Indianapolis Colts Mock Draft Monday: Final Edition

*Expert: *Peter King, Sports Illustrated/MMQB

*Date of mock draft: *April 23 (link) [NOTE: King has the Colts trading the No. 6-overall pick to the Buffalo Bills, moving Indy down to No. 12; he also has the Arizona Cardinals trading with the Denver Broncos to acquire the No. 5-overall pick]

*Selection: *Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Virginia Tech

*Analysis: *A note about what the Colts have done, if I’m right here (and I have my doubts) about Indy dealing the sixth pick to Buffalo for a first, two mid-seconds, and a low-third-round pick. In January, Colts GM Chris Ballard owned picks in rounds one, two and three—3, 36 and 67 overall. With this second trade-down of the first-rounder, the Colts would have 12, 36, 37, 49, 53, 56, 67 and 96 this year … plus the Jets’ second-round pick in 2019. With all the holes Ballard has to fill, Edmunds is a very good start. Raw but fast (4.54 in the 40) and physical. Big need for the Colts’ D.

*——————————Expert: *Doug Farrar, Bleacher Report

*Date of mock draft: *April 23 (link)

*Selection: *Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State

*Analysis: *Second-year general manager Chris Ballard knows that, with the bare cupboard given him by predecessor Ryan Grigson, he's apt to hit a home run in talent upgrades at just about any position. What he's got right now at cornerback adds up to a lot of potential but very few sure things. Rashaan Melvin was one of the best cover cornerbacks in the 2017 season before a wrist injury cut his season short, but he signed with the Raiders in the offseason. Pierre Desir has all the measurables but hasn't yet put it together. Ballard needs a sure thing at that position, and there are few surer bets than Denzel Ward, the former Ohio State star who absolutely pops off the tape with his trail speed and pure athleticism. At 5'11", 183 pounds, Ward will occasionally lose battles to bigger receivers on jump balls, but for the most part, you're going to have to throw a perfect pass to get it by him. Per Jordan Plocher of Pro Football Focus, opposing quarterbacks amassed a 52.9 passer rating when targeting Ward, who allowed just 20 catches on 57 targets. Ward can play outside at a premier level, and he can also move inside to the slot. In today's NFL, such versatility is crucial, and Ward does it all at a pace that would have him established as the epicenter of Indy's secondary in a big hurry.

*——————————Expert: *Charlie Campbell, WalterFootball.com

*Date of mock draft: *April 23 (link)

*Selection: *Bradley Chubb, defensive end, North Carolina State

Analysis: “The Colts successfully traded down with the Jets, picking up an impressive amount of value. I had Indianapolis taking Chubb back at No. 3, and that choice still makes sense at No. 6 since Saquon Barkley went off the board already. The Colts need an edge defender who can be the building block for their defense and a potential franchise defensive player. Chubb could fit that for Indianapolis. Chubb totaled 73 tackles with 25 for a loss, 10 sacks, three forced fumbles and two passes batted in 2017. He was awesome against Florida State, making some huge plays to lead N.C. State to a road upset with two sacks, a forced fumble and seven tackles. Chubb dominated the competition in 2017, playing like a top-10 pick. The 6-foot-4, 269-pound Chubb has scheme flexibility and was a tough defender for the Wolfpack. He has good quickness for a big defensive end and has shown the ability to get off blocks with his strength and hand usage. Chubb has developed some variety in pass-rushing moves and looks like an asset as a future three-down starter in the NFL. In 2016, he totaled 58 tackles with 22 tackles for a loss, 10.5 sacks, three forced fumbles and one pass batted. As a sophomore in 2015, Chubb collected 5.5 sacks.”*——————————Expert: *R.J. White, CBS Sports

*Date of mock draft: *April 23 (link)

*Selection: *Saquon Barkley, running back, Penn State

Analysis: *“The Colts made a no-brainer move to move down from No. 3 to No. 6 and pick up three second-round picks from the Jets. But it could very well cost them the chance to land an elite edge rusher in Bradley Chubb. With Chubb going No. 5 after four quarterbacks come off the board in my mock, the Colts are faced with two options: take the other blue-chipper in this draft in Saquon Barkley, or trade back again before taking someone at a bigger position of need? Of course, it takes two to tango, and there's no guarantee anyone will be looking to trade up to No. 6 with the four top QBs already off the board.——————————Expert: *Walter Cherepinsky, WalterFootball.com

*Date of mock draft: *April 23 (link)

*Selection: *Bradley Chubb, defensive end, North Carolina State

Analysis: “The Colts are the winners of this draft. They'll likely be in a position to select either Bradley Chubb or Quenton Nelson at No. 6 overall, and they'll get one of them after picking up three second-round picks in the trade with the Jets. Crazy. Indianapolis has some nice edge rushers in Jabaal Sheard and John Simon, but neither is the elite talent Chubb happens to be. Chubb steadily moved up my mock drafts during the season. At 6-4, 275, Chubb has a great blend of size and speed, and he's been dominant this season. There's some talk that Chubb is viewed as the top defensive prospect in NFL circles.

* * OTHER 2018 NFL DRAFT POSSIBILITIES:

1. Trade Down - The Colts are in a prime position to trade down again. If Bradley Chubb and Quenton Nelson are off the board, they'll almost have to make a move.

2. Roquan Smith, LB - It's been reported that the Colts like Smith, so he would make sense here if the Colts couldn't trade down.

——————————Expert: Todd McShay, ESPN

Date of mock draft: April 20 (link; requires ESPN Insider access) [NOTE: McShay and Mel Kiper Jr. alternated picks in this particular mock draft; this pick for the Colts is McShay’s]

Selection: Roquan Smith, linebacker, Georgia

Analysis:A hot name right now, Smith is a sideline-to-sideline linebacker who can play the run and the pass. Indianapolis needs playmakers all over on defense.*——————————Expert: *Chad Reuter, NFL.com

*Date of mock draft: *April 20 (link) [NOTE: Reuter has the Colts trading the No. 6-overall pick to the Miami Dolphins, moving Indy to No. 11; he also has the Buffalo Bills moving to fifth-overall in a trade with the Denver Broncos]

*Selection: *Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia

Analysis: “PICK ACQUIRED IN PROJECTED TRADE WITH DOLPHINS. Smith would be a great fit for the Colts, who are transitioning to a 4-3 defense and need linebackers who can cover ground. ——————————Expert: **Luke Easterling, Draftwire/USA Today

*Date of mock draft: *April 19 (link) [NOTE: Easterling has the Arizona Cardinals acquiring the No. 5-overall pick from the Denver Broncos]

*Selection: *Quenton Nelson, guard, Notre Dame

Analysis: “I’m sure Chris Ballard’s phone will be ringing off the hook at this point, with teams trying to jump up for one of the remaining quarterbacks. But with such a stud prospect at a huge position of need still on the board, it would have to be a huge haul to get the Colts to move off this pick. Nelson is a steal outside the top five.*——————————Expert: *Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com

*Date of mock draft: *April 19 (link)

*Selection: *Quenton Nelson, guard, Notre Dame

Analysis: “With all due respect to the obvious defensive needs on the roster, the state of the franchise rides on surgically-repaired quarterback Andrew Luck bouncing back next season. Protecting him with Nelson — the consensus top offensive lineman in this draft and a future Pro Bowler — might be the best “Welcome Back” present GM Chris Ballard could provide.*——————————Expert: *Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout.com

*Date of mock draft: *April 19 (link)

*Selection: *Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State

Analysis: “Notre Dame’s Quenton Nelson and Georgia’s Roquan Smith make sense here, but Indianapolis has a strong need at cornerback, making this marriage a good balance of answering need and taking arguably the best player.*——————————Expert: *Bryan Fischer, Athlon Sports & Life

*Date of mock draft: *April 19 (link)

*Selection: *Quenton Nelson, guard, Notre Dame

Analysis: “With Josh Rosen still on the board, it wouldn’t be surprising if the Colts try to auction this pick off and pick up more assets given the state of their roster. If they stay put though, the selection of Nelson to protect Andrew Luck continues to make the most sense.*——————————Expert: *Daniel Jeremiah, NFL.com

*Date of mock draft: *April 17 (link)

*Selection: *Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State

Analysis: “The Colts' roster is in terrible shape and that makes it tough to lock in on what they will do here. Ward is the top cover cornerback in the draft and would give Indy a nice duo at the position with Quincy Wilson.*——————————Expert: *Danny Kelly, The Ringer

*Date of mock draft: *April 17 (link) [NOTE: Kelly has the Buffalo Bills acquiring the No. 5-overall pick from the Denver Broncos]

*Selection: *Quenton Nelson, guard, Notre Dame

Analysis: “Whether it’s Andrew Luck or Jacoby Brissett under center for Indy in Week 1, Colts GM Chris Ballard needs to give his starting quarterback better support. Nelson is certainly a good start, as the Colts could solidify the left side of their line by dropping the former Notre Dame guard in between left tackle Anthony Castonzo and 2016 first-round center Ryan Kelly. Nelson’s nasty playing demeanor and physical style would give Indy an instant upgrade in both the passing attack and the run game.*——————————Expert: *Albert Breer, Sports Illustrated/MMQB

*Date of mock draft: *April 17 (link)

*Selection: *Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia

*Analysis: *[Bradley] Chubb would make the call easy for Chris Ballard. I think he’d feel good about Smith or Tremaine Edmunds here.

*——————————Expert: *Daniel Kelley, Pro Football Focus

*Date of mock draft: *April 17 (link)

*Selection: *Josh Jackson, CB, Iowa

Analysis: “As fun as Saquon Barkley promises to be, this pick was really one of three names: Quenton Nelson (the preference), Derwin James and Jackson. So by the time the pick arrived, it wasn’t really a choice so much as a last-man-standing.*——————————Expert: *Eric Galko, Sporting News

*Date of mock draft: *April 16 (link) [NOTE: Galko has the Buffalo Bills acquiring the No. 4 pick from the Cleveland Browns]

*Selection: *Bradley Chubb, defensive end, North Carolina State

Analysis:A dream scenario for the Colts: They land the player they would have targeted at No. 3 a few picks later. Chubb is a special talent and the draft’s best non-quarterback. If he is off the board by the time pick No. 6 arrives, Quenton Nelson and Roquan Smith will be considered.*——————————Expert: *Dan Kadar, SBNation

*Date of mock draft: *April 16 (link)

*Selection: *Quenton Nelson, guard, Notre Dame

Analysis: “Choosing between Nelson and Penn State running back Saquon Barkley is a tough ask for Colts General Manager Chris Ballard. Guards Jack Mewhort and Matt Slauson are only on one-year deals, and Nelson is simply better than the both of them. Adding Nelson could go a long way in keeping Andrew Luck upright, and making the Colts relevant again.* —————————— Expert: *Chris Trapasso, CBS Sports

*Date of mock draft: *April 16 (link) [NOTE: Trapasso has the Colts trading the No. 6-overall pick to the Arizona Cardinals for their pick at No. 15; he also has the Buffalo bills trading with the Cleveland Browns to move up to No. 4)

*Selection: *Marcus Davenport, DE, Texas-San Antonio

Analysis: “Chris Ballard has prepared his franchise to build for the future with two trade backs in the first round. In the deal with the Cardinals, the Colts get picks No. 47 (Round 2) and No. 182 (Round 6). Davenport is a highly athletic defensive end with a rather impressive arsenal of pass-rushing moves.*"——————————Expert: *Josh Norris, Rotoworld

*Date of mock draft: *April 13 (link) [NOTE: Norris has the Buffalo Bills acquiring the No. 4-overall pick from the Cleveland Browns)

*Selection: *Bradley Chubb, defensive end, North Carolina State

Analysis: *“The ideal outcome for the Colts. It is clear Chris Ballard wants to build a young core, and there’s a chance he can do that in this draft alone. Chubb is a building block piece on the defensive side of the ball.*”——————————

Expert: **Bucky Brooks, NFL.com

*Date of mock draft: *April 12 (link)

*Selection: *Quenton Nelson, guard, Notre Dame

Analysis: *“The rugged interior blocker would help the Colts keep Andrew Luck upright in the pocket."——————————Expert:* Mel Kiper Jr., ESPN

Date of mock draft: April 10 (link; requires ESPN Insider access)

Selection: Bradley Chubb, defensive end, North Carolina State

Analysis:I really like this Colts class. They added the Jets' two second-round picks, and they have to get starters there. Their roster is depleted from several poor drafts, but GM Chris Ballard has a chance to get back in shape. You should know all about Chubb at this point -- he's the best pass-rusher in this class.”*——————————Expert: *Charley Casserly, NFL.com

*Date of mock draft: *April 3 (link)

*Selection: *Quenton Nelson, guard, Notre Dame

Analysis: “Nelson is the best offensive lineman to enter the draft since 2000.*——————————Expert: *Peter Schrager, NFL.com

*Date of mock draft: *March 29 (link) [NOTE: Schrager has the Colts trading the No. 6-overall pick to the Buffalo Bills, moving Indy to No. 12]

*Selection: *Harold Landry, defensive end, Boston College

Analysis:PROJECTED TRADE WITH BILLS. Landry battled injury and had a down year in 2017, but would he not be a dazzling fit in Matt Eberflus' scheme? Landry set the BC single-season sack record with 16.5 in 2016 and is rapidly rising up draft boards.”——————————Expert: **Dion Caputi, National Football Post

*Date of mock draft: *March 28 (link)

*Selection: *Bradley Chubb, defensive end, North Carolina State

Analysis: “How smart does Chris Ballard look if this materializes? The Colts collectively accumulated 25.0 sacks in 2017 – good for second-worst in the NFL. Chubb is the defined No. 1 edge player in the class and has amassed 44 TFL and 20.0 sacks over the past (two) seasons.*——————————Expert: *Lance Zierlein, NFL.com

*Date of mock draft: *March 27 (link) [NOTE: Zierlein has the Buffalo Bills acquiring the No. 5 pick from the Denver Broncos]

*Selection: *Tremaine Edmunds, linebacker, Virginia Tech

Analysis: *“The Colts are still in position to grab guys like Roquan Smith or Quenton Nelson, but I'll give them Edmunds, the freakish LB with the sky-high ceiling.”——————————Expert: *Matt Miller, Bleacher Report

*Date of mock draft: *March 26 (link) [NOTE: Miller has the Colts trading the No. 6-overall pick to the Buffalo Bills for their picks at No. 12, 22 and 96]

*Selection: *Marcus Davenport, defensive end, Texas-San Antonio

Analysis: *“After trading back, again, the Indianapolis Colts will gain pick Nos. 12, 22 and 96 in this hypothetical deal with the Buffalo Bills in exchange for the No. 6 spot. By trading back, general manager Chris Ballard gets more draft capital to continue a massive roster overhaul. At No. 12, Ballard and Co. still get a top-notch player who fills a huge need. Marcus Davenport is raw, coming from tiny Texas-San Antonio. But he showed during the season, at the Senior Bowl and the combine that he's the type of athletic rarity who can make the needed improvements to make an early NFL impact.——————————Expert: *Charles Davis, NFL.com

*Date of mock draft: *March 22 (link)

*Selection: *Bradley Chubb, defensive end, North Carolina State

*Analysis: *This selection fills a screaming need for the Colts, but a huge internal debate must be had: Do they pick Chubb or Notre Dame OG Quenton Nelson to protect Andrew Luck?!

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