Indianapolis Colts Mock Draft: 7-Round Predictions, Post-Scouting Combine
With the NFL Scouting Combine now complete, NFL franchises are one step closer to the 2013 NFL draft.
Although the combine is consistently overhyped and puts far more weight on the numbers than there should be, scouts are going to use the combine to confirm previous conclusions, while game tape and performance during things like Senior Bowl practices hold much more weight.
So, the combine doesn't affect my projections much at all, but it does confirm for a few players that they'll be going early or gives questionable players all the more reason to slip.
More informative, in my opinion, are the quotes from Colts officials throughout the weekend. While they may be a smokescreen, I personally think that Ryan Grigson and Chuck Pagano are being very honest.
In light of that, and a few certain combine performances, I've adjusted my picks a little.
1st Round, No. 24 Overall Pick
S Jonathan Cyprien, Florida International
While a hamstring injury limited Cyprien at the combine, he was still able to post the fifth-highest vertical jump among safeties. More importantly, he looked just as good as expected in the combine drills, despite his injury.
While the hamstring injury prevented the hard-hitting safety from running the 40-yard dash, it won't prevent teams from drafting him come April. Cyprien has all but guaranteed his draft spot in the second half of the first round.
If he's still around when it comes to No. 24, the Colts absolutely should snatch him up, pairing him with veteran Antoine Bethea in the back end of the defense.
With Ryan Grigson recently describing how defensive backs tend to work out better as starters in their rookie year than offensive linemen, it's easy to see the Colts picking up one with their first pick. Another possibility would be Washington cornerback Desmond Trufant.
3rd Round, No. 86 Overall Pick
DT Brandon Williams, Missouri Southern State
It's very possible that Williams will be gone by this point in the draft, but I could see the Colts trading up for a guy like Williams as well. A second or third-round prospect, dropping to the bottom of the third may be hopeful.
Ideally, Williams would fall with a run on defensive backs and outside linebackers in the beginning of the draft, allowing the Colts to get a huge steal with this pick.
Williams is a huge prospect at 335 pounds, with athleticism that would allow him to play any position on the Colts' 3-4 defensive line. If he was to play for the Colts, he's likely to be in the nose tackle rotation with 2012 draft pick Josh Chapman. If he was to shed a few pounds off of his top-heavy frame, he could be a very fitting defensive end.
As a backup pick, look for a guy like OLB/DE Corey Lemonier, a pass-rusher with a lot of natural ability.
4th Round, No. 118 Overall Pick
WR Chris Harper, Kansas State
Harper is a tough, physical receiver who draws comparisons with Anquan Boldin.
It showed in the combine. While Harper's 4.55 40-yard dash wasn't bad, his 20 reps in the bench press was third among wide receivers. More importantly, his time in the three-cone drill was among the top performers, showing the quickness and change-of-direction ability to get open without elite speed.
The Colts could use a big, physical receiver, with Reggie Wayne and T.Y. Hilton being more than enough in the "diminutive wide receiver" category.
An alternative pick here, especially if no corner had been selected up to this point, would be CB Tyrann Mathieu. Grigson mentioned this week that character issues wouldn't be considered like they have in the past, and Mathieu certainly could add some potential to the Colts' thin corner position.
6th Round, No. 182 Overall Pick
OT Ricky Wagner, Wisconsin
With the Colts needing both depth and contributors on the offensive line, Ricky Wagner could be a very likely target in the late rounds.
Wagner has the length and frame that teams want in a tackle, but his feet have not looked nearly quick enough to stay on the left side. If he remains a tackle, he'll likely move to the right spot, which the Colts will need with Winston Justice hitting free agency (and not being very good even if he's re-signed).
An alternative pick here would be Syracuse safety Shamarko Thomas, a Bob Sanders-like safety without much size but with great quickness and toughness.
7th Round, No. 214 Overall Pick
DE/OLB Brandon Sharpe, Syracuse
Sharpe wasn't invited to the combine, but the Syracuse sack leader is very disruptive behind the line of scrimmage and deserves a shot in the NFL. At the very least, his athleticism could lead to him being a solid special teams member.
The seventh round is a time for fliers, so a distinct possibility would be a fullback like Lonnie Pryor out of Florida State if the Colts decide to go with a traditional fullback.
The other options would be to take risk with a running back or developmental skill player on the outside, offensive or defensive.
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