The Colts would love Bradley Chubb, but he's not available in this update. It's difficult to imagine Chubb making it past both the Browns and Broncos at Nos. 4 and 5, respectively (though I still don't like the fit for Cleveland.)
With Chubb off the board, the Colts have three viable options: Roquan Smith, Quenton Nelson and Denzel Ward. Of the three Smith makes the most sense. Indianapolis' new defensive scheme requires a play-making linebacker who can be on the field for all three downs, and the team lacks that at the moment. Also, there has been a lot of smoke connecting Indianapolis to Smith, who would finally solve the team's woes as far as not being able to stop tight ends and pass-catching running backs are concerned.
*** OTHER 2018 NFL DRAFT POSSIBILITIES: ***
1. Quenton Nelson, G - Indianapolis must protect Andrew Luck, but guard isn't a huge need right now.
2. Denzel Ward, CB - The Colts are in a prime position to trade down again. Maybe they'll do that and get Ward at 12 or so.
Rd. 2, Pk. 4
Brian O'Neill, OT, Pittsburgh
The Colts' offensive line was a mess last season. A nice addition was made to the interior this offseason, but a new right tackle is still needed.
Rd. 2, Pk. 5
Donte Jackson, CB, LSU
Vontae Davis is officially gone, as he signed with the Bills. The Colts had just one viable cornerback in Rashaan Melvin, but he signed elsewhere as well. Here's some needed help for the secondary.
Rd. 2, Pk. 17
Nick Chubb, RB, Georgia
Frank Gore is gone, and Jim Irsay hinted that his team would use an early-round selection on a running back.
Rd. 3, Pk. 3
Equanimeous St. Brown, WR, Notre Dame
Here's more help for Andrew Luck. Donte Moncrief is gone, so Indianapolis needs to find a new No. 2 receiver to start across from T.Y. Hilton.
Rd. 4, Pk. 4
Azeem Victor, ILB, Washington
The Colts have one of the weakest linebacking corps in the NFL, so they could double up on the position in the first few rounds.
Rd. 5, Pk. 3
Sean Welsh, G/C, Iowa
The Colts have a couple of holes on their offensive line, so they need to use multiple picks on blockers.
Rd. 6, Pk. 4
Rashaan Gaulden, CB, Tennessee
The Colts need three cornerbacks, and it would be a huge mistake if they left the draft without taking two.
Rd. 7, Pk. 3
Khalil McKenzie, DT, Tennessee
The Colts lost Johnathan Hankins this offseason, so here's someone new for their 4-3.
Some years of bad moves by former general manager Ryan Grigson, like trading a first-round pick for Trent Richardson and blowing one on Bjoern Werner, are coming back to bite Indianapolis. The Colts have a ton of needs on their talent-deficient roster, including edge rusher, running back, cornerback, defensive line, linebacker, and more offensive line talent. The defense is in horrible shape, so Indianapolis could take the best defensive player available regardless of position. McKinley isn't the best player available, as I know some teams that graded him in the mid-rounds, but the Colts have shown a ton of interest in him, including general manager Chris Ballard spending a lot of time with McKinley.
McKinley is a pass-rushing specialist who enjoyed a breakout senior season. In 2016, he racked up 61 tackles with 18 tackles for a loss, 10 sacks, three forced fumbles and six passes batted. It was a big improvement over his junior year when he recorded 35 tackles with 4.5 sacks, two forced fumbles and four passes broken up. McKinley was a backup as a sophomore, but had 2.5 sacks.
For the NFL, the 6-foot-2, 250-pounder's body type would fit best as a 3-4 outside linebacker. He could play right defensive end in 4-3 scheme, but would have to be rotated regularly and could struggle to defend against the run. In college, McKinley had a high motor, but he would get destroyed against the run regularly. He also lacks pass-rushing moves, is very tight, and is a one-trick pony speed rusher. Thus, I think he has some bust potential.
Rd. 2, Pk. 2
Malik McDowell, DT/3-4DE, Michigan State
The Colts continue to build up the talent on their defensive line. They need a disruptor at the point of attack, and McDowell could make a significant impact at five-technique. Indianapolis has hosted him on a visit, and I think this could be a great value for the Colts in the second round.
McDowell totaled 34 tackles with seven for a loss and just 1.5 sacks in 2016, but was very disruptive with pressure on the quarterback. He was a backup in 2014, but broke out in 2015. At times during that season, McDowell was the Spartans' most disruptive defensive lineman. He totaled 41 tackles with 13 for a loss, 4.5 sacks, two forced fumbles and a pick-six on the year.
The 6-foot-6, 295-pounder has a lot of upside to develop. Teams love his skill set, but have concerns about his work ethic in the weight room and motor. They also feel that McDowell seemed to be protecting himself in his final games. They question his desire to be great and love of football. Still, he would be a perfect fit as a five-technique in a 3-4 defense. Sources from multiple teams have McDowell as a high first-round talent and like him more than Arik Armstead and similarly to DeForest Buckner.
Rd. 3, Pk. 3
D'Onta Foreman, RB, Texas
The Colts could use a running back to eventually replace Frank Gore.
Foreman was a beast in 2016, rolling over defenders while averaging 6.3 yards per carry for 2,028 yards with 15 touchdowns. He wasn't much of a receiver with seven receptions for 75 yards, but Foreman is a load as a runner who can run over the opposition. The 6-foot, 233-pounder is a power back for the NFL, and sources have said that Foreman really impressed them in 2016.
Rd. 4, Pk. 4
Howard Wilson, CB, Houston
The Colts could use more talent at corner, plus they have Vontae Davis in a contract year.
Wilson (6-1, 184) was a surprise early entry in the 2017 NFL Draft as he was not expected to skip his final two seasons of college football. The NFL Draft Advisory recommended that Wilson go back to school. He probably will be a mid-round pick, but he has a good skill set. In 2016, Wilson notched 54 tackles with 10 passes broken up and five interceptions. He could be a sleeper corner who ends up being a nice value pick.
Rd. 4, Pk. 4
Anthony Walker, OLB/ILB, Northwestern
The Colts need to improve their roster all over the place. Here is some linebacker help.
In 2016, Walker recorded 105 tackles with 10 for a loss, four forced fumbles, two sacks, five passes broken up and one interception. Sources say they liked Walker (6-1, 238) more as a player in 2015. He was 20 pounds heavier in 2016, and sources feel that the extra weight severely degraded his speed and explosion.
Prior to his weight gain, Walker was a fast sideline-to-sideline defender. He functioned well in man coverage and was very dangerous in zone. Walker had a great 2015 season as he totaled 122 tackles with 20.5 tackles for a loss, three sacks, four passes batted, one forced fumble and one interception.
Rd. 4, Pk. 4
Eddie Jackson, S, Alabama
The Colts continue to build up their defense with a free safety upgrade.
Jackson recorded 24 tackles with two passes broken up, one interception that was returned 55 yards for a touchdown, and two punts returned for touchdowns in 2016 before a broken leg ended his season after eight games. The 6-foot, 194-pounder massively improved after a move to safety from cornerback for 2015. He had six interceptions, 46 tackles and two passes broken up there at the former that season. Jackson looked more natural in coverage as a safety. As a sophomore corner, Jackson totaled 41 tackles with six passes broken up and one interception. He had 19 tackles with two passes broken up and a pick in 2013. Jackson needs to continue to add weight to play in the box and tackle in the NFL.
Rd. 5, Pk. 5
De'Veon Smith, RB, Michigan
The Colts could use multiple running back upgrades. Smith is a good fit and will help protect Andrew Luck.
The prospect that the Colts covet falls directly into their laps after an early run on the top quarterback prospects. Bradley Chubb is arguably the top overall prospect in this year's draft class and pass rusher is a position that Indianapolis has been sorely lacking since the Robert Mathis-Dwight Freeney era. The Colts do have several other viable options here in Quentin Nelson, Denzel Ward, and Minkah Fitzpatrick. I also believe that the decision between Chubb and Saquon Barkley would be impossible for GM Chris Ballard to choose between if he were available.
After missing the entire 2017 season and being somewhat questionable heading into the 2018 campaign, Andrew Luck's health and protection must be the number one priority of new head coach Frank Reich if they wish to protect and prolong the future of their franchise QB. This is a good argument for why Quenton Nelson might seem like the correct selection at this pick. I personally like the interior trio that Indy has now put together, though, with Ryan Kelly, Jack Mewhort, and now Matt Slauson. However, the case here might be that the best protection is keeping him off the field for longer periods of time by solidifying a defense that has been one of the worst in the league over the past few seasons, causing Luck to constantly return to the field after they get scored on quickly. As rumored, Indy will get their fair share of calls even with the top four passers off the board, but I believe that Indy will stay put in order to secure an elite prospect for themselves. Indy already has a couple of average pass rushers in Jabaal Sheard and John Simon, however an elite rusher who compares to Von Miller and Myles Garrett would greatly help a defense looking for an identity and a center field playmaker in last year's first round selection Malik Hooker. Chubb had a great collegiate career finishing with some hardware winning the Nagurski and Hendricks awards this past season while 20+ tackles for a loss and about ten sacks each of the past two seasons. Chubb has the look of a well-rounded threat on the defensive side of the ball for years to come in the NFL, I actually believe he will be better stopping the run than getting to the quarterback, but nonetheless he will be a player teams will game plan for and always in the back of the mind of the opposing quarterback.
Out of all the non-QB's at the top of the draft,... that leaves the Colts with Nelson,.. and they are really happy with that answer! LOL
I think the Colts moved to 6 because they would have been happy with any of the Barkley / Chubb / Nelson group that fell to them. They need talent,.. they need players,.. at all the positions on the team other than QB. There are a few teams that had worse records than the Colts this last year,... but all of those teams arguable had more actual talent than the Colts.
I believe if all 3 of the top players had fallen to the Colts,.. they would still have to have taken Nelson..... one stat from last year stands out,.. 57 sacks allowed,.. worst in the league. They have some good talent on the o-line,... but,.. it's too spread out, and too unreliable for the O-line to function as a complete unit. Castonzo had a bad year,... but if you watch tapes,.. he was simply trying to do to much. He is the LT, and he was trying to seal the outside, and still cover the inside blitz or double team to the left side of the line. So, he couldn't just take his man deep, because the defense would exploit the LG (after Mewhort was injured),.. and whole interior of the line (after Kelly and Mewhort were injured).
This is another one of those picks,.... Nelson fixes a positional need,.. which in turn makes the whole O-line better as a unit,.. which has been the weakest link on the Colts offense, and makes their whole offense better...
The Colts simply have to take Nelson.
The Colts grab the best player in the draft, adding a running back who could transform their team. Indianapolis needs a running back of the future, and having a dynamic runner would help protect Andrew Luck. <br> <br>
Barkley is a tough runner with an amazing burst. The 5-foot-11, 223-pounder has devastating first-step quickness to hit the hole and accelerate downfield. Along with great speed, Barkley has tremendous balance, vision, cutting ability, elusiveness and power. He also is a receiving threat who presents mismatch problems for a defense in the passing attack. Barkley is an elite running back prospect in the same mold of Leonard Fournette and Todd Gurley, and better than Ezekiel Elliott. Unless Barkley has an injury or off-the-field issue, he's a lock to be a top-10 pick next April. <br> <br>
In 2017, Barkley is averaging 5.7 yards per carry for 1,134 yards with 16 touchdowns. The junior has 47 receptions for 594 yards and three touchdowns as a receiver. Barkley averaged 5.5 yards per carry in 2016 for 1,496 yards and 18 touchdowns. He also made 28 catches for 402 yards and four touchdowns as a receiver. Barkley was very impressive as a freshman in 2015 when he averaged 5.9 yards per carry for 1,076 yards with seven touchdowns. He also caught 20 passes for 161 yards and a score. Barkley was very impressive, running for 194 yards on 26 carries against an Ohio State defense loaded with NFL talent.
The Colts certainly made out like bandits. They've managed to pick up an extra two pics in the second round this year for only having to move back 3 spots in this years first round. Indy is switching to a 4-3 scheme next year. With that formation change comes the need for pass rushers. Unfortunately, the Colts need LB help in general. Smith can play both inside and outside which could be an asset to the Colts while trying to enhance their defense.
Previous Selection (@ 6): Sam Darnold, QB - USC
Previous Selection (Colts @ 3): Bradley Chubb, DE - N.C. State
The Colts grab the an edge defender who can be the building block for their defense and a potential franchise defensive player. <br> <br>
Key is a fast edge rusher with a ton of upside to develop. Sources have told me that the 6-foot-6, 260-pounder loves football and is a hard-worker who strives to improve in the offseason. They said he has worked with pass-rushing-moves guru Chuck Smith, and that is impressive dedication for a collegiate player. Key missed the first two games of 2017 and was eased back into action in Week 3 against Mississippi State. He had three tackles and a half-sack against the Bulldogs. Key also had a game-clinching sack against Auburn. He played well taking on Alabama, having his way with both offensive tackles. For 2017, Key totaled 33 tackles with four sacks and a forced fumble. <br> <br>
In 2016, Key was one of the best players in college football. He recorded 56 tackles with 14.5 for a loss, 12 sacks, three forced fumbles and three passes broken up on the year. Key is a dangerous pass-rusher with excellent speed and the ability to bend around the corner. He flashed a ton of potential as a freshman for LSU, totaling 41 tackles with 6.5 for a loss, five sacks and one pass broken up.
Show/Hide Other Mocks with Arden Key Going to Colts
Rd. 1, Pk. 6
Quenton Nelson, G
There are three non-quarterback blue-chip prospects in this class. Bradley Chubb and Saquon Barkley were the first two. Quenton Nelson is the third. The Colts could have taken Roquan Smith, and I would've been fine with it, but Indianapolis absolutely needs to protect Andrew Luck whenever he's able to come back from injury. Nelson should be ab elite guard in the NFL, and he'll keep interior rushers from putting heat on Luck.
Rd. 2, Pk. 4
Darius Leonard, OLB/ILB
If the first round taught us anything, it's that talented off-LOS linebackers are in demand right now. The Colts had a chance to select one in Roquan Smith at No. 6 overall, but they selected a better player in Quenton Nelson. Leonard is a nice consolation prize in Round 2. He's a speedy, productive linebacker who should be able to play all three downs in Indianapolis' defense.
Rd. 2, Pk. 5
Braden Smith, G
I liked the Colts' initial two selections thus far, but I'm not a big fan of this one. I don't hate Braden Smith, or anything, as I thought he could go in the second round. However, some teams had him in the third frame. What bothers me is that the Colts already have three solid guards, so where does Smith fit in?
Rd. 2, Pk. 20
Kemoko Turay, DE/3-4OLB
Kemoko Turay is an athletic edge rusher with great upside, and I think he probably should've gone in the third round. I don't think this is a bad reach, or anything, though I wonder about the fit as well. I thought Turay would be better off in the 3-4, but he'll have to play in Indianapolis' new 4-3.
Rd. 2, Pk. 32
Tyquan Lewis, DE
I don't know why the Colts felt that they needed to move up for Tyquan Lewis. The Ohio State product was considered a fourth-round prospect by most reliable sources, so Indianapolis could've remained at its spot and selected this prospect. Lewis fills a need, but I'm not a fan of this choice.
Rd. 4, Pk. 4
Nyheim Hines, RB
Nyheim Hines makes sense in this range as a Round 3-4 prospect. He won't be able to be Indianapolis' new starting running back, but he'll be a nice, third-down threat as a very poor man's Darren Sproles. I like giving Andrew Luck a weapon like this.
Rd. 5, Pk. 22
Daurice Fountain, WR
I like this pick a lot. Daurice Fountain is a quick receiver with solid route-running ability. He was the fastest receiver at the Shrine Game, raising his stock. I thought he could've easily gone early in Round 4. I don't think it's crazy to think he could start at some point as a rookie.
Rd. 5, Pk. 32
Jordan Wilkins, RB
Rd. 6, Pk. 11
Deon Cain, WR
Deon Cain made a huge mistake by declaring. He's a big name, but he doesn't do anything particularly well, outside of just run straight downfield. Cain makes sense in the sixth round, and he might fill a need for the Colts if he pans out.
Rd. 7, Pk. 3
Matt Adams, ILB
Matthew Adams wasn't really seen as a draftable prospect, but it's the seventh round, so teams may not have players on their board anymore. I'm not going worse than a "C" in Round 7, so that's what I'm giving the Colts.
Rd. 7, Pk. 17
Zaire Franklin, ILB
This is a nice upside pick in the middle of the seventh round. Zaire Franklin is incredibly athletic, but looks like he hasn't been coached a day in his life. Perhaps the Colts will be able to mold him into a contributor. It wouldn't surprise me if he ended up starting one day. It also wouldn't surprise me if he completely disappeared in six months.