Colts1324

Are we building through the draft or?

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I like what Ballard is doing. I'm glad he is signing several free agents to improve the roster. He has signed 4 already at just OLB/DE. I think he gets a NT, corner or safety, and OT. But I'm surprised(even though I'm happy about it), he is rumored to be interested in so many free agents. 

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We need a quality 53 man roster.

 

We need a quality 63 man roster with the PS

 

And we need a quality 90 man roster for the summer leading up to the season.

 

That won't happen with just the draft and the following un-drafted free agents.     You need some FA signings to fill in the gaps we have as we remove some guys from the roster and add new ones.....

 

This will take at least 2-3 years to do....

 

 

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All these players will be , as Supe said, stop gap players. Players that will start for the next 1-2 years while any draft picks we get this year, next year (and even some guys from last year) all develop and take over. Evidently, when most of the deals end/near the end.

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39 minutes ago, Superman said:

 

No one he's signed is a foundational player. Stop gaps, all of them, a couple with the potential to be pretty good starters for a year or two, a couple of project level players. The only guy we've officially considered who would be even close to a building block would be Poe, and he evidently wants a short term deal. 

 

So, yes, the plan is still to build through the draft. And that won't be done in one year.

I agree with the fact that they are all stop gap players. I like what he is doing. I'm just surprised he is as active as he is from what he said during his press conference. But not complaining. I love it!!!  

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11 minutes ago, NorthernBlue said:

All these players will be , as Supe said, stop gap players. Players that will start for the next 1-2 years while any draft picks we get this year, next year (and even some guys from last year) all develop and take over. Evidently, when most of the deals end/near the end.

That's why I said it would do harm to sign bigger free agents to 3 year deals. When there contracts end, that is when we can start extending our own. But I like his signings. Wish we would have went after Hightower harder, but Minter is still a solid player. 

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Somebody explain to me how in the holy __ you're cool with waiting 3 years to have a juggernaut team when we could have done 75% of it this offseason in FA and the draft.

 

Somebody explain to me why we're wasting Lucks career away with the hopes to win a SB in 3-4 years, when we could have gone all in and been SB contenders NOW.

 

Somebody explain to me why you'd rather get 5-6 mediocre players than 2 stars.

 

 

 

 

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I hope Ballard does better in the draft because I'm very skeptical about his free agency transactions.

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It's an absolute (almost fully) gut job.

 

I think some folks are hoping we went all in this year, but this had to be done.

 

We just aren't a championship team. This is definitely a 2+ year plan.

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15 minutes ago, COLTS449 said:

Somebody explain to me how in the holy __ you're cool with waiting 3 years to have a juggernaut team when we could have done 75% of it this offseason in FA and the draft.

 

Somebody explain to me why we're wasting Lucks career away with the hopes to win a SB in 3-4 years, when we could have gone all in and been SB contenders NOW.

 

Somebody explain to me why you'd rather get 5-6 mediocre players than 2 stars.

 

 

 

 

We got screwed and lost the first quarter of Lucks career because Grigs (and Pags as well, but that's a different topic) screwed the roster.

 

We had a chance before Luck got paid, but his drafts have put us here.

 

This team isn't beating the top afc/nfc teams with a couple guys.

 

Need to draft a lot of guys.

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24 minutes ago, COLTS449 said:

Somebody explain to me how in the holy __ you're cool with waiting 3 years to have a juggernaut team when we could have done 75% of it this offseason in FA and the draft.

 

Somebody explain to me why we're wasting Lucks career away with the hopes to win a SB in 3-4 years, when we could have gone all in and been SB contenders NOW.

 

Somebody explain to me why you'd rather get 5-6 mediocre players than 2 stars.

 

 

 

 

 

No. 

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19 minutes ago, COLTS449 said:

Somebody explain to me how in the holy __ you're cool with waiting 3 years to have a juggernaut team when we could have done 75% of it this offseason in FA and the draft.

 

Somebody explain to me why we're wasting Lucks career away with the hopes to win a SB in 3-4 years, when we could have gone all in and been SB contenders NOW.

 

Somebody explain to me why you'd rather get 5-6 mediocre players than 2 stars.

 

 

 

 

 

I think someone needs to explain to you how building a team works and how to work within the cap structure... The Eagles went all out and tried to buy themselves a superbowl a couple years ago... How did that work for them?

 

2 stars aren't going to win you a SB.  Throwing money at a problem is what got the Colts in the predicament they are in now... Overpaying in FA and missing in the draft 3/4 years in a row...

 

If you think about the pieces the Colts already have in place on the Offense, even if the Defense comes out and plays at an average level, as opposed to complete crap last year, then the Colts stand a much better chance of taking a huge step forward and at least winning the AFC South... That's where it all starts. 

 

Sorry to say but this year is not going to be the year the Colts field a dominant team... Not unless some key pieces fall into place through sheer luck and good scouting, scheming and coaching (which is a very long shot).

 

Ballard is trying to get the pieces together for more than just a quick flash in the pan run at success... Which is exactly what Grigson gave us.

 

So just cool your jets and enjoy the ride... besides, its not like its your money he is spending...

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22 minutes ago, COLTS449 said:

Somebody explain to me how in the holy __ you're cool with waiting 3 years to have a juggernaut team when we could have done 75% of it this offseason in FA and the draft.

 

Somebody explain to me why we're wasting Lucks career away with the hopes to win a SB in 3-4 years, when we could have gone all in and been SB contenders NOW.

 

Somebody explain to me why you'd rather get 5-6 mediocre players than 2 stars.

 

 

 

 

I really don't think you understand how building a successful team works. You want us to go all Madden and bring in a bunch of superstars. That's not how you build sustainable success.

 

Every year you project us getting all of these top free agents, then get mad when we don't go out and get any. I get that you want to see us win a Super Bowl now. We'd all love it too, but there's optimism and then there's unrealistic expectations.

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Ballard's vision is to draft players who fit us. I don't think it will matter where they grade out for every team. Just matters how they fit us. Then he wants to keep our own. 

 

I think we can continue to expect him to find these "second contract players." Not a real term, but it's what I am calling them. He is trying to find value in these 4-5 year veterans. 

 

its an interesting tactic. I am sure he realizes that not all of these players will be hit, but he must like the odds. 

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1 hour ago, COLTS449 said:

Somebody explain to me how in the holy __ you're cool with waiting 3 years to have a juggernaut team when we could have done 75% of it this offseason in FA and the draft.

 

Somebody explain to me why we're wasting Lucks career away with the hopes to win a SB in 3-4 years, when we could have gone all in and been SB contenders NOW.

 

Somebody explain to me why you'd rather get 5-6 mediocre players than 2 stars.

 

 

 

 

 

Because the football Gods are still mad at us for deflategate.

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Other than Sheard everyone he has signed could be solid depth players but they also won't kill the cap if they don't make the team. I think everything is going according to plan. The draft is such a crap shoot that it would be a bad strategy imo to bank solely on the draft for building depth.

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I would beg to differ with the cool your jets squad.  The best team almost never wins the SB.  It's the team that plays the best or the hot team.  ( yes I think Falcons and Seahawks were better than the Pats) Our offense is ahead of our defense.  If they ramp it up another notch this year, the new defense should begin gelling toward the playoffs, assuming they gel.  At that point, you never know.  Injuries happen,   There is no way I believe Ballard is on a 2 year plan. I bet he wouldn't admit it anyway.  He knows 2 great FAs wouldn't get the job done with a lack of cohesive talent at the other positions.  So, he is distributing good talent and depth across the board.  Draft 3-4 really  good players and make our run.  Oh yeah, The Pats were the best team with Moss and they lost.  Colts  had their best team the year before we actually won.  You can't say it's been 2-3 years now, we will win this year.  Doesn't work that way.

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1 hour ago, COLTS449 said:

Somebody explain to me how in the holy __ you're cool with waiting 3 years to have a juggernaut team when we could have done 75% of it this offseason in FA and the draft.

 

Somebody explain to me why we're wasting Lucks career away with the hopes to win a SB in 3-4 years, when we could have gone all in and been SB contenders NOW.

 

Somebody explain to me why you'd rather get 5-6 mediocre players than 2 stars.

 

 

 

 

You talk so confidently I really wish you were our GM so you can see how it is actually like.

 

You wanted Gilmore when he would have never came here with the best team in the league giving him 13 million. You wanted Nick Perry when it was obvious he wanted to re-sign with the Packers.

 

This is not Madden!

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1 hour ago, COLTS449 said:

Somebody explain to me how in the holy __ you're cool with waiting 3 years to have a juggernaut team when we could have done 75% of it this offseason in FA and the draft.

 

Somebody explain to me why we're wasting Lucks career away with the hopes to win a SB in 3-4 years, when we could have gone all in and been SB contenders NOW.

 

Somebody explain to me why you'd rather get 5-6 mediocre players than 2 stars.

 

 

 

 

Kinda sounds like nothing can be explained to you.

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1 hour ago, IinD said:

We got screwed and lost the first quarter of Lucks career because Grigs (and Pags as well, but that's a different topic) screwed the roster.

 

We had a chance before Luck got paid, but his drafts have put us here.

 

This team isn't beating the top afc/nfc teams with a couple guys.

 

Need to draft a lot of guys.

Can't wait until you guys realize how good Luck is. He has TY Hilton, and other weapons. We may have the best O-line yet. I'm skeptical about the defense as I wish he would have nabbed real playmakers but we still have a shot at Poe. Minter. And a top CB or pass rusher in the draft. 

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36 minutes ago, LockeDown said:

I would beg to differ with the cool your jets squad.  The best team almost never wins the SB.  It's the team that plays the best or the hot team.  ( yes I think Falcons and Seahawks were better than the Pats) Our offense is ahead of our defense.  If they ramp it up another notch this year, the new defense should begin gelling toward the playoffs, assuming they gel.  At that point, you never know.  Injuries happen,   There is no way I believe Ballard is on a 2 year plan. I bet he wouldn't admit it anyway.  He knows 2 great FAs wouldn't get the job done with a lack of cohesive talent at the other positions.  So, he is distributing good talent and depth across the board.  Draft 3-4 really  good players and make our run.  Oh yeah, The Pats were the best team with Moss and they lost.  Colts  had their best team the year before we actually won.  You can't say it's been 2-3 years now, we will win this year.  Doesn't work that way.

Agreed. Although I think the Pats will have possibly the best roster if they resign Hightower in the league(definitely the AFC), they are bound to get beat in the playoffs. Brady might slow down. You never know. But we can't rely on that. We have to get better, as a coaching staff and as a team, and I believe we are getting better, and luck will finally be healthy. I think this season is going to be a surprise to many people. I see two teams from the AFC south making the playoffs, both of them being 10-6 or better. 

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37 minutes ago, Bluefire4 said:

You talk so confidently I really wish you were our GM so you can see how it is actually like.

 

You wanted Gilmore when he would have never came here with the best team in the league giving him 13 million. You wanted Nick Perry when it was obvious he wanted to re-sign with the Packers.

 

This is not Madden!

I think that is what I have realized more and more over the last few years. FA's would rather go somewhere else a lot of the time. You can't pay them 5 or 10 million more than the other person, and that may be the only way to lure an elite talent to Indy without having made the playoffs the last two years. But I do think he should have went after Hightower and Jeffery more. 

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2 hours ago, Colts1324 said:

I think that is what I have realized more and more over the last few years. FA's would rather go somewhere else a lot of the time. You can't pay them 5 or 10 million more than the other person, and that may be the only way to lure an elite talent to Indy without having made the playoffs the last two years. But I do think he should have went after Hightower and Jeffery more. 

But we don't know the situation or if Ballard has reached out to Hightower. All I've heard is that many believe Hightower wants to return to New England. Maybe that's why we aren't talking to him.

 

And I bet we had a set price for Alshon and walked away when that price was exceeded. We don't really need him anyway and with all the other needs that move would have been stupid imo.

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5 hours ago, COLTS449 said:

Somebody explain to me how in the holy __ you're cool with waiting 3 years to have a juggernaut team when we could have done 75% of it this offseason in FA and the draft.

 

I blame Trent Richardson. HB was one of the missing pieces to our Superbowl recipe, and he didn't do squat. That guy set our franchise back. All he needed to work on was being mediocre, but the only thing he worked on was the buffet line.

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Ballard's building competition at all positions.

 

Besides, did you expect the Colts to go into the draft without replacing Mathis, Cole, Walden, Fairy McNary, etc? They would've had to use their entire draft just on LB's if they didn't. 

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6 hours ago, Bluefire4 said:

But we don't know the situation or if Ballard has reached out to Hightower. All I've heard is that many believe Hightower wants to return to New England. Maybe that's why we aren't talking to him.

 

And I bet we had a set price for Alshon and walked away when that price was exceeded. We don't really need him anyway and with all the other needs that move would have been stupid imo.

Yeah. Maybe. Im not trying to be a critic. I think our offense will be top 5 in the NFL next year. And I thought so at first on Ashlon too. But I mean if you think about it we have Hilton. He is one of the games best receivers, but when he gets doubled Moncrief has never been able to take advantage of it. Dorsett may or may not improve this year. Our tight ends aren't super fast or explosive. Swoope is big and Doyle is always there. Gore is not a flashy running back and is not gonna give us a 60 or 70 yard TD like a young back could break maybe 2 or 3 times a year. So we don't have a ton of "playmakers" on our team. Ashlon could have took our offense to a whole different ball game. 

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11 hours ago, Superman said:

 

No one he's signed is a foundational player. Stop gaps, all of them, a couple with the potential to be pretty good starters for a year or two, a couple of project level players. The only guy we've officially considered who would be even close to a building block would be Poe, and he evidently wants a short term deal. 

 

So, yes, the plan is still to build through the draft. And that won't be done in one year.

Yes, so far most of the signings are players that are coming in to compete. As you say, not core players. The draft is and will always be the most important aspect of roster building. We'll see how good Ballard is come the end of April

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14 hours ago, Colts1324 said:

I like what Ballard is doing. I'm glad he is signing several free agents to improve the roster. He has signed 4 already at just OLB/DE. I think he gets a NT, corner or safety, and OT. But I'm surprised(even though I'm happy about it), he is rumored to be interested in so many free agents. 

 

Building through the draft doesn't mean you avoid free agency.  It means you don't go out hunting down star players in free agency.  You get your star players through the draft.  This is how most successful teams operate.  

 

Realistically this isn't a different strategy then Grigson used.  It's just that Grigson mostly chose poorly in both the draft and free agency.  And no overall strategy can overcome choosing players poorly.  

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13 hours ago, COLTS449 said:

Somebody explain to me how in the holy __ you're cool with waiting 3 years to have a juggernaut team when we could have done 75% of it this offseason in FA and the draft.

 

Somebody explain to me why we're wasting Lucks career away with the hopes to win a SB in 3-4 years, when we could have gone all in and been SB contenders NOW.

 

Somebody explain to me why you'd rather get 5-6 mediocre players than 2 stars.

 

This isn't Madden.  You can't just throw money at players and expect them to sign.  There are many factors you have to consider, like does the player fit your system, does the player want to be with your franchise, etc.  If you try to complete everything in one offseason, you're more than likely to take shortcuts that hurt you in the long term (see: Ryan Grigson).  As @Superman said, Ballard's plan seems to be to find talent through the draft and have the coaches develop that talent.  It'll take time, but it's the more reliable way of ensuring long term success

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I think there is a middle ground here. 

Building through the draft is important, but Grigson screwed us.  We can build a good team for 2-3 years down the line. 

Free agent signings are vital for every team.  however you can't go "Redskin" with them.  

 

I like what Ballard has been doing.   Getting young guys for little money.   Building depth if nothing else, and the Colts need depth.     I do think he needs to sign one pro bowl caliber free agent though.

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13 hours ago, COLTS449 said:

Somebody explain to me how in the holy __ you're cool with waiting 3 years to have a juggernaut team when we could have done 75% of it this offseason in FA and the draft.

 

Somebody explain to me why we're wasting Lucks career away with the hopes to win a SB in 3-4 years, when we could have gone all in and been SB contenders NOW.

 

Somebody explain to me why you'd rather get 5-6 mediocre players than 2 stars.

 

 

 

 

I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say it doesn't matter what anyone says, you're not going to like the response anyway.  LOL.

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13 hours ago, COLTS449 said:

Somebody explain to me how in the holy __ you're cool with waiting 3 years to have a juggernaut team when we could have done 75% of it this offseason in FA and the draft.

 

Somebody explain to me why we're wasting Lucks career away with the hopes to win a SB in 3-4 years, when we could have gone all in and been SB contenders NOW.

 

Somebody explain to me why you'd rather get 5-6 mediocre players than 2 stars.

 

 

 

 

 

I would but I am 100% positive my explanation would fly right over your head.

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15 hours ago, COLTS449 said:

Somebody explain to me how in the holy __ you're cool with waiting 3 years to have a juggernaut team when we could have done 75% of it this offseason in FA and the draft.

 

Somebody explain to me why we're wasting Lucks career away with the hopes to win a SB in 3-4 years, when we could have gone all in and been SB contenders NOW.

 

Somebody explain to me why you'd rather get 5-6 mediocre players than 2 stars.

 

 

 

 

:facepalm:

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I hope Ballard will follow the golden middle path. Yeah, its true, championship teams are build through drafts, and it takes time. However, if a team have some cap space to spend, and there are free agents available who can improve the team, then the team should bring those players in. The question is, does Ballard see any of the still-available free agents as improvements for the team? Guys like Claiborne, Minter, etc.? I hope he does, and will find a guy or two. We are still very thin, especially at ILB.

And, i would like to see Butler being re-signed. He was one of the few in the defense who played up to their potentials last year. He's good in the slot, and versatile, can be moved to S if necessary.

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15 hours ago, COLTS449 said:

Somebody explain to me how in the holy __ you're cool with waiting 3 years to have a juggernaut team when we could have done 75% of it this offseason in FA and the draft.

 

Somebody explain to me why we're wasting Lucks career away with the hopes to win a SB in 3-4 years, when we could have gone all in and been SB contenders NOW.

 

Somebody explain to me why you'd rather get 5-6 mediocre players than 2 stars.

 

Still waiting on you to give an example of a team that 'went all in in free agency' and went on to have success. Especially a team that had significant holes in the starting line up. 

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2 minutes ago, Superman said:

 

Still waiting on you to give an example of a team that 'went all in in free agency' and went on to have success. Especially a team that had significant holes in the starting line up. 

that's because it doesn't exist.......teams who are on the brink do and that's had success and failures. But in the Colts position, it would be downright reckless long term.

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1 hour ago, Myles said:

I think there is a middle ground here. 

Building through the draft is important, but Grigson screwed us.  We can build a good team for 2-3 years down the line. 

Free agent signings are vital for every team.  however you can't go "Redskin" with them.  

 

I like what Ballard has been doing.   Getting young guys for little money.   Building depth if nothing else, and the Colts need depth.     I do think he needs to sign one pro bowl caliber free agent though.

Exactly. I like what Ballard is doing by making everybody compete for their job. But we do need pro bowl players to take a big step up on defense. If we draft a top corner or pass rusher. That will help. But Poe, Jefferson, Campbell, and Hightower should have been our top priorities IMO. 

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5 minutes ago, Superman said:

 

Still waiting on you to give an example of a team that 'went all in in free agency' and went on to have success. Especially a team that had significant holes in the starting line up. 

 

Denver Broncos, 2011-2015. They had a roster full of holes in 2010, starting with the QB *. Then, they added Peyton Manning, Wes Welker, Emmanuel Sanders, Demarcus Ware, Aquib Talib, T.J Ward, etc. to name a few big time free agent signings out of their 2013 SB and/or 2015 SB winning roster. 

 

Of course, they had very good drafts too.... which played just as important role in their success as their free agent acquisitions. Or even more important role. But a team can definitely add key pieces from free agency.

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13 hours ago, LockeDown said:

I would beg to differ with the cool your jets squad.  The best team almost never wins the SB.  It's the team that plays the best or the hot team.  ( yes I think Falcons and Seahawks were better than the Pats) Our offense is ahead of our defense.  If they ramp it up another notch this year, the new defense should begin gelling toward the playoffs, assuming they gel.  At that point, you never know.  Injuries happen,   There is no way I believe Ballard is on a 2 year plan. I bet he wouldn't admit it anyway.  He knows 2 great FAs wouldn't get the job done with a lack of cohesive talent at the other positions.  So, he is distributing good talent and depth across the board.  Draft 3-4 really  good players and make our run.  Oh yeah, The Pats were the best team with Moss and they lost.  Colts  had their best team the year before we actually won.  You can't say it's been 2-3 years now, we will win this year.  Doesn't work that way.

Good analysis. I do agree. The giants got hot right before the playoffs when they won both of their super bowls. But they still had a good defense. And a franchise QB. Manning was on fire one of those years in the playoffs when the Giants won it all.  Flacco was unstoppable in the playoffs when the Ravens won the Superbowl. But they had a top defense. The Colts need to be able to stop Pittsburg, Oakland, and NE once every 3 times at least to win in the playoffs. That is being generous. We would still have to score 30-35 points to beat any of those teams. I think we are capable. But it is more than just getting hot. The teams that have won the super bowls with 8-8 to 10-6 records usually had a top 5 defense and above average QB play. Some teams take longer to gel as a team(mainly offensively) and I think that is more the case. 

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4 minutes ago, Peterk2011 said:

 

Denver Broncos, 2011-2015. They had a roster full of holes in 2010, starting with the QB *. Then, they added Peyton Manning, Wes Welker, Emmanuel Sanders, Demarcus Ware, Aquib Talib, T.J Ward, etc. to name a few big time free agent signings out of their 2013 SB and/or 2015 SB winning roster. 

 

Of course, they had very good drafts too.... which played just as important role in their success as their free agent acquisitions. Or even more important role. But a team can definitely add key pieces from free agency.

 

I don't think Superman was talking about several seasons, just in 1 season.

 

Over several seasons, even the Colts would make enough FA moves to offset FAs leaving, roster tweaking etc., that is a universally accepted thing. It is just that Superman feels, like most of us do, that we cannot go "all in" on free agency in ONE season and expect to turn into a SB contender.

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    •   Who was Stafford's division competition?  {Packers, Vikings, Bears} Who was Andrew Lucks division competition?  {Texans, Titans, Jaguars}   Now, In the same time frame-   How many playoffs, conference championships, and Super Bowls does the Colts AFC South opponents have? How many playoffs, conference championships, and Super Bowls does the Lions NFC North opponents have?   I hate arbitrary milestones without qualifications, as the ease of the path to the destination isn't always the same for all teams.
    • I say Stevie T. If not you wait until next year and get Vita Vea or Lowell Loutelei.
    • Current cap space: $31.76 mil   Extensions (During the season): Donte Moncrief - 4 years, $26mil - Level with what Mohammed Sanu got from Atlanta last year. Jack Mewhort - 5 years, $35mil - Level with what Josh Sitton got from Chicago last year.   Updated cap space allowing for mid-season extensions: $18.26mil   Free Agency: Zach Brown - ILB - 3 years, $18m - This is still a move I'd love to make. CB has completely turned around our LB corps. One thing that is still missing is a legit MIKE sized ILB. He's was very productive in his year with Buffalo. He didn't like the way his agent was negotiating so he went with new representation. The Dolphins decided to re-up with Kiko Alonso, Oakland apparently low-balled him. We are the only team that he has had contact with where the negotiations haven't had a real reason to close. Someone will get him, I don't see any reason why it shouldn't be us.   Updated cap space: $12.26mil    Draft: I'm predicting a double trade this draft. In the grand scheme of things the whole thing adds up to a moderate trade down in the first in exchange for a trade up from the mid-3rd to the early 2nd. We trade down with the Giants to #23. The Giants could trade up with us if any of Taco Charlton, Derek Barnett, OJ Howard or similar prospects drop. In return we pick up a 2nd round pick (#55). We then package the #55 pick and our 3rd round pick to the Rams in exchange for the number #37 pick. These trades were worked out via the PFF Draft Pick Value Chart.   Round 1: Tre'Davious White - CB - LSU - 5'11 192lbs - Experienced island corner with quick twitch athleticism and exceptional fundamental footwork. Awarded the coveted #18 jersey at LSU, symbolizing success and selfless attitude on and off the field. Already has the game of an NFL man-coverage corner. He’s aggressive and handsy but largely manages to stay within the PI rules. When the ball is in the air near him, he’s going to attempt a play on it, even if that means running through a receiver. There are concerns about his run support physicality, similar to Gareon Conley. I think his ceiling is as a very good press-man CB1. He starts day 1 opposite Vontae.   Round 2 #37 : Jarrad Davis - ILB - Florida - 6'1 238lbs - Ideal WILL. An explosive athlete who has the ability to cover a lot of ground. He uses his speed and quick-twitch ability to make plays from sideline to sideline. He’s at his best when he has space to flow to the football. This allows him to use his speed and closing burst to quickly attack the ball carrier. His short-area quickness is absolutely elite and to the point where it surprises some offensive players. This quickness is most apparent when he decides to get after the quarterback on a delayed blitz. He’s someone who forces the quarterback to make quick decisions and more often than not, mistakes. He needs to do a better job working off blocks. He struggles working through traffic and disengaging. Although Florida’s defensive line didn’t do him many favours as they rarely occupied blockers. He starts next to Zach Brown.   Round 2: Desmond King - FS/CB - Iowa - 5'10 200lbs - Smart and instinctive defensive back who knows who to read developing routes. He routinely puts himself in a strong position to make a play on the football. King also features good ball skills that allow him to pull down interceptions. Iowa asks King to follow the opponents top playmaker which includes lining up on the outside and in the slot. In the NFL I think his best fit is at Free Safety, due to his mix of strengths and lack of ideal long speed for CB. Butler is on a 1 year deal and King can share time initially and eventually start at Free Safety. This gives us the flexibility to move Butler back to nickel in an injury situation.     Round 4: Jake Butt - TE - Michigan - 6'6 250lbs - Far from a finished product but has benefited from playing under Jim Harbaugh in a pro-style system and being played often as a traditional tackle-adjacent inline TE. As a blocker, he is very raw. There are times when he displays a decent punch and gets his hands inside, but more often than not he doesn't get locked onto a defender and won't routinely win against LBs in the run game. This will need to be coached. He needs to add strength in his upper body in order to display a stronger punch that jars the defender. As a receiver, the added strength will help him in his routes more than anything. He usually gets an easy release and good separation. Outside of that, he is pretty gifted as a receiver. He is ahead of most college tight ends in the amount of routes he can run effectively. He separates well and extends his hands to the ball routinely. He'd be a very effective running mate and support for Jack Doyle. Although he is currently recovering from an ACL tear.   Round 4: Jourdan Lewis - CB - Michigan - 5'10 188lbs - Lewis often gets overshadowed by Peppers but is a very talented player in his own right. He is a balanced and fluid athlete. He does a great job keeping in-phase with his target and limiting separation. His ability to stick to his target is thanks to his short-area quickness, fluidity and commitment to keeping his pads down. Ultra-competitive with an overwhelming drive to succeed. Allowed just seven catches in 2016 for completion percentage against of 23.3. An annoyance from press coverage. Squats on top of his target waiting to punch and impede. Twitchy feet can stick and close to the ball instantly when he reads pass. Somewhat limited in coverage options due to matchup concerns against elite NFL size. Maintains tight coverage downfield and waits for the receiver's eyes to cue him in on when to turn and find it. In three years as a starter, he's credited with 42 passes defended, including six interceptions. Allowed just two touchdowns during same time frame. I'll be honest, I'm not sure he'll be there at this point. Due to his arrest on a domestic violence incident he COULD drop. Although the comments from the police make me think it wasn't a serious incident since they've said it wasn't initially clear who the instigator was. Due to his mix of lack of ideal size but fantastic short area quickness, it makes him an great fit as a slot corner.    Round 4 (Comp Pick): Eddie Vanderdoes - DT/DE - UCLA - 6'3 303lbs - Hugely talented but derailed by an ACL injury in the 2015 season. Didn't regain his form in 2016, but if he does regain his form with NFL level coaching & strength and conditioning training then he could be a steal. His body type belies his surprising athleticism. Solid functional lateral movement and change of direction. Able to spin out of blocks with quick feet. Gives good chase along backside. Booming power in his hands to tilt rep in his favour after initial punch. Explodes hips into contact to dislodge blockers. Has strength and ability to play nose tackle or three-technique. All of this is entirely dependant on whether he can regain his earlier form. At this point he is a low risk high reward pick.   Round 5: James Conner - RB - Pittsburgh - 6'1 233lbs - An absolute load to take down. Always falls forward and rarely goes down on first contact. Has good vision and excels at finding cutback lanes and getting upfield. Doesn’t dance, always runs downhill decisively. Utilizes a punishing stiff arm to break tackles on the edge. Possesses great feet for a big guy and runs with great balance. Always able to take a hit and then press on for extra yards. Average athlete that is not involved in the passing game. Very much an early down or short yardage back at the next level. Team captain known for incredible resilience and mental toughness. Leaned down and added more muscle mass this season. Arm tackles are a waste of time. Carries heavy momentum behind pads at finish. Drops shoulder to punish final tackler. Tore his MCL in the 2015 season and was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma during the rehab process. Returned cancer free for the 2016 season. He is not your every down RB of the future. At this point he can take some of the load off of Gore who still has juice in him but I'd prefer to decrease his load somewhat in what could well be his last year. In the future he would act as your thunder back in your rotation. His lack of ideal burst and long speed drop him here.    Depth Chart: Offense: QB - A Luck, S Tolzein RB - F Gore, J Conner, R Turbin, UDFA WR - T Hilton, D Moncrief, P Dorsett, C Rogers, T Smith, TE - J Doyle, J Butt, E Swoope, B Williams OT - A Castonzo, L Clark, OG - J Mewhort, D Good, J Haeg C - R Kelly, B Schwenke, A Blythe Defense: NT - A Woods, D Parry DT - K Langford, T McGill, M Hunt, H Ridgeway DE - H Anderson, E Vanderdoes SAM - J Simon, C Maggitt RUSH - J Sheard, B Mingo MIKE - Z Brown, A Morrison,  WIL - J Davis, S Spence, E Jackson, CB - V Davis, T White, J Lewis, R Melvin, UDFA FS - D King, D Butler, M Farley SS - C Geathers, TJ Green   Special Teams: K - A Vinatieri P - J Locke LS - M Overton
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