A lot of people churn out complete NFL mock drafts this time of year, but what specifically should the Indianapolis Colts be looking for throughout the draft? Photo - SBNation.com
With just two more of our Indianapolis Colts Mock Drafts left until the draft, we will begin exploring trade scenarios. In this edition we will trade back and next week we will trade up. Thanks to Drafttek for having the resources to supply the public with the NFL Draft point system.
In an effort to project as realistic scenarios as possible, this mock is also composed solely of prospects the Colts have shown moderate to heavy interest in based on the Colts Draft Prospect Interest Tracker from Colts Authority.
So without further ado, with the 59th pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, the Indianapolis Colts select...
TRADE: The Colts trade Round 2, Pick 59 to the Denver Broncos in exchange for the Round 2, Pick 63 and Round 4, Pick 131.
Round 2, Pick 63
Team Needs: Center, Safety, Cornerback, Wide Receiver, Edge Player, Nose Tackle
The Pick: Donte Moncrief | Wide Receiver | Mississippi
Measurements: 6’2”, 221lbs
2013 Stat Line: 59 Catches, 938 Yards, 6 Touchdowns
Donte Moncrief is a three-year starting receiver with above average athleticism, excellent size and a background in track and basketball. He tore up the NFL Scouting Combine with solid position drills and high group marks of a 4.40-second 40-yard dash, 39.5-inch vertical jump and an 11-foot broad jump.
NFL.com’s Nolan Nawrocki had this to say about Moncrief:
“Big, physically gifted "X" receiver with deep speed, leaping potential and playmaking ability. Could emerge a No. 1 or No. 2 receiver in a vertical passing offense, and his best football is in front him. Solid combine showing and pro-day workout have ascended his draft standing.”
The Colts do not need any help at receiver in 2014, but 2015 is quite the different story. Five of their current group of seven – including Reggie Wayne and Hakeem Nicks – become free agents after the season. The Colts need to have a receiver groomed for 2015 and Moncrief needs time to be groomed before receiving extensive playing time.
Something Moncrief needs to work on is route running. The Colts just so happen to have the best route runner in the NFL in Wayne. With the hands-on approach Wayne takes in developing the team’s young receivers, it’s an ideal situation.
Round 3, Pick 90
Team Needs: Center, Safety, Cornerback, Edge Player, Nose Tackle
The Pick: Carl Bradford | Edge Player | Arizona State
Measurements: 6’1”, 250lbs
2013 Stat Line: 61 Tackles, 19.0 Tackles for Loss, 8.5 Sacks, 1 Interception, 4 Passes Defended, 3 Forced Fumbles, 1 Touchdown
Carl Bradford is a somewhat polarizing mid-round prospect. Many knock him for his measurable as a pass rusher (30.25” arms to go with his compact frame), but his energy/explosiveness is undeniable. He also has a pursuit to the quarterback rivaled by few.
The Colts could use a boost in pass rush after Bjoern Werner failed to generate much production last season. They are not done with Werner, but he needs to be more productive in passing situations. The Colts also have a stable of pass rushers and other edge players in Erik Walden, Josh McNary, Daniel Adongo, Justin Hickman and Cam Johnson but none have proven to be effective primary players yet. If Werner pans out, the team will still need to have someone for Robert Mathis to groom as his eventual successor.
Round 4, Pick 131
Team Needs: Center, Safety, Cornerback, Nose Tackle
The Pick: Terrance Mitchell | Cornerback | Oregon
Measurements: 5'11", 192lbs
2013 Stat Line: 59 Tackles, 5 Interceptions, 7 Passes Defended, 1 Forced Fumble, 1 Touchdown
Terrance Mitchell is known as an explosive corner with great hips for the position. He possesses great instincts and reaction time. His five interceptions and seven pass defended show his nose for the ball, as well. After posting a poor 40 time of 4.63 at the Combine, he recovered that in a workout for the Colts and Raiders with a 4.43 time.
Despite the re-signing of Vontae Davis, the need for corners is still real for the Colts. Starter Greg Toler is, unfortunately, an injury waiting to happen. Behind him is Darius Butler and Josh Gordy. Neither are ideal fits on the outside and do their best work in the slots. Mitchell can provide productive coverage both inside and out.
Round 5, Pick 166
Team Needs: Center, Safety, Nose Tackle
The Pick: Preston Brown | Linebacker | Louisville
Measurements: 6'1", 251lbs
2013 Stat Line: 98 Tackles, 12.5 Tackles for Loss, 4.5 Sacks, 1 Pass Defended, 3 Forced Fumbles
Preston Brown is the classic run-attacking inside linebacker many teams are looking for. He is not the strongest player in pass coverage, but a team that needs him for his prowess against the run will get what they want out of him.
A team like the Colts fits this bill. They’ve got enough pass coverage for now, but they need linebackers that can stop the run. Many believe free agent acquisition D’Qwell Jackson to be just that, but that is not likely to be the case. Brown could at least represent an upgrade over the likes of Kelvin Sheppard and develop into a more prominent role in the defense.
Round 6, Pick 203
Team Needs: Center, Safety, Nose Tackle
The Pick: [NatBerhe] | Safety | San Diego State
Measurements: 5'10", 193lbs
2013 Stat Line: 99 Tackles, 5.5 Tackles for Loss, 1.0 Sack, 6 Passes Defended
How one can describe safety Nat Berhe should sound very familiar to Colts fans. He is a defender with good instincts, as well as an emphasis on tackling and run support. He can also lower the boom on ball carriers and is able to succeed in part due to his high football IQ. He was the leader of his secondary in college. If you’re cherry picking, you could also consider his last name starts with the letter “B” and has an unfamiliar pronunciation at first.
Sound a bit like former Colts safety Antoine Bethea?
The team is still looking for Bethea’s replacement after he left this offseason in free agency. Delano Howell is the early favorite to replace Bethea, but we also haven’t gotten to the draft yet. Head coach Chuck Pagano has acknowledged the team is looking at safety early, but after trading to the back of Round 2 in this scenario, they find themselves out of range for players like Jimmie Ward, Deone Bucannon and Terrence Brooks.
Despite not being a high draft pick, Berhe has many of the positive traits needed in replacing Bethea.
Round 7, Pick 232 (from Baltimore Ravens)
Team Needs: Center, Nose Tackle
The Pick: [MattArmstrong] | Center | Grand Valley State
Measurements: 6’2”, 302lbs
2013 Stat Line: N/A
Matt Armstrong is a little-known center prospect out of Division II Grand Valley State. He is one of the most versatile offensive linemen in the entire draft with starting experience at all five offensive line positions.
The biggest issue with Armstrong is his injury history. Throughout his time at GVSU, he dealt with concussion (2009), quad (2010), knee (2011) and ankle, shoulder, quad (2014) injuries. He plays exceptionally when healthy, winning the 2013 Division II Rimington Award as the nation’s best center. There is no telling what his draft projection would be if he had an average draftee’s injury history.
After the retirement of Phil Costa, center became arguably the Colts’ biggest position of need. Not selecting a center until Round 7 is a vote of confidence in Khaled Holmes, all while still providing him with competition. If the Colts selected Armstrong, they could stash him on either the Physically Unable to Perform or Injured Reserve to Return lists so he may learn and heal his body.
Round 1, Pick 26
The Pick: No Pick. Colts traded pick to Cleveland Browns in exchange for Trent Richardson.
Round 4, Pick 127
The Pick: No Pick. Colts traded pick to Cleveland Browns and drafted Montori Hughes.
Round 7, Pick 241
The Pick: No Pick. Colts traded pick to St. Louis Rams in exchange for Josh Gordy.
Keep an eye on these players throughout the pre-draft process, s you may just see them with a horse shoe on their helmets come Week 1.
I would love to hear your thoughts, Colts fans. Leave your comments/questions/concerns in the comments section below!
Pro Football Spot’s 2014 Colts Mock Drafts
-Measurements courtesy of www.nfl.com
-Statistics courtesy of www.sports-reference.com
Jake Arthur is the AFC South Division Manager and the Indianapolis Colts Lead Writer for Pro Football Spot, as well as a member of the Professional Football Writers of America. Follow @JakeArthurISR and @Spot_Colts on Twitter.