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Colts 2021 Draft Watchlists and Team Fits/ Senior Bowl Week (Merge)


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December means It is officially draft season. Although the Colts are likely playoff bound and will be playing into January, it’s not too early to start looking. I figured this topic could be a place where everyone discusses prospects to keep a watch on and may be option for the Colts in the draft based on what we know the staff values in Scheme, character, athleticism, etc..I’m also only including guys I think we have a shot at so no Patrick Surtain, Jamar Chase, etc...

 

 

First here’s what I believe the team needs are

1. LT

2. Edge

3. CB

4. WR

5. TE

 

QB is it’s own special category because we have no clue how that will be handled. It’s a need but may be solved by a FA or a trade. Maybe Eason is the guy. The whole thing is a head scratcher.

 

LT:

 

- Christian Darrisaw, Virginia Tech

-Liam Eichenberg, Norte Dame

-Dillon Radunz, North Dakota State

 

Edge:

- Patrick Jones, Pittsburgh

-Carlos Basham, Wake Forest

-Hamilcar Rashed Jr., Oregon State

- Dayo Odeyingbo, Vanderbilt

 

 

Still doing more research on other position groups, so feel free to drop some suggestions.

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Speaking of BYU    

Let's do Cosmi 21 Turner 54

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1 hour ago, richard pallo said:

After yesterday's experiment I wouldn't be surprised if the Colts moved Nelson to LT when AC retires.  I think he could easily slide over without a problem.  That would make it easier for Ballard to trade the 1st pick for another proven young starter.  

Nelson only moved over for roughly 5 plays (+/-) as best as I could tell.   I’m confident that’s not enough to know anything about whether QN can make the move or not?   Maybe he can?   And maybe not. 
 

Way too early to know. 

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22 hours ago, Orioles22 said:

I'd put corner ahead of end. I'd imagine we'll extend a few of our current players to keep that position OK. That seems to be the one position where Ballard hasn't done so well in drafting with Turay and Bonagu.

Corner will be hard to fix. My initial impressions so far are that this isn’t a deep class for corner. Farley and Surtain are the top two guys and then it’s a huge drop off after that. Next best guy is Wade from Ohio State but he may just be a nickel. Probably have to go with the draft and develop approach and pray for a hidden gem.

 

Edit: Actually Jaycee Horn is good too but he’ll be a first rounder and not sure he’s a scheme fit. Maybe Paulson Adebo in the 3rd or 4th round could be a steal.

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Those are all needs.  Don't discount the idea that TE should be higher.  I'd put it at least equal to WR.  Doyle misses a lot of time and MAC is probably a nice backup only.  Rivers and the O would take the next step if there was a real talent at TE.

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1 hour ago, DougDew said:

Those are all needs.  Don't discount the idea that TE should be higher.  I'd put it at least equal to WR.  Doyle misses a lot of time and MAC is probably a nice backup only.  Rivers and the O would take the next step if there was a real talent at TE.

If I’m not mistaken all of our TEs on the roster are FAs next season as well. I feel like it’s something that can be addressed later in the draft though. 4th round or later. This offense doesn’t need an elite TE to flourish.

 

30 minutes ago, buccolts said:

Don't forget Tell would be back next year also.

Call me crazy but I liked Tell at CB better than Rock last season. I thought he played better in coverage but probably wasn’t as good a tackler. It’ll be interesting to see where he’s at in his development after sitting out a season.

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53 minutes ago, Defjamz26 said:

If I’m not mistaken all of our TEs on the roster are FAs next season as well. I feel like it’s something that can be addressed later in the draft though. 4th round or later. This offense doesn’t need an elite TE to flourish.

 

Call me crazy but I liked Tell at CB better than Rock last season. I thought he played better in coverage but probably wasn’t as good a tackler. It’ll be interesting to see where he’s at in his development after sitting out a season.

 

Agreed, and if I recollect correctly, he was being considered for both CB & S, so he was flexible.

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Just now, DownHillRunner said:

 

 

I think those guys could be had in round 2 if Ballard wants to draft a QB. Slam dunk first rounders are Lawrence, Fields, Lance, and Wilson. 

Solid option might be to trade down and take them at the top of 2nd

 

I doubt either fall to bottom of 2nd

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Azeez Ojulari - EDGE, Georgia
Ticks a bunch of Ballard boxes. 6.5 sacks and 9.5 TFLs in 9 games this season. 114 SPARQ as a high school senior, including a 40 inch vertical. First freshman team captain in Kirby Smart’s tenure at Georgia. Will be interesting to see his pass rush productivity metrics because Georgia plays him in coverage a decent amount. He’ll get knocked a bit for his size but he’s strong enough to set the edge and his frame doesn’t seem maxed out yet.

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16 hours ago, Defjamz26 said:

If I’m not mistaken all of our TEs on the roster are FAs next season as well. I feel like it’s something that can be addressed later in the draft though. 4th round or later. This offense doesn’t need an elite TE to flourish.

 

Call me crazy but I liked Tell at CB better than Rock last season. I thought he played better in coverage but probably wasn’t as good a tackler. It’ll be interesting to see where he’s at in his development after sitting out a season.

Yes.  Look at it this way:  We have Tell in the mix at CB.  We have TY and Campbell in the mix at WR.  We have several Edge DEs that we have invested draft picks in.  Eason is on the roster.  All of those players can take the next step next year. 

 

Although there are questions, there is a pipeline of young talent at CB, WR, DE, and QB.

 

There is none at LT or TE.  So, IMO, that's where the priority of the needs are.  LT round 1, TE maybe even in round 2.  There is always the wildcard of signing or trading for a TE.  

 

There are probably more questions around our young talent at DE than the young talent at the other positions, so I could see us going LT 1, DE 2, TE 3.

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3 hours ago, DougDew said:

Yes.  Look at it this way:  We have Tell in the mix at CB.  We have TY and Campbell in the mix at WR.  We have several Edge DEs that we have invested draft picks in.  Eason is on the roster.  All of those players can take the next step next year. 

 

Although there are questions, there is a pipeline of young talent at CB, WR, DE, and QB.

 

There is none at LT or TE.  So, IMO, that's where the priority of the needs are.  LT round 1, TE maybe even in round 2.  There is always the wildcard of signing or trading for a TE.  

 

There are probably more questions around our young talent at DE than the young talent at the other positions, so I could see us going LT 1, DE 2, TE 3.

I think that’s a tough ask. To look at Tell and Ya-Sin and think that we’re good at corner. Or to look at Banogu, Turray, and Lewis and say there’s enough young talent at DE. As it stands none of those guys are above average. I don’t see Ballard taking a TE round 2 over over the best corner if it came down to it. If possible I’d go LT, DE, corner in that order in the first 3 rounds.

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1 hour ago, Defjamz26 said:

Outside of production, tell me what you like about them.

I'm gonna have to do more extensive research on both.  I know both have flaws obviously but I think either would thrive here sitting behind Rivers for a year and playing behind our OL.

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On 12/15/2020 at 3:24 PM, danlhart87 said:

I would love Trask or Jones 

Trask has had a very good year with a coach who has a history of making QBs look good--but I'm not sure Trask is a sure-fire franchise QB. And I personally would never use a 1st round choice on an Alabama QB--those guys get to work with WR groups that are better than some NFL teams have, and it's mostly vs. DBs who'll never make an NFL roster. Jones reminds me  of Fromm more than anyone else.

 

I think the true 1st round Edge guys will be gone before the Colts pick, but I wouldn't be shocked if a promising OL or DB was still available. Nor would I be shocked to see Ballard trade down, figuring (as is the case in most drafts) that there's little real difference between the "late-1st-round" guys and  the "2nd-round" guys,  so why not get more of them by acquiring more picks?

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On 12/14/2020 at 10:14 AM, Defjamz26 said:

 

QB is it’s own special category because we have no clue how that will be handled. It’s a need but may be solved by a FA or a trade. Maybe Eason is the guy. The whole thing is a head scratcher.


Very accurate 

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If Washington, the Bears, the Rams, and the Colts all lose this weekend (all at least 4 pt underdogs), I think we’d be the #22 pick.  We have a better record than those three from the NFC.  Of course, I hope we end up at 32...

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On 12/15/2020 at 8:19 PM, DownHillRunner said:

 

 

I think those guys could be had in round 2 if Ballard wants to draft a QB. Slam dunk first rounders are Lawrence, Fields, Lance, and Wilson. 

What about jamie Newman 

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Greg Newsome II declared for the draft. He is a cornerback from Northwestern. This guy screams of being a Ballard type player from his size, skillset, personality. Right now seems like a Day 2 pick.

 

I also agree on Dillion Radunz. I think he is one to watch. He is an OT from North Dakota State. He will participate in the Senior Bowl and the Colts place a huge emphasis on that. Given the level of competition North Dakota State plays, and only playing one game this year, the Senior Bowl will be huge for Radunz.

 

In addition to Radunz, and other round 1-2 tackles, I think the Colts are going to look hard at drafting another tackle around the 4th round. After this season I think the Colts will look to improve their offensive line depth specifically at tackle and will look to walk away from this draft with a couple prospects. Some later round guys might be Spencer Brown and Jake Curhan.

 

Another player at the Senior Bowl to watch is Payton Turner. He could rise during the draft process starting with a good performance at the Senior Bowl. 

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On 12/16/2020 at 11:47 AM, Defjamz26 said:

Outside of production, tell me what you like about them.

Student of the game, reads defenses well, processes thru reads quickly, team leader.  Not bad traits for a QB but would only take him in the upper second round.

 

Joseph 

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I'm expecting the Colts to target QB, LT, WR, Edge in FA.     

 

I'm feeling a trade down in the first unless a high upside LT, Edge, WR, or CB falls in the Colts lap.  Trading out of the first with the Dolphins would garner two additional second rounders (3 total).  The second round has a lot of quality players and gives the Colts a lot of flexibility to fill the roster after FA and keep the Colts under the cap with a little room for roster surprises (injuries, unexpected FA releases).

 

Joseph

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On 12/14/2020 at 11:26 AM, Orioles22 said:

I'd put corner ahead of end. I'd imagine we'll extend a few of our current players to keep that position OK. That seems to be the one position where Ballard hasn't done so well in drafting with Turay and Bonagu.

I agree CB is a pressing need. But I wouldnt draft too high. The position is more about development. It takes a few years to get starter quality. I say we chase a few in free agency. I really like Mike Hilton, would love to get him and resign Rhodes.

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Dayo Odeyingbo from Vanderbilt is a developmental edge prospect I like. 6’6” 270 lbs. Smart kid who will be at the Senior Bowl. Round 3 or 4 he’s worth a look. 5.5 sacks this year so not great production but worth taking a shot on.

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On 1/24/2021 at 9:19 PM, Defjamz26 said:

Dayo Odeyingbo from Vanderbilt is a developmental edge prospect I like. 6’6” 270 lbs. Smart kid who will be at the Senior Bowl. Round 3 or 4 he’s worth a look. 5.5 sacks this year so not great production but worth taking a shot on.

 

Good player. Himself and Payton Turner are both good LDE prospects in round 3 or 4. Basham will probably go sooner I'd say. 

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I also really like Ifeatu Melifonwu at CB.

 

Long corner, 6'3 213lbs, outstanding athlete, really explosive and fluid. Will run in the early 4.4s I'd say. Wouldn't have great ball production, but he has a high ceiling as a boundary corner. He will also be at the Senior Bowl and is the type of CB Ballard will love.

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Draft SZN is in full swing now with this being Senior Bowl Week. I thought I'd make a thread of players to look out for and the type of players Ballard will be interested in drafting.

 

Here is a link to the rosters anyway:

 

https://www.al.com/sports/2021/01/full-rosters-released-for-2021-reeses-senior-bowl.html

 

My 4 favorite prospects are:

 

Nico Collins WR, Michigan: Big WR target. 6'4 225lbs but is super explosive. Reminds me alot of a Chase Claypool or Denzel Mims player, big, fast, can beat press man and make plays down the field. He didn't play this year because of Covid, and I would expect him to go in the 2nd round about where we are picking. I think he would be an excellent Z receiver in the NFL like the aforementioned Claypool.

 

Ifeatu Melifonwu CB, Syracuse: I've wrote the same in another thread, but he is a long corner, 6'3 213lbs, outstanding athlete, really explosive and fluid. Will run in the early 4.4s I'd say. Wouldn't have great ball production, but he has a high ceiling as a boundary corner. The type of CB Ballard will love. Could be there in the 3rd.

 

Payton Turner DE, Houston: Heavy LDE like Autry. Still quite raw, but has good power moves and effort. Will be interesting to see how he does lined up against NFL caliber tackles.  

 

Hunter Long TE, Boston College: Not the best athlete but good enough. Has great hands and good in contested catch situations. I like him as a Doyle replacement as he is a very willing blocker and has good size. 

 

Anybody else have any favorites?

 

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Jaelon Darden, North Texas, WR - go check him out. He has got the measurables Ballard desires, will make a potential Z replacement for TY, IMO, explosive athlete.

 

Ben Skowronek, Notre Dame, WR - could this guy play the X WR role? He reminds me of McCaffrey Sr., the guy that is not afraid to go down the middle for contested catches and is a good red zone target for your QB.

 

Anyone else have thoughts on these two? Potential Day 3 guys, IMO, that the team could utilize well.

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    • Welp, at minimum, you'll know their grade. And you can read up on anyone you might target on NFL.com prospect tracker if you feel like researching a bit. They have profiles for pretty much every top 300+ kid.
    • Agree that he would likely have been cut last year - whether he would have wound up on our PS or getting picked up elsewhere, I don't know for sure.     As we saw last year, the D 'Flus is running very rarely is a true 4-3 with 4 DL, 3 LBs, 4 DBs - instead, we're using 4 DL and more often 2 LBs with 5 DBs (or less often 1 LB and 6 DBs).   My guess with Ballard not making much effort going after A-Walker is that we'll typically see Leonard and Okereke in 2 LB situations and that they've got confidence in Speed to use him in 3 LB situations.  If not, Franklin (though he had the most ST snaps on the team) is pretty adequate at LBer if needed as a backup.  Adams and Glasgow were used entirely on STs last year and I get the feeling Glasgow sort of carved out a niche for himself as a STer moving forward (i.e., unless drastic emergency, we won't see him on the field as a LBer but he'll be likely to keep a roster spot).     I won't be shocked to see Ballard pick up a LB in the draft or bring in some UDFAs to battle for roster spots.  Heck, I won't be shocked to see him bring in a vet FA if the price is right.  It appears we should be set at LB, though Leonard has missed a game or more to injury each of his 3 years and Oke didn't seem to show much improvement between year 1 and 2.     As I see it now, without any significant additions, Skai has a legit shot to beat out Adams since he probably fits the mold on what we're trying to do on D a bit more and Adams was used entirely as a ST guy last year (i.e., Moore basically needs to outcompete Adams for ST reps or be near him with a bit more upside as a back-up defender).     I still rank OT, Edge, TE, WR as clear needs over LB.  Not as clear, but I have secondary as a bigger need than LB right now, too -- so I won't be shocked if we address the LB position in the draft, but agree that having Moore back gives us the option to go towards one of those positions instead of LB if the BPA is pretty close between a LBer and an aforementioned position.   One thing that'll be interesting to me is how Ballard and the coaching staff treat the guys who opted out.  Obviously we have no idea how conversations went with those players who opted out, and I don't know all their motivations for doing so (I believe Tell had a sick grandmother or something like that)... but I know Ballard doesn't like guys who he thinks opt not to play for their own benefit over that of the team (e.g., saying Ebron quit on the team with a minor ankle injury that Ebron elected to get season ending surgery on instead of toughing out the last 5-6 games two seasons ago).  If Ballard believes (as you somewhat eluded to) that Moore opted out rather than getting cut, I can see Moore being let go pretty early -- if Moore gave Ballard a legit reason to opt out, I hope Moore has kept himself in shape and is ready to ball out, as he seemed like a very solid playmaker at S. Carolina during his college years.       Ballard and Flus both said last year that Speed is as physically gifted as any LB on our roster.  I think it was known he was a project since being drafted -- coming from a small school with limited LB experience (he was a QB in HS, converted to WR as a freshman at Tarleton State, then from WR to DE and eventually DE to LB).  He made a few big time plays on STs last year and in his limited action at LB, he looked fine to me (hard to judge, as most of his LB action was in garbage time).  My gut tells me the coaching staff has seen enough of him that they're pretty confident in what he can do at LB and I'm excited for it -- TBH, just athletically with him, Leonard and Oke we have to have one of the more purely athletic group of LBs in the league (e.g., what we may lose a pure FB player in AW, we probably make up for with Speed's pure athletic ability).     In terms of Tell, I am excited for him.  He seemed to do well in his chances as a rookie and it's impossible to say, but my guess is with some of Ya-Sin's struggles last year, we may have seen Tell take over the CB2 role across from Rhodes by the mid-point of last season.  That said, I'm not giving up on Ya-Sin - I think he'll improve and will be a solid player, especially if we can generate a bit more pass rush.  I know one thing Ballard liked about Tell from day 1 was his ability to play CB or S if need be giving his size, range and athleticism.  Personally, I like Blackmon more as a SS than FS and don't dislike the idea of Tell lining up at FS, Blackmon as SS and Willis lining up in the box against TEs.  
    • Well I won't know who the hell they are anyway :-)  
    • Our goal for the mock is to make it super easy, and super quick, so folks can have a painless experience. As long as you show up 5-10 minutes before your pick to see what is available, you'll be on for no longer than 15min.   As far as needs are concerned, you don't have to follow anything if you don't want. If you get the Colts in the lottery, feel free to take a WR at 21, or even trade up :-) and get one earlier.
    • Sounds good. I'm a computer/tech ill* (my own word, supposed to sound like illiterate), I'll try not to screw it up when draft time comes.   Only disagrement I have with your Colts needs is I think we need a clear alpha WR or TE to take the next step, so I'd put that in the Primary slot. Otherwise, I see it the way you do for the most part.
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