Colts Mailbag

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Colts Mailbag Weekend Edition: Should The Colts Draft Notre Dame's Jaylon Smith?

Intro: In Saturday’s mailbag, readers inquire about drafting a pass rusher, Mike Adams/Clayton Geathers playing safety and where Art Jones will play in 2016.

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INDIANAPOLIS – Each week, readers of Colts.com can submit their questions to have a chance of them being answered in our Wednesday or Saturday mailbag.

With the abundance of questions in recent weeks, we will have two mailbags each week. This one comes via a weekend edition (here's the Wednesday version from this week).

Evan S. (Indiana)

Hi Kevin, where do you see the colts going with the later round picks... (5th & 7th rounds) The Colts front office seems to great with developmental players. What position do you see being addressed?

Bowen: When I look at my biggest needs entering the draft, there are a couple of positions not to rule out when two weeks from today (Rounds 4-7) rolls around. Running back has been mentioned a bunch. What about another cornerback to groom? Or a defensive lineman, in this very deep trench class? I even think a tight end would make some sense.

Blake E. (Indianapolis)

I feel like pass rush should be the top priority in the first round. I feel that Bosa, Buckner, Lawson, Lee and even Floyd will be gone by the time pick 18 rolls around. I've seen a lot of discussion regarding Floyd or Spence to the Colts, but have not seen any mention of Emmanuel Ogbah or Kevin Dodd to the Colts. Are they not a fit in the Colts system or just not good enough to spend a first round pick on?

Thanks

Bowen: Blake, I think more to the final point you make above. I haven't seen Emmanuel Ogbah's name really mentioned in the middle of the first round. With Kevin Dodd, there's the question of whether he can become a 3-4 outside linebacker in the NFL. This is a battle for so many NFL teams trying to project pass rushers at the next level. Even the real elite names you first alluded to don't scream "3-4 fits." That's what is so difficult about evaluating these edge guys. The right fit to your system is so, so vital.

David P. (Indiana)

Hey Kevin, first thanks for answering our questions week in and week out. I have a couple of questions for you. First, with the average age of our interior o-linemen being around 25, since free agency has come to a grounding stop and OTA's beginning is there any veteran linemen out there that we could bring in to address our interior line problems. Second question is if CJ Promise is still available when we pick in the 3rd round what's the all likelihood of us drafting him there. Once again thanks for you time

Bowen: David, my pleasure. I enjoy it. You bring up a strong point about the youth up front. Right now, the starting caliber linemen still on the free market are scarce. When the Colts' brass has talked this offseason they've used the world "build" a lot. I think what that infers to is not necessarily trying for a veteran/stop gap guy. Rather, finding youth and letting those guys develop for years to come. C.J. Prosise is a guy I really like. Now, I must say that I have a little bias being a Notre Dame fan. Still, you watch Prosise run and he has elite, elite speed at the running back position. What I really love about his skill set is the receiving background he had in South Bend and how that can immediately translate to the NFL.

Nathan D. (Flagstaff, AZ)

Hey Mr. Bowen,

Can't wait to read your next weekly answers. I have a couple questions for you..

  1. Will Clayton Geathers be playing SS or FS? I've seen in different places that Adams is a SS and others I've seen him listed as a FS. Can you clarify?
  1. Also, do you think that the Colts could hold off a year with drafting a running back? Next years class is absolutely LOADED with RBs and they all have a high ceiling. Here's a list of star RBs expected to claim for the draft: Leonard Fournette, Dalvin Cook, Nick Chubb, Christian McCaffrey, Royce Freeman, and Jalen Hurd. All of these players could thrive in the Colts Offense so personally I think it would be better to wait it out.

Bowen: The Colts love their safeties to be interchangeable, so I don't think you will see a specific label for either. However, given their play/strengths it would appear Geathers is more of your strong safety type and Adams, with his 10 interceptions in two years, is a natural free safety. In terms of the running back debate, you bring up a great point. Next year's class looks like quite a group of ball carriers. But, I still don't think you can totally rule out taking one this year. Remember, Robert Turbin and Jordan Todman are on just one-year deals. You factor in Frank Gore's age, and having a young back behind those guys in 2016 would make plenty of sense before that guy possibly has a much, much bigger role in 2017.

Clyde B. (Winona Lake, IN)

i think Jason Spriggs is an underated left tackle in this years draft he anchored I.U. offence line to one of I.U. best years of passing also took on and basically dominated alot of the best DEs in college ranks what do you think chances the Colts will draft him to help with thier O-line and if so what round would you think he would be drafted in

Bowen: For several reasons, I'm interested to see where the Concord, IN native will hear his name called in less than two weeks. Spriggs could easily slide into the backend of the first round and I think teams will like his athleticism out wide. From the Colts' standpoint, No. 18 might be a little too early to pull the trigger on Spriggs. Also, the Colts are in need of an interior guy (or two) in this year's draft.

Keith S. (Lawrence, MA)

Kevin, as a Colts fan here in the center of Pats country, I love reading your mail bag.

The Colts already have a great quarterback in Andrew Luck and I realize that the Colts have a number of needs and only 6 draft spots. But after recently discovering that Cardale Jones has entered the 2016 draft, I'm interested in your perspective of the Colts looking at Cardale Jones as a backup QB.

As many of us have seen, some quarterbacks drop way down in the draft before being picked up like Brady in the 6th round and like Russell Wilson. When Wilson was drafted, I felt like he was a steal, especially with how well he did at Wisconsin and his incredible completion percentage (practically best in his class).

I feel like Cardale Jones could drop lower than his real value in this draft. He's got a very strong arm. He can run and just plow defenders over. And I think he's got a lot of potential. He reminds me of a rough version of Andrew Luck with a better ability to run. He's just got some rough edges that need worked on. He's currently ranked as the #6 quarterback in the draft on one website.

If you're drafting for the Colts, how far does he fall (round) in the draft before you seriously start considering drafting him as a backup? I like Tolzien, but Jones could give the Colts a solid backup for 4 years on a rookie contract. And if he becomes great, the Colts could later trade him off for draft picks. With all of the needs the Colts have, I'd hate not addressing one of those needs, but at the same time I think Jones has some incredible talent that I wouldn't want to pass on or I'd at least hate to see the Colts have to regularly play against.

Bowen: Keith, thanks for reading along. In the past few months, we've had a few questions enter the mailbag about drafting a quarterback. You kind of touch on it within your question, but the resources are limited for the Colts in the draft this year. With just six picks, you are restricted in taking such a position, in my opinion. Cardale Jones' talent aside, the Colts do have Stephen Morris still on the roster. Morris has been in the NFL for two years and the Colts like his potential. He could also be viewed as a draft pick/young project with the Colts only having him for a couple of weeks late last season. Like always, it's going to be very difficult for the Colts to carry three quarterbacks on their active roster.

Matt W. (Plant City, FL)

Hi kevin quick question do you think there's anyway colts could pick up the 6'4 WR german sleeper and rb beckham? What's your take on this? I know beckham has no experience but learning behind gore for atleast a year would be good and its always good to have a speedy powerback which we definitely need and the german sleeper learning from hilton would be great too in my opinion. I believe it would definitely help that offence put up points but ofcourse after we get that line up to par Thanks Kevin. COLTS NATION!!!!

Bowen: Terron Beckham hasn't played football in five years. Yet, his genes and incredible athleticism has his name buzzing in the mailbag. Yes, the Colts did attend Beckham's Pro Day. Now, Beckham's agent told the New York Daily News that Terron is not eligible for the NFL Draft, but can sign with any team now. It remains to be seen if teams see enough out of Beckham to spend a roster spot on a guy who hasn't played football since his high school days. The Colts haven't ruled out drafting a running back at all. NFL teams have to be salivating over the Combine numbers for Beckham, but the lack of tape might shy teams away from using a roster spot. I think the Colts would definitely entertain the idea of bringing in Beckham or Moritz Boehringer, who has a remarkable story. This team has never been one to shy away from players with unique backgrounds.

Nate P. (Angola, IN)

The Colts added some depth behind Moncrief and Hilton with the signings of Boyce and Tyms. However, what happened to Griff Whalen? Whalen gave a strong presence as a good slot receiver, and a good 3rd down receiver.

Bowen: It wouldn't be a mailbag without Griff Whalen's name finding his way in here. Whalen's contract was up. Whalen did come up big several times with the Colts, but I wouldn't characterize his departure as anything the team can't replace. Some costly fumbles (four in 40 touches last year) did not help Whalen's cause. He's now reunited with former assistant Clyde Christensen in Miami. The Colts have recently added some depth in Josh Boyce and Brian Tyms, behind their top three returnees.

Jeremy B. (Auburn, KY)

First I'd like to say that I enjoy reading these each week. My question is obviously a draft questions being this close to the draft. We've talked about drafting a olb first rd and also trading back for on o-lineman. If the olb from Georgia and center from Alabama are not on the board are there other players in these positions that would fit our scheme worthy of a high draft pick? Also I agree with building with the draft New England has been doing it for yrs now. Thanks in advance.

Bowen: Weighing the possibility of an edge rusher versus interior linemen is interesting. If we are talking about blue chip positions, finding elite edge pass rushers is typically much harder than acquiring interior linemen. So that's why I would lean more towards the edge route in such a scenario. If both players are ranked similarly on the Colts' board, it's proven teams can find interior linemen come in and play early even after being drafted in latter rounds.

Drew D. (Wisconsin)

What are the chances the Colts draft Jaylon Smith or Noah Spence? Both have issues, but they both might be there at 18 and they could develop into an elite talent that the defense needs. They can draft a solid lineman in the second or third rounds with Nick Martin in the second or Cole Toner in the third. Both have the ability and tenacity to be elite as well.

Bowen: If the background checks (off the field for Noah Spence, medical for Jaylon Smith) pass, I can't imagine the Colts would just automatically say no to a pair of elite prospects at a major need position. Now, there's quite a few checks that need to be done on these guys. But, again, if everything comes back positively, the Colts will have to seriously entertain selecting a ready-now linebacker. If Smith really won't be ready for 2016, he could really fall in this draft.

Blake M. (Mt. Washington, KY)

I would just like to know what are the chances of the colts picking up Christian mccafferty I would also like to know your thoughts on him I haven't heard much about him but I really liked what I saw in highlight videos of him

Bowen: Christian McCaffrey is still in college. As a Notre Dame fan, I'm not happy about that. McCaffrey will be eligible for the 2017 draft, making up a loaded running back class.

Marissa M. (Tampa, FL)

I just read up on the colts pre draft visits.... Why haven't they brought in or visited any Penn state prospects? I see some sleepers on the DL in happy valley including the sack leader in the nation , Nassib?? Since colts are in the market for OLB sleepers... This doesn't make sense to me? Let me know your thoughts!!

Bowen: Marissa, I wouldn't read too much into whom the Colts have brought in for visits. You only get 30 of these visits. Many times, if you didn't get a chance to visit a guy at the Combine, you try and bring him in for a Top 30 visit. Don't think for a second that just because a team didn't host a guy on a visit, it means he's off the team's draft board.

Connor R. (Oakland, MI)

With the Titans, Jaguars, and Texans making major improvements, what are the colts going to do to keep up?

Bowen: On paper, the rest of the AFC South is hoping they've closed the gap to consistently compete at the top of the division. Now, it's not like the Colts were that far off in 2015. They were 8-8 with their franchise quarterback missing nine games. The Titans and Jaguars have a long way to go to make that jump from a team drafting in the top-five all the way to competing for a playoff spot. With young quarterbacks on their rookie deals, these teams were expected to be active like they've been this offseason. If the Colts can find a couple of linemen and some young edge talent in the draft, I think many would consider this offseason checking off the offseason needs they had going into 2016. Remember, the six teams that have spent the most in free agency over the past decade have combined to win one playoff in that span. "Success" in the spring doesn't correlate directly to playing in January.

Anthony B. (Indiana)

Hey Kevin, love the mailbag. What do you think about the colts trading down in the draft to a team needing a quarterback (I.e. bronco's) getting their 1,2 and etc.. Then trading down again getting some more picks(another 2nd and 4th), until we pick Jaylon Smith, then getting the best center/gaurd/kamalei correa left with the next two 2nd round picks. I think a center, and RG are our two biggest needs, and there are 4-5 C/G's that come in and upgrade our line. Smith is the best defensive player in the draft whether he plays in 16 or not. And we would never have a chance at him if it wasn't for the injury. He would be like an Andrew luck for the D especially after a year of learning the defense, plus maybe he heals faster than other and doctors are wrong and he is on light duty till the playoffs, remember Bob Sanders super bowl run

Bowen: I'm not sure if this question was sent in before the Titans/Rams mega deal or not. Nonetheless, we've seen a "trade craze" theme to recent Colts mailbags. The hardest part about executing such a trade is finding a capable partner to move down. Who is the third quarterback in this year's class? Is Paxton Lynch from Memphis enticing enough for a team to want to trade up to No. 18 to take him? I think that's the biggest factor to weigh in thinking about a possible trade for the Colts. This scenario would be a nice package for the Colts to move down but I don't know if there's a guaranteed third quarterback that would have teams dialing up the trade lines to find the quarterback after Carson Wentz and Jared Goff.

Clint M. (Virginia)

Hey, Kevin. I enjoy reading your unique perspective about the Colts roster and the draft. Do you think the Colts will consider lining up Arthur Jones at Nose Tackle when Anderson is healthy? I remember rumblings about the possibility of Jones playing the Nose when he was first signed. I like Parry's skill-set, but I would prefer to see him as a rotational back-up. Perhaps the Colts will take advantage of a deep draft at the tackle position to upgrade, but I am very interested to know your perspective about the possibilities of a healthy Art Jones lining up in the middle.

Bowen: Clint, this is a great question. We don't know what new defensive coordinator Ted Monachino desires in the makeup of his nose tackle. David Parry is a unique body type for that position. There's no real wide body, 330-340 pound nose tackle on the roster. Last year, the Colts more than got by without what most people would think of as a 3-4 nose tackle. As far as Jones, the Colts loved his ability to line up all over the line when he first arrived from Baltimore. If healthy, Jones can certainly slide inside. I can't see Jones exclusively being the team's nose tackle but, on passing downs, I see plenty of appeal to have him moving to the middle.

Jeffrey K. (Colquitt, GA)

Hi Mr.Kevin

Do you think the Colts will draft more defensive players than offensive players... Because all we need on offense is C,RG and a future starter behind Frank Gore but on defense we should get a pass rusher in the 1st round, right guard in the 2nd round, safety in the 3rd round, inside linebacker in the 4th round, running back in the 5th round, center in the 7th round

Thanks for your time

Mr.Bowen

Bowen: A six-man draft class didn't offer a ton of leeway between more picks on one side of the ball versus the other. On paper, if you went off straight needs, you might just have an even split. You have to think two offensive linemen plus a running back/tight end would really complete what you are looking for on that side of the ball. Of course, a defensive haul of four or five players would be another step towards building that defense. I don't think it's a lock the Colts will take more defensive players, but I can certainly see plenty of positive for going that route.

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