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Colts Wednesday Mailbag: Will The Colts Take Center Ryan Kelly At Pick No. 18?

Intro: This Wednesday, mailbag readers inquire about draft day trades, protecting Andrew Luck and the team’s talent at wide receiver.


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 H. (Fargo, ND)

Hi Kevin. I had a question about our draft pick. I was thinking we could trade back in the draft. Say we trade back with with the Broncos, normally would the give us something with their first round pick. Like they would give us their round 1 and 3, would that be a usual trade down scenario? With that being said, what do you think about Cody Whitehair first round, Ryan Kelly second round if he's not there Nick Martin. The two picks 3rd round Keanu Neal and CJ Prosise. Then Scooby Wright III fourth round to help inside. Sorry for the long question. Thanks for taking a look!

Bowen: If the Colts traded back 13 picks with the Broncos, such a package might also include a later round pick. I think many people would like this draft haul, thanks to the heavy emphasis on the offensive trenches. My thinking, and in this case, the devil's advocate point of view, is do you want to wait until the fourth round to take a defender? In my eyes, that's a little late to bolster that side of the ball.

Curt M. (Arizona)

How about drafting DL Lawson out of Clemson. Even with his injury, I thought he was impressive in the college final game?

Bowen: There hasn't been much momentum in the Mock Draft world of Shaq Lawson to the Colts. The question with such a marriage is whether the Colts think Lawson can make the transition from a 4-3 defensive end to a 3-4 outside linebacker. That's often one of the harder dilemmas for teams trying to evaluate college pass rushing prospects. Also, Lawson is a true candidate to go before the Colts pick at No. 18.

Joe B. (Hope, IN)

Could the Colts trade 1st round pick 18 to LA for their 2nd round picks 43&45 and possibly 5th or 6th round pick? The Colts could use those picks if all the elite edge rushers are gone and Rams need a QB, such as Paxton Lynch and have been willing to deal in the past. Indy would have 3 quality 2nd round picks and could really upgrade talent with potential starters.

Bowen: From a trade logistics standpoint, such a swap would appear to work. However, do the Colts want to wait 42 spots before having their first selection. That's a lot of time to wait. I understand where you're coming from though and you make a strong point with the Colts potentially adding a trio of second-round picks.

John S. (Denver)

Hey Kevin,

I've seen a lot of comparisons between Andrew Luck and Russell Wilson. I've seen most people say that Russell Wilson is the better QB because he's more accurate/better at scrambling. I've also seen people claim Cam Newton is better. What's your opinion on this?

Bowen: Ah, the old quarterback debate. It's been a while since we had one of these. If I'm an NFL head coach, I'd be just fine with any of these quarterbacks leading my team. Wilson has won a Super Bowl. Newton is fresh off a 15-1 season and a Super Bowl appearance. Luck won three playoff games in his first three seasons and has made it to a conference championship. All three possess that dual-threat trait which can be such a difference maker at the quarterback position. I think the three are the best at a specific running ability. From a pure running standpoint, Wilson is the probably the elite guy in this group, especially in the open field. Newton is the guy in short yardage. And then Luck has an uncanny ability to keep plays alive. Again, I'd be just fine with any of them quarterbacking my team. Heading into 2016, I think the separation between the three is very small.

Steven L. (Columbus, OH)

Are colts going draft any younger def. It seems colts needed help on def?

Bowen: Part of the offseason plan for the Colts is to get younger on defense. They've taken some early steps in that through free agency and potential new starters for Jerrell Freeman, Greg Toler and Dwight Lowery. The draft is where the bulk of that work can get done though. If you can find a couple of defensive starters in the 2016 Draft, that would combine nicely with what you found in 2015 (Henry Anderson, David Parry and Clayton Geathers).

John L. (New Bedford, MA)

Hi Kevin! I feel the colts should take the center Kelly with our first pick he should hold down this position for years to come. Lets face it our center play has been sub par for the last few years.We also need better guard play if we are ever going to have a great ground game.So we should take the best guard available with the second pick.We must protect Luck.We are investing MILLONS of dollars into this player as well as our ability to compete in a much improved AFC south division.We all saw what happen last year when Luck got hurt.

Your thought on this.THX

Bowen: John, I don't think many fans would be too disappointed with back-to-back picks of offensive linemen. My only counter is if a premier defensive position is available when you pick in those rounds. Also, could you trade down from pick No. 18 and still get Alabama's Ryan Kelly in Round One? Those are things that have to be considered before just penciling in the consecutive offensive line picks to start the draft.

Jim O. (Avon, IN)

Everyone talks about needing corner back, we signed Robinson, Smith coming off injury well what is the status of Tevin Mitchell we claimed off of Washingtons injured list last August, will he be ready for OTAs coming up.

Bowen: All signs point to the Colts having a healthy cornerback group to start the offseason program, with the main worries on D'Joun Smith and Tevin Mitchel. Last year, those rookies had their first seasons defined by injuries. The Colts are high on them and they are names that shouldn't be forgotten when thinking about the depth behind Vontae Davis and Patrick Robinson. Davis did have a procedure on his foot back in February, so his status for the start of the offseason program is an unknown.

Connor R. (Oakland, MI)

So the colts have a contract to keep the combine there for a little bit but with the new stadiums going up can it still remain there

Bowen: Connor, the NFL Combine is staying in Indianapolis through at least 2020. Check out this article from around the Combine about why Indianapolis is the perfect venue for hosting an event needing multiple venues, close in proximity.

Carter N. (Indiana)

This is another draft question. This question regards the later rounds of the draft, specifically the 4th and 5th rounds. I feel like in the 1st round the Colts need to get Leornard Floyd, in the second they should get an offensive lineman, possibly a guard or center or tackle, and in the third the Colts should get someone like Scooby Wright. Though I was wondering whether the Colts should get a runningback in the 4th and an offensive lineman in the 5th or an offensive lineman in the 4th and a running back in the 5th. I feel like the only decent lineman the Colts have are possibly Anthony Castonzo and Jack Mewhort, and Joe Reitz could be argued to be at least a decent lineman. 4th round lineman will be better than 5th round lineman, but that is the same to say with runningbacks. I feel like we need a lineman in the 4th over a runningback because the Colts offensive line is completely and utterly horrible. Yet it may be harder for Frank Gore to teach a 5th round runningback, also I have no idea what runningbacks will be available in the 5th. Players like C.J. Prosise I expect to be taken somewhere in the third round. Now that the Colts added 2 wide receivers that means the Colts don't have to draft one. So when should the Colts draft a running back, and if they then who will be available and who should we get? Also which lineman should the Colts draft if they do indeed draft Leornard Floyd in the 1st round?

Bowen: I get into the "drafting a running back" situation later in the mailbag, so let's focus on the multiple offensive linemen debate. Drafting a couple of offensive linemen is something Jim Irsay has talked about. The biggest question for me regarding linemen is what sort of route the Colts go up front. In the Mock Drafts, we are almost exclusively seeing the tackle position assigned to the Colts at No. 18. Now, the Colts' needs up front are more in the interior. So the question becomes, is an interior option too early at No. 18? And can some of these projected first-round tackles move to the interior at the next level? The Colts already like what they have on the edge of their offensive line. That's why the center/guard spots are the focus in a couple of weeks.

William H. (Muncie, IN)

why would the colts want to erect a statue of peyton when he didn't want to retire as one?

Bowen: It wouldn't be a mailbag without the 'Peyton Manning retiring as a Colt' inquiry. I'm not even going to debate why the Colts would want to erect a statue of No. 18. His resume speaks for itself. He's arguably the most influential sports figure in this state's history. For the retirement part of this question, I will direct you to what I said earlier: 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.

Wayne B. (Indio, CA)

Thank you Kevin for take my question. I've been a fan since 57 and I'm loving what the Colts have been for the past 20 year. Saying that they need to protect Andrew big time. I didn't see a combination that really worked last year. Yet they're talking as if they are standing pat with the O-line. Am I reading this wrong.

Bowen: Wayne, I haven't heard of any talk about the Colts “standing pat” along the offensive line. They haven't addressed it in free agency. But Jim Irsay said the draft was always the more likely avenue to improve that group. Irsay said last month that the Colts would ideally acquire a center and then a guard/tackle combo in the draft.

Dustin P. (Virginia)

Hey Kevin

I got a few question for you today.

  1. In my free time I like to look at the draft and the prospects coming up and make mock drafts (I've put one or two in a mailbag before ) and I been working on a new one but for it to happen it would require three trades. With the first I have us trading back in the first to get William Jackson 3 in the bottom of the first. With that I have us trading Darius Butler for a forth round. Do you think there is any chance of that? I've read that Robinson can play outside and slot but he is better at slot. With him being 29 and irsay saying he wants to get younger. I think there is a real possibility to trade Darius Butler to acquire another pick. Do you think that could happen if we got William Jackson in the first to play outside and Robinson to play slot?
  1. I see why a lot of colts fan want Ezekiel Elliot in the first. He is a elite rb and we haven't had a good rb in a long time. But the way I see it is gore has one more year left let him play and draft a late round rb some one like a Tyler Ervin or Kenyan Drake a change of pace back. And go for a really big rb name next in round one of he draft. I read there are 5 rb projected to Go round one next year (Forneatte, cook, Chubb, Mccharfy, and Royce). What do you think we should do pull the trigger on Elliot or draft a latter rb and get a better rb than Elliot in round next year?
  1. And final one how big of need do you think irsay grigson and Pagano think finding a good safety to back up Adams and pick up the reigns next year? I read that they really like Darian Thompson a safety from Boise State. And if they are serious what round do you think they would look to address it maybe a round 2 Karl Joseph Von bell or like a later round Deon bush ?

Thank you for the time!

Go Colts!

Bowen: If the Colts do take a cornerback relatively high in the draft, it's really going to add to the depth back there. Remember, you also have second-year corners D'Joun Smith and Tevin Mitchel. They are going to compete for playing time. With Patrick Robinson now here, and if the Colts can get reliability out of Smith/Mitchel, then I think you can hold off on the selection of a corner early in 2016. Your running back scenario is something that I tend to agree with for that position. A middle-round pick to learn behind Frank Gore could turn into a major contributor as early as 2017. The safety debate is one I could see plenty of differences on. Mike Adams is 35 years old. He's played superb ball for the Colts in his two seasons. Taking a safety in a similar area to where you chose Clayton Geathers last year (fourth round) would allow for a nice passing of the torch, similar to what we saw from Dwight Lowery-to-Geathers.

Derick H. (Noblesville)

If the Colt's don't reach and take Ryan Kelly at #18 and miss out on Nick Martin in round 2. Would one of the three, Jack Allen, Max Tuerk, or Graham Glasgow have the talent to come in and succeed? Is there another option at center to solidify the interior offensive line?

Bowen: I think past track record shows, you can find a center in the middle rounds and they can come in and play from Day One. It's no slam dunk, but it's definitely been done before. No matter what the Colts do at center come draft time, this is going to obviously be a major competition to watch in the offseason. While the Colts will likely want to give multiple guys chances to compete, you also want Andrew Luck to get plenty of work with a potentially new center during the installation of Rob Chudzinski's offense.

Olin L. (Las Vegas)

I read a recent article about possible, trades and one of them was the Chiefs trading Jamaal Charles. Are the Colts considering possibly trading for Charles? Also, will there be a Super Bowl XLI reunion when the Bears play the Colts?

Bowen: The question on Charles was answered in last week’s mailbag. As far as the Super Bowl reunion, there's been no set in stone date to when the Colts will have a Super Bowl XLI reunion. The Colts do play the Bears at home in 2016. I think we will start to see some answers on this once the NFL schedule is released in the coming weeks.

Ellison J. (Philippines)

With Reggie and Andre gone, would the Colts go far/ into the playoffs, relying on T.Y, Moncrief, D.Allen, etc/ expierience? Or would the Colts be relying on the defense for pick 6's and fumbles recov's/ should the Colts go for a Wr trade, or draft or what? thanks- Jeremy

Bowen: Any team "relying" on interceptions for touchdowns and fumble recoveries probably isn't going to go very far in the playoffs. The Colts return a bulk of their offensive playmakers. Throw in Frank Gore and Jacoby Brissett into the names you mentioned above and the Colts have plenty of offensive weapons for a healthy Andrew Luck. The defense is in the building phase, led by Vontae Davis and Robert Mathis. If Ted Monachino can compile a unit that eliminates the big plays and improves in the red zone, the Colts should be more than capable of getting back into the playoffs.

Josh H. (Oak Ridge, TN)

Kevin, I'm a die hard Colts fan and also a big fan of the mailbag. After seeing several mock drafts and numerous articles, it's obvious that the "experts" are predicting us to draft an offensive lineman in the first round. I've even read a few with us taking a running back. My question is this, why wouldn't the Colts take a LB in the 1st round? I believe Robert Turbin possesses the talent to back up Frank Gore, and Reitz and Good are more than capable of filling in on the O-line. I look forward to your response, GO COLTS and God bless the USA!

Bowen: Josh, I'm seeing something similar, too. The Mock Drafts continue to pour in and the common theme for the Colts is an offensive lineman at pick No. 18. A linebacker would make plenty of sense though. You can make a very strong case for an outside or even an inside option. The Colts have a need at both spots as they continue to get younger on the defensive side of the ball. Last year, the Colts found young depth along the defensive line and in the secondary. This draft provides an opportunity to take care of the linebacker group.

Esteban L. (Temecula, CA)

Hey Kevin, just want to start off by saying thanks for all you do in reading and answering questions from fans. Even if the same question gets asked multiple times in the same week.

So I seen an article on Tyron Beckham and how he had worked out with the colts. In that article there was also a picture with him in a colts t-shirt. My question for you is how interested are the colts on Tyron Beckham, and what are the chances OBJ's cousin becomes a colt?

Bowen: Esteban, I'm happy to do it. 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.

Philo V. (Lacey, WA)

Hi Kevin, thank you for your love and support in our colts nation. I see a lot of changes of what we need for the better of colts future, can't explain how excited I am for this upcoming season but the only thing I see missing is our need of a Reggie Wayne figure for our WR position. So my question is what are the plans for drafting a best WR to fill in for Andre J? I know we got moncrief but we never know if something happens to him or T.Y. Thanks Kevin hope you have a great day.

Bowen: Chuck Pagano said at last month's League Meetings that the Colts were going to add at least a few more bodies at wide receiver. A pair of them came last week. In Josh Boyce and Brian Tyms, the Colts have brought in a couple of guys who have caught passes in the NFL. With their additions, drafting a wide receiver isn't really a necessity. The Colts have a top three of T.Y. Hilton, Donte Moncrief and Phillip Dorsett. Throw in Boyce and Tyms, and returner Quan Bray, and the Colts now have a six-man group that will likely make up some combination on the 53-man roster.

Brian O. (West Memphis, AR)

Hey Kevin,

I have been keeping an eye on all the different mock drafts over the last couple of months and I'm a bit confused by the direction the majority seem to point. Most of them seem to think that an ot- Taylor Decker is the best direction. This makes no sense. Both Pagano and Grigson were pretty clear they intend to work on the interior of the offensive line. I'm going to assume that they think he will be the best offensive lineman remaining but if that's the case I think the colts should go pass rush with someone like Leonard Williams or maybe Noah Spence.

What's are your thoughts?

Bowen: Brian, I like what you're thinking here. This falls right in line to my thought process. Taylor Decker has unquestionably been the most common name for the Colts in Mock Drafts. The question with any tackle the Colts look at in this draft is can they play guard, like Jack Mewhort. There's more than a decent chance that if the Colts take a tackle early in the draft, his first starting look in the NFL would have to come at guard. That's why I'm more of a premium position guy first, aka edge rusher (in this case Leonard Floyd* and Noah Spence)

Eric S. (Ashburn, VA)

Will the team ever put a large horseshoe at the 50 yard line in replace of the boring helmet? I wouldn't even mind the horse on the colts helmet logo. This is 2016, not 1984. It's time for a change. Every other team other than the Browns have their "logo" at the fifty. We have such a cool and classic horseshoe logo yet we use our helmet instead. I don't get it. Any thoughts?

Bowen: Brian, the Colts feel tradition is important and this has been in place since the days before the team moved to Indy. There are no plans in the works to change the midfield logo. 

Stephen S. (Florida)

Love the mailbag. My question or perhaps suggestion pertains to the Colts overall draft strategy. We need an influx of young talent on defense and to shore up our interior o-line. This draft class has a lot of depth but only a couple of truly elite prospects. Grigs should trade down. Here is what I see (obviously the other teams has to be willing).

Pick 18 and Pick 239 (trade value 900) to the Rams for picks 43 & 45 (Rd 2 picks 12 & 14 - trade value 920)

43 - Nick Martin - C

45 - Vonn Bell - SS

Pick 49 (trade value 410) to Philly for picks 77 & 79 (Rd 3 picks 14 & 16 - trade value 395)

77 - Kamalie Correa - OLB

79 - Cyrus Jones - CB

82 - Shawn Oakman - DE

116 - Jordan Jenkins - OLB

155 - Willie Beavers - OT/G

If Grigs could only pull this off....Didn't address RB but guys like Arian Foster and Thomas Rawls can be found when the draft is over. Great injection of youth into our o-line and all three levels of the defense.

Bowen: The draft day trades theme of this mailbag isn't ending. Stephen, your assessment of this year's draft class is how several pundits have described the 2016 class. There's not a major gap between the talent in the middle of the first round, compared to backend of the second round. That's a popular description on this year's draft. The Colts would love to have more than six draft picks in 2016. Now, it takes two to tango with a trade and it's impossible to assign proper value until the board starts falling.

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