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Colts Wednesday Mailbag: Should The Colts Draft A Running Back In Round One?

Intro: This Wednesday, mailbag readers inquire about Andrew Luck changing his style of play in 2016, the route to go in the early rounds and trading come draft time.


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

Here is the collection of Wednesday questions:Andrew E. (Lafayette, IN)

Hello there a while back I had a question about both our tight ends which you answered promptly and correctly as it seems since we had to let coby go. I'm thrilled we made the right choice and kept Allen because he is bound for great things. My next question is about luck, I keep seeing these articles about him learning to slide from a baseball player. Really? He's a soccer player, we all know how to slide, we use a thing called a slide tackle don't you think it would be wiser to have him use his already existing soccer skills rather than baseball? My next question is do you think Alex mack would come to Indy on a contract where most of his money doesn't arrive until after a couple years like a four year contract where the bulk doesnt hit til year three when we have more cap space? Would love to find luck his Jeff saturday, other than that I think our focus should purely be on building a great defense to match our offense.

Thanks, Andrew

Bowen: Chalk one up for the soccer fans out there. Andrew, you make plenty of sense and I think Jim Irsay was just making the baseball comparison given Russell Wilson's background with the sport. It doesn't look like the Colts will actually be bringing in such a coach, but it was just mentioned as a possibility in the offseason. In 2016, I fully believe Luck will incorporate more sliding/whatever method he chooses to avoid unnecessary contact. Also, Alex Mack has already opted out of his deal with the Browns and signed with the Falcons, joining former offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan in Atlanta.

Watson W. (South Bend, IN)

Everyone one thinks the Colts will take a offensive lineman or defensive lineman with their first round pick, but I think the Colts will draft Elliot RB from Ohio State or Henry RB from Alabama do you agree with this move.

Bowen: With what the Colts have done this offseason, running back has slid down my draft priority list. Ryan Grigson isn't ruling out taking a running back come draft time and you see the reasons why when evaluating the roster. Frank Gore is about to turn 33. New backs Robert Turbin and Jordan Todman are on one-year deals. There's no clear future at the running back spot, so that's why I think drafting one is a definite possibility. Round One is a bit early for me though considering the other needs.

Sean Paul M. (Ireland)

Hi Kevin,I seen on the NFL website that a trade people would like to see is Jamaal Charles to the colts for a 2017 2nd round pick. Would the Colts be interested in this trade happening? Thanks.

Bowen: We had a couple of these questions enter the mailbag this week. I'm not really sure why the Chiefs would want to trade Charles. When healthy, he's by far one of the best backs in the NFL. For a short-term fix, I think Charles would be a tremendous one-two punch with Frank Gore. My issue is both guys are deserving of being top backs and wouldn't see those types of reps in Indianapolis. Also, you have to think about the future at running back and Charles is turning 30 this season and coming off a serious injury. It's a fun trade to do on Madden, but you rarely see such swaps in the NFL.

Jake B. (New York)

I know the colts need to address a bunch of needs but defense is a second to the o line I'm kind of thinking Kelly from Alabama first round my a d line guy in the second and if he's still there in the 3rd maybe the gaurd from Stanford what's your thoughts. Thanks

Bowen: Weekly readers to the mailbag will know that I think it's going to be hard to ignore potential impact defenders early in the draft. Past drafts have proven that quality interior line prospects can be found throughout the draft. Pass rusher and linebacker are harder positions to seek out later. That's my thought process when it comes to weighing "defense vs. offensive line" for the Colts.

Ross W. (Leicestershire, UK)

Hi Kevin,

Grigson mentioned Tyler Varga in passing at the owners meeting in relation to running backs. Do you see him making the roster this year and any chance he suits up on gamedays as a utility player?

Bowen: Tyler Varga is going to be in the mix for sure. Teams can keep anywhere from three-to-four running backs on a 53-man roster. It was limited action last year, but I think Varga showed enough to earn some offseason reps and plenty of chances with five preseason games in 2016. Varga still has practice squad eligibility, too.

Cayden A. (Sioux Falls, SD)

I believe Moncrief can be our big Wr and we can either pick up an undrafted or a 7th round pick, So my question is, Is it really worth it to use a pick on the part of offense where we have plenty of speed and talent? And do you think we will keep our two starting Wr's to be like the duo of Wayne and Harrison? Colts PLEASE PROTECT LUCK WITH A G IN FIRST AND C IN SECOND! Go Colts

Bowen: The Colts need another wide receiver. Just from a pure numbers standpoint, you can't go into the offseason program with only five wideouts on the roster. I'm not calling for a high draft pick there. It's just necessary when talking about bodies needed at wideout.

Patrick T. (Germany)

Hey Kevin,

I've been reading the mailbag for month now, and I really appreciate you taking the time to answer all our questions.

My question concerns this years draft (surprise).

Listening to comments from Mr. Irsay, Coach Pagano and Ryan Grigson, I don't think we'll draft an OT in the first round. I guess they value Denzelle Good to much. So what do we do with our first pick? I go back and forth about drafting the likes of ILB Reggie Ragland or OLB Lennard Floyd vs. trading 5-10 spots back and pick C Ryan Kelly instead.

I know you prefer drafting Defense first (I generally do as well), but since we only have 6 picks and a lot of needs.. I don't really know which option is more promising. Also, could you tell me what kind of pick we could demand? So let's (randomly) say we swap picks with Seattle (26th pick). Could we demand their second round pick? Or is a second rounder to high for eight spots at the end of round one?

If we had three picks in the first two rounds, I'd probably go for Kelly, OG Cody Whitehair (if he's still available by then) and a Linebacker (f.e. Kyler Fackrell, Jordan Jenkins, Scooby Wright).

Thanks a lot. Can't wait for the new season. We need a good draft, I wanna see a win at Wembley!!


Bowen: Patrick, good to hear from you again. In my opinion, you have a good grasp of how the draft could unfold. The hardest part to project for the Colts is if one of those tackles can slide into the interior a la Jack Mewhort. If the Colts traded back eight picks, they could probably acquire a team's third round pick. With the Colts having six picks in 2016, I still think you can address some key spots (interior offensive line and linebacker) with those selections.

Kent A. (Greenwood, IN)

Do the Colts rank all members of the draft or something like ranking #1-100 and then group the remaining players in groups of 10 let's say?

When is the list draft substantially complete? The draft is in three weeks so are they done with the first couple of rounds already or is it still up in the air for a couple Moore weeks?

Bowen: Kent, the Colts are in the latter stages of finalizing their draft board. They are in the midst of hosting players on "Top 30" workouts. I can't imagine the board is fluctuating too much with the draft three weeks away. The Colts have long stated that the "film does not lie" so that has to be the big deciding factor in placing guys on their board. However many prospects the Colts warrant as being draftable, they will place on their board.

Yeni T. (Fort Wayne, IN)

KB thanks for ur updates every week. As a huge colts fan this kinda bothering me little bit. As u already know. Peyton manning already retiring. But he retire as a broncos. He refuse to sign with us for one day contract. N yet we building a statue n bigger celebrity in Indy n state of Indiana. N he doesn't want to be with us?

Does this also mean he going in HOF as a Broncos?

Bowen: Peyton Manning is on the Broncos' retired/reserve list, therefore he couldn't have signed a one-day contract with the Colts. I think a bit much is being made by signing such a deal. If I'm Manning, I'm probably not looking to take sides here. He won a Super Bowl in Denver in his final game, so there's no reason to all of a sudden tell the Broncos he wants to sign with the Colts for a day. Manning did the right thing---two separate press conferences and two very appreciative fan bases for what he meant to their respective organizations. As far as the Hall of Fame, football is not like baseball. Players don't go into the Hall with one specific team. Manning will go in with both teams listed on his bust.

Bruce C. (Windsor, Canada)

Hi Kevin, love the mailbag, recently alot of folks been clammering about trading up to get this, or get that, my question is what are the chance that they trade down in the first and second rounds to get quantity and quality in the 3rd, 4th, and 5th rounds???

Trading the 1st for a high 3rd and late 4th, and trade the 2nd for a high 4th and a high 5th, for example.

That wold give us 8 cap friendly, workman journeyman types , instead of 6 pick and that 1st rounder almost always is a problem.

Bowen: I see trading down certainly being an option. The Colts know how valuable these picks are in 2016 and going forward. Acquiring more would be ideal, however it's really hard to predict until the board starts falling. I understand why you want to trade down, but don't completely shun the idea of trading Round One and Two picks just to do it. The Colts aren't going to bypass elite talent if they are there at picks No. 18 and/or No. 48.

Carson B. (Columbia, SC)

I heard that the Colts recently worked out Terron Beckham. I know he is a running back and could be a good addition to the backfield. Is there any news on whether or not his work out was enough for any interest on getting him in the future?

Bowen: We aren't going to hear anything about these private workouts. Teams work out/bring in guys for visits all the time through the draft process. Teams keep things very, very close to the vest in revealing anything from these workouts. They don't want any of their draft board intentions to be leaked. Beckham hasn't played football in five years so teams have to do plenty of research before assessing a true value to the cousin of Odell Beckham.

Dan A. (Muncie, IN)

Hey Kevin! Just wanted to put my two cents worth on the upcoming draft. I see a lot of people are predicting that that the Colts will go offensive tackle in the first round (Taylor Decker or Jack Conklin). I personally think they should go with an OLB like Myles Jack or Leonard Floyde. Then in the second round pick up a center like Ryan Kelley or Nick Martin. I was wondering about your thoughts on the subject and the likelyhood the Colts might draft Kelvin Taylor in the 4th or 5th round?

Bowen: I do agree with this sort of scenario where the team tries for a premium position (edge rusher) and waits a bit on an offensive lineman. Dan, if you've read past mailbags, you know that I like a mid-to-late round running back. That's what Kelvin Taylor would be. The Colts have not ruled out taking a running back come draft time.

Dustin P. (Virginia)

Hey Kevin,

I have a mock with two trades I've been working on for a couple days and I want to know what you think. Disclaimer there is no possible way to know what a trade could involve this is just me looking at teams needs and looking at past trades and I think these two are very possible trades.

Round 1 pick 24: in round one I have grigson moving down six spots and trading 2018 Third round for the bengals 24 spot and their round pick this year. I think the bengals would do this because their biggest need right now is wr and so does basically every team in front of them so I think they will jump ahead to get the best wr they can. But any I have taking Reggie Ragland Lb from alabama will be a great defensive key to build around. He fills a need and would be an impact. Colts seem to like him bringing him in for a few workouts.

Round 2 pick 48: I have is taking the defensive player that can every position but basically slime. Su'a Cravens I have us drafting him for the purpose of olb. He has great speed and explosiveness and would be great help to our lack luster pass rush.

Round three pick 82 (via bengals) I have us taking Darian Thompson s Boise state. He would be a great player to let sit and learn behind Adams. He had 19 int in his four years at Boise setting the schools int record. Next year him and geathers could be the best young safety duo in the league I think. And it was reported that the colts really like him.

Round 3 pick 87 Nick Martin c notre we need a center and getting Martin in the third. He would come in and start day 1 he is a good Priscilla player with a good knowledge of the game irsay grigson and pagano have all stressed addressing the the interior offensive linemen

Round 4 pick 116: Rees Odhambio Guard I have us reuniteing two former college teammates. Rees is a very underrated guard who is athletic and would coming and start at rg from day one. I believe we meet with him at his proday

Round Five pick 142 (via 49ers) I have trading some future picks for this one. And I have us taking Kevin Peterson CB Oklahoma State. He is a good CB that had a bad combine that is causing his stock he is a little undersized but I think we could develop him in to a future starter.

Round five pick 155 I have us taking Marhuan Coprich Rb the colts seen to like this guy they brought him in for a private work out and worked him out and talked to him at his proday. He would add great depth

Round seven pick 239: Jay Lee wr Baylor he is underrated he has good speed and he is 6'2 he fits what the colts are lacking at depth in stand pagano said he was gonna add depth at wr

I got all the round projections from and I tried to use players that fit the colts need and they have visited with previously I think this could be a good draft for us. And put us in a better position for next her draft cause I don't believe we will be able to make it to the super bowl but if draft right this and next draft we will be in super bowl 52!! What do think?

Go colts!!

Bowen: Dustin, kudos to you for tremendous research. As an avid reader of the mailbag, you know I'm a fan of the defensive haul you are hoping for early in the draft. I'd maybe throw in an edge rusher into the mix, but that's really my only pause for concern with your draft. If those interior offensive linemen you have can come in and make early impacts, it would be a very successful draft class.

Jacob H. (Fullerton, CA)


Longtime reader, first time writer. I love what you have here and I really value your opinions. Like you, I also believe we should draft a stud defensive player with our first pick. I'd prefer a stud pass rusher, but I'll take any defensive player since we do have a few holes. Who do you think could realistically be there for us? Also, do you think Andrew Luck will play at a higher level next season? I love the guy, but he threw a lot of picks really, really quick last season and was a part of the problem in all those games earlier on. Granted, he was also the reason we were still almost able to win every game. But what does he need to do improve?

Bowen: Jacob, welcome to the mailbag (the asking portion of it). With Patrick Robinson in Indy at cornerback, I have pushed the defensive front seven to the top of my needs list for the draft. Edge rusher/inside linebacker are probably atop that list (defensive line is an option, too). The Colts do like the depth at linebacker in the 2016 class. As far as Luck, you have to go off past precedent when trying to predict what his fifth NFL season will look like. Rob Chudzinski's past stops as offensive coordinator have led to some very impressive seasons for quarterbacks. A healthy Luck will hope to add to that.

Rick N. (Indiana)

New England rarely trades up and often trades down in the draft, which gets them more picks. Every team, every year, hits on some picks and misses on some too. I never hear talk of us trading down to acquire more picks. Why?

Bowen: Under this new regime, the Colts have had at least one trade in three of the past four years. There was a trade up for T.Y. Hilton. Then a trade back last year out of the second round (which turned into the selection of D'Joun Smith and another trade for David Parry). I think one of the reasons why the Colts haven't had done a ton of wheeling and dealing is because they haven't had a large amount of picks. Last year, they had more flexibility with extra picks. It's something Ryan Grigson has talked about going forward with teams being able to trade compensatory picks. I think the Colts will be more inclined to trade down in the future (with an additional compensatory picks offering such flexibility).

Troy L. (Charlestown, WV)

Should the colts go after Whitner who was just released. Good be big help in the safety position. I feel the draft can be huge for them but u got to protect luck. First pick hopefully will be Conklin or Taylor. Then heavy on defense. What u think?

Bowen: I think the Colts have their starters at safety in 2016 with Clayton Geathers and Mike Adams. Remember, Jim Irsay is wanting to get younger on defense. Donte Whitner, at the age of 31 in July, wouldn't really accomplish that. For my draft outlook, it's about offensive line (interior) and defenders (specifically linebackers) at the top. You can't forget about running back, defensive line, or cornerback either.

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