INDIANAPOLIS – The NFL will have descended on Indianapolis this time next week for the league's annual Scouting Combine.
For now, let's analyze some Mock Drafts.
This is our second Mock Draft look with a clear emphasis in the trenches for the Colts at Pick No. 18.
Here's a compilation of Mock Drafts:
Analysis: Forget best player available and instead consider Kelly at this slot as best offensive lineman available. The Colts don't just need better protection for Andrew Luck in pass protection, they also have the opportunity to protect Luck through the ability to run the ball more consistently, and Kelly is going to help immediately in that regard.
Analysis: Andrew Luck would love this pick after getting beat up in 2015 before suffering season-ending injuries. The 6-foot-7 Decker has enough range, strength and toughness to hold up in pass protection on the perimeter in the NFL. He's not overpowering as a run-blocker, but he's highly efficient and consistent.
Analysis: Something about this fit has made it an easy one to make in our recent mocks. Perhaps it's that the Colts have no choice but to upgrade their offensive line after a miserable 2015 season. Or, perhaps it's that Conklin has the wherewithal to start as a rookie at either guard or tackle.
Analysis: The expected regime change in Indianapolis never happened after the 2015 season. Now, general manager Ryan Grigson and head coach Chuck Pagano are back with a healthy Andrew Luck as they try to fix the holes that led to missing the playoffs after playing in the AFC title game last season. With the 18th overall pick, the Colts could look to improve their offensive line, but their front seven on defense needs the most help after missed draft picks and free-agent signings. Improving a pass rush that was invisible at times in 2015 must be a priority, and the instant-impact ability of Shaq Lawson should excite the Colts front office. Lawson can play standing up or with his hand in the dirt, and his combination of quickness at the snap and power in his counter moves should make him a no-brainer in the middle of the first round.
Analysis: Along with the healthy return of Andrew Luck, the Colts need reinforcements throughout a run defense that allowed an average of 122 yards in 2015, 25th in the NFL. Rankins' quick burst and active, powerful hands make him an effective interior pass rusher - an area the Colts were especially lacking last season.
Analysis: Indianapolis has drafted five offensive linemen in the last three years, but none before the end of the second round. It shows in how the Colts have struggled to protect quarterback Andrew Luck. Conklin could play a number of positions on the Colts' offensive line. Adding him would bolster the talent up front and let Luck finally become the quarterback everyone expects him to be.
Analysis: Any help along the defensive front is needed and Billings has posted a two-year grade of 80.2 on 1,511 snaps. He can move around along the defensive line, though his best fit may be at nose tackle where his 47.1 run defense can shine.
MOCK DRAFT TOTALS
In each installment of the mock draft looks we will total up all the positions pundits have pegged for the Colts throughout the draft process.[
1ST Mock Draft Look (January 21) ](http://www.colts.com/news/article-1/2016-First-Mock-Draft-Look-Big-Ten-Heavy-Picks-For-The-Colts/d1588680-9a78-45fd-95c6-83635c029439)
Bowen's Analysis: The steady diet of offensive tackles isn't going off the Colts' Mock Draft menu anytime soon. But this menu has some challengers in the trenches. The tackles are still there in Ohio State's Taylor Decker and Michigan State's Jack Conklin. The Ryan Kelly pick by Kiper is interesting because you rarely see true centers go that high. Now, we see a few more interior guys and a defensive end joining the fray in this Mock Draft look. Where does defensive line fall in the needs for the Colts this offseason? If Arthur Jones and Henry Anderson can turn in healthy 2016s, there doesn't appear to be a great need. The Colts created some nice depth along the defensive front in 2015. Of course, you can never have enough bodies in the trenches and the Colts have learned that the hard way with all the injuries there in recent years. I am surprised we haven't seen any cornerbacks yet pegged for the Colts at No. 18.
Second Mock Draft Look of 2016!