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2021 Stitches' Colts Mock Off-season (ver. 1.0)


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So here comes the off-season and with that a million options for improving the team or changing direction with things that are not working currently. This first mock off-season of mine will be a bit more loose on my part and will probably be a bit more aggressive than what I expect Ballard and the FO to execute. I will still try to incorporate some tendencies our FO seems to be following. 

 

I'm using Overthecap's Colts page for salary numbers. I'm using Overthecap's Colts free agency page for our own free agents.

I will be using spotrac's free agency tracker to find other teams' free agents and if there is market value figure listed, I will try to be close to it, unless I deem it unreasonable for one reason or another. 

For the draft I will be using The Draft Network's mock draft machine. I will run it with their predictive board, but I will try to take players based on how I feel about the players without trying to cheat the system(for example if a player I have ranked no. 15 is there on the board at 21 and is BPA, but is ranked 65 on their board I will NOT pass on him because I know I can draft him in later rounds, I would consider this cheating the system because I have information that in the real world GMs don't really have). 

 

Starting Team Cap Space: $72,725,217

 

Own Free Agents:

Unrestricted FAs

Philip Rivers - retires

Jacoby Brissett - 1 year 7M fully guaranteed. I'm assuming here he won't have a huge market so I'm bringing him back to be competition/backup for our new  franchise QB

T.Y. Hilton - 3 years 30M

Justin Houston - 1 year 10M fully guaranteed. I think he can still be valuable part of our rotation, but toward the end of the year you could see him slowing down. 

Denico Autry - I'm open to bring him back, but it would depend on how much he wants in FA. For the purposes of this mock, I'm assuming he will want more than I'm willing to give so I let him go.

Malik Hooker - to me it's obvious, he's a misfit with our system and Ballard refusing his cheap 5th year option was a sign that we probably are not too interested in keeping him. 

Xavier Rhodes - 2 years/20M(12M guaranteed, 10M first year, completely guaranteed) Very good signing, paid off... lets keep him.

Le'Raven Clark - 1 year, 1.2M... bring him back for depth

Tavon Wilson   let him go. 

T.J. Carrie - 1 year, 3M... depth/competition 

Chaz Green - let him go. 

Trey Burton - 1 year, 3M, bring him back if he wants back for that price. 

Joey Hunt - let him go

Anthony Walker Jr. - IMO he will demand more than I'm willing to pay. Let him go. 

Al-Quadin Muhammad - 1 year, 3M depth/competition

Marlon Mack - I was thinking about resigning him but our cap situation is very far from ideal if you look at it below. So... I'm letting him go. 

 

Restricted FAs

Tremon Smith - released

Mo Alie-Cox - second round tender - $3.5M

Zach Pascal - second round tender - $3.5M

George Odum - 1 year, 1M dollar contract

 

Exclusive Rights FAs

Ashton Dulin, WR $540,000

Taylor Stallworth, DT $750,000

 

---Total Spent on Own FAs: $56.49M ||| Remaining Cap Space: $16,235.217


 

 

Other Teams' FAs:

- Ty Nsekhe, OT - 1 year 3M, he was signed to be a swing tackle for the Bills, but they seem to have established a good starting unit without him. He's still played well in limited snaps over the last several years so I'm signing him to take a shot at a talented player with good physical profile who might be the answer for us at OT. He will be one of the players to compete for LT. 

 

---Total Spent on Other Teams' FAs: $3M ||| Remaining Cap Space: $13,235.217

 

Trades:

- Ben Banogu for a 6th round pick to... the Jets? I guess... :D 

 

---Savings in trades: $1,621,229 ||| Remaining Cap Space: $14,856,446

 

And here comes the draft... 

 

Draft

 

(trade)

Colts trade no. 21 + 2022 1st round pick to Denver for no. 9 pick(this is essentially the KC for Mahomes or Houston for Watson trade):

Round 1, Pick 10 Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State - this is a QB with incredible physical and athletic profile, who is a legitimate dual-threat QB. Before this year, he was considered one of the elite QB prospects who was going to end up in this draft but because of COVID-19, NDS played only 1 game and it seems like people have forgotten about Lance a bit. In the previous full season he played he threw for 2800 yards, 28 TDs and ZERO interceptions. He also rushed for 1100 yards and 14 TDs. Frank seems to love running the ball, but Rivers have put a bit of a cap on our running game with his inability to move and threaten to make plays out of the pocket or on the run. Lance is the opposite in that regard... he is a threat to run, he is a threat to throw on the run. He has some spectacular NFL-type throws on tape out of structure... His arm stength is impressive. IMO it's probably better than any other QB in this draft. The ball jumps out of his hand and has great zip on it. His accuracy is pretty good, too for a QB whose main strength is considered his physical and atletic traits. Something else of note - he actually ran an offense that is more pro-like than most other QBs in this draft, he was taking snaps both from under center and from the gun. Runs play action like a pro already. IMO it's possible he's more ready to play right away than people assume based on him being from FCS school. 

Round 2, Pick 53 Taven Jenkins, OT, Oklahoma State A very well built tackle with the potential to be a starting OT in the league. He has good movement skills, but also a very solid anchor in pass protection and very good strength and power to reset the LOS in the run game. He has a bit of a nasty streak with tendency of pancaking opponents, something I bet Q will be a fan of. He needs a bit of work on his technique with the pass set, but IMO he can be developed into a very good starter. 

Round 3, Pick 86 Carlos Basham, EDGE, Wake Forest I have no idea if he will drop to that point in the real draft. He was there in my mock so I picked him... Seems like a steal here. Very solid EDGE defender. Not a ton of bend or speed, but he's a strong edge setter with good technique and some nice inside moves and power to push the pocket. He will be our replacement for Autry. 

Round 4, Pick 122 Kenny Yeboah, TE, Ole Miss  A good receiving TE with athleticism and size. Can line up in multiple positions, but is not great when inline blocking. Still... R4... 

Round 5. Pick 161 Jaelon Darden, WR North Texas Incredibly shifty and quick receiver. Makes people miss a lot. He can be our project to supplement and eventually replace TY Hilton

Round 6. Pick 193 (from Jets trade above) Nik Bonitto EDGE, Oklahoma ... very slight but incredibly quick and bendy pass-rusher. He will  be more of a situational pass-rusher since he lacks the  strength to play the run on early downs. 

Round 6, Pick 198 Khalil Herbert, RB, Virginia Tech replacement for Mack and eventually for Wilkins.

Round 7, Pick 242 Trey Dean III, CB, Florida Tall and long corner, who is better in zone than in man. Good fit for our scheme and covers our FO's length requirement. 

 

 

---Total Spent on Draftees: ~$10M ||| Remaining Cap Space:  $4,856,446

 

Depth chart:

Offense:
QBTrey Lance, Jacoby Brissett, Jacob Eason
RB: Jonathan Taylor, Nyheim Hines, Jordan Wilkins, Khalil HerbertDarius Anderson, Benny LeMay, Paul Perkins
WR1: Michael Pittman Jr, Zach Pascal, Quartney Davis
WR2: TY Hilton, Dezmond Patmon, Gary Jennings Jr
Slot: Parris Campbell, DeMichael Harris, Jaelon Darden
TE1: Jack Doyle, Kenny YeboahJordan Thomas, Andrew Vollert
TE2: Mo Alie-Cox, Trey Burton, Noah Togiai, Farrod Green
LT: Taven Jenkins La'Raven Clark. Casey Tucker
LG: Quenton Nelson, Jake Eldrenkamp
OC: Ryan Kelly, Danny Pinter
RG: Mark Glowinski, Sam Jones
RT: Braden Smith, Ty NsekheCarter O'Donnell, Will Holden

Deffense:
LDE: Carlos Basham Jr., Al-Quadin Muhammad
DT: Grover Stewart, Kameron Cline, Chris Williams
3T:  DeForest Buckner, Tyquan Lewis, Rob Windsor
RDE: Justin Houston, Kemoko Turay, Nik Bonitto
WILL: Darius Leonard, E.J. Speed
MIKE: Bobby Okereke, Skai Moore 
SAM: Zaire Franklin, Matthew Adams
SS: Khari Willis, Ibraheim Campbell
FS: Julian Blackmon, George Odum
RCB: Xavier Rhodes, Marvell Tell III, Andre Chachere, Will Sunderland,
LCB: Rock Ya-Sin, TJ Carrie, Trey Dean III, Nick Nelson
Slot: Kenny Moore II, Roderic Teamer


Special teams:
LS: Luke Rhodes
P: Rigoberto Sanchez, Austin Rehkow
K: Rodrigo Blankenship

 

*names in green are rookies

**names in red are new FAs

 

Final thoughts:

- It's no surprise to most who've been reading my posts here that priority no. 1 for me is finding our new franchise QB and that until this happens nothing else really matters in the big picture. In this specific draft I decided to do it by trading up in the draft to acquire Trey Lance. I think he's one of the 4 high end talents at QB in this draft and since Lawrence, Fields and Wilson all were going top 5 in the mock I did, Lance falling to the 9-10 range IMO is a good opportunity to strike. I was debating what would be better peace to trade (1st next year or 2nd +3d this year+ 2d next year?). I ended up picking the 1st next year route, because I liked some of the OTs projected to fall to R2 this year. What do you think? 

- I got Jacoby back with the express intention of him to be the back up or competition that pushes Lance going forward. Since I consider Lance a high level talent, I didn't want to bring in a QB who will demand the starting spot... also... the cap is kind of worse than it seems from afar. We have A TON of players to resign or replace if we lose them. Highly paid QB would have necessitated cutting corners elsewhere. So ... ended up with a compromise. 

- Carlos Basham in the 3d is a bit of a pipe dream. I don't think it's very likely he falls there. But if he did IMO he fits well in the mold Ballard likes his LDE

- I wanted to add another safety in the draft but never really found the right spot. Who are your favorites day 2(if say, Basham is not there)? 

- I love what this offense can be with Trey Lance and hopefully our full complement of receivers and Taylor. I still feel like we need an X receiver, though. Couldn't find the right moment for one in the draft. Justyn Ross ... was there in the 4th-5th round but I have no idea what to expect from him.  He's the type that might turn into an X...but no idea if his health is OK, also... if his health is OK I doubt he drops to that point of the draft. 

 

Any thoughts and critique are welcome. Cheers everybody  :cheers:

 

(Disclaimer: I used the blueprint from my last year's mock so it's possible there are some mistakes/leftovers from it that I didn't catch. Please don't hesitate to point out any glaring errors or things you think are overly unrealistic.)

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  • stitches changed the title to 2021 Stitches' Colts Mock Off-season (ver. 1.0)

See you have the over the cap sites cap space.

 

Spotrac has it at $69m

 

I was comparing them earlier, looks like OtC is missing a few recent future signings. Most of those will eventually drop off the top 51 cap space though.

 

 

Great job. Although not a huge fan of the trade up.

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2 minutes ago, w87r said:

See you have the over the cap sites cap space.

 

Spotrac has it at $69m

 

I was comparing them earlier, looks like OtC is missing a few recent future signings. Most of those will eventually drop off the top 51 cap space though.

 

 

Great job. Although not a huge fan of the trade up.

Yeah, it's overall... not too consequential. A lot of those will be dropped anyways. So, what other trade would you prefer? Or no trade? 

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9 minutes ago, stitches said:

Yeah, it's overall... not too consequential. A lot of those will be dropped anyways. So, what other trade would you prefer? Or no trade? 

To early to tell on a trade, really. Depends on a lot of things in FA and stuff.

 

If we do trade though and Rivers retires, I would prefer to offer that 1st up for Stafford. Decent chance Lance slips a little bit also. A lot TBD still.

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1 minute ago, Superman said:

Very nice. I'm surprised you didn't do more at CB. I think that and Edge are the primary needs on defense.

I wanted to. But, first, I haven't watched a ton of CBs as of yet, because I don't want to waste my time with watching some T-Rex armed players that have no chance in hell being drafted by Ballard. The 32"+ arm length for CB is becoming almost a law for him, so especially for the highly rated players I would want to see their measurements at the combine or the Senior Bowl before I even start considering them. Also... the board just kind of fell this way. To be fair at the end of the draft there aren't many players I've watched and remembered so I just picked a CB I remember was pretty big and lanky :D 

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7 minutes ago, stitches said:

I wanted to. But, first, I haven't watched a ton of CBs as of yet, because I don't want to waste my time with watching some T-Rex armed players that have no chance in hell being drafted by Ballard. The 32"+ arm length for CB is becoming almost a law for him, so especially for the highly rated players I would want to see their measurements at the combine or the Senior Bowl before I even start considering them. Also... the board just kind of fell this way. To be fair at the end of the draft there aren't many players I've watched and remembered so I just picked a CB I remember was pretty big and lanky :D 

 

Got it.

 

So when you did your first round, how did you see the top ten going, so that Lance was still available?

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3 minutes ago, Superman said:

 

Got it.

 

So when you did your first round, how did you see the top ten going, so that Lance was still available?

Oh, also I forgot for the CB - Marvell Tell is coming back. Not that he should stop you from drafting a CB, but... he's one more option. 

 

I used the Draft Network draft machine. 

Here's the order:

 

1. Jax - Lawrence

2. Jets - Wilson

3. Miami - DeVonta Smith 

4. Atlanta - Fields

5. Bengals - Sewell

6. Eagles - Surtain II

7. Lions - Ja'Marr Chase

8. Panthers - Kyle Pitts

 

 

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Not bad, I think it's aggressive but completely possible. I don't know much about the draft players but position-wise I think it's along the lines of what I expect from the FO.

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No more players named "Basham", please. Just kidding. :) 

 

Well done!!! It would take an aggressive move like us to land a franchise QB. No risk, no reward with the draft. 

 

Saints, Rams, Seahawks all tell us you can mortgage a few picks if you believe the right player will improve the offense or defense and take it to the next level. While Ballard may not be a river boat gambler like those GMs, I think this off season is ripe for such moves. 

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I really like the route you did of not going for another year of Rivers or trading for Wentz/Stafford. I just think people who want another year or two of a veteran for Eason to learn from is just a waste. Eason may never amount to anything but it surely won't help if he spends his entire rookie contract learning and holding a clipboard. Are you not worried @stitches that Trey Lance has only had 1 year of meaningful games to show what he has to offer? Not a complaint, just genuinely curious.

 

For me I think the player I'm the most curious about in the first two rounds is Joseph Ossai. I've seen a lot of places listing him as a 3-4 Edge, but when I see him on tape, he definitely has had a lot of production from the traditional 4-3 DE spot.

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I know mock drafts are always just for fun but I have to ask the tough question....

 

How likely do you think it is that Ballard makes a move up for a QB in the draft? Just curious.

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I can't get behind the QB moves. Here's the deal. You build a team with a core  and you expect that core to grow together and compete for 4 - 6 years before money and decline sets in. Right now we have a team that can compete for a championship. We have most of the pieces. there are holes to be sure, But this core can be good for 4 to 6 years before we have to pay Q and Darious and Braden and everyone else so much that we're creating more holes.

I don't think there's any way you can say Trey Lance is going to be ready to take a team to the top. There are only so many Andrew Lucks' in the world. So. I see a few paths. One, you draft a young QB in round one, whether that's a trade up, or hoping Jones or Trask is there at 21. A rookie QB is still cheap and that guy can compete with Eason for the future. Then you resign Phil to lead this year's team. Or, you try to trade for a guy like Stafford who has 5 to 6 years of good football left. Outside is trying to renovate guys like Wentz or Darnold, hoping you can do what Tennessee did with Tannehill.

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2 hours ago, Gigc said:

I can't get behind the QB moves. Here's the deal. You build a team with a core  and you expect that core to grow together and compete for 4 - 6 years before money and decline sets in. Right now we have a team that can compete for a championship. We have most of the pieces. there are holes to be sure, But this core can be good for 4 to 6 years before we have to pay Q and Darious and Braden and everyone else so much that we're creating more holes.

I don't think there's any way you can say Trey Lance is going to be ready to take a team to the top. There are only so many Andrew Lucks' in the world. So. I see a few paths. One, you draft a young QB in round one, whether that's a trade up, or hoping Jones or Trask is there at 21. A rookie QB is still cheap and that guy can compete with Eason for the future. Then you resign Phil to lead this year's team. Or, you try to trade for a guy like Stafford who has 5 to 6 years of good football left. Outside is trying to renovate guys like Wentz or Darnold, hoping you can do what Tennessee did with Tannehill.

I'm sort of on your line of thinking, but I'm starting to think Ballard might be ready to get his guy. We can't keep just pushing off QB. You build through the draft & having a young QB on a rookie contract(maybe even both of our QB's with Eason) is huge. This allows us to resign all of our core pieces & make some major moves in FA. 
 

I have a feeling we trade up for a QB, and resign Rivers/Winston for one more year. 
 

I don't know if it will work out, but it sure would be nice to know we have a legit QB with potential in the room if we could get Lance. 

 

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I'm not a fan of this sorry.

 

I clearly don't agree with the trade up and even if that would be the Colts thinking I don't believe Denver gives up that spot if the QB is still there considering Denver has QB troubles of their own to address and might re-draft a QB this year. Locke is terrible.

 

I also don't agree with the TY Hilton deal. I like TY and appreciate all he has done but I for one am done with giving players contracts who are clearly past their time just for "leadership" and/or "sentiment" purposes. A three year deal worth 10 mil a year is dumb. Sorry. Ty is a slightly better Randal Cobb at this point. No Thanks. 

 

Same with Houston and Brissett... Cut bait and move on.

 

Resign Autry.

 

Not addressing Wide Receiver except resigning a couple of our own and then drafting some zhlub in the 5th is foolish. This team needs to go after a Smith-Schuster, Golliday, or Allen Robinson. I would even entertain making Dallas an offer via draft pick or defensive player for Gallup. See if they bite. Either way, the Receiver room needs to be majorly addressed 

 

We don't need any RB's unless they are undrafted guys.

 

To me Doyle and Cox need to be let go. I get the blocking thing somebody mentioned in another thread but give me Everette from LA to pair with Burton. We need consistent weapons, not blockers. Our Oline can block just fine. Doyle is meh and every once in a while he is in right spot like he was in Buffalo game but overall he is a poor mans Kyle Rudolph and that ain't saying much because Rudolph is terrible too

 

Just my opinion for what it's worth

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12 hours ago, Gigc said:

I can't get behind the QB moves. Here's the deal. You build a team with a core  and you expect that core to grow together and compete for 4 - 6 years before money and decline sets in. Right now we have a team that can compete for a championship. We have most of the pieces. there are holes to be sure, But this core can be good for 4 to 6 years before we have to pay Q and Darious and Braden and everyone else so much that we're creating more holes.

I don't think there's any way you can say Trey Lance is going to be ready to take a team to the top. There are only so many Andrew Lucks' in the world. So. I see a few paths. One, you draft a young QB in round one, whether that's a trade up, or hoping Jones or Trask is there at 21. A rookie QB is still cheap and that guy can compete with Eason for the future. Then you resign Phil to lead this year's team. Or, you try to trade for a guy like Stafford who has 5 to 6 years of good football left. Outside is trying to renovate guys like Wentz or Darnold, hoping you can do what Tennessee did with Tannehill.

I don't get you guys obsession with Stafford. If Stafford has 5-6 years left as you say then why would Detroit get rid of him? They won't but I can't believe you feel they would if what you say to be true. It makes no sense. 

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17 hours ago, stitches said:

So here comes the off-season and with that a million options for improving the team or changing direction with things that are not working currently. This first mock off-season of mine will be a bit more loose on my part and will probably be a bit more aggressive than what I expect Ballard and the FO to execute. I will still try to incorporate some tendencies our FO seems to be following. 

 

I'm using Overthecap's Colts page for salary numbers. I'm using Overthecap's Colts free agency page for our own free agents.

I will be using spotrac's free agency tracker to find other teams' free agents and if there is market value figure listed, I will try to be close to it, unless I deem it unreasonable for one reason or another. 

For the draft I will be using The Draft Network's mock draft machine. I will run it with their predictive board, but I will try to take players based on how I feel about the players without trying to cheat the system(for example if a player I have ranked no. 15 is there on the board at 21 and is BPA, but is ranked 65 on their board I will NOT pass on him because I know I can draft him in later rounds, I would consider this cheating the system because I have information that in the real world GMs don't really have). 

 

Starting Team Cap Space: $72,725,217

 

Own Free Agents:

Unrestricted FAs

Philip Rivers - retires

Jacoby Brissett - 1 year 7M fully guaranteed. I'm assuming here he won't have a huge market so I'm bringing him back to be competition/backup for our new  franchise QB

T.Y. Hilton - 3 years 30M

Justin Houston - 1 year 10M fully guaranteed. I think he can still be valuable part of our rotation, but toward the end of the year you could see him slowing down. 

Denico Autry - I'm open to bring him back, but it would depend on how much he wants in FA. For the purposes of this mock, I'm assuming he will want more than I'm willing to give so I let him go.

Malik Hooker - to me it's obvious, he's a misfit with our system and Ballard refusing his cheap 5th year option was a sign that we probably are not too interested in keeping him. 

Xavier Rhodes - 2 years/20M(12M guaranteed, 10M first year, completely guaranteed) Very good signing, paid off... lets keep him.

Le'Raven Clark - 1 year, 1.2M... bring him back for depth

Tavon Wilson   let him go. 

T.J. Carrie - 1 year, 3M... depth/competition 

Chaz Green - let him go. 

Trey Burton - 1 year, 3M, bring him back if he wants back for that price. 

Joey Hunt - let him go

Anthony Walker Jr. - IMO he will demand more than I'm willing to pay. Let him go. 

Al-Quadin Muhammad - 1 year, 3M depth/competition

Marlon Mack - I was thinking about resigning him but our cap situation is very far from ideal if you look at it below. So... I'm letting him go. 

 

Restricted FAs

Tremon Smith - released

Mo Alie-Cox - second round tender - $3.5M

Zach Pascal - second round tender - $3.5M

George Odum - 1 year, 1M dollar contract

 

Exclusive Rights FAs

Ashton Dulin, WR $540,000

Taylor Stallworth, DT $750,000

 

---Total Spent on Own FAs: $56.49M ||| Remaining Cap Space: $16,235.217


 

 

Other Teams' FAs:

- Ty Nsekhe, OT - 1 year 3M, he was signed to be a swing tackle for the Bills, but they seem to have established a good starting unit without him. He's still played well in limited snaps over the last several years so I'm signing him to take a shot at a talented player with good physical profile who might be the answer for us at OT. He will be one of the players to compete for LT. 

 

---Total Spent on Other Teams' FAs: $3M ||| Remaining Cap Space: $13,235.217

 

Trades:

- Ben Banogu for a 6th round pick to... the Jets? I guess... :D 

 

---Savings in trades: $1,621,229 ||| Remaining Cap Space: $14,856,446

 

And here comes the draft... 

 

Draft

 

(trade)

Colts trade no. 21 + 2022 1st round pick to Denver for no. 9 pick(this is essentially the KC for Mahomes or Houston for Watson trade):

Round 1, Pick 10 Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State - this is a QB with incredible physical and athletic profile, who is a legitimate dual-threat QB. Before this year, he was considered one of the elite QB prospects who was going to end up in this draft but because of COVID-19, NDS played only 1 game and it seems like people have forgotten about Lance a bit. In the previous full season he played he threw for 2800 yards, 28 TDs and ZERO interceptions. He also rushed for 1100 yards and 14 TDs. Frank seems to love running the ball, but Rivers have put a bit of a cap on our running game with his inability to move and threaten to make plays out of the pocket or on the run. Lance is the opposite in that regard... he is a threat to run, he is a threat to throw on the run. He has some spectacular NFL-type throws on tape out of structure... His arm stength is impressive. IMO it's probably better than any other QB in this draft. The ball jumps out of his hand and has great zip on it. His accuracy is pretty good, too for a QB whose main strength is considered his physical and atletic traits. Something else of note - he actually ran an offense that is more pro-like than most other QBs in this draft, he was taking snaps both from under center and from the gun. Runs play action like a pro already. IMO it's possible he's more ready to play right away than people assume based on him being from FCS school. 

Round 2, Pick 53 Taven Jenkins, OT, Oklahoma State A very well built tackle with the potential to be a starting OT in the league. He has good movement skills, but also a very solid anchor in pass protection and very good strength and power to reset the LOS in the run game. He has a bit of a nasty streak with tendency of pancaking opponents, something I bet Q will be a fan of. He needs a bit of work on his technique with the pass set, but IMO he can be developed into a very good starter. 

Round 3, Pick 86 Carlos Basham, EDGE, Wake Forest I have no idea if he will drop to that point in the real draft. He was there in my mock so I picked him... Seems like a steal here. Very solid EDGE defender. Not a ton of bend or speed, but he's a strong edge setter with good technique and some nice inside moves and power to push the pocket. He will be our replacement for Autry. 

Round 4, Pick 122 Kenny Yeboah, TE, Ole Miss  A good receiving TE with athleticism and size. Can line up in multiple positions, but is not great when inline blocking. Still... R4... 

Round 5. Pick 161 Jaelon Darden, WR North Texas Incredibly shifty and quick receiver. Makes people miss a lot. He can be our project to supplement and eventually replace TY Hilton

Round 6. Pick 193 (from Jets trade above) Nik Bonitto EDGE, Oklahoma ... very slight but incredibly quick and bendy pass-rusher. He will  be more of a situational pass-rusher since he lacks the  strength to play the run on early downs. 

Round 6, Pick 198 Khalil Herbert, RB, Virginia Tech replacement for Mack and eventually for Wilkins.

Round 7, Pick 242 Trey Dean III, CB, Florida Tall and long corner, who is better in zone than in man. Good fit for our scheme and covers our FO's length requirement. 

 

 

---Total Spent on Draftees: ~$10M ||| Remaining Cap Space:  $4,856,446

 

Depth chart:

Offense:
QBTrey Lance, Jacoby Brissett, Jacob Eason
RB: Jonathan Taylor, Nyheim Hines, Jordan Wilkins, Khalil HerbertDarius Anderson, Benny LeMay, Paul Perkins
WR1: Michael Pittman Jr, Zach Pascal, Quartney Davis
WR2: TY Hilton, Dezmond Patmon, Gary Jennings Jr
Slot: Parris Campbell, DeMichael Harris, Jaelon Darden
TE1: Jack Doyle, Kenny YeboahJordan Thomas, Andrew Vollert
TE2: Mo Alie-Cox, Trey Burton, Noah Togiai, Farrod Green
LT: Taven Jenkins La'Raven Clark. Casey Tucker
LG: Quenton Nelson, Jake Eldrenkamp
OC: Ryan Kelly, Danny Pinter
RG: Mark Glowinski, Sam Jones
RT: Braden Smith, Ty NsekheCarter O'Donnell, Will Holden

Deffense:
LDE: Carlos Basham Jr., Al-Quadin Muhammad
DT: Grover Stewart, Kameron Cline, Chris Williams
3T:  DeForest Buckner, Tyquan Lewis, Rob Windsor
RDE: Justin Houston, Kemoko Turay, Nik Bonitto
WILL: Darius Leonard, E.J. Speed
MIKE: Bobby Okereke, Skai Moore 
SAM: Zaire Franklin, Matthew Adams
SS: Khari Willis, Ibraheim Campbell
FS: Julian Blackmon, George Odum
RCB: Xavier Rhodes, Marvell Tell III, Andre Chachere, Will Sunderland,
LCB: Rock Ya-Sin, TJ Carrie, Trey Dean III, Nick Nelson
Slot: Kenny Moore II, Roderic Teamer


Special teams:
LS: Luke Rhodes
P: Rigoberto Sanchez, Austin Rehkow
K: Rodrigo Blankenship

 

*names in green are rookies

**names in red are new FAs

 

Final thoughts:

- It's no surprise to most who've been reading my posts here that priority no. 1 for me is finding our new franchise QB and that until this happens nothing else really matters in the big picture. In this specific draft I decided to do it by trading up in the draft to acquire Trey Lance. I think he's one of the 4 high end talents at QB in this draft and since Lawrence, Fields and Wilson all were going top 5 in the mock I did, Lance falling to the 9-10 range IMO is a good opportunity to strike. I was debating what would be better peace to trade (1st next year or 2nd +3d this year+ 2d next year?). I ended up picking the 1st next year route, because I liked some of the OTs projected to fall to R2 this year. What do you think? 

- I got Jacoby back with the express intention of him to be the back up or competition that pushes Lance going forward. Since I consider Lance a high level talent, I didn't want to bring in a QB who will demand the starting spot... also... the cap is kind of worse than it seems from afar. We have A TON of players to resign or replace if we lose them. Highly paid QB would have necessitated cutting corners elsewhere. So ... ended up with a compromise. 

- Carlos Basham in the 3d is a bit of a pipe dream. I don't think it's very likely he falls there. But if he did IMO he fits well in the mold Ballard likes his LDE

- I wanted to add another safety in the draft but never really found the right spot. Who are your favorites day 2(if say, Basham is not there)? 

- I love what this offense can be with Trey Lance and hopefully our full complement of receivers and Taylor. I still feel like we need an X receiver, though. Couldn't find the right moment for one in the draft. Justyn Ross ... was there in the 4th-5th round but I have no idea what to expect from him.  He's the type that might turn into an X...but no idea if his health is OK, also... if his health is OK I doubt he drops to that point of the draft. 

 

Any thoughts and critique are welcome. Cheers everybody  :cheers:

 

(Disclaimer: I used the blueprint from my last year's mock so it's possible there are some mistakes/leftovers from it that I didn't catch. Please don't hesitate to point out any glaring errors or things you think are overly unrealistic.)

 

I like the idea of drafting Lance, but I can tell you, theres nooooo chance he's starting at QB the following year.

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15 hours ago, tvturner said:

Nik Bonitto is returning to Oklahoma

Thanks for the info. Too bad... he's kind of intriguing. 

15 hours ago, harrisoncolts88 said:

I really like the route you did of not going for another year of Rivers or trading for Wentz/Stafford. I just think people who want another year or two of a veteran for Eason to learn from is just a waste. Eason may never amount to anything but it surely won't help if he spends his entire rookie contract learning and holding a clipboard. Are you not worried @stitches that Trey Lance has only had 1 year of meaningful games to show what he has to offer? Not a complaint, just genuinely curious.

 

For me I think the player I'm the most curious about in the first two rounds is Joseph Ossai. I've seen a lot of places listing him as a 3-4 Edge, but when I see him on tape, he definitely has had a lot of production from the traditional 4-3 DE spot.

Yeah, my thought is - if a QB is not ready to play by year 2, then chances are he's just not that good or your coaching staff is not very good at preparing him to be ready.

 

On your question, I'm not particularly worried about Lance's lack of opportunity to show what he has... IMO his skillset is clearly visible in the games he's played and there is a clear path for him to become high end starter in the NFL. The bit that is more consequential about the few games he's played is the lack of experience and his ability to be ready day 1 but... then again very few QBs are ready from day 1 in the NFL to play high level football, that includes 3 year starters as well as 10-15 game starters. It's possible he's not ready too... and if he's not I'm OK with Brissett starting for a few weeks or months... With that said - when you draft QB you are not doing it for his rookie year. You are doing it hopefully for the next 10-15 years. 

 

15 hours ago, Defjamz26 said:

I know mock drafts are always just for fun but I have to ask the tough question....

 

How likely do you think it is that Ballard makes a move up for a QB in the draft? Just curious.

Umh... I have no idea... this was the aggressive part of my mock draft and it's possible he's indeed not willing, BUT... we've actually seen him make aggressive moves both in the draft and in trades for players he likes. I would like to think he would be ready to pull the trigger on such a trade if he loves one of the QBs and an opportunity to get him presents itself... but then again... who know? 

14 hours ago, Gigc said:

I can't get behind the QB moves. Here's the deal. You build a team with a core  and you expect that core to grow together and compete for 4 - 6 years before money and decline sets in. Right now we have a team that can compete for a championship. We have most of the pieces. there are holes to be sure, But this core can be good for 4 to 6 years before we have to pay Q and Darious and Braden and everyone else so much that we're creating more holes.

I don't think there's any way you can say Trey Lance is going to be ready to take a team to the top. There are only so many Andrew Lucks' in the world. So. I see a few paths. One, you draft a young QB in round one, whether that's a trade up, or hoping Jones or Trask is there at 21. A rookie QB is still cheap and that guy can compete with Eason for the future. Then you resign Phil to lead this year's team. Or, you try to trade for a guy like Stafford who has 5 to 6 years of good football left. Outside is trying to renovate guys like Wentz or Darnold, hoping you can do what Tennessee did with Tannehill.

The problem is that you have to pay Darius and Braden and Quenton not in 4-6 years but... pretty much NOW. Next year will be the last year of both Darius and Braden's contracts and Quenton gets expensive whether you give him new deal or you put him on the 5th year option. 

 

Agree about Lance probably not being ready to be high caliber QB from day 1... BUT... I would rather start the clock early than late. The earlier you get your QB of the future in, the earlier he will be ready to compete at the highest levels. Those great young players we have need a QB who will give them the chance to win going forward. 

 

12 hours ago, Colts1324 said:

I'm sort of on your line of thinking, but I'm starting to think Ballard might be ready to get his guy. We can't keep just pushing off QB. You build through the draft & having a young QB on a rookie contract(maybe even both of our QB's with Eason) is huge. This allows us to resign all of our core pieces & make some major moves in FA. 
 

I have a feeling we trade up for a QB, and resign Rivers/Winston for one more year. 
 

I don't know if it will work out, but it sure would be nice to know we have a legit QB with potential in the room if we could get Lance. 

 

Yep... I think young QB on rookie contract gives you a lot of benefits... if he pans out. This is one of the biggest competitive advantages in the league - having a solid-to-great QB on a rookie deal. This allows you to spend tons of money elsewhere and keep improving the team... or to keep your own talent that you draft rather than having to pick and choose who you lose. 

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1 minute ago, stitches said:

Thanks for the info. Too bad... he's kind of intriguing. 

Yeah, my thought is - if a QB is not ready to play by year 2, then chances are he's just not that good or your coaching staff is not very good at preparing him to be ready.

 

On your question, I'm not particularly worried about Lance's lack of opportunity to show what he has... IMO his skillset is clearly visible in the games he's played and there is a clear path for him to become high end starter in the NFL. The bit that is more consequential about the few games he's played is the lack of experience and his ability to be ready day 1 but... then again very few QBs are ready from day 1 in the NFL to play high level football, that includes 3 year starters as well as 10-15 game starters. It's possible he's not ready too... and if he's not I'm OK with Brissett starting for a few weeks or months... With that said - when you draft QB you are not doing it for his rookie year. You are doing it hopefully for the next 10-15 years. 

 

Umh... I have no idea... this was the aggressive part of my mock draft and it's possible he's indeed not willing, BUT... we've actually seen him make aggressive moves both in the draft and in trades for players he likes. I would like to think he would be ready to pull the trigger on such a trade if he loves one of the QBs and an opportunity to get him presents itself... but then again... who know? 

The problem is that you have to pay Darius and Braden and Quenton not in 4-6 years but... pretty much NOW. Next year will be the last year of both Darius and Braden's contracts and Quenton gets expensive whether you give him new deal or you put him on the 5th year option. 

 

Agree about Lance probably not being ready to be high caliber QB from day 1... BUT... I would rather start the clock early than late. The earlier you get your QB of the future in, the earlier he will be ready to compete at the highest levels. Those great young players we have need a QB who will give them the chance to win going forward. 

 

Yep... I think young QB on rookie contract gives you a lot of benefits... if he pans out. This is one of the biggest competitive advantages in the league - having a solid-to-great QB on a rookie deal. This allows you to spend tons of money elsewhere and keep improving the team... or to keep your own talent that you draft rather than having to pick and choose who you lose. 

I like Trey Lance, you know more about college players than I do but he looks like he can be a good pro from what I have seen. If he is there at 21, I may take him but we really know nothing about Eason so that is the problem. We also now need a LT so that is another problem so Ballard may go that route?

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7 minutes ago, stitches said:

Thanks for the info. Too bad... he's kind of intriguing. 

Yeah, my thought is - if a QB is not ready to play by year 2, then chances are he's just not that good or your coaching staff is not very good at preparing him to be ready.

 

On your question, I'm not particularly worried about Lance's lack of opportunity to show what he has... IMO his skillset is clearly visible in the games he's played and there is a clear path for him to become high end starter in the NFL. The bit that is more consequential about the few games he's played is the lack of experience and his ability to be ready day 1 but... then again very few QBs are ready from day 1 in the NFL to play high level football, that includes 3 year starters as well as 10-15 game starters. It's possible he's not ready too... and if he's not I'm OK with Brissett starting for a few weeks or months... With that said - when you draft QB you are not doing it for his rookie year. You are doing it hopefully for the next 10-15 years. 

 

Umh... I have no idea... this was the aggressive part of my mock draft and it's possible he's indeed not willing, BUT... we've actually seen him make aggressive moves both in the draft and in trades for players he likes. I would like to think he would be ready to pull the trigger on such a trade if he loves one of the QBs and an opportunity to get him presents itself... but then again... who know? 

The problem is that you have to pay Darius and Braden and Quenton not in 4-6 years but... pretty much NOW. Next year will be the last year of both Darius and Braden's contracts and Quenton gets expensive whether you give him new deal or you put him on the 5th year option. 

 

Agree about Lance probably not being ready to be high caliber QB from day 1... BUT... I would rather start the clock early than late. The earlier you get your QB of the future in, the earlier he will be ready to compete at the highest levels. Those great young players we have need a QB who will give them the chance to win going forward. 

 

Yep... I think young QB on rookie contract gives you a lot of benefits... if he pans out. This is one of the biggest competitive advantages in the league - having a solid-to-great QB on a rookie deal. This allows you to spend tons of money elsewhere and keep improving the team... or to keep your own talent that you draft rather than having to pick and choose who you lose. 

I like Trey Lance, you know more about college players than I do but he looks like he can be a good pro from what I have seen. If he is there at 21, I may take him but we really know nothing about Eason so that is the problem. We also now need a LT so that is another problem so Ballard may go that route? Lance can throw well but run with the best of them.

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2 hours ago, Indeee said:

I'm not a fan of this sorry.

 

I clearly don't agree with the trade up and even if that would be the Colts thinking I don't believe Denver gives up that spot if the QB is still there considering Denver has QB troubles of their own to address and might re-draft a QB this year. Locke is terrible.

 

I also don't agree with the TY Hilton deal. I like TY and appreciate all he has done but I for one am done with giving players contracts who are clearly past their time just for "leadership" and/or "sentiment" purposes. A three year deal worth 10 mil a year is dumb. Sorry. Ty is a slightly better Randal Cobb at this point. No Thanks. 

 

Same with Houston and Brissett... Cut bait and move on.

 

Resign Autry.

 

Not addressing Wide Receiver except resigning a couple of our own and then drafting some zhlub in the 5th is foolish. This team needs to go after a Smith-Schuster, Golliday, or Allen Robinson. I would even entertain making Dallas an offer via draft pick or defensive player for Gallup. See if they bite. Either way, the Receiver room needs to be majorly addressed 

 

We don't need any RB's unless they are undrafted guys.

 

To me Doyle and Cox need to be let go. I get the blocking thing somebody mentioned in another thread but give me Everette from LA to pair with Burton. We need consistent weapons, not blockers. Our Oline can block just fine. Doyle is meh and every once in a while he is in right spot like he was in Buffalo game but overall he is a poor mans Kyle Rudolph and that ain't saying much because Rudolph is terrible too

 

Just my opinion for what it's worth

Thanks for sharing your opinion, anyways. 

 

I think you underestimate TY. He's still the best receiver on this team ... by a good margin. I would love for us to go for an X receiver of the Allen Robinson or Kenny Golliday type, but you see the calculations yourself. We don't have as much money to work with as we wish we could have. And there are Braden, Leonard and Quenton contracts and extensions coming very very soon. 

 

About the QB... so what's your idea here? You don't want Brissett, you don't like going up in the draft for one. You don't like Stafford... Would you want us to bring back Rivers? He's not cheap either BTW. But lets say we can accommodate him for one more year. 

 

I can be swayed on Autry vs Houston BTW... this was one of the things I contemplated. At the end decided to go with Houston, but it wasn't a no brainer decision by any means. 

 

I like Gerald Everett as an option too and wouldn't mind having him but I wouldn't want ot lose both Doyle and Cox. If we can get Everett with the money we will save by releasing Doyle, that's a move I can get behind. That's a solid idea. Might include it in future mock. :thmup:

 

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, NorthernColt said:

 

I like the idea of drafting Lance, but I can tell you, theres nooooo chance he's starting at QB the following year.

That's not unreasonable. It's possible he's not ready and Brissett starts at the beginning of the season, but... that should be priority no. 1 for Reich and his staff - getting the new franchise QB ready to play as soon as possible. And he's already done it once BTW - Philly had to trade Stafford weeks before the start of the season because Reich and Pederson were able to get Wentz ready to play very quickly. BTW, Lance is coming from the same system too. That North Dakota State system has much more pro-football principles than most college programs out there. 

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52 minutes ago, stitches said:

Thanks for sharing your opinion, anyways. 

 

I think you underestimate TY. He's still the best receiver on this team ... by a good margin. I would love for us to go for an X receiver of the Allen Robinson or Kenny Golliday type, but you see the calculations yourself. We don't have as much money to work with as we wish we could have. And there are Braden, Leonard and Quenton contracts and extensions coming very very soon. 

 

About the QB... so what's your idea here? You don't want Brissett, you don't like going up in the draft for one. You don't like Stafford... Would you want us to bring back Rivers? He's not cheap either BTW. But lets say we can accommodate him for one more year. 

 

I can be swayed on Autry vs Houston BTW... this was one of the things I contemplated. At the end decided to go with Houston, but it wasn't a no brainer decision by any means. 

 

I like Gerald Everett as an option too and wouldn't mind having him but I wouldn't want ot lose both Doyle and Cox. If we can get Everett with the money we will save by releasing Doyle, that's a move I can get behind. That's a solid idea. Might include it in future mock. :thmup:

 

 

 

 

In regards to TY, I don't underestimate him however your assessment that TY is the teams BEST wideout is exactly why Receiver needs to be really addressed immediately. Whether the money seems to be there or not, you go spend it and worry later about how to manage the players coming up later down the road. I'm not sure at 21 we are in position to get a top wideout this year from the draft.

 

Doyle and Cox will probably both still be here. I'm just not a fan of those two only because they are not consistently dominant playmakers. I really think Everette and Burton could be if focused to be.

 

The QB thing I really don't know. It might be Rivers again but I think it's a mistake if it happens. it will get us wins but won't lead to a trophy unless luck really does fall our way. Rivers just seems snake bit. Without drafting a QB (early) I would lean towards possibly Darnold if the Jets want a QB reboot as I think Darnold is decent but Gase killed him or, and I can't believe I'm saying this, but I would take Trubisky. I think Nagy killed him and I think if you wanna take a flier you go for one of those two guys, one that could be had by possibly an early second day compensation if Jets wanna deal or the other at an extremely reasonable prove it type deal in free agency. I think Trubisky and Darnold would jump at coming here based on surrounding young pieces, being able to truly start and both young enough to grow around the young pieces and it solves an issue with the Colts and also gives Ballard a put up or shut up deal as he preaches that coaches should get these players to be great. In these two examples, you get a QB that has potential to be above average, one slightly more mobile in Trubisky and given right circumstance would resurrect their young careers with team concept instead of having a proven superstar like a Stafford, Ryan, or Rivers thrown onto a team that's still trying to grow. 

 

Again, none of this would probably occur

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Nice work. I might pass on Rhodes and try to get younger at CB (Shaquile Griffin) and let Houston walk but overall I can’t fault your plan.

 

I do think you’re underselling the comp to move up a bit. I think we’ll need to trade to 6/7 to make sure we get one of the top four (depending on what the new Lions GM decides to do with Stafford). Next year’s QB class looks pretty bleak on paper.  And with Carolina, Denver, San Francisco, New England, WFT, and Chicago likely in the QB market this offseason, I’m envisioning a serious buyers market. I’d guess a first and a day two pick this year and a first next.

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Really like your mock off-season @stitches

 

If your thinking of looking out for other left defensive end prospects, one player I really like is Payton Turner of Houston. 6'6 270, powerful guy, high effort, had 5 sacks in just 6 games for the Cougars (they didn't play many games this year, I think 7 games). Anyway, he will be in Mobile for the Senior Bowl in a few weeks, so he'll be worth keeping an eye out for. Day 2 prospect imo.

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14 minutes ago, Colt Overseas said:

Really like your mock off-season @stitches

 

If your thinking of looking out for other left defensive end prospects, one player I really like is Payton Turner of Houston. 6'6 270, powerful guy, high effort, had 5 sacks in just 6 games for the Cougars (they didn't play many games this year, I think 7 games). Anyway, he will be in Mobile for the Senior Bowl in a few weeks, so he'll be worth keeping an eye out for. Day 2 prospect imo.

Will have to research Turner.  Another LDE prospect looks good for a 7th year player is Justus Reed.  Probably go in around 3.

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The only thing that scares me is we get jumped by a team and they draft Lance and now we are stuck with Brissett. Maybe move up to pick 5 similar to what Jets did with us a couple years ago once the new year starts?

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21 hours ago, Colt Overseas said:

Really like your mock off-season @stitches

 

If your thinking of looking out for other left defensive end prospects, one player I really like is Payton Turner of Houston. 6'6 270, powerful guy, high effort, had 5 sacks in just 6 games for the Cougars (they didn't play many games this year, I think 7 games). Anyway, he will be in Mobile for the Senior Bowl in a few weeks, so he'll be worth keeping an eye out for. Day 2 prospect imo.

Thanks for the feedback. I haven't watched TUrner Yet, but sounds like LDE indeed from your description. He will have the opportunity to go against good competition at the Senior Bowl, unless they cancel it or something. 

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On 1/12/2021 at 4:25 PM, stitches said:

So here comes the off-season and with that a million options for improving the team or changing direction with things that are not working currently. This first mock off-season of mine will be a bit more loose on my part and will probably be a bit more aggressive than what I expect Ballard and the FO to execute. I will still try to incorporate some tendencies our FO seems to be following. 

 

I'm using Overthecap's Colts page for salary numbers. I'm using Overthecap's Colts free agency page for our own free agents.

I will be using spotrac's free agency tracker to find other teams' free agents and if there is market value figure listed, I will try to be close to it, unless I deem it unreasonable for one reason or another. 

For the draft I will be using The Draft Network's mock draft machine. I will run it with their predictive board, but I will try to take players based on how I feel about the players without trying to cheat the system(for example if a player I have ranked no. 15 is there on the board at 21 and is BPA, but is ranked 65 on their board I will NOT pass on him because I know I can draft him in later rounds, I would consider this cheating the system because I have information that in the real world GMs don't really have). 

 

Starting Team Cap Space: $72,725,217

 

Own Free Agents:

Unrestricted FAs

Philip Rivers - retires

Jacoby Brissett - 1 year 7M fully guaranteed. I'm assuming here he won't have a huge market so I'm bringing him back to be competition/backup for our new  franchise QB

T.Y. Hilton - 3 years 30M

Justin Houston - 1 year 10M fully guaranteed. I think he can still be valuable part of our rotation, but toward the end of the year you could see him slowing down. 

Denico Autry - I'm open to bring him back, but it would depend on how much he wants in FA. For the purposes of this mock, I'm assuming he will want more than I'm willing to give so I let him go.

Malik Hooker - to me it's obvious, he's a misfit with our system and Ballard refusing his cheap 5th year option was a sign that we probably are not too interested in keeping him. 

Xavier Rhodes - 2 years/20M(12M guaranteed, 10M first year, completely guaranteed) Very good signing, paid off... lets keep him.

Le'Raven Clark - 1 year, 1.2M... bring him back for depth

Tavon Wilson   let him go. 

T.J. Carrie - 1 year, 3M... depth/competition 

Chaz Green - let him go. 

Trey Burton - 1 year, 3M, bring him back if he wants back for that price. 

Joey Hunt - let him go

Anthony Walker Jr. - IMO he will demand more than I'm willing to pay. Let him go. 

Al-Quadin Muhammad - 1 year, 3M depth/competition

Marlon Mack - I was thinking about resigning him but our cap situation is very far from ideal if you look at it below. So... I'm letting him go. 

 

Restricted FAs

Tremon Smith - released

Mo Alie-Cox - second round tender - $3.5M

Zach Pascal - second round tender - $3.5M

George Odum - 1 year, 1M dollar contract

 

Exclusive Rights FAs

Ashton Dulin, WR $540,000

Taylor Stallworth, DT $750,000

 

---Total Spent on Own FAs: $56.49M ||| Remaining Cap Space: $16,235.217


 

 

Other Teams' FAs:

- Ty Nsekhe, OT - 1 year 3M, he was signed to be a swing tackle for the Bills, but they seem to have established a good starting unit without him. He's still played well in limited snaps over the last several years so I'm signing him to take a shot at a talented player with good physical profile who might be the answer for us at OT. He will be one of the players to compete for LT. 

 

---Total Spent on Other Teams' FAs: $3M ||| Remaining Cap Space: $13,235.217

 

Trades:

- Ben Banogu for a 6th round pick to... the Jets? I guess... :D 

 

---Savings in trades: $1,621,229 ||| Remaining Cap Space: $14,856,446

 

And here comes the draft... 

 

Draft

 

(trade)

Colts trade no. 21 + 2022 1st round pick to Denver for no. 9 pick(this is essentially the KC for Mahomes or Houston for Watson trade):

Round 1, Pick 10 Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State - this is a QB with incredible physical and athletic profile, who is a legitimate dual-threat QB. Before this year, he was considered one of the elite QB prospects who was going to end up in this draft but because of COVID-19, NDS played only 1 game and it seems like people have forgotten about Lance a bit. In the previous full season he played he threw for 2800 yards, 28 TDs and ZERO interceptions. He also rushed for 1100 yards and 14 TDs. Frank seems to love running the ball, but Rivers have put a bit of a cap on our running game with his inability to move and threaten to make plays out of the pocket or on the run. Lance is the opposite in that regard... he is a threat to run, he is a threat to throw on the run. He has some spectacular NFL-type throws on tape out of structure... His arm stength is impressive. IMO it's probably better than any other QB in this draft. The ball jumps out of his hand and has great zip on it. His accuracy is pretty good, too for a QB whose main strength is considered his physical and atletic traits. Something else of note - he actually ran an offense that is more pro-like than most other QBs in this draft, he was taking snaps both from under center and from the gun. Runs play action like a pro already. IMO it's possible he's more ready to play right away than people assume based on him being from FCS school. 

Round 2, Pick 53 Taven Jenkins, OT, Oklahoma State A very well built tackle with the potential to be a starting OT in the league. He has good movement skills, but also a very solid anchor in pass protection and very good strength and power to reset the LOS in the run game. He has a bit of a nasty streak with tendency of pancaking opponents, something I bet Q will be a fan of. He needs a bit of work on his technique with the pass set, but IMO he can be developed into a very good starter. 

Round 3, Pick 86 Carlos Basham, EDGE, Wake Forest I have no idea if he will drop to that point in the real draft. He was there in my mock so I picked him... Seems like a steal here. Very solid EDGE defender. Not a ton of bend or speed, but he's a strong edge setter with good technique and some nice inside moves and power to push the pocket. He will be our replacement for Autry. 

Round 4, Pick 122 Kenny Yeboah, TE, Ole Miss  A good receiving TE with athleticism and size. Can line up in multiple positions, but is not great when inline blocking. Still... R4... 

Round 5. Pick 161 Jaelon Darden, WR North Texas Incredibly shifty and quick receiver. Makes people miss a lot. He can be our project to supplement and eventually replace TY Hilton

Round 6. Pick 193 (from Jets trade above) Nik Bonitto EDGE, Oklahoma ... very slight but incredibly quick and bendy pass-rusher. He will  be more of a situational pass-rusher since he lacks the  strength to play the run on early downs. 

Round 6, Pick 198 Khalil Herbert, RB, Virginia Tech replacement for Mack and eventually for Wilkins.

Round 7, Pick 242 Trey Dean III, CB, Florida Tall and long corner, who is better in zone than in man. Good fit for our scheme and covers our FO's length requirement. 

 

 

---Total Spent on Draftees: ~$10M ||| Remaining Cap Space:  $4,856,446

 

Depth chart:

Offense:
QBTrey Lance, Jacoby Brissett, Jacob Eason
RB: Jonathan Taylor, Nyheim Hines, Jordan Wilkins, Khalil HerbertDarius Anderson, Benny LeMay, Paul Perkins
WR1: Michael Pittman Jr, Zach Pascal, Quartney Davis
WR2: TY Hilton, Dezmond Patmon, Gary Jennings Jr
Slot: Parris Campbell, DeMichael Harris, Jaelon Darden
TE1: Jack Doyle, Kenny YeboahJordan Thomas, Andrew Vollert
TE2: Mo Alie-Cox, Trey Burton, Noah Togiai, Farrod Green
LT: Taven Jenkins La'Raven Clark. Casey Tucker
LG: Quenton Nelson, Jake Eldrenkamp
OC: Ryan Kelly, Danny Pinter
RG: Mark Glowinski, Sam Jones
RT: Braden Smith, Ty NsekheCarter O'Donnell, Will Holden

Deffense:
LDE: Carlos Basham Jr., Al-Quadin Muhammad
DT: Grover Stewart, Kameron Cline, Chris Williams
3T:  DeForest Buckner, Tyquan Lewis, Rob Windsor
RDE: Justin Houston, Kemoko Turay, Nik Bonitto
WILL: Darius Leonard, E.J. Speed
MIKE: Bobby Okereke, Skai Moore 
SAM: Zaire Franklin, Matthew Adams
SS: Khari Willis, Ibraheim Campbell
FS: Julian Blackmon, George Odum
RCB: Xavier Rhodes, Marvell Tell III, Andre Chachere, Will Sunderland,
LCB: Rock Ya-Sin, TJ Carrie, Trey Dean III, Nick Nelson
Slot: Kenny Moore II, Roderic Teamer


Special teams:
LS: Luke Rhodes
P: Rigoberto Sanchez, Austin Rehkow
K: Rodrigo Blankenship

 

*names in green are rookies

**names in red are new FAs

 

Final thoughts:

- It's no surprise to most who've been reading my posts here that priority no. 1 for me is finding our new franchise QB and that until this happens nothing else really matters in the big picture. In this specific draft I decided to do it by trading up in the draft to acquire Trey Lance. I think he's one of the 4 high end talents at QB in this draft and since Lawrence, Fields and Wilson all were going top 5 in the mock I did, Lance falling to the 9-10 range IMO is a good opportunity to strike. I was debating what would be better peace to trade (1st next year or 2nd +3d this year+ 2d next year?). I ended up picking the 1st next year route, because I liked some of the OTs projected to fall to R2 this year. What do you think? 

- I got Jacoby back with the express intention of him to be the back up or competition that pushes Lance going forward. Since I consider Lance a high level talent, I didn't want to bring in a QB who will demand the starting spot... also... the cap is kind of worse than it seems from afar. We have A TON of players to resign or replace if we lose them. Highly paid QB would have necessitated cutting corners elsewhere. So ... ended up with a compromise. 

- Carlos Basham in the 3d is a bit of a pipe dream. I don't think it's very likely he falls there. But if he did IMO he fits well in the mold Ballard likes his LDE

- I wanted to add another safety in the draft but never really found the right spot. Who are your favorites day 2(if say, Basham is not there)? 

- I love what this offense can be with Trey Lance and hopefully our full complement of receivers and Taylor. I still feel like we need an X receiver, though. Couldn't find the right moment for one in the draft. Justyn Ross ... was there in the 4th-5th round but I have no idea what to expect from him.  He's the type that might turn into an X...but no idea if his health is OK, also... if his health is OK I doubt he drops to that point of the draft. 

 

Any thoughts and critique are welcome. Cheers everybody  :cheers:

 

(Disclaimer: I used the blueprint from my last year's mock so it's possible there are some mistakes/leftovers from it that I didn't catch. Please don't hesitate to point out any glaring errors or things you think are overly unrealistic.)

You always do a great job on your mock drafts, and this one is no different

 

Overall I like it, it fills in some holes

 

I like what I see in Lance, but am very fearful that we would have to put him on the field too quick.

 

He will need to have some TLC, and we would be tossing this year away, (which we may have to do to get a QB)

 

I am also leery about counting on a rookie LT to be able to come in and protect a rookie QB's blindside. Its a tough position to play. He could get a rookie QB clobbered. 

 

It will be an interesting off season.......  it really cant be started until the Colts and Rivers come to a decision.

 

If we could get Rivers to play ONE MORE year,  Lance as well as Eason would be greatly helped, and they could compete for the spot the year after.

 

Thanks for the research as well........  (Im glad someone else has the time :))

 

 

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17 minutes ago, MikeCurtis said:

You always do a great job on your mock drafts, and this one is no different

 

Overall I like it, it fills in some holes

 

I like what I see in Lance, but am very fearful that we would have to put him on the field too quick.

 

He will need to have some TLC, and we would be tossing this year away, (which we may have to do to get a QB)

 

I am also leery about counting on a rookie LT to be able to come in and protect a rookie QB's blindside. Its a tough position to play. He could get a rookie QB clobbered. 

 

It will be an interesting off season.......  it really cant be started until the Colts and Rivers come to a decision.

 

If we could get Rivers to play ONE MORE year,  Lance as well as Eason would be greatly helped, and they could compete for the spot the year after.

 

Thanks for the research as well........  (Im glad someone else has the time :))

 

 

Thanks for the feedback :cheers:

 

I hear both your concerns and they are definitely valid. About Lance starting year 1 - the moment we draft a 1st round QB, getting him ready to start as soon as humanly possible becomes priority no.1 for our coaching staff(the offensive side at least). It's very possible even with that attention he might not get ready if we have another weird off-season, so I have accounted for that with bringing back Brissett. I think he's a very good backup who can start if Lance is not ready. The reason why I got Brissett and not someone higher profile is because I don't want us to bring in a QB who will demand the starting spot when we are trading for a QB in R1. I want a competent competition, I don't want it to be decided from the start that the rookie will sit. IMO if you draft a QB high, you should be ready to put him in the moment he is ready to run your offense competently. IMO Brissett is in that sweet spot where he will give the rookie a run for his money, but won't usurp the spot and you will feel good about your rookie if he's on par with(or better than) a Brissett type. It would be a great start to his career. 

 

The LT question and whether he will be ready is another one to take into account. My thought process here is - create multiple avenues for filling that spot. For me those would be -

1. Nelson(try him... you never know and you lose nothing if it doesn't work ... just get him back inside if he can't handle the LT spot),

2. FA - I'm bringing Ty Nsekhe to compete for the spot. He's been solid in spot duties for the Bills and has the profile to do the job... and is still young... and

3. the draft - Taven Jenkins is one of the players that I think can be a long-term solution at the position. Again .... no idea if he will be ready, but he will be part of the competition for the spot.

 

My hope here is that at least one of them will step up and be reasonable starter. 

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6 minutes ago, stitches said:

Thanks for the feedback :cheers:

 

I hear both your concerns and they are definitely valid. About Lance starting year 1 - the moment we draft a 1st round QB, getting him ready to start as soon as humanly possible becomes priority no.1 for our coaching staff(the offensive side at least). It's very possible even with that attention he might not get ready if we have another weird off-season, so I have accounted for that with bringing back Brissett. I think he's a very good backup who can start if Lance is not ready. The reason why I got Brissett and not someone higher profile is because I don't want us to bring in a QB who will demand the starting spot when we are trading for a QB in R1. I want a competent competition, I don't want it to be decided from the start that the rookie will sit. IMO if you draft a QB high, you should be ready to put him in the moment he is ready to run your offense competently. IMO Brissett is in that sweet spot where he will give the rookie a run for his money, but won't usurp the spot and you will feel good about your rookie if he's on par with(or better than) a Brissett type.

 

The LT question and whether he will be ready is another one to take into account. My thought process here is - create multiple avenues for filling that spot. For me those would be -

1. Nelson(try him... you never know and you lose nothing if it doesn't work ... just get him back inside if he can't handle the LT spot),

2. FA - I'm bringing Ty Nsekhe to compete for the spot. He's been solid in spot duties for the Bills and has the profile to do the job... and is still young... and

3. the draft - Taven Jenkins is one of the players that I think can be a long-term solution at the position. Again .... no idea if he will be ready, but he will be part of the competition for the spot.

 

My hope here is that at least one of them will step up and be reasonable starter. 

I wonder the same thing with Nelson. He is a stud, possibly HOF LG.  My fear is he is a good LT for 1-2 years. (Maybe we get a RT mauler that MIGHT develop into a LT, who could play LG this year.......  Then switch them back......   

 

I WAS a big Brissett fan. But.....  I became less after seeing him play more.  The Texan game in 2019 where they had 3 of 4 starters OUT, and we couldnt complete a pass.  That game haunts me.....    Playing Brissett would be painful and would improve our draft position tremendously in 2022 (I fear)   If we want to tank, why not throw Eason to the wolves ?   If our expectation for playoffs are gone, why not use the year to develop the QB room verses giving it again to Brissett.

Tough question.

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