If there is one thing we know about general manager Chris Ballard, we know he values elite physical traits in the NFL Draft. One way to zero in on late-round targets for the Colts is by looking at the patented RAS system created by the one and only Kent Lee Platte (@MathBomb).
Kent accumulates the workout data and measurements for every draft-eligible prospect each year. He adds the profile to the database, and it gives a score weighed against EVERY prospect Kent has ever logged into the site. It is an invaluable tool during draft time, and I wouldn’t be surprised if some NFL teams lean on these numbers.
2023 NFL Draft: 6 Late-Round Targets That Make Sense for the Colts
As for the Colts, look no further than the most recent draft class to see the type of prospect they search for. Of the eight selections in 2022, none of the prospects graded out with a RAS lower than 9.17. The top four picks all sit at or above 9.83.
Those are a lot of numbers that I just threw your way, but the context is necessary for this exercise. In this article, we will highlight six players that could be available in the later rounds of the 2023 NFL Draft. Following Ballard’s trend, all of these names boast spectacular athletic profiles and thus grade high on the RAS scale.
Without further ado, who are the late-round targets that meet Ballard’s requirements?
NFL Draft Target No. 1: Andrei Iosivas, WR, Princeton
If I was in the draft room, Andrei Iosivas would be on the radar early in the event. He is a one-of-one athlete, possessing legit track star speed and checking the box in terms of height, weight, and arm length. At 6-foot-3, 205 pounds, Iosivas can make plays on the ball downfield as well as create huge YAC numbers after the catch.
Iosivas is an underrated route runner and flexes some of the most reliable hands in the entire wide receiver class. The Princeton star is just as polished off the field, proving to be a brilliant mind capable of putting in the work and improving his craft every time he steps into the building.
Combining mental makeup with the physical traits makes for an easy inclusion on this list. Iosivas posted a 9.96 RAS, grading out as the 16th-best receiver out of the 2,875 pass catchers in the system. Parris Campbell is gone, so Iosivas can step in and man the slot position immediately, fitting perfectly between Michael Pittman Jr. and Alec Pierce.
NFL Draft Target No. 2: Chandler Zavala, OL, NC State
Another “my guy” makes this list and serves as a prospect who could earn a starting role in training camp. NC State brawler Chandler Zavala is a dominant force on the interior of the offensive line. He thrives on physicality, regularly moving bigger defenders out of the way and clearing lanes for his ball carrier between the tackles.
In the passing game, Zavala shows the best anchor in the 2023 NFL Draft. Once he roots into the turf, you cannot move him off his spot. Zavala stands his ground and is deceptively agile when his initial punch doesn’t work. His hands are like vice grips… if he snatches you up, he’s like a shark with prey… there is no escaping.
Zavala measured 6-foot-3 1/2 and weighed 316 pounds. Impressively, the Wolf Pack standout threw up 30 reps on the bench press and posted stellar numbers in the vertical, 10-yard split, and 3-cone drill. These numbers add up to a 9.50 RAS, slotting Zavala into the top 70 of all guards in the database (since 1987). He is a Ballard guy through and through.
NFL Draft Target No. 3: Zach Harrison, EDGE, Ohio State
Zach Harrison is a bit of a switch-up from the past two names, as he opted against doing speed drills at the NFL Combine and his Pro Day. Still, thanks to unprecedented size and explosion, Harrison checks in with a more than respectable 8.70 RAS.
Harrison’s arms are >36 inches, and at 6-foot-5 1/2, he is a handful for opposing offensive linemen to deal with. The OSU pass rusher features an otherworldly burst off the line, and when he is locked in, there is little anyone can do to stop him from getting to the quarterback.
Herein lies the rub. Far too often in college, Harrison failed to make his presence felt. Although he had NFL-caliber reps, there were several snaps where Harrison gave inexcusable effort.
This red flag is the reason the former Buckeye could be available later in the draft. With this athletic profile, and his Big Ten ties, Ballard might see Harrison as a risk worth taking given his immense upside.
NFL Draft Target No. 4: Mohamoud Diabate, LB, Utah
Mohamoud Diabate is one of my favorite players in the class. He started his collegiate career with the Florida Gators before moving on to Utah and taking over the top spot on the depth chart. Diabate assumed the same role that former first-rounder Devin Lloyd manned with the Utes, giving him the freedom to impact the game in a myriad of ways.
Diabate’s sideline-to-sideline mobility allows him to chase down ball carriers and make touchdown-saving tackles. His burst and agility are highlighted when Diabate pins his ears back and goes after the quarterback. He even showed signs of improving in coverage, opening the door to an every-down role in the NFL.
Diabate, for some reason, was not invited to the NFL Combine. Utah’s breakout star would have made waves in Indianapolis, as is evident by his Pro Day numbers. Diabate is a bit light in weight, but everything else meets the thresholds for a Colts’ draft pick.
His 9.09 RAS puts him in the upper-tenth percentile as an athlete, and when his instincts come around, the sky is the limit for Diabate. Ballard always finds a contributor on defense late in the draft, perhaps Diabate is this year’s diamond in the rough.
NFL Draft Target No. 5: Riley Moss, CB, Iowa
Let’s get back to the elite of the elite in terms of RAS grades. Riley Moss opted out of agility drills, but his speed and explosion testing is all most teams needed to see. A shade below 6-foot-1, Moss boasts average size on the boundary, but that is where the average ends.
The Iowa veteran blazed a 4.45 40-yard dash with a 1.49 10-yard split. On top of that, Moss posted a 39-inch vertical jump and nearly 11-foot broad jump. Tired of hearing about workouts? Moss has the stats to back up all these numbers.
Moss intercepted 11 passes in his Hawkeye career, including 20 pass breakups and a career 53.6 completion percentage against him. He can mix it up in man coverage from time to time, but Moss profiles best as a zone defender on Sundays.
That fits Gus Bradley’s philosophy to a tee, and when you include the impact Moss can make on the special teams unit, I’d be shocked if he isn’t firmly on the radar for the Colts. And yes, if you didn’t know, Moss is white! A white cornerback!
NFL Draft Target No. 6: Jonathan Mingo, WR, Ole Miss
The last name on the list might be off the board earlier than expected, but if Mingo is around in round three or later, Chris Ballard should leap at the chance of adding him to the wide receiver room. The standout pass catcher is a polarizing prospect in terms of route running and his hands, but one thing nobody can deny is how great of a pure athlete he is.
Mingo, at nearly 6-foot-2 and 220 pounds, put on a show during workouts. He ran a 4.46 40-yard dash, a time that matches the eye test when watching his tape. Mingo also jumped out of the gym, posting a 39.5-inch vertical and near 11-foot broad jump. Although bigger than the aforementioned Moss, the two graded out similarly, as the Rebel pass catcher boasts a 9.86 RAS.
Mingo is best suited for a ‘big-slot’ role in the NFL, making him a superb fit with the Colts. He is a home run threat with the ball in his hands, and if he can fix his body-catching tendencies, Mingo should be a reliable field stretcher in short order. If anyone on this list looks like a Ballard pick, it is the Ole Miss star.