Colts 2013 Mock Draft: Final 7-Round Predictions for Indianapolis
It's down to the final hours, as the NFL Draft takes place Thursday night, at 8 pm E.T. Draft enthusiasts, analysts and fans are setting their final mocks, draft boards and wish lists as the hours grow shorter. Of course, what kind of coverage would we be providing if we didn't provide our own final predictions?
The Colts have a plethora of options throughout the 2013 NFL draft, with a roster that is still weak across the board. The first round alone is a complete question mark, along with the rest of the draft. While conventional wisdom would suggest trading down in this draft, Grigson showed in 2012 that he is not afraid to trade up to get a certain prospect.
Looking into the 2013 draft, trading (either up or down) is a certain possibility. But, should the Colts stay in their current slots, here are a few prospects that fit their direction as a franchise.
Round 1, No. 24 Overall: OLB/DE Cornellius (Tank) Carradine, Florida State
The Carradine draft stock has taken a hit over the last week or so, and some mocks now don't even have him in the first round. Nevertheless, Carradine is a game-changing pass-rusher, with his main question being his health after a a torn ACL this past season,
But Carradine's rehab is going extremely well, and he impressed scouts and analysts with his workout just a few days ago. With his impressive game tape speaking for him, Carradine could be a top-10 talent that slips into the late first round.
For the Colts, a pass-rusher of Carradine's caliber being available would be the best scenario. The Colts desperately need a pass-rusher, especially with the loss of Dwight Freeney in the offseason.
The Colts were one of the worst in the league at pressuring the opposing quarterback last season, and losing Freeney just rubs salt in the wound. Erik Walden, essentially Freeney's replacement, struggles in pass rush, and will offer little to soften the blow.
With Carradine, the Colts get a premier pass-rusher who would likely split time with Walden in 2013, but should be a full-time starter by his sophomore season.
Round 3, No. 86 Overall: OC/OG Travis Frederick, Wisconsin
Most Colts fans will recognize Alabama's Barrett Jones as a possible interior line pick in the third round, but Frederick could be the hidden gem in this year's draft.
Frederick is a classic mauler, a big (6'4", 312 pounds), strong lineman who should be able to push people around in run blocking at the next level. Not only does Frederick have the physical tools necessary to succeed, but he has great technique and is able to play at both guard and center.
The Colts would love Frederick's versatility, especially considering their ineptitude at center and right guard in 2012. Center Samson Satele and right guard Mike McGlynn are both slated to start again in 2013, which is a poor sign for Andrew Luck and the Colts' running backs.
A high-quality prospect like Frederick would go a long way in solidifying a line that could be much improved in 2013 with additions Gosder Cherilus and Donald Thomas.
Round 4, 121 Overall: FS Bacarri Rambo, Georgia
While this draft doesn't have the elite talent at the top that years past have, the depth at certain positions is fantastic, and will lead to high-quality players being available in the middle rounds. Secondary is one of those position groups, and I expect the Colts to take long, hard looks at both cornerbacks and safeties in the third and fourth rounds.
One player who could slip to the fourth is Georgia safety Bacarri Rambo, a ball-hawking free safety who is also capable of delivering a big hit. Rambo suffers from taking bad angles at times in run support, but his function in an NFL defense is likely more of a centerfielder in zone coverage rather than a strong safety in the box.
With Antoine Bethea's contract expiring after this season, Rambo (who reminds me of Bethea with better ball skills) would get a season of training behind Bethea before potentially taking over long term in 2014. Rambo will need to shore up some poor technique issues to be a potential Pro Bowler, but he certainly has that potential with his knack for big plays.
The Colts lack playmakers on defense, and Rambo could be a very good one in the Colts' scheme.
Round 6, 192 Overall: WR Aaron Mellette, Elon
In 2008, the Colts selected a wide receiver from a small Division-III school in Pierre Garçon. Five years later, the Colts once again could look for a long-term starter from a relatively unknown school.
Mellette worked out with the Colts earlier this month, and could be a perfect fit in their wide receiver corp. Mellette, unlike Garçon, doesn't have top-end straight-line speed, but is a precise route runner that excels in making catches in traffic. He could be a very good possession receiver to eventually replace Reggie Wayne.
Mellette's size (6'2", 217 lbs) is something that's sorely lacking among the Colts' long-term options at wide receiver, with T.Y. Hilton and LaVon Brazill both being speedy, small receivers. Mellette gives the group another target to develop as an underneath/intermediate weapon for Andrew Luck.
Colts fans may be looking for a sexier wide receiver prospect to be a future No. 1 option, but Mellette has the potential to be a consistent producer for a long time.
Round 7, 230 Overall: RB Miguel Maysonet, Stony Brook
Maysonet is quickly becoming everybody's favorite late-round running back prospect, and for good reason. Maysonet may have faced a low level of competition at Stony Brook, but he was incredibly consistent as a power running back. Maysonet is short (5'9"), but thick (209), and runs extremely hard with great patience as a runner.
Maysonet does have some issues with his lack of speed and a tendency to run too upright in open space, but overall looks like he could be a diamond in the rough.
With the Colts switching to a more power-running scheme under Pep Hamilton, the running back position is looking a tad depleted. Maysonet looks like a back that would fit the scheme very well, and could be this year's Alfred Morris.
A seventh round prospect is hardly a sure thing, but Maysonet would certainly have a chance to beat out Delone Carter, who has failed to solidify his spot in the Colts' long-term plans.
Round 7, 254 Overall: CB Travis Howard, Ohio State
Although not a technician by any means, Travis Howard is an intriguing prospect at corner as a late round pick. Howard has great size for the position at 6'1" and 200 pounds. Howard also has long arms (over 32") and is a physical specimen who could be a good press coverage corner.
With those long arms, Howard has done a good job when the ball is in the air, with eight interceptions and 20 passes defended over his college career. He also reads the eyes of the quarterback well, and isn't afraid to break on a ball instinctively.
Howard will need a lot of coaching at the next level, as he can get lost in coverage and doesn't have the speed to recover quickly enough. But Chuck Pagano is a secondary specialist, and Howard has all the potential to contribute at the corner position with his physicality.
At the very least, Howard should be able to contribute on special teams right away, which is as good as you can expect from a seventh-round pick.