The Colts no longer have an edge over their division rivals. For years the xfactor that set the Colts apart was their franchise QB. That’s no longer the case. The Texans are now a more marquee team because they have Deshaun Watson. I expect they will continue to own the division for awhile.
In fact, the Colts don’t really have that star value any more. When an offensive lineman is your most talented player that isn’t exactly billboard material. Darius Leonard is good but this league is full of good defensive players. The Colts lack of a marquee caliber QB has them in danger of becoming boring. The Titans are boring too. They have Derrick Henry whose stock is rising. You can win games with boring but seldom does boring win championships in a league whose primary emphasis is entertainment.
Given some of the things we've been seeing, news, quarterbacks moving their homes, etc., here is my way Way WAAAAY too early prediction of how the 2020 draft will shape out, leading up the Colts pick at 13.
Pick 1 - Bengals - Joe Burrow, QB, LSU - Nobody is surprised by this. The Bengals want to start new. Burrow is the flavor of the month. I think this pick is already set in stone three months before the draft.
Pick 2 - Redskins - Chase Young, DE, Ohio St. - The Redskins don't need a quarterback. At least, not yet! They'll hear a lot of offers from teams wishing to trade up to get ahead of the Dolphins. But they will be very glad to select the true best player in the draft, thank you very much.
TRADE ALERT!!! The Raiders trade their 12th and 19th pick, along with a variety of others, to the Lions, in order to move ahead of the Dolphins.
Pick 3 - Raiders - Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama - Tua may be coming off of a dangerous and complicated injury, but the Raiders believe he will be a much more exciting QB than Herbert. And since they're moving to Vegas, excitement is on the menu.
Pick 4 - Giants - A.J. Espenesa, DE, Iowa - Yes, they're hearing the trade offers, too. The Chargers are banging their door down. But they missed out on Young, and still want to get an elite pass rusher. They'll stay put, and take their guy.
Pick 5 - Dolphins - Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon - The Dolphins were taking a quarterback. Everybody knew it. Unless two teams trade in front of them, they are definitely going quarterback. Herbert may not be as good as Burrow nor as exciting as Tua, but he knows what he's doing.
Pick 6 - Chargers - Jacob Eason, QB, Washington - Phillip Rivers' change of address was a huge tell. They need a quarterback. Now. And they are willing to reach to get him. There is no way that Eason is worth the 6th overall pick. Doesn't matter. At least, not to the Chargers.
Pick 7 - Panthers - Jeffrey Okukah, CB, Ohio St. - It was a pipe dream to believe that an elite quarterback would fall to them at 7. They don't truly need to replace Cam Newton just yet. They can still roll with him for a year or two. Take the BPA, who only happens to be an elite player anyway.
Pick 8 - Cardinals - Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama - Although it seemed like a jerk move to replace Josh Rosen with Kyler Murray, it turned out to be the right move. They now need to give Murray weapons. It could have been his former Oklahoma teammate, but they'll go with Jeudy.
Pick 9 - Jaguars - Isaiah Simmons, LB, Clemson - Within the once vaunted Jags defense, the linebacker play was not up to snuff. Not anymore. Simmons showed that he deserved to be picked in the top 10. Jags still need a QB, but they should still be able to take one at pick 20.
Pick 10 - Browns - Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia - Last year, the Browns tried to buy their way to a championship through expensive free agent skill position players. Now, they need to get back to brass Titans, and solidify their core.
Pick 11 - Jets - CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma - The Jets are getting their act together, but one thing they need is true weapons for Sam Darnold to work with. They were drafting WR with this pick, whether it was Jeudy, Lamb, Higgins, or Shenault.
Pick 12 - Lions - Derrick Brown, DT, Auburn - The Lions traded back, picked up an extra 1st rounder, and still got the best DT in the bunch. Ndomukong Suh without the rage issues.
Pick 13 - Colts - Jevon Kinlaw, DT, South Carolina - Best pick available also happens to be a need position. Yes, they could go Higgins or Shenault. Or reach for one of the 2nd tier QB's. But they won't.
And that's how I see it shaping up, leading up to our pick. How right will I bet? Ha! I always get surprised on draft day.