Luck Needs Weapons to Succeed in Indianapolis
The Indianapolis Colts have been on the clock for months, but they will finally make their No. 1 overall selection in this Thursday's 2012 NFL Draft.
The front office has made it clear who they will take with the first overall pick. GM Ryan Grigson confirmed that the team has known for a long time who they would select. According to Reggie Hayes' tweet:
#Colts Grigson says QB decision made. They'll reveal on draft night. Sounds like Luck, as it has all along
Assuming that the Colts do in fact take Luck, they'll need to surround him with new weapons to aid him in his success with Indianapolis. Here are five players that Luck would love to see Indy select with their day two selections.
The Colts had been anchored at center for over a decade, but they finally parted ways with Jeff Saturday during the offseason. Saturday was the anchor of a stellar Colt offensive line unit that protected former quarterback Peyton Manning as well as one could ask.
With Saturday off to play for Green Bay, Indianapolis needs to find a replacement to anchor the center position. This is crucial for Andrew Luck's play throughout the season, as having a reliable and talented center can be a rookie quarterback's best friend. Luck is going to get hit hard and often, but adding Konz would be a huge boon for the Colts' offensive line.
Although Peter Konz is projected to be a late first-round selection, he could slip a few spots and fall into the Colts' arms in the second round, in which they own the second overall selection in that round.
The Colts drafted two offensive line prospects in last year's draft, and they plan to anchor their line around the pair of Anthony Castonzo and Ben Ijalana. However, the Colts have more holes on the offensive line, especially with long-time veteran Ryan Diem retiring this offseason.
If Indianapolis misses out on taking Konz to fill their center spot, then the next best prospect would be Mike Adams. Coming out of Ohio State, Adams is a mammoth-sized tackle who measures out at 6'7", 323 pounds. He is projected as a late first-rounder, but some have him falling into the early second round.
The Colts have lacked size on both the offensive and defensive lines of the ball, so taking Adams would fulfill a goal of the new coaching staff to make this team bigger and more intimidating. However, there are questions about Adams' motor and consistency, but his size and potential would be too tempting to pass for Indianapolis. You have to protect Andrew Luck, and this prospect certainly fits the bill.
However, the Colts also need help at the offensive skill positions, which is where the next player would help immensely...
It sounds strange saying this, but the Indianapolis Colts are in need of wide receivers. Yes, one of the NFL's deepest wide receiver corps for years has finally come back down to Earth, and the Colts roster is filled with old veterans past their prime and guys with injury concerns.
The Colts lack a young, talented wide receiver prospect, and they will need to select one in the NFL Draft if they expect Andrew Luck to exceed in his rookie season. The most likely wide receiver prospect to be available in Round 2 is Stephen Hill out of Georgia Tech.
He has steadily risen up the draft boards with his freakish speed (4.36 40-yard dash) and excellent size (6'4", 215 pounds). Hill only caught 28 passes for 820 yards last season, but he emerged as a deep threat with a 29.3 average yards per catch. While Hill doesn't project as an every-down wide receiver, he would be an excellent second receiver who can stretch the field with his speed and be effective in the red zone because of his size.
This would be a great pickup for the Colts in Round 2. However, there are two guys who Luck would rather throw it to next season, one of which he is very familiar with...
This is the most popular pick on Colts mock drafts, as reuniting Coby Fleener with his college quarterback, Andrew Luck, just makes a lot of sense. Both players would benefit from having some familiarity on the roster, and they played flawlessly together at Stanford.
Also, tight end is a big need for the Colts, who lost former starter Dallas Clark and backup Jacob Tamme during free agency. Luck obviously needs a big target to throw to over the middle, so Fleener makes perfect sense. He emerged as a big playmaker in the red zone, catching ten touchdown passes last season and compiled 667 receiving yards.
Fleener does project as the best tight end in the draft, but he is not a can't-miss prospect with a weak tight end class this year. Although he is a good player and would help Andrew Luck, he likely will not be the most talented player available for the Colts in the second round.
For a roster that is devoid of talent, they need to take the best player available, which is why I have one guy ranked ahead of Fleener for the best player on Andrew Luck's wishlist...
This one is a long shot, but there are some mock drafts out there who have Alshon Jeffery falling to the beginning of Round 2. His stock has certainly slipped, but that would be a drastic drop for a player with Top-10 potential.
Jeffery is a physical freak who excelled in Steve Spurrier's high-octane offense. He broke out on the national scene in his sophomore season, in which he hauled in 88 receptions for 1,517 yards and nine touchdown catches.
However, he had a disappointing junior campaign and his combine failed to wow critics. Therefore, he could slip near the end of the first round, and some personality concerns might drag him down to the Colts second-round selection.
If this happens, Indianapolis should take the bite and select him. The team is in need of a major overhaul in talent, and Jeffery might be the second-most talented wide receiver in the draft. He is a huge target who would provide a big red zone target for Andrew Luck, and could also learn the in's and out's of the league from fellow wideout Reggie Wayne.
As long as Jeffery gets his head on straight, this pick could turn out to be a steal in Round Two.