Indianapolis Colts Rookie Forecast 2024

Latu Rookie Forecast

Solid Starter

Adonai Mitchell, WR, Texas – Round 2

Colts general manager Chris Ballard took advantage of a deep and talented class of wide receivers when he selected Mitchell in the second round. Mitchell has a good skill set with upside for the NFL, and he could compete quickly for playing time with Indianapolis.

There is no doubt that Mitchell (6-4, 196) is a talented receiver with starting potential for the NFL. He has mismatch height and length with solid hands, leaping ability, and body control downfield. That makes Mitchell dangerous to make receptions over defensive backs and come down with contested catches even when he is covered. Mitchell high points the ball and is a dangerous red zone weapon. While Mitchell is not an elite burner, he has build up speed to get downfield and challenge defenses vertically. Mitchell also is a quality route runner and a good athlete.

Mitchell slid in the draft because of some make up concerns, and teams being worried about how he manages his type-1 diabetes. With the Colts, Mitchell could become a good starter if he is able to focus on football and improve his focus while becoming more regimented with his diabetes management. If Mitchell does that, he should become a solid starter for Indianapolis.

2023: Julius Brents, CB
2022: Bernhard Raimann, OT
2021: Kwity Paye, DE
2020: Michael Pittman, WR
2019: Rock Ya-Sin, CB
2018: Braden Smith, G
2017: Quincy Wilson, CB
2016: Ryan Kelly, C
2015: Henry Anderson, DE
2014: Andrew Jackson, LB
2013: Hugh Thornton, G

Most Likely To Bust

Tanor Bortolini, C, Wisconsin – Round 4

This isn’t a true bust as the majority of fourth-round picks don’t work out in the NFL. Bortolini has limitations as a player and he might not stick as a backup at the pro level. Still in the fourth round, Bortolini is not a bad pick as he might be able to provide some depth at guard and center. Of the Colts 2024 draft class, Bortolini was the first player the Colts selected that I thought may not stick in the NFL.

2023: Josh Downs, WR
2022: Nick Cross, S
2021: Kylen Granson, TE
2020: Julian Blackmon, S
2019: Bobby Okereke, LB
2018: Kemoko Turay, LB
2017: Tarell Basham, DL
2016: Hassan Ridgeway, DT
2015: Clayton Geathers, S
2014: Jack Mewhort, G
2013: Khaled Holmes, C

Potential Boom Pick

Laiatu Latu, DE, UCLA – Round 1

Indianapolis was very fortunate that Latu fell to their pick at 15. Once Latu received medical clearance around the league, he shot up and easily could have gone in the top-10. With the defensive line they have around him, Latu could be a boom pick for the Colts.

As a pass rusher Latu is not a pure speed demon off the edge but he is a versatile defender. Latu has superb hands to fight off blockers and he is very skilled at his hand usage. With some quickness off the edge, Latu can use his hands and feet at the same time making it tough for tackles to latch onto him. Latu has an dangerous move to the inside with functional strength on a swim move to dart to the inside of tackles with a burst to close on the quarterback in a hurry. Latu also has versatility to line up on the inside and he gives guards a lot of problems with his quickness and hands. He shows nice vision, recognition, and ability to redirect to chase down moving quarterbacks. To top it off, Latu has fabulous instincts and that puts him a step ahead.

In run defense, Latu is solid as he is strong to set the edge and holds his ground against downhill runs. Latu uses his strong hands, length, and strength to shed blocks to chase down backs for tackles. With his burst, Latu is dangerous to get upfield and blow up runs in the backfield. He is a well-rounded player that will be a contributor as a run defender in the NFL.

On top of Latu being a superb player, he ended up in an excellent landing spot with talent around him including DeForest Buckner, Dayo Odeyingbo, and end Kwity Paye. Latu could end up being a steal and Indianapolis was fortunate they landed him midway through the first round. It would not surprise me if Latu is a boom pick with the Colts.

2023: Anthony Richardson, QB
2022: Alec Pierce, WR
2021: Dayo Odeyingbo, DE
2020: Jonathan Taylor, RB
2019: Parris Campbell, WR
2018: Quenton Nelson, G
2017: Malik Hooker, S
2016: Le’Raven Clark, OT
2015: Philip Dorsett, WR
2014: Donte Moncrief, WR
2013: Bjoern Werner, DE

Future Depth Player

Jaylin Simpson, S, Auburn – Round 5

The Colts got a nice sleeper value pick with Simpson in the fifth round. While Simpson could stand to get stronger and fill out his frame, he is a skilled safety that is a reliable defender on the backend. Simpson covers a lot of ground, has good instincts, is a reliable tackler, and can help in man coverage. Along with having skills to cover, Simpson could be a very good special teams contributor in the NFL. Simpson may not become a starter for the Colts, but he could be a good backup and special teams contributor.

2023: Adetomiwa Adebawore, DT
2022: Jelani Woods, TE
2021: Sam Ehlinger, QB
2020: Jacob Eason, QB
2019: Khari Willis, S
2018: Nyheim Hines, RB
2017: Marlon Mack, RB
2016: Antonio Morrison, LB
2015: David Parry, DT
2014: John Ulrick, OT
2013: Montori Hughes, DT