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NFL Draft Primer: Indianapolis Colts

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Team needs: Safety, Defensive line, Running back, Cornerback, Linebacker and Offensive line.

Colts’ selections: 

Round 1 – 29th overall

Round 2 – 61st overall

Round 3 – 93rd overall

Round 4 – 128th overall

Round 5 – 165th overall

Round 6 – 205th overall

Round 6 – 207th overall

Round 7 – 244th overall

Round 7 – 255th overall

Good fits early:

Landon Collins: The Indianapolis Colts resigned strong safety Mike Adams, who is coming off a Pro-Bowl year. Adams started in all 16 games, accumulating 74 tackles and five interceptions.

The only problem is Indianapolis is missing his partner in crime back in the secondary. If the Colts are fortunate enough to draft Alabama’s Landon Collins at 29, they should take full advantage of it. This past season, Collins was voted as an unanimous first-team All-American. He has the ability to play both safety positions because of his rare strength and speed.

Ereck Flowers: The 2014 campaign wasn’t very kind to the Colts when it came to injuries. Starting right tackle Gosder Cherilus knows all about it first hand. The 30-year-old was battling several injuries throughout the season, but a groin injury late caused him to miss the tail end of the year, including the playoffs.

With Cherilus’ status uncertain moving forward, don’t be surprised if the Colts go offensive line in the first round. A guy to keep an eye on is Ereck Flowers. The 6-foot-6, 329 pound specimen has the comination of brute strength and athleticism, which bodes well for him to either play guard or tackle at the next level.

Eric Kendricks: When you play a 3-4 defensive scheme like the Colts do, having two solid inside linebackers is a necissity. The only one they currently have is D’Qwell Jackson, which could open the door for Eric Kendricks.

Kendricks may be a bit undersized to battle in the trenches, but he makes up for it due to his toughness and preparation.

As we all know by now, no running back has been taken in the first round over the past two seasons, but it wouldn’t be a complete shocker if Indy took Melvin Gordon or Todd Gurley at 29.

In 2014, the Colts finished 22nd in rushing yards, while only gathering nine touchdowns on the ground, which ranked among one of the lowest totals in the league.

Potential late-round targets:

Josh Shaw: Most people know Josh Shaw because of his notorious lie that led the country to believe he was a hero. Fortunately for Shaw, he actually has some talent, which should translate to the next level.

The 6-foot, 201 pound corner has a nice mix of size and physicality. During his time at USC, Shaw played corner and safety.

Shaw is a guy who will benefit greatly from being in a NFL film room, while working on his technique.

Tyler Lockett: Its always a good sign when you’re able to get a guy with natural football genes in his blood. Tyler Lockett’s father, Kevin Lockett, played at Kansas State just like his son and he was a second round pick to the Kansas City Chiefs in 1997.

Tyler broke his father’s school records for career receptions and yards. Lockett is listed at 5-foot-10, 182 pounds. He ran a 40-time of 4.40 at the combine, which could explain why K-State used him as a kick and punt return guy as well.

During Lockett’s collegiate career, he reached the end zone on returns six times.

Bryan Bennett: The Colts currently only have two quarterbacks on their roster, Andrew Luck and Matt Hasselback. So, expect for them to find a filler late in the draft.

Southeastern Louisiana product Bryan Bennett is an interesting guy late in the draft. He possesses good size at 6-foot-2, 211 pounds. But what makes him multi-dimensional is his ability to gain yards on the ground. Bennett ran a 4.81 40-time and posted an incredible 37-inch vertical at the combine.

The Colts have made the playoffs three straight seasons, but they’ve been unable to reach the big game. Their season has ended to the hands of the New England Patriots over the past two seasons, in which they gave up a total of 98 points.

In order for them to take that next step, Indianapolis must tweak their roster on the defensive side of the ball.


About Mark Gunnels

Mark Gunnels

Mark Gunnels is an NFL columnist for Football Insiders. He has several years of experience covering the NFL and NCAA football. He's the radio color commentator for Lincoln University football. Mark's work has been featured on Sports Illustrated, Fox Sports and Yard Barker.