowned Bill Polian is, he’s been great with the Bills and Colts, but he’s also had two hall of fame quarterbacks in Jim Kelly and Peyton Manning, who can make up for a lot of draft misses. I think it’s a legitimate question, but won’t that doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things, but the point is evaluating the Colts needs is tricky because they would be a lot different if Peyton Manning were to get hurt.
Offensive Line-The Colts could always get by with below average run blockers because their pass blocking was great and they could live with running schematic plays like the stretch run and running out of three WR sets, but now that’s not happening as more as the Offensive line is not exceptional in any way. They are average pass blockers and poor run blockers and this line needs serious refinement.
Defensive Tackle The Colts scheme calls for defensive tackles that can penetrate and rush the passer, but Eric Foster (3.5) and Antonio Johnson (.5) combined for four sacks and no other DT had any. That’s terrible in any scheme, your defensive tackles should be able to accidentally stumble into four sacks, on top of that they are not great at stopping the run. This is a position that should be upgraded (and arguably a scheme that should be changed, but that’s neither here nor there).
Safety-The Colts have one very nice Safety in Antoine Bathea, but could upgrade next to him as Melvin Bullitt and Aaron Francisco aren’t true difference makers. Decent players, but probably best suited as reserve/special team guys.
Wide Receiver? Yes, the question mark is intentional. I think this depends on what the team thinks can happen with both Anthony Gonzalez and Austin Collie. Gonzalez has not been able to stay healthy and Austin Collie suffered way too many concussions last year, also Pierre Garcon has been maddeningly inconsistent. Still Peyton Manning can make any WR look good, but I keep thinking back to the 2008 N.F.L. draft when the Colts were heavily rumored to be interested in Hakeem Nicks, but instead took Donald Brown…how good would Hakeem Nicks look with the Colts
Running Back-This hinges on whether or not the Colts keep Joseph Addai, if they do not keep Joseph Addai they will need to draft or add another running back, if they keep Joseph Addai the running game should improve once they get healthy and add talent at the offensive line position.
1st Round 22nd pick overall- Anthony Castanzo, OT, Boston College. Our two favorite offensive tackles pre-combine are Gabe Carimi and Derrick Sherrod, but I think the first two tackles drafted will be Tyron Smith and Nate Solder. Gabe Carimi doesn’t seem like a fit for the Colts, but Anthony Castanzo would be, an excellent technician and pass blocker, Castanzo could fill in immediately at LT or RT for the Colts and add youth and talent to the team.
2nd Round pick 53 overall Rodney Hudson, Florida State University
I know it’s odd to double up on a position, but it has happened before (the Buccaneers last year in back to back picks took defensive tackles). And the best time to grab offensive linemen is early in the draft. Hudson won’t fit every scheme in the N.F.L., which could push his natural talent low as he’s a bit sleight and not a power run blocker, but he’s very athletic and would fit in nicely with the Colts. At this point he would also probably be the best player available unless the Colts were going to add a skilled position player.
3rd Round: 87th overall: Shane Vereen, RB, Cal
Unlike many teams, the Colts do not have any problem taking a running back in the early part of the draft. Vareen is one of the most underrated running backs in the draft and is going to be a good player in the N.F.L. Vereen could also be an ideal fit for the offensive blocking system the Colts run and can also help out in the passing game. A nice value pick here as the Colts look to fix their running game to help out their offense by adding fresh blood at the offensive line position and running back position. If Joseph Addai is retained running back may become less likely.
4th Round 118th overall Damik Scafe DT, Boston College
Many people probably don’t know about Scafe, but click on his name and it will give you a scouting report from National Football post. Scafe is a hard working defensive tackle who is good vs the run and solid vs the pass. He’s not the most gifted athletically and he’ll probably won’t be considered this high by every team, but every year it seems the Colts draft a player higher than I thought they would go with the latest example being Pat Angerer. Scafe could be that kind of player this year.
5th Round 149th overall Jeremey Kerley, WR, TCU
Can the Colts PLEASE upgrade their special teams unit. It is one of the worst units in the league, right at the bottom on the barrel with the Chargers and the Giants (two teams which didn’t make the playoffs almost directly because of their special teams: San Diego 100 percent for sure, Giants 50/50 special teams and turnovers). Adding a true return man could give the Colts one drive a game where Peyton Manning didn’t have to go the length of the field. It also would allow the Colts to add a talented WR to the roster who can really create some yards after the catch, which is important for the Colts who throw a lot of short passes to supplement their poor running game. Kerley is not the typical kind of WR the Colts look for, which is excellent route runner and heady, but he’s a hard worker and become a good route runner under the tutelage of Peyton Manning.
6th Round 183rd overall: Eric Haag, SS, Nebraska
A tough, good football player who isn’t the elite athlete other players, but a guy who will fit for an eventual starting spot and also really help out on Special teams which the Colts are desperate for. I wanted to give them a safety earlier in round thee, but the best option was going to be Deunta Williams who has the “character concerns” issue, and those kind of players are avoided like the plague by the Colts, though he’d fit in marvelously with their team. I Didn’t want to reach earlier for a safety so I passed on the safety position there and am settling for the safety position now.
7th Round pick 213th overall DL Markus White, FSU
Click on the name to see Mackenzie’s scouting report of Markus White, one of Mackenzie’s most underrated players in the draft. Has a unique blend of athleticism and good upside. White, is not a talked about prospect often and is generally rated in the 7th round range or higher, but could impress in the off-season and shoot up boards. White was productive this past season with 8 sacks and 58 tackles.
Also, Colts fans, I’ve heard this pick was traded away for Justin Tyron, but I haven’t been able to confirm that anywhere yet, if the Colts don’t actually have this pick, let me know.
Well let me know what you think Colts fans, the Colts are a very hard team to get a feel for because of their style of drafting and their adherence to their schemes, despite what consensus value might be of a player. They also do some interesting things like drafting Donald Brown in the first round, which I didn’t see predicted anywhere before the draft. They also, I imagine, base a ton of what they do on the interview process, which we have no insight into, I think more so then other teams, although all teams to take the interviews into consideration.
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Topics: 2011, 2011 NFL Draft, 2011 NFL Mock Draft, Anthony Castanzo, Bill Polian, Boston College, California, Colts, Draft, Florida State University, Indinapolis Colts, Mock Draft, Mock Draft 2011 Nfl, NFL, NFL Draft, Peyton Manning, Rodney Hudson, Shane Vereen