Indianapolis Colts 2013 Draft Updates: Latest News, Trade Rumors & Predictions
After winning only two games in 2011, not a lot was expected of the Indianapolis Colts in 2012, especially with rookie quarterback Andrew Luck taking the reins for the Colts.
However, the Colts rallied around head coach Chuck Pagano during his battle with leukemia, Luck had an excellent rookie season and by the time the dust settled the Colts had won 11 games and were a surprise playoff team.
With loads of cap space, the Colts were also an active team in free agency this season, which leaves the team headed towards April's NFL draft in the interesting position of not having a glaring need that must be addressed.
So, what direction could the Colts be leaning with the 24th overall pick?
Let's find out by taking a look at some of the latest news, rumors and speculation surrounding the Colts' draft plans this year.
Latest News, Rumors and Reports
April 24: As the Colts continue to transition to a 3-4 defense pass rushers are at a premium for the team, and Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reports that one such player the Colts have done a "lot" of homework on is Florida State's Tank Carradine, who should be available when Indianapolis picks at 24.
April 20: The Indianapolis Colts were one of many teams in attendance at a "personal pro day" on Saturday. According to Joe Reedy of The Cincinnati Enquirer, representatives from the team were in attendance for the workout of Florida State defensive end Tank Carradine, who is projected by most pundits to be a late-first or early-second round selection.
April 19: The Indianapolis Colts aren't containing their player visits to the so-called "big names". On Friday, the Colts hosted a pair of small-school prospects, hosting New Mexico State cornerback Jeremy Harris and Montana fullback Dan Moore according to Aaron Wilson of Scout.com.
April 16: As voluntary workouts get underway across the NFL the Colts are also ramping up their player visits. According to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com, the team began a two-day meeting on Tuesday with SMU defensive end Margus Hunt.
Beat writer Mike Chappell of The Indianapolis Star also reports that the Colts have visited with USC wideout Robert Woods, who like Hunt is widely viewed as a late-first or early-second round prospect.
April 13: Outside linebacker is a position of need for the Indianapolis Colts, and the team may be looking to address that need a bit later in the 2013 NFL draft. On Saturday the Colts hosted Connecticut defensive end Trevardo Williams according to Aaron Wilson of Scout.com.
The 241-pound Williams, who had 30.5 sacks over his career with the Huskies, is viewed as a third-round prospect by many scouts, and projects best as a 3-4 outside linebacker in the NFL.
April 11: It's rather unlikely that he'll still be on the board when the Colts pick in the first round, but Georgia linebacker Jarvis Jones, who would be a very interesting fit in Indy's 3-4 front, tweeted Thursday that he was in Indianapolis and visiting with the team.
April 9: The Indianapolis Colts are transitioning to power-running attack under new offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton, and it appears that the team is looking at some later-round prospects to potentially bolster the ground game.
Aaron Wilson of Scout.com reported Tuesday that the Colts will bring in LSU running back Spencer Ware, who projects as a fifth or sixth-round pick in April's NFL draft, in for a workout.
April 5: The Indianapolis Colts could be looking to a small-school star to bolster their receiving corps. As Gil Brandt of NFL.com reported, the team has scheduled a workout with Elon wide receiver Aaron Mellette, who led all FCS players in both catches and receiving yards in 2012.
Mellette is only the latest in a number of players that the Colts have had in for visits so far this year according to Draftace.com.
Christine Michael, RB, Texas A&M
MarQueis Gray, TE, Minnesota
Michael Williams, TE, Alabama
Edmund Kugbila, OG, Valdosta State
Duke Williams, S, Nevada
Kevin McDermott, LS, UCLA
Latest Mock Drafts
For many NFL teams there's something of a consensus regarding who will be their first-round pick, or at least what position will be addressed.
However, as these mock drafts show, that isn't the case in Indianapolis.
ESPN (Mel Kiper Jr., 4/24): Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State
Kiper sees more than a few directions the Colts could go in with the 24th overall pick, but writes that "Rhodes makes a lot of sense based on what his strengths are. If Vontae Davis and Greg Toler are on X and Y receivers, Rhodes is the physical corner who can handle the slot and be an effective support option against the run."
Sports Illustrated (Don Banks, 4/17): D.J. Fluker, OT, Alabama
Andrew Luck was harassed quite a bit during his rookie season, and Banks says that "Indy general manager Ryan Grigson doesn't seem like the type to pass on this level of quality at this value. And perhaps Fluker's presence can be used to get the best out of underachieving left tackle Anthony Castonzo."
CBS Sports (Rob Rang, 4/21): Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State
Rang agrees with Kiper that the Colts need to address their secondary early in the 2013 NFL draft, stating that "should Indianapolis attempt to build its defense in the same fashion that head coach Chuck Pagano's former team - the Baltimore Ravens - were built, a lanky, playmaking corner well-versed in press coverage like Rhodes would seem to be an ideal fit."
The Colts are going to be one of the more interesting teams to watch in the NFL draft's first round, due in part to the fact that pundits are all over the place regarding whom they should take. For Campbell, it's Patterson, who he says "could be a steal as an understudy to Reggie Wayne."
Bleacher Report (Matt Miller, 4/22): Margus Hunt, DE, SMU
Well, at least these experts were consistent in their inconsistency.
For Bleacher Report NFL draft Lead Writer Matt Miller, SMU's Margus Hunt is the smart play as the team looks to upgrade their pass rush.
Of Hunt Miller writes "You can add 20 pounds to Hunt and have a J.J. Watt-sized defensive end in the 3-4 defense."
Indianapolis Star (Mike Chappel, 4/20): Datone Jones, DE, UCLA
Mike Chappel, who recently took part in a beat writer mock draft sponsored by The Los Angeles Times, agrees with Campbell that the Colts will look to southern California in the first round, writing that. "the Colts don't have a second pass rusher other than Robert Mathis and he's on the wrong side of 30."
Latest Trade Rumors
Given that the Colts aren't a team with one overwhelming need or a huge hole in the roster, Indianapolis would appear to be a prime candidate to trade down and add a pick or two.
The rumor mill is quiet on that front at the moment, but talks could heat up as draft day nears.
Should any rumors start making the rounds, we'll be sure to include them here.
The Defensive Line Could Use a Boost
As we mentioned earlier in this article, the Colts allowed 5.1 yards a carry in 2012, a number that was worse than all but one team in the NFL.
The Colts are hopeful that the addition of Franklin will help in that regard, but at 32 years old, Franklin isn't the player he once was.
That makes the defensive front something of an area of need, especially if the Colts can find players that are solid fits in Pagano's 3-4 defense.
Whether it's with an early pick such as the aforementioned Jones, or later in the draft with a player such as A.J. Francis of Maryland, it's a safe bet that the Colts will look to the defensive line at some point in the 2013 NFL draft.
The Offensive Line Could Too
It may seem a quaint notion in today's pass-wacky NFL, but the fact remains that in many cases games are still won in the trenches.
That makes the offensive front another area where the Colts could stand to get better, especially at guard, where Mike McGlynn was mostly awful in 2012.
As Bleacher Report featured columnist Kyle Rodriguez recently pointed out in his seven-round mock draft for the Colts, that could lead the team to take a look at the likes of Syracuse lineman Justin Pugh in the 2013 draft.
Pugh is versatile player who could not only step in at guard but also provide depth at tackle, bolstering an offensive line that allowed 41 sacks a season ago.