I grew up in central Pennsylvania, Penn State territory. I still follow PSU closely. I'm a big fan of Barkleys, but I still say we should draft Chubb.
Even as great a skill set as Barkley clearly has he still needs a run blocking OL. In games I watched where PSU's OL wasn't getting the job done, Barkley was not a wunderkind.
Against Carries Yds Yds/carry
Indiana 20 56 2.8
OSU 21 44 2.1
Rutgers 14 35 2.5
Barkley has one trait similar to what some dislike about Marlon Mack. Barkley shows a tendency to go for the home run. Rather than take the two or three yards where he is supposed to run between tackles he will fairly often retreat, sometimes reversing field, and end up losing several yards. Can this be coached out of Barkley? I don't know. I also don't know what the PSU coaches wanted him to do.
I want the Colts to build their future OL based on pass blocking skill much more so than smash mouth road graders. Ideally you look for both but let's face it not every really good pass blocker is a clear them out type run blocker. In my world we would have a very, very good pass blocking OL that may be average in opening holes for RBs. Yeah, I know there be folks saying "I want both. We should have both. Why can't we have both? Why can't we have a Joe Thomas and a Tyron Smith and an Alex Mack and a David DeCastro and a Zack Martin as our OL?" No, there is a salary cap. You usually only have 7 draft picks each year. We have a weak roster with many other holes to fill. The other 31 teams have scouting departments too, etc. etc.
This may not be ideal for Barkley. You might see games like he had against Indiana, the Buckeyes and Rutgers.
As many have said, you can get good, but not as great as Barkley in later rounds. Kamara, Hunt, David Johnson, etc.
I think we could do quite well offensively with a running back that has the ability to "get skinny" when the line can clear out only narrow gaps. A back that can very reliably get you four yards. Similar to Gore but with a bit more burst than Gore currently has. I saw that type attribute in Sony Michel but not Nick Chubb in the national championship game for example.
I look at the Pats offense as an example, they have done well with LeGarrette Blount, Jonas Gray and Dion Lewis. There are no Adrian Petersons or Barry Sanders in that group. Heck, we had Lewis for six days and then we cut him.
The Colts pass defense would greatly, greatly benefit from a dynamic edge rusher. It would really help our secondary if they didn't have to cover for 4 or 5 seconds or more.
It is highly unlikely that you will find a Chubb type anywhere else. Teams don't let really good edge rushers go in free agency. You likely need a top 10-15 draft pick to get really good one. They are very, very hard to come by. Moreso than RBs.
Therefore, even though I am a PSU fan and I love Barkley, my vote was for Chubb.