INDIANAPOLIS – The needs for NFL teams are becoming more and more clear with free agency reaching the quieter stages.
Impactful free agency acquisitions have been made and teams are now hunkering down for next month's NFL Draft.
At this year's Combine, the Colts learned they will be drafting No. 15 overall, when the draft begins on April 27 in Philadelphia.
With Dwayne Allen's trade just before the start of free agency, the Colts now have seven draft picks in the first five rounds this year. They do not currently have draft picks in the sixth or seventh rounds.
Here's another compilation of Mock Drafts with this year's draft just a month away:
Analysis*: *Let's be clear here: I don't have Foster, a top-five talent, dropping because of his bizarre combine ejection. He's dropping here because not many teams above the Colts at No. 15 need a true inside linebacker. The Bengals and Saints, for instance, have both signed inside linebackers in free agency. Whichever team takes Foster, though, is getting a big-time, sideline-to-sideline defender with All-Pro potential. Indianapolis has done a solid job of upgrading its roster this offseason, and picking Foster (6-0, 229) is another step toward defensive respectability.
Analysis: Rebuilding the offensive and defensive lines has to be a priority for the Colts. Edge rushers such as Takkarist McKinley or Charles Harris could make sense here, but Lamp is the best all-around offensive lineman in this draft. He played left tackle in college, but projects as a guard in the NFL. Flip on his tape against Alabama. This kid is for real.
Analysis: McKinley is a rather polarizing prospect, as some evaluators I speak with say he's a first-round pick all day long, while others say he's more of a top-50 guy. I like him going to Indianapolis, a team that's been loading up on defensive pieces but can still use an edge rusher to replace Robert Mathis. McKinley had 10 sacks and 18 tackles for a loss during his senior season. He got better every year in Westwood. His stock is still on the rise.
Analysis: The Colts need a young, athletic corner to play opposite Vontae Davis.
Analysis: One of the reasons Chris Ballard was attracted to the Indy GM job was Andrew Luck. So Ballard must do everything he can to ensure that Luck is in the best position to succeed—and for Indianapolis, that means addressing an Achilles heel: the offensive line. Pair Robinson with his former Crimson Tide teammate Ryan Kelly, and the Colts are getting back on track.
Analysis: They have to get more speed on the field and Foster can provide that. The combine incident might drop him some, and the Colts wouldn't mind that.
Analysis: Some years of bad moves by former general manager Ryan Grigson, like trading a first-round pick for Trent Richardson and blowing one on Bjoern Werner, are coming back to bite Indianapolis. The Colts have a ton of needs on their talent-deficient roster, including edge rusher, running back, cornerback, defensive line, linebacker, and more offensive line talent. The defense is in horrible shape, so Indianapolis could take the best defensive player available regardless of position. Barnett would make sense because he would upgrade the Colts' defense immediately in both phases. In 2016, Barnett recorded 56 tackles with 19 for a loss, 13 sacks, two forced fumbles, five passes broken up and one interception. He put together a superb game against Florida as he dominated in the second half to help the Volunteers pull off their huge comeback. Barnett totaled five tackles, three for a loss, two sacks and one pass batted in that outing. He also played well against Alabama, even victimizing Cam Robinson for a sack. Barnett racked up 69 tackles with 12.5 for a loss and 10 sacks in 2015 after putting up an extremely impressive freshman campaign the year before. He notched 10 sacks alongside 72 tackles with 20.5 tackles for a loss that season. Barnett (6-3, 259) set freshman records at Tennessee and clearly has a lot of upside. He is a fast edge defender who is a natural pass-rusher.
Analysis: Even with the additions of John Simon and Jabaal Sheard in free agency, there's still room for pass-rushers in Indianapolis, especially a player like Tim Williams, who can make an immediate impact as a situational rusher. He's only played 168 snaps against the run the last three years, and he may be limited there early on in the NFL, but he did his damage as a pass-rusher, where he put pressure on the quarterback on 26.1 percent of his rushes (the NCAA average is 10 percent).
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.
Bowen's Analysis: If someone handed you a Colts roster and pointed out the biggest changes from this time last month, the cornerback and outside linebacker groups would be obvious. I was a bit surprised to not see more cornerbacks slotted for the Colts at No. 15. That's clearly the biggest need from a quantity/quality standpoint. The upgrades at both linebacker spots certainly fall in line with what the Colts need across that position group. A pure pass rusher is still missing, despite the three new faces there via free agency. That's why you see the different pass rushers going to the Colts in these mocks. The Reuben Foster debate is one that varies from mock to mock. Some still have the Alabama inside linebacker going much higher than 15. All it takes is one team to nab Foster, so him falling all the way to 15 is no guarantee, given his talent. We did see two offensive linemen enter the picture for the Colts in our third Mock Draft installment. That's still not an area I would look to in Round One, based off the young talent already up front on the roster, plus the defensive needs there in 2017.
The third mock draft look of 2017.
The analysis from those producing content on Colts.com does not necessarily represent the thoughts of the Indianapolis Colts organization. Any conjecture, analysis or opinions formed by Colts.com content creators is not based on inside knowledge gained from team officials, players or staff.