During this week’s NFL Draft, the Indianapolis Colts built up assets to help construct the future of their franchise.
As the 2018 season was in progress it looked like it may be another disappointing season for the Colts. Then they finally found their stride and won their last five regular season games. Unfortunately, they ran into the juggernaut known as the Kansas City Chiefs.
General manager Chris Ballard is starting to build a roster that teams will not want to play against. He drafted All-Pros with his first two picks last season: Quenton Nelson and Darius Leonard. As he looks to build on that foundation, there are still some holes to fill on this roster. They should look into improving both their pass rush and secondary, and should also try to find franchise quarterback Andrew Luck some new weapons.
Round 1, Selection 26
Trade With Redskins, Gain Two Second Round Picks
The Colts found it in their best interest to secure extra draft capital, trading out of the first round for a second round pick this year and an extra second-rounder next year. This left them with three second-round picks this year, picks 34, 46, and 59. They felt that their needs could adequately be filled in the second round, where there were still plenty of players with amazing talent. However, there was a lot of talent left on the board when they were on the clock, including the player that was eventually selected by the Redskins, Montez Sweat. He really could have improved the Colts’ defensive front, which is why this isn’t an “A” move.
Round 2, Selection 34
Rock Ya-Sin, Cornerback, Temple
Rock Ya-Sin is a physical corner who has the ability to play outside or slot corner, and because of that he will be able to crack the starting lineup right away. Ya-Sin is a former two-time wrestling state champion and is not afraid to tackle. He plays best in a press man or man coverage defense. This pick is very smart for another reason, being that they took note of their division. The Titans and Jaguars have been run-first offenses the past couple seasons, and this pick will also help their run defense.
Round 2, Selection 46
Ben Banogu, EDGE, TCU
With this year’s selection gained from the Redskins, the Colts addressed a need at edge rusher. Ben Banogu was a productive edge rusher who has had 8.5 sacks the past two seasons. He has shown he is quick off the snap and able to slash the gaps, he also has a wide variety of pass rush moves. Banogu will be in a nice rotation with Jaball Sheard and Justin Houston. He will help put pressure on the top quarterbacks if the Colts are looking to advance in the playoffs.
Round 2, Selection 59
Parris Campbell, Wide Receiver, Ohio State
Campbell is a player that can be lined up all over the field, which is why he can be considered a gadget player. His best and most effective traits are his speed and athleticism, but he was not used as much as a vertical threat at Ohio State. Campbell was used more for running bubble screens and slants, which is why he could really impress on the Colts. In 2018, Campbell had a breakout season with 90 receptions and 12 touchdowns. This pick will help take some of the heat off of T.Y Hilton.
Round 3, Selection 89
Bobby Okerke, Linebacker, Stanford
Bobby Okerke was a highly productive linebacker at Stanford. While he is considered a little undersized by NFL standards, he has the ability to play sideline to sideline and has shown the ability to pass rush while taking advantage of his length and hands. Okerke will need to work on his coverage in both man and zone, as he was mostly used more as a pass rusher, but if he can improve those skills he will be a very valuable piece for Indianapolis.
Round 4 , Selection 109
Khari Willis, Safety, Michigan State
Willis was named a team captain and has demonstrated great leadership on and off the field. He finds success as an in the box safety who is a sure tackler. He plays with a great motor and has a nose for the ball, while also showing flashes that he is able to cover in the slot. Willis has the ability to play that big nickel role teams are looking for now but is not a surefire starting talent yet. This could turn out to be a great pick for Indy.
Round 5, Selection 144
Marvell Tell, Safety, USC
Tell has the length and speed teams are looking for in safeties. He is more of a free safety who will play away from the line of scrimmage as he is better in coverage than in run support. His speed allows him to play the middle of the field with excellent range, but he does have limits.
Round 5, Selection 164
E.J. Speed, Linebacker, Tarleton State
His name is fitting; his best and most intriguing trait is his speed. Speed is a bit of a mystery, as he comes from a small school that not many people know about, but at his pro day, he showed great athletic ability and seems to have tremendous upside to play middle linebacker.
Round 6, Selection 199
Gerri Green, EDGE, Mississippi State
Green had a better junior than senior year, but they did move him to a down lineman instead of a standup linebacker. He has good length and athletic ability to play and stay on the 53 man roster, as long as he performs well enough. Green will have to show that he is able to contribute on special teams in order to lock in his spot.
Round 7, Selection 240
Jackson Barton, Tackle, Utah
Barton will have to make the transition from left to right tackle in the NFL, due to his length and speed. He is better graded in the run game with a mean determiner and always running motor. Patterson is more of a depth or developmental player that the Colts may hope to stick to their practice squad.
Round 7, Selection 246
Javon Patterson, Center, Mississippi
Patterson is a versatile interior lineman who has experience playing all three positions. He may be better suited at playing center with his arm length and strength. Patterson has the quickness and footwork to make the roster as a depth lineman.
Overall the Colts draft grade is a “C”. The trade out of the first round and picking up addition picks was smart in this draft as most the value was in the second and third rounds, but they did miss out on a first-round talent. They did a good job filling positions of need early in the draft with Ya-Sin, Banogu, and getting a new weapon in Parris. It looks like the end of the draft they where drafting player they believe they can develop but it might be two to three years before you see if they stay on the roster.