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Colts Wednesday Mailbag: Should The Colts Trade Back In Round One?

Intro: This Wednesday, mailbag readers inquire about taking center Ryan Kelly at No. 18, weighing an edge rusher versus an inside linebacker and if defensive end Sheldon Rankins could fall to the Colts.

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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.

Here is the collection of Wednesday questions:Greg B. (Indiana)

Hello Kevin and ColtsNation. With the 2016 NFL DRAFT quickly approaching I couldnt help but notice the majority of Mock Drafts show our Colts taking OFFENISVE TACKLE in the 1st Rd. In addition to these mocks leaning this way, there has been a recent surge in OLB /[RUSH] End as the draft is quickly approaching. My question to you is this; With all of us who actually follow the team knows, the lack of Interior Offensive Line talent Is A Major Position needing upgraded. Would it not be a good pick in selecting Ryan Kelly from Alabama at Pick #18 as our next starting Center? With the experience Harrison has acquired in said role, he could possibly slide over to OG WHICH COULD BE A HECK OF A MOVE TO HELP BOLSTER OUR UNIT. Harrison has good hands, strong at the point of attack, but reading opposing defenses and remembering audibles,snap count,etc... seemed to be too much for this young Colt to handle. I say draft a starting caliber Center and slide Harrison over to RG then the O Line could be set with: LT- Castnzo/ LG-Mewhort/ C- Kelly/ RG- Harrison/ RT-Reitz (or possibly D Good if he proves ready in his 2nd yr in the League). THIS ALSO COULD HELP BOLSTER OUR DEFENSIVE UNIT AS WE COULD TAKE THE NEXT SEVERAL PICKS AND APPLY THEM ALL TO OUR LB/ DB POSITIONS WHICH ARE CURRENTLY LACKING DEPTH ...what do you think sir? Thank you & Always...GoColts

Bowen: Greg leads off our mailbag with a hypothetical we haven't seen too much of in previous mailbags. I do think Ryan Kelly has guard potential in the NFL. Yet, when you look at the guard options for the Colts, I think you have more bodies there (than at center) --- a slimmed down Hugh Thornton, either Joe Reitz/Denzelle Good. Those are guys who the Colts feel can play at a starting level in this league. If you're drafting Ryan Kelly in Round One, I think he's the center of the future. Since 2000, only eight centers have been taken in the first round. Yet, five of the last six have gone on to be Pro Bowlers (Cameron Erving is the other and he was chosen in 2015).

Lane C. (Texas)

Hey Kevin do you think the colts might consider trading their first round pick for maybe a second and third or second and fourth and try to get the likes of Ryan Kelly or a Mackensie Alexander both in the second round? Thanks a lot for always writing these

Bowen: I'm sure the Colts would love to trade all the way back into Round Two and still get two guys that are pretty close to first-round locks right now, when looking at Mock Drafts. Alexander, a cornerback from Clemson, might be falling a little bit, but I still don't think I've seen any Mock Draft that have both him and Kelly out of the first round. That's a lot to ask/wish for if you're a Colts fan.

Jonathan T. (Indianapolis)

First off, I'm a very big fan of your's great job. I have to ask, Do think the Colts should draft Sheldon Rankins? He is a stud on the defensive line. I thought he looked good at the combine and would be great to play alongside Henry Anderson

Bowen: I appreciate that, Jonathan. This is one of the first questions we've received on Sheldon Rankins, the Louisville defensive lineman. To be honest, I don't think I've seen too many Mock Drafts where Rankins has been available at pick No. 18. It seems like he's a very popular option to go in the top-15. It's such a deep defensive line class this year, that if one of those high caliber guys drops to the Colts at 18, it's going to be tough to say no under the "best player available" strategy.

Al O. (Ocala, FL)

Hi Kevin,

A little thinking out of the norm. I have read several suggestions about trading down in order to pick up additional picks. What do you think of just the opposite. What do you think of the idea of instead of 6 or maybe 8 picks of guys with middle of the pack ability, we trade up giving up possibly 2 or 3 picks and getting 3 really good picks that help us out immediately?

Bowen: I understand you're thinking in this, Al. However, with how the Colts have spoken about draft picks being "gold" right now, it's a tough idea to really see happening. This team has to have rookie contributors and develop their young talent. It's a must with how the salary cap will be tilted in the coming years. Because of that, the Colts need to rely on as many early impact guys as possible playing under rookie contracts. That's why I view a trade down, then collecting another pick or two, as more of a likelihood.

Izzy I. (San Diego, CA)

Thanks for answering my question. First off I couldn't hold back my laughter when I saw the "Norman" signing even being a topic on here. Anyways, with the draft soooo close, do you think drafting a CB is still possible in the 2/3 rounds? I feel like we could mock that 3 headed monster they have over there in Denver with Talib, CHJ, and Roby if we add a player like Artie Burns.. Also, I really hope the colts trade back to acquire more picks and especially another 2nd round pick.. This draft is defense heavy and that's exactly where we need to improve.. If we move back to the last 5 picks and still draft Noah Spence in the 1st, that would be a huge win while acquiring more picks.. Pick a Guard like Joshua Garnett in the 2nd, then come right back and draft a FS like Keanu Neal or Karl Joseph (if he lasts) to learn behind Mike Adams for a year and then take off in 2017.. Then in the 3rd draft ILB deon jones or C Jack Allen, 4th and 5th rounds go OLB Kyler Fackrell and WR Thomas Duarte.. Your thoughts?

Thanks again #Coltstrong

Bowen: The cornerback dilemma is an interesting one. On paper, the Colts likely don't need immediate help. You have Vontae Davis, Patrick Robinson and a nickel option in Darius Butler. This team remains high on second-year corners D'Joun Smith and Tevin Mitchel. Now, you can never have enough cornerbacks on a roster and that's why I'm not shutting the door on a corner. You make a great point about Denver and what they invested at the cornerback position. Again, it's not the most pressing need on my list, but you can easily make an argument to taking one relatively early this week.

Stan C. (Minneapolis)

Hey Kevin. With the draft just around the corner, I'm curious about your view on the pass rushers. In my view, the Colts really need to walk away from this draft with a presence on the outside. That being said, this isn't a particularly enticing draft at that position. Shaq Lawson is a poor fit in a 3-4, Shilique Calhoun is a limited player, and I remain extremely skeptical about Leonard Floyd considering his lanky frame. The only early pass rusher I feel confident in is Noah Spence (who would be a far better value than any available OL player, despite fan protests).

After Noah, though, there's a notable drop in talent. And the only 2nd-3rd round pass rushers who jumps off the film for me are Kyler Fackrell, an injured Scooby Wright, and (to a lesser degree) Carl Nassib. Who are the edge rushers you have your eyes on in that top 3 round range?

Oh, and for my two cents, my preferred Colts draft is 1) Noah Spence, OLB EKU 2) Joshua Garnett, G Stanford 3) Darian Thompson, S Boise St. 4) Jack Allen, C Michigan St. or Max Tuerk, C USC (whoever is available/higher on Grigson's board) 5) Jonathan Williams, RB Arkansas 7) whatever prospect who has fallen/project who looks enticing, possibly at ILB. For fun I'll just say Steven Daniels, ILB Boston College (a short guy with a mean streak and hell of a motor).

Bowen: Stan, thanks for sending one in this week. I'm a big fan of this Mock Draft. You are right about the edge rushers in this class. There's no sure fire top-10 pick and there's some specific questions about the "elite" guys and their fits with the Colts' scheme. To me, Spence is the most natural fit. You also have two interior line guys who both played and started on a very high level collegiately. Throw in an impact edge guy with a safety/running back combo that could play a decent amount in 2017, that's a pretty nice draft class.

Jonathan M. (New Jersey)

When the draft comes around...are the Colts going to stay on drafting an offensive lineman, safety, possible corner and running back, and a linebacker/middle linebacker instead of a wide receiver? Because we do not need anymore receivers. We already have weapons. We just need to bolster our defense

Bowen: The Colts are never going to rule out a certain position in the draft. "The draft dictates to you." That's a popular phrase you hear people describe the draft. I don't think a wide receiver is totally ruled out. Outside of the team's top three wide receivers, I think there's some open competition to complete that receiving group.

J.J. B. (Valparaiso, IN)

Hey Kevin..appreciate all the effort and unbiased answers to your readers questions. I look forward to them each and every week. My question is more of an observation, regarding my opinion that I would like to see the Colts change their draft philosophy to be more in line with teams like. Pittsburgh, New England, Seattle and Baltimore... my feeling is these teams start the draft looking at their offensive line and or the defensive front seven.. unfortunately we do not, and have not in years past.. if Im not mistaken we only have one 1st rounder that's starts in those postions.A. Costanzo. Where as that number is alot higher for previously mentioned teams.. I would love to hear your thoughts.. thanks.

Bowen: J.J., the Colts have certainly had an offensive focus in their recent drafts. The Colts made inroads on the defensive side of the ball with last year's haul (three defenders starting multiple games as rookies). There's talk form the Colts that they want to continue to build those "pillars" on defense going forward with the long-term contracts on offense starting to get into place. Now as far as offensive line, these teams are actually pretty similar in how they've allocated their offensive line resources. Since 2010, the Ravens have taken just two offensive linemen in the first three rounds. New England has had one first/second round linemen in that same span. Seattle and Pittsburgh have both spent two first rounders on OL in those six drafts. If the Colts take an offensive linemen in one of the first two rounds this week that should give them another starter, with former high picks Anthony Castonzo and Jack Mewhort already in place.

Richard P. (Rochester, NY)

Hi Kevin, I was thinking about an out of the box draft pick for the Colts. What are your thoughts on the Colts selecting the kicker Roberto Aguayo from Florida State. From what I read he is a phenomenal prospect, maybe the best kicking prospect in the last decade. He is projected to be drafted in the middle rounds and Adam, I believe, is the oldest player in the league at 42. I know we just signed Adam but age can catch up to you pretty fast. I would be interested in your thoughts.

Bowen: Richard, I don't think a kicker is in the Colts' draft cards this year. The talent of Aguayo is unquestioned. His story is remarkable, too. You're right, there have been talks of Aguayo going in the middle rounds. That's way too high for the Colts. You have the most accurate kicker in the NFL still on your roster. Teams just don't carry two kickers, especially when punter Pat McAfee is the kickoff weapon in the NFL.

David S. (San Marcos, TX)

Hey Kevin who do you think would be a better fit/choice Ragland or Spence at 18. Also, if Jaylon Smith ends up dropping to the 4-7th rounds do you think there will be a chance to select him I believe Robert Mathis would be a great mentor to him.

Bowen: Honestly, this is really a coin flip to me. Edge guys are typically more of a premium but Reggie Ragland could come in and start from Day One. That's a tough one. If Jaylon Smith is there on Saturday of the draft, I think you will see teams jump on him early (as long as the medical records indicate he still has a good chance to play in 2017).

Nathan P. (El Paso, TX)

Hey kevin long time reader i have thought that if in the first round Leonard floyd does not fall to us that we trade back to get ryan kelly an then in the 2nd get garnett then in the 3 rd get a inside linebacker then 4th round get a safety and then 5 th round get a corner then 7th get a wideout your thoughts

Bowen: I like this haul, Nathan. I'm a fan of the trade idea, although I'm curious what you got for moving back from No. 18. I don't see another pick from the trade. I do think inside linebacker and safety are underrated needs that could be addressed through the draft. On another note, Leonard Floyd seems to have some momentum near the top-10 right now.

Daryl I. (Port Perry, Canada)

Hey Kevin thanks for taking time to answer my question Huge Colts fan have been for 15 years

My question is I know OL is a huge priority but what happens if say u rate Ryan Kelly best on board but u have an equal grade on a Reggie Ragland or Noah spence ?

Bowen: Daryl, this is a great question. I think a couple of factors would be how you weigh such a scenario. One would be the depth at each position group. If interior line has more depth, maybe you can wait on Kelly. Typically, impact defenders don't stay on the board very long so that's why I might lean more towards Spence/Ragland in this instance. Kelly would clearly address a need, but I think past drafts show you can find starting-type centers later on, compared to linebackers.

Evan S. (Indiana)

I've seen a lot of mock drafts run through the past articles, but I would like to see your ideal Colts 7 round mock draft. In the spirit of the mocks and all.

Bowen: Evan, me trying to compile a seven-round Mock Draft would be a waste of your time, and definitely mine. The NFL Network gurus didn't even know who Denzelle Good was last year when he was drafted. That should tell you enough about a Mock Draft that extends into the final day of the draft. What I will give you is how I would rate six positions for the team's six picks. Again, the Colts have reiterated their "best player available" belief. But if we were going off need, I'd go with these six positions: outside linebacker, center, inside linebacker, offensive guard, running back, safety.

Jacob H. (Fullerton, CA)

Kevin,

Thursday's the big day, what's the mood like around the Colts organization? I'm sure everyone is excited like we are. Coincidentally, Thursday also happens to be my birthday! Im turning 20 :) Kevin, I'd be an even bigger fan of yours if you could send the Colts organization a message from me. Just let them know I'd really love a pass rusher in the first round (if the talent level is there)

Thanks Kevin!

Bowen: Haha, Jacob I'm sure they will take your wish to heart. I think the draft is always an exciting time. All the hard work from scouts and coaches is complete. The board is set. Now, it's time to see how things fall over the course of three days and seven rounds. There's rarely a shortage of drama around the draft with it taking just one team to "reach" for a guy and that can really shake up the entire outlook.

Nancy B. (Indianapolis)

Since the current focus on the colts is the workout room I would like to know who has the biggest guns/biceps on the team. How about a picture gallery of the Colts comparing their guns? It could be a fun contest for them.

Bowen: Nancy, I don't think there's going to be a photo gallery of the guys comparing guns. Judging by this gallery, it's a serious tone when those guys go to work in the weight room. This week will bring to a close to Phase One of the offseason program. Next up is Phase Two, where on-field work can begin for individual player drills. Team practice can take place on a separate basis. Any offense/defense drills cannot begin with coaches for a few more weeks.

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