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INDIANAPOLIS — Our "Exploring Options" series concludes today by taking a look at a whopping 40 players who could be a good fit for the Indianapolis Colts on Day 3 of the 2019 NFL Draft, which includes Rounds 4, 5, 6 and 7.
The Colts hold four picks on Day 3; one in the fourth round (No. 122), one in the fifth (No. 160), and two in the sixth (Nos. 193 and 197). They no longer hold a seventh-round pick due to a trade with the Miami Dolphins, in which they received No. 197 overall. The Colts always have their lines in the water and are active in the trade market during the draft, so they could wind up with more selections.
By Day 3 of the draft, it's a free-for-all with less definition than the first two days of the draft. Analysts have a good estimate of when players will be picked in the first couple of rounds, but by Rounds 4-7, it's anyone's guess. Since we had previously brought you 15 to 20 players per round leading up to now, we give you a large variety today.
These aren't the only good options that may be available to the Colts — unexpected players slide every year — but these players are those that I've weighed the likelihood of being available along with what position groups Indianapolis may need most, and how these players specifically fit what the Colts normally look for. There are also players that teams will sometimes bend their positional standards to accommodate if they feel that player is special.
*The following players are listed alphabetically.
Hakeem Adeniji | Offensive Lineman | Kansas
While his frame isn't ideal for that of an offensive tackle, Adeniji moves that frame well and shows power to go with it. He's aggressive with his hands and carries that tenacity out into the open field. Will he play inside or outside?
Oluwole Betiku Jr. | Edge Defender | Illinois
He struggled with injuries and didn't get a lot of playing time at USC, but Betiku Jr. transferred to Illinois and blew up in 2019 when he began playing again. He might take some time to develop, but there's a ton of upside for this pass-rusher.
Julian Blackmon | Defensive Back | Utah
Blackmon is an instinctive, versatile defensive back who played corner his first three years at Utah before moving to safety in 2019. He lacks ideal size, but is physical in coverage and has good ball skills.
Shaun Bradley | Linebacker | Temple
This Temple-Tough linebacker helped put himself on the map with his Combine performance, showing a blend of speed, agility and explosiveness. However, his frame is somewhat specific for just the modern WILL.
Hunter Bryant | Tight End | Washington
Field-stretching tight ends with a knack for making big plays are a commodity in today's NFL, and that's what Bryant provides. He's got the want-to when it comes to improving as a blocker, and his tape shows he's getting there.
Raekwon Davis | Defensive Tackle | Alabama
Whether teams are comfortable with the night-and-day performances from Davis and whether they can balance his inconsistencies will be a big determining factor in where he goes. He's a great run defender when he's on his game.
Akeem Davis-Gaither | Linebacker | Appalachian State
Another undersized linebacker, Davis-Gaither flew around for the App. State defense and stuffed the stat sheet. His tracking ability and nose for the football will be a commodity, whether it's on defense or special teams.
A.J. Dillon | Running Back | Boston College
Running a 4.53 in the 40-yard dash is decent for a running back, but when it's a 247-pounder doing it, it goes to another level. There's very little wiggle to Dillon's running style, but he's a downhill runner who is capable of busting carries downfield.
Kevin Dotson | Interior Offensive Lineman | UL-Lafayette
If not for playing at a smaller school, I'm convinced Dotson would be a Day 2 pick. Regardless, where he is picked, someone is going to get a potential gem of an interior lineman who has good athleticism, can get out on the move and powers into defenders.
Darrynton Evans | Running Back | Appalachian State
Evans is a very underrated player in this draft. He's got great speed, agility and receiving ability. Although he's not as productive between the tackles, if you let this guy turn the corner, your defense is toast.
Jordan Fuller | Safety | Ohio State
Fuller has quality size to stack up to either free or strong safety duties. He has a tendency to find a big play that needs to be made, and his range in the secondary is good stuff.
Antonio Gandy-Golden | Wide Receiver | Liberty
He's likely to go on Day 3 in a loaded wide receiver class, but Gandy-Golden reminds me a lot of Denver Broncos Pro Bowl receiver Courtland Sutton coming out a couple years ago. He's a big-bodied receiver who is dominant at winning 50-50 balls.
Willie Gay Jr. | Linebacker | Mississippi State
Yet another highly-athletic linebacker, Gay Jr. had himself quite the Combine performance as well. He's a bit bigger than the others on the list up to now, and that extra 20 pounds or so is evident in his toughness, as he'll lay the hit whenever possible.
Alohi Gilman | Safety | Notre Dame
This is a very smart safety prospect with great leadership qualities. He'll fly downhill and make a big hit on unsuspecting running backs, and he's able to make some really nice plays on the ball.
Anthony Gordon | Quarterback | Washington State
Wazzou has given the NFL some quality quarterback prospects in recent years, and Gordon arguably has the highest upside of the group. He's got a lot of arm talent, as he's able to throw from different arm angles with velocity and accuracy.
A.J. Green | Cornerback | Oklahoma State
Here's a corner with nice size at 6'1", 202 pounds, who's not afraid to use it against opposing receivers. Unfortunately, his speed and quickness doesn't always match what he brings in size. He'd be a good fit for a team like the Colts that use a healthy amount of zone coverage.
DaVon Hamilton | Defensive Tackle | Ohio State
Buckeyes seem to find their way to the Colts during the draft, and Hamilton could be another one as a reserve nose tackle. He hasn't shown much as a pass-rusher to this point, but he's a quality run defender.
Jake Hanson | Interior Offensive Lineman | Oregon
The Colts could use a utility interior lineman after the free agency departure of Josh Andrews, and that could be Hanson. He's a tough, powerful center with quite a bit of experience.
K.J. Hill | Wide Receiver | Ohio State
The depth of this wide receiver class and the fact he lacks high-end speed is likely to drop Hill into Day 3, but he's easily one of my favorite receivers this year. He's advanced than most as a route runner and has a running back's mentality with the ball in his hands.
Brycen Hopkins | Tight End | Purdue
Plenty of you are familiar with the Boilermakers' star tight end. He's got a slightly undersized, yet athletic build, and he puts plenty of mobility and playmaking ability on display. He catches the ball well, is a crafty route-runner as a tight end, and holds his own as a blocker.
Bryce Huff | Edge Defender | Memphis
The linebacker-turned-defensive end showed great promise for Memphis in 2019, exploding off the ball and showing a knack for harassing the backfield. He's got good size for a linebacker but not for an edge defender, but the traits that he showed on tape as a pass-rusher are too good to ignore.
Lamar Jackson | Cornerback | Nebraska
Another mid-round corner with a superstar name, like Green, Jackson has really good size for a corner at 6'2", 208. He's a little faster and athletic than Green, but he's not as physical. He may take a little longer to develop at the next level.
Van Jefferson | Wide Receiver | Florida
Jefferson has quality size at 6'1", 200 pounds, very strong hands, and he is a very strong route runner. He may not possess elite athleticism, but he knows how to get open and create some space.
Brian Lewerke | Quarterback | Michigan State
I'm probably higher on Lewerke than most others, but his playmakling ability and knack for making something out of nothing are endearing. He's had some issues with consistency, but he throws with good zip and accuracy, and is worth developing behind an established starter.
Khalid Kareem | Edge Defender | Notre Dame
Kareem has good size and length, and could be a quality option to put at left end for the Colts. He shows good power and could be a good strong-side run defender.
Rashard Lawrence | Defensive Tackle | LSU
He's a little short, but all of his other physical measurements are really nice. He's a total tank, doesn't get moved out of the way, and clogs up running lanes. An added cherry on top was that he was a team captain for the final three years at LSU.
Cole McDonald | Quarterback | Hawaii
Was productive in a pass-heavy offense, but that may have masked some of his deficiencies as a passer. He's a good athlete, though, and productive on the ground, so he may get a shot to develop somewhere.
Anthony McFarland Jr. | Running Back | Maryland
McFarland Jr. doesn't have much power to him, but he's a determined runner, and if he finds a crease then he's gone to the end zone. He's got good ball security, is a capable pass catcher and is a threat every time he touches the ball.
James Morgan | Quarterback | Florida International
Morgan has good size, a strong arm and throws with good anticipation. He might take a few too many chances, but there's a lot to work with here.
Lamical Perine | Running Back | Florida
Perine has a quality, squat frame at over 5'10" and 216 pounds, and he's got deceptive speed. He's also a talented pass-catcher, pass protector and can be a lot for defenses to deal with.
Tyre Phillips | Offensive Lineman | Mississippi State
Phillips has great size at 6'5", 331 pounds with 35" arms, and he's a candidate to play either inside or outside at the next level. He's got the power you'd expect from a guy with that size, but not so much the mobility.
Troy Pride Jr. | Cornerback | Notre Dame
Pride Jr.'s got some good tape, although he's shown to be a little slow to react to targets in his direction the further downfield the ball goes. However, he's had a great offseason, showing up big at both the Senior Bowl and the Combine.
Nathan Rourke | Quarterback | Ohio
He may be my favorite small-school, under-the-radar gem in this draft. He's incredibly accomplished on the ground and also has really nice, efficient numbers as a passer. He's not got the strongest arm, but he's accurate and throws with good timing and anticipation.
Stephen Sullivan | Tight End | LSU
He's a 'tweener wide receiver/tight end prospect who may fit best on special teams. He doesn't quite display the swiftness of a receiver or the in-line blocking ability of a tight end. Perhaps he'll settle in to either role, but he could potentially excel on special teams.
Davion Taylor | Linebacker | Colorado
The last undersized linebacker on our list with athleticism that showed out great at the Combine, Taylor has great range in the open field. He's definitely an unfinished puzzle with a lot of mechanics to get nailed down due to being new to the game.
Darrell Taylor | Edge Defender | Tennessee
At 6'4", 267, Taylor has the size and strength to play left end for the Colts, but the bend and athleticism to play on the right side. He needs to develop some setup and counter moves, though, as he's just a one-trick pass-rusher right now.
Derrek Tuszka | Edge Defender | North Dakota State
He's got nice size, power and energy for the Colts' right end role, and he's still ascending. He's been very productive, and his stats have increased each year, culminating in 13.5 sacks and 19 tackles for loss in 2019.
Ke'Shawn Vaughn | Running Back | Vanderbilt
Vaughn is a powerful runner with adequate speed to pick up chunk runs. He's much more of a one-cut, downhill runner than one who shows much wiggle or variety in their run style. Still, he's an efficient between-the-tackles back.
K'Von Wallace | Defensive Back | Clemson
It'll be interesting to see where Wallace fits in the NFL. He's got plenty of experience at both free and strong safety as well as in the slot. He shows good athleticism and has the right mentality and toughness to play safety in the NFL, but his lack of ideal size may have teams wanting him to stay in the slot.
Rob Windsor | Defensive Tackle | Penn State
He's got great size for a 4-3 defensive tackle at 6'4-1/2", 290 with 33" arms. He uses his hands and arms very wisely to keep space between himself and blockers, and he's got the strength and motor to stay attacking the backfield.
2020 NFL Draft "Exploring Options" series: