Round 1- SS Johnathan Abram (5-foot-11, 205 pounds)
Chris Ballard could look to address the safety position in the first round for the second time in his first three years as GM of the Indianapolis Colts. Abram would compliment FS Malik Hooker perfectly and fill that downhill in-the-box safety role in coordinator Matt Eberflus’ system.
The Mississippi State product had a great overall combine performance, highlighted by his 4.45 40-yard dash time. With last year’s starter Clayton Geathers yet to be signed, the Colts have a void to fill at strong safety. Taylor Rapp from Washington is also a possibility at this pick or early in the second round.
Round 2 (Pick 1)- DE Charles Omenihu (6-foot-5, 280 pounds)
The Colts have had several interviews with the Texas defender, so there’s an obvious interest already. Omenihu has an NFL-ready physique and freakish athletic traits. While he might be a raw prospect, his ceiling is very high and with proper coaching could become an elite edge rusher.
He explodes out of his stance and uses his long arms to get his hands on tackles. He can play edge or kick inside to defensive tackle on passing downs, complimenting smaller teammates like last year’s second-round pick, Kemoko Turay.
Round 2 (Pick 2)- WR Parris Campbell (6-feet, 205 pounds)
Campbell could put a lot of pressure on opposing defenses if put in the right position. He’s elite with the ball in his hands, so working underneath out of the slot will be his bread-and-butter. He can also stretch the field vertically with a combine-best 4.31 40-yard dash. With a little more polish on his route running skills, Campbell could develop into an excellent weapon for Andrew Luck and head coach Frank Reich to play with.
Round 3- CB Justin Layne (6-foot-2, 192 pounds)
Ballard has shown that he likes longer corners and Layne fits that mold. Layne is a converted wide receiver so his movement and ball skills are above average. Layne has good football IQ and will fit in nicely with an organization that prides itself on high character players. Bump-and-run style corner will fit with Eberflus’ scheme. He will need to work on playing tougher at the next level.
Round 4- WR David Sills V (6-foot-3, 211 pounds)
Andrew Luck will not complain if wide receiver is made a priority position this offseason. Sills brings a different skill set to the table than Campbell with his tall rangy frame. Sills is a former quarterback so his football IQ should be through the roof as well as his potential. He’ll struggle early to adjust to NFL play speed and strength, but his ball skills in the red zone should shine early. After a year or two to work on his route tree and beef up in the weight room, Sills could be a draft-day steal.
Round 4 (Compensatory pick)- C Erik McCoy (6-foot-4 303 pounds)
Ryan Kelly is one of the best centers in the league when healthy. But staying healthy has been a problem for the former first-round pick and he’s entering a contract year. McCoy showed this season that he can hold up against stout competition (Dexter Lawrence, Quinnen Williams) and would provide insurance at center in case Kelly is not available or departs next offseason.
Round 5- LB Cameron Smith (6-foot-2, 238 pounds)
Smith was a consistent player and four-year starter at USC. His physical traits won’t wow GMs, but he’s a heady player who wins with correct angles and great play recognition. He has the potential to start opposite Darius Leonard and is a capable backup at least.
Round 6- DT Daniel Wise (6-foot-3, 281 pounds)
Wise is athletic and agile enough to shoot gaps. Good footwork and low-pad level make him a quality prospect. He is the brother of New England Patriot Deatrich Wise.
Round 7- LB Ben Burr-Kirven (6-feet, 230 pounds)
Burr-Kirven is an undersized linebacker that wins with speed and heart. Even if he never carves out a starting role on defense, the guy will be a nightmare on special teams.