Indianapolis Colts 2014 Mock Draft with Player Scouting Profiles
Well, it was a disappointing weekend for Indianapolis Colts fans, with former Colts Tony Dungy and Marvin Harrison both missing out on Hall of Fame selections, Robert Mathis losing the Defensive Player of the Year award and former Colt Peyton Manning losing in the Super Bowl.
But the upside to this weekend is that it is now over, meaning that the offseason is officially here.
With that in mind, we move right into mock draft mode. For the Colts, this includes five picks (second, third, fifth, sixth and seventh round) and an opportunity to improve depth on the roster and find potential starters at key positions.
For a more inclusive list of targets, check out our initial big board from last week, but here is one potential combination of players that could be very beneficial for Indianapolis.
2nd Round: WR Jordan Matthews (Vanderbilt)
The Fit: There has been, and will be, plenty of talk about where the Colts should go with their first pick in the 2014 draft, and to be honest, it likely will come down to a "best player available" scenario. With a thin overall roster, the Colts can really afford to take whatever player they want without much concern over the position.
With wide receiver being such a deep position this year, a top-notch receiver may be able to be found in the second round for Indianapolis. Jordan Matthews is my ideal pick in this situation, and you'll hear more than enough about him over the next few months. Of course, we'll mix up our mocks, but why not start with the player that I'd rather have over anybody else at this position?
Pros: Matthews is one of the most complete route-runners in this draft and combines great size along with his technical abilities (6'3", 208 pounds). He has extremely consistent hands, and while he's no Anquan Boldin in terms of physicality, he certainly can hold his own while making catches in traffic.
Cons: There are numerous other receivers in this draft with better athleticism than Matthews. He's not exceptionally fast, and his separation abilities are more about his route tree than his explosiveness. But, to be honest, the Colts have several very good athletes at wide receiver already (T.Y. Hilton, LaVon Brazill, Da'Rick Rogers), and a big-play threat isn't something that's essential for this receiving corp.
3rd Round: ILB Chris Borland (Wisconsin)
The Fit: The Colts desperately need to address the inside linebacker position this offseason. With few big names available in free agency, the team may look to the early rounds of the draft to fill the need. Jerrell Freeman is a nice piece, but the Colts desperately need more, both in the depth and starting positions.
The Colts could especially use an attacking linebacker who can be aggressive against the run to start alongside Freeman, who can get a bit conservative at times.
Pros: Borland has exceptional instincts and reads and reacts to plays very well. He quickly gets into gaps and behind the line of scrimmage, where he picks up a decent amount of tackles for loss. Borland is also instinctive in the passing game and is fairly smooth in coverage. He also is an effective blitzer and can be sent from anywhere.
Cons: The biggest knock on Borland is his lack of size. Borland is just 5'11", and his height could get in the way of both run defense (getting caught behind the line) and pass defense (against taller tight ends). He also isn't the most consistent tackler in this year's draft.
5th Round: S Kenneth Ladler (Vanderbilt)
The Fit: With their later picks, I'd really like to see the Colts address positions with thin depth. Of course, every pick should be a player who could potentially start some day, but in reality, most players this late are going to be rotational and special teams players.
One position where the Colts need depth (even if they get a few big names in free agency) is the secondary. Kenneth Ladler out of Vanderbilt is a safety who could be a very nice special teams contributor while also adding versatility and high potential to the Colts' safety group. If he falls into the fifth, he's a player that would be hard to pass up in Indianapolis.
Pros: Ladler is extremely versatile, playing both free and strong safety at Vanderbilt and taking snaps at cornerback a few times during Senior Bowl week. Ladler is a playmaker as well, forcing five fumbles and picking off five passes in 2013. A reliable tackler with a quick first step, Ladler should be able to step into any role and perform adequately.
Cons: The problem with versatility is that it generally means the player isn't great at any one thing. Ladler isn't an exceptional run supporter and he can have his issues in coverage at times. He can be a bit overaggressive in both areas, resulting in big gains.
6th Round: DL Deandre Coleman (California)
The Fit: Like in the secondary, the Colts need to look for defensive line depth and potential starting talent in this year's draft. With Cory Redding's contract up next year and a subpar overall showing from the unit in 2013, the Colts can use all the help they can get, especially in pass rush.
Coleman is the explosive type of lineman the Colts could use on the line, especially with his ability to play both end and nose tackle at 6'5", 315 pounds.
Pros: The best trait Coleman possesses is his quick jump off the snap, which, in combination with impressive hand usage, allows him to get enough leverage to overpower offensive linemen and collapse a pocket or lane of run-blockers. With his size, he can also hold his own against the point of attack in the run game quite well.
Cons: Coleman has a few trouble spots, including his lack of lateral ability and is inconsistent in his pocket-pushing. At times he takes himself out of plays completely by allowing the offensive lineman to direct him rather than reading the play and shifting momentum side to side.
7th Round: OG Zach Fulton (Tennessee)
The Fit: At this point in the draft, if the Colts can get any kind of depth, it's a win-win. Ryan Grigson has had bad luck in the seventh thus far in his career, but looks to redeem himself with a quality depth player in 2014.
Zach Fulton of Tennessee is one player who likely will still be around late in the seventh round. Fulton was a three-year starter at Tennessee and has the size (6'5", 320 pounds) to be an NFL contributor at guard.
Pros: With size and strength galore, Fulton can overpower defensive linemen fairly easily once he gets a solid handle on them. He'd be a very good fit in a power-scheme offense.
Cons: Fulton is a bit of a project, with improvements needed in just about every technique aspect of his game. While he moves his feet decently well when asked to pull, he certainly would need improvement if he was going to contribute in the Colts offensive line.
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