Skip to main content


Presented by

With final 6 picks in NFL Draft, Colts setting up intense competition for roles, roster spots in 2024

The Colts made six selections on the final day of the 2024 NFL Draft. 

Day # Takeaway

The Colts made six picks on the final day of the 2024 NFL Draft, adding talent and competition on offense, defense and special teams with these players:

With those picks, the Colts added a stable of players they believe can compete to contribute in all three phases beginning right off the bat in 2024.

And ultimately, the competitive atmosphere the Colts believe they've fostered through roster continuity and draft-week additions will result in legitimate growth from this team in 2024 and beyond.

"There's going to be great competition upfront, both sides of the ball," general manager Chris Ballard said. "Both o-line and d-line. It'll be really good competition at wideout depending on how many we keep. We get some guys back that did some things at the end of the year that we really liked.

"I think across the board, we'll continue to work – there's a few spots we want to continue to add between now and the season. Like I always tell you all, there's no perfect team – there's not. Everybody has got something that, man, I wish I could get a little bit better. You go to work, and you take your time and you don't press and you make sure that by the time the season starts, when you get into the season, you can plug those positions. But yeah, I'm pleased about where we're at right now."

As Ballard alluded to, the Colts are not done adding players. A group of undrafted free agents will join the team, and no doors are closed on bringing in veteran free agents in the coming weeks and months.

But the Colts came away from Day 3 of the 2024 NFL Draft with specific visions for each player not only this year, but into the future of their careers.

"Day Three, you're really looking for guys with upside that you have a chance to hit on, come down the line and be a future starter, which we know the odds are low," Ballard said. "I mean, they are. The odds are low at it but we've had some success in the third day, we've had a lot of success in the third day finding those types of players. Excited about the guys we got. Our scouts, that's really – look, they're involved at every round but, I give them a lot of credit especially on the third day. They're the ones that have been digging and fighting for these guys."

Bortolini profiles as someone who can give the Colts depth on the interior of their line, either as a left/right guard or center.

"He started a lot of games at Wisconsin, he played at both tackle positions at one time, he's played guard, he started at center," Ballard said. "We think he's got really good value as an inside-swing guy for us and he's got a really bright future."

Gould offers intriguing upside as a punt and/or kick returner with his vision, instincts and blazing speed (he ran a 4.33-second 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine). Gould sees himself as more than just a return guy, but his potential there gives him a baseline shot at competing to play a key role right away.

"This new kickoff return rule is going to change some things," Ballard said. "It's a little bit of an unknown right now but we think he's got – he's an explosive player with the ball in his hands, he has had a lot of success in college returning punts and he's a pretty good wideout so excited to get him."

Carlies will move from safety – where he played the last three years at Mizzou – to linebacker. The Colts believe his athleticism and length (he has 34-inch arms and an 80-inch wingspan) will benefit him in making the transition as he begins his NFL career.

"We always think guys with length that can run have an advantage," Ballard said. "It's going to fit him well inside."

Simpson, too, will switch from safety to cornerback but has multi-position flexibility and, like Carlies, a good amount of special teams experience in a competitive, high-level conference.

"He's got some versatility where he can play corner, nickel, safety," Ballard said. "(He) played a lot of games in the SEC."

Abraham picked off 12 passes in college and has strong NFL cornerback bloodlines – his father, Donnie, led the NFL in interceptions in 1999 and was a Pro Bowler in 2000 with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers; his cousin, Tim Jennings, was a two-time Pro Bowler who led the NFL in interceptions in 2012.

"His ability to go inside and play the nickel is important," Ballard said. "That gives him some flexibility. So, to go in and out gives him some real value and gives him a chance to actually compete and make the roster. 12 picks is 12 picks, that's not easy to do. So, he's got a natural instinct and ball skills. That usually translates. We'll see, but we like him."

Laulu played defensive end from 2018-2022 before Oklahoma moved him to play defensive tackle in 2023, and the Colts valued his explosive athleticism (he had a 36-inch vertical at 292 pounds) and upside on tape to make him their last pick in the draft.

"You finally saw his talent come to life (in 2023)," Ballard said. "He needs some work and some development, but excited to get him."

So with these players, plus Laiatu Latu, Adonai Mitchell, Matt Goncalves and whoever else the Colts sign in rookie/veteran free agency, head coach Shane Steichen said he's "fired up" to see how these new and returning players begin competing this spring and into training camp this summer.

"Competition makes everybody better," Steichen said. "To add the guys that we did, I couldn't be more fired up about the guys that we are adding. It's going to bring great competition on both sides of the football. Again, when you talk about the continuity – everyone coming back on really both sides of the football and then to add these guys, we're fired up about it."

Get a glimpse inside the Indianapolis Colts Draft Room on the final day of the 2024 NFL Draft.

Up Next: 2024 Schedule Release

Play Jim Irsay’s Million Dollar Schedule Challenge HERE for your chance to win $1 Million! Don't wait, contest ends 4/30 at 11:59pm ET!

The Colts 2024 Schedule will be released in May! Follow along with our Live Schedule Tracker and join the Official Priority List to get first access to tickets.

Related Content

Single Game Tickets On Sale Now!

Single Game Tickets On Sale Now!

Our 2024 schedule is set! Secure your seats to all home games at Lucas Oil Stadium now.