Indianapolis Colts 2019 Mock Draft Monday: March 18

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INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis Colts have the No. 26-overall pick in April’s 2019 NFL Draft. Here’s your latest weekly compilation taking a look at which players the various experts believe will land in Indianapolis:

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Expert: Charlie Campbell, WalterFootball.com

Date of mock draft: March 18 (link)

Selection: Dexter Lawrence, DT, Clemson

Previous selections: Christian Wilkins, DT, Clemson; Mack Wilson, LB, Alabama; D.K. Metcalf, WR, Ole Miss; Devin Bush, LB, Michigan; Dre'Mont Jones, DT, Ohio State; Christian Wilkins, DT, Clemson

Analysis:The Colts continue to build up their defensive line with a big nose tackle to go with Denico Autry. Lawrence recorded 37 tackles with 7.5 for a loss, 1.5 sacks and three passes broken up in 2018. He totaled 34 tackles with 2.5 sacks in 2017. While Lawrence's numbers were down in 2017 over his freshman season, he helped create a lot of sacks for those around him. Team sources who did advance work on the 2019 prospects said Lawrence wasn't the same player as a sophomore, and they theorize he was playing with an injury that was not disclosed. As a junior, Lawrence was better than he was in 2017, but still not what he was as a freshman. He also hurt himself with a positive test that led to him being suspended for the playoff games against Notre Dame and Alabama. The 6-foot-4, 342-pounder was a tremendous freshman to help Clemson win the 2016 season's National Championship. NFL sources were raving about Lawrence in the 2017 preseason, as he was impossible to ignore in 2016. Lawrence was an All-Freshman selection all over the nation, plus was named the ACC Rookie of the Year. He totaled 63 tackles with 9.5 tackles for a loss, seven sacks and a pass batted for 2016. One national scout for an NFC team told me that they thought Lawrence was among the two most disruptive defensive linemen that season - along with Alabama's Jonathan Allen."

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Expert: Dan Kadar, SB Nation

Date of mock draft: March 18 (link)

Selection: Deandre Baker, CB, Georgia

Previous selections: Rock Ya-Sin, CB, Temple; D.K. Metcalf, WR, Ole Miss; Dre’Mont Jones, DT, Ohio State; Marquise Brown, WR, Oklahoma; Clelin Ferrell, DE, Clemson; Dre’Mont Jones, DT, Ohio State

Analysis:It’s a little strange that the Colts have only dipped a toe into free agency after starting the period with more than $100 million available under the salary cap. Anyway. If one of the better defensive ends or tackles drops to No. 26, but the value just isn’t there, it will be here for a cornerback. Baker isn’t a flashy player, but he’s reliable and plays with great competitiveness and instincts.

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Expert: Ryan Wilson, CBS Sports

Date of mock draft: March 18 (link)

Selection: Jerry Tillery, DT, Notre Dame

Previous selections: Byron Murphy, CB, Washington; Nasir Adderley, S, Delaware; N’Keal Harry, WR, Arizona State; Deandre Baker, CB, Georgia; Jeffery Simmons, DT, Mississippi State

Analysis:We've loved this pick for a couple weeks now. Matt Eberflus transformed the Colts into a good defense in 2018. To go from good to great, Indy needs to add a few more pieces. Tillery was dominant at times last season and if he can play with more consistency he could end up being one of the biggest surprises of this class.

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Expert: DraftTek.com

Date of mock draft: March 17 (link)

Selection: Jaylon Ferguson, DE, Louisiana Tech

Previous selections: Brian Burns, DE, Florida State; Jaylon Ferguson, DE, Louisiana Tech; Brian Burns, DE, Florida State; Dre'Mont Jones, DT, Ohio State; J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, WR, Stanford; Emanuel Hall, WR, Missouri

Analysis: None.

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Expert: Charles Davis, NFL.com

Date of mock draft: March 15 (link)

Selection: D.K. Metcalf, WR, Mississippi

Analysis:A scary combination of size, speed and production when healthy. With WR T.Y. Hilton and TE Eric Ebron occupying attention from defenses, there will be ample opportunities for Metcalf to bully secondaries.

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Expert: Doug Farrar, TouchdownWire

Date of mock draft: March 15 (link)

Selection: Brian Burns, DE, Florida State

Previous selections: Clelin Ferrell, DE, Clemson; N’Keal Harry, WR, Arizona State

Analysis:The Colts have Jabaal Sheard through the 2019 season for a good price, but there is a clear and desperate need for defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus to give Sheard a reliable pass-rushing bookend. Burns put up 48 total pressures and 32 stops for the Seminoles last season, and his speed around the edge would be quite valuable in Eberflus’ four-man and hybrid fronts.

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Expert: Vinny Iyer, Sporting News

Date of mock draft: March 15 (link)

Selection: Dexter Lawrence, DT, Clemson

Previous selections: Deandre Baker, CB, Georgia; N’Keal Harry, WR, Arizona State

Analysis:The Colts can think about best player available here to add beef to their defensive front under Matt Eberflus. Lawrence is a textbook inside run-stuffer with ideal size (6-4, 342 pounds).

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Expert: Danny Kelly, The Ringer

Date of mock draft: March 15 (link)

Selection: Taylor Rapp, S, Washington

Previous selections: Byron Murphy, CB, Washington

Analysis:Dependable, hard-hitting defender who has excellent play-recognition skills and the versatility to line up at multiple spots in the secondary.

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Expert: Chris Trapasso, CBS Sports

Date of mock draft: March 15 (link)

Selection: Brian Burns, DE, Florida State

Previous selections: A.J. Brown, WR, Ole Miss; Lonnie Johnson, CB, Kentucky; Byron Murphy, CB, Washington; A.J. Brown, WR, Ole Miss; Byron Murphy, CB, Washington; Dexter Lawrence, DT, Clemson

Analysis:Burns would give the Colts some serious juice on the edge of their defensive line.

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Expert: Nate Davis, USA TODAY

Date of mock draft: March 14 (link)

Selection: Greedy Williams, CB, LSU

Previous selections: D.K. Metcalf, WR, Mississippi

Analysis:Can't ever have enough speed or cover guys on your roster, and corner is an area where Indianapolis can improve even with Pierre Desir returning to the fold."

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Expert: Walter Cherepinsky, WalterFootball.com

Date of mock draft: March 13 (link)

Selection: Deandre Baker, CB, Georgia

Previous selections: Jaylon Ferguson, DE, Louisiana Tech; D.K. Metcalf, WR, Ole Miss

Analysis:The Colts were 20th in pass defense efficiency last year. Both their pass rush and secondary were responsible for this, so Indianapolis can take a big step toward correcting this problem by obtaining the top cornerback in the 2019 NFL Draft. The 2019 corner class is one of the weakest I've ever seen at the position, but DeAndre Baker is a decent value at No. 26 overall. Baker had a terrific 2017 campaign, showing great athleticism. He was great last season as well, especially against LSU."

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Expert: R.J. White, CBS Sports

Date of mock draft: March 13 (link) [NOTE: R.J. White has the Colts acquiring the No. 21-overall pick from the Seattle Seahawks in exchange for the No. 26- and No. 89-overall selections]

Selection: Greedy Williams, CB, LSU

Previous selections: D.K. Metcalf, WR, Ole Miss; Christian Wilkins, DT, Clemson; D.K. Metcalf, WR, Ole Miss; Johnathan Abram, S, Mississippi State

Analysis:I had the Colts trading up to this spot in my last mock to take D.K. Metcalf, but he's gone here and Indy signed Devin Funchess anyway. But they still need talent at cornerback, and with all of them still on the board but teams like the Eagles and Raiders ahead of them, the Colts leap for the highest upside at the position in Williams, once thought to be a top-10 lock.

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Expert: Luke Easterling, DraftWire

Date of mock draft: March 12 (link)

Selection: Brian Burns, DE, Florida State

Previous selections: Jerry Tillery, DL, Notre Dame; Rashan Gary, DL, Michigan (traded up to No. 21 overall); Jerry Tillery, DL, Notre Dame; Montez Sweat, EDGE, Mississippi State; Kelvin Harmon, WR, North Carolina State; Jerry Tillery, DL, Notre Dame

Analysis: None.

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Expert: Kalyn Kahler, MMQB

Date of mock draft: March 12 (link)

Selection: Taylor Rapp, S, Washington 

Previous selections: A.J. Brown, WR, Ole Miss

Analysis:Several scouts have mentioned Rapp as an underrated prospect; his play speed and versatility would be a great addition to Matt Eberflus’s young defense.

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Expert: Dane Brugler, The Athletic

Date of mock draft: March 11 (link; The Athletic subscription required)

Selection: Byron Murphy, CB, Washington

Previous selections:  Deandre Baker, CB, Georgia; Jeffery Simmons, DT, Mississippi State

Analysis:If a cornerback is shorter and slower than ideal, he needs top-tier instincts, ball skills and technique to mask his lack of elite physical traits – and Murphy does. His football IQ and competitiveness pop off the screen, projecting best in a zone-heavy scheme like what Matt Eberflus likes to do in Indianapolis.

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Expert: Joe Marino, The Draft Network

Date of mock draft: March 10 (link)

Selection: Clelin Ferrell, DE, Clemson

Previous selections: Dexter Lawrence, DL, Clemson

Analysis:Racking up 50.5 tackles for loss and 27 sacks across the last three season at Clemson, Ferrell was one of college football's most prolific EDGE rushers. He has prototypical size, excellent play strength, length and the technical refinement needed to be an impact rusher in the NFL. General manager Chris Ballard has indicated adding pass rush would be a priority this offseason and Ferrell fits perfectly.

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Expert: Josh Norris, Rotoworld

Date of mock draft: March 8 (link)

Selection: Jerry Tillery, DT, Notre Dame

Analysis:Another Ballard homerun. It is clear Ballard weighs in athletic profiles in his evaluations. Tillery, in the 84th percentile, is an outstanding athlete with great bend and flexibility along the interior. He’s fantastic. "

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Expert: Steve Palazzolo, Pro Football Focus

Date of mock draft: March 7 (link)

Selection: Justin Layne, CB, Michigan State

Previous selection: Marquise Brown, WR, Oklahoma

Analysis:Layne may not be a first-round prospect for everyone, but his length and feel for zone coverages make him an excellent fit for the Colts’ defensive scheme. He graded at an impressive 89.5 in coverage last season.

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Expert: Chad Reuter, NFL.com

Date of mock draft: March 7 (link)

Selection: Dexter Lawrence, DL, Clemson

Previous selections: Kelvin Harmon, WR, N.C. State

Analysis: “Lawrence's quickness and size gives the Colts a stout force in the middle.

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Expert: Jake Arthur, Colts.com

Date of mock draft: March 6 (link)

Selection: Clelin Ferrell, DE, Clemson

Analysis:Chris Ballard said this offseason that pass rush will always be a cornerstone for the Colts. They finished 19th in the league with 38 sacks last season, and they were unable to pressure Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes consistently enough when they were eliminated in the Divisional Round of the playoffs. Logic says the Colts will certainly continue to address that area.The Colts invested in Kemoko Turay and Tyquan Lewis in last year's draft, and Ferrell would give them an outstanding trio of young pass rushers. He constantly finds himself in the opponent's backfield, and his blend of quickness, power and pass-rush moves should make him available to play immediately."

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Expert: John Clayton, The Washington Post

Date of mock draft: March 6 (link)

Selection: Jaylon Ferguson, DE, Louisiana Tech

Analysis:Adding a pass rusher is among the many things the Colts need to accomplish this offseason. Ferguson looked good in the Senior Bowl and could fit on the Colts’ defensive line."

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Expert: Todd McShay, ESPN

Date of mock draft: March 6 (link; ESPN Insider access required)

Selection: Taylor Rapp, S, Washington

Previous selections: Trayvon Mullen, CB, Clemson; Christian Wilkins, DT, Clemson

Analysis:With a pretty good group of safeties out there on the free-agent market, the Colts could opt to address their need there. But with Matt Eberflus' 4-3 featuring under Cover 2 and Tampa 2 components, Indy will be looking for speed and versatility. Rapp checks those boxes."

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Expert: The Athletic Beat Writers

Date of mock draft: March 6 (link; The Athletic subscription required)

Selection: Deandre Baker, CB, Georgia

Analysis:Indianapolis is very thin in the secondary. GM Chris Ballard said at the scouting combine that defensive back depth is among his greatest concerns. After the Colts beefed up the offensive and defensive fronts in the 2018 draft, it is perhaps time to address the back end of the defense with a corner who possesses ball skills. — Stephen Holder

Dane’s Take: Schematically, this pairing fits like a glove. Baker has the fluidity and quickness to play in a man scheme, but his instincts fit best in a Cover-2 or zone-heavy defense. He has the innate ability to diagnose routes and put himself in position to make plays on the football. Baker also has the toughness to hold his own as a run defender. The Colts and Baker are a great match."

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Expert: Daniel Jeremiah, NFL.com

Date of mock draft: March 5 (link)

Selection: N'Keal Harry, WR, Arizona State

Previous selections: Johnathan Abram, S, Mississippi State

Analysis:The only question about Harry was his speed and he alleviated those concerns at the combine (4.53 40).

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Expert: Nick Klopsis, Newsday

Date of mock draft: March 5 (link)

Selection: Christian Wilkins, DT, Clemson

Previous selections: Kelvin Harmon, WR, N.C. State

Analysis:The Colts don't have too many glaring needs, but they could use someone who can provide pressure up the middle. Christian Wilkins has the size and athleticism to be an excellent upfield-attacking lineman in any front.

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Expert: Matt Miller, Bleacher Report

Date of mock draft: March 5 (link)

Selection: Christian Wilkins, DL, Clemson

Previous selections: N’Keal Harry, WR, Arizona State

Analysis:Every now and then, a player is an ideal fit for a team and is also slotted to be drafted where they pick. That's the case for Christian Wilkins and the Indianapolis Colts. Wilkins, who played 3-technique at Clemson, is the kind of interior pass-rusher missing from the Indianapolis defense. Depending on what the Colts do with their NFL-high $106.4 million in projected salary-cap space (via Over the Cap), Wilkins would also fill the team's biggest need. Grabbing a high-impact, high-character player who can be a day one starter is the exact type of move general manager Chris Ballard would make.

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Expert: Forrest N. Long, The Huddle Report

Date of mock draft: March 3 (link)

Selection: Jeffery Simmons, DL, Mississippi State

Analysis:The Colts could take a OL if one falls to them at twenty six, but I have most of the top OL gone by this point, so the Colts need to address getting defensive line help.

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Expert: Peter Schrager, NFL.com

Date of mock draft: Feb. 28 (link)

Selection: Josh Jacobs, RB, Alabama

Analysis:Jacobs ranked 144th in the nation in 2018 with 640 rushing yards, though a limited college workload means he still has plenty of tread on his tires. A groin ailment might keep him from completely showing his wares in Indy, but it's a safe bet Alabama's pro day will draw an NFL decision-maker or 32. He has all the measurables pro teams covet, can return kicks and comes in with a great reputation as a teammate.

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Expert: Bucky Brooks, NFL.com

Date of mock draft: Feb. 27 (link)

Selection: Deandre Baker, CB, Georgia

Previous selections: N’Keal Harry, WR, Arizona State

Analysis:The Jim Thorpe award winner would immediately upgrade the Colts' secondary. Speed is a question, but his instincts, awareness and takeaway skills make him a nice fit in the Colts' scheme.

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Expert: Charley Casserly, NFL.com

Date of mock draft: Feb. 19 (link)

Selection: Dre'Mont Jones, DL, Ohio State

Analysis:Versatile defensive lineman who fits the athletic mold that Indy wants.

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Expert: Mel Kiper Jr., ESPN

Date of mock draft: Feb. 18 (link; ESPN Insider access required)

Selection: A.J. Brown, WR, Ole Miss

Previous selections: Dexter Lawrence, DT, Clemson

Analysis:GM Chris Ballard had one of the league's best draft classes in 2018, and the Colts made a surprising run to the playoffs. They'll have this pick and the No. 34 overall pick from the Jets to continue to upgrade. Brown (6-1, 225) could be an effective No. 2 receiver next to T.Y. Hilton as Indianapolis tries to get better weapons around Andrew Luck. Brown had 2,572 receiving yards and 17 touchdowns over the past two seasons, and he's the second Ole Miss wideout off the board in my projection, after D.K. Metcalf to Buffalo at No. 9.

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Expert: Maurice Jones-Drew, NFL.com

Date of mock draft: Feb. 12 (link)

Selection: N'Keal Harry, WR, Arizona State

Analysis:Another playmaker to help Andrew Luck, Harry is physical and will nicely complement T.Y. Hilton.

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Expert: Michael Renner, Pro Football Focus

Date of mock draft: Feb. 5 (link)

Selection: Jeffery Simmons, DT, Mississippi State

Analysis:Talent-wise, Simmons is a top-10 player in this class. The video of him punching a girl in high school could have teams taking him off their board altogether though.

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Expert: Lance Zierlein, NFL.com

Date of mock draft: Jan. 29 (link)

Selection: Jerry Tillery, DT, Notre Dame

Analysis:Playing on the prevailing Colts theme of build the fronts and look for traits, I'll give them an inconsistent but talented interior rusher with elite physical dimensions.

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