Indianapolis Draft Stock Watch: 8 Players Rising, Falling on the Colts' Board
As the draft approaches, tens of thousands of fans and analysts will spend hours and hours trying to gauge the interest of NFL teams in certain college prospects in preparation for the NFL draft from May 8-10.
While we don't have the Indianapolis Colts' actual big boards, at Bleacher Report we've been tracking reported interest levels and scheme fits since January. The predraft process is fluid, with players rising and falling in a mere matter of days.
How much this process affects the Colts' board is unknown, but we'll keep tabs on the situation as much as we can. Our last big look at movement on the draft boards was after the combine—who has been drawing attention since then?
Rising: WR Davante Adams
Fresno State wide receiver Davante Adams has drawn eyes his way by improving his 40 time from 4.56 seconds at the combine in February to 4.47 at his pro day last week.
Adams was a touchdown machine at Fresno State, catching a whopping 38 touchdowns over the last two years, including 24 last season. The one thing that Adams doesn't necessarily possess is elite speed, so improving his 40 time was key for his evaluation.
The Colts have taken notice of Adams, and had a private workout with him and tight end Marcel Jensen on March 21, according to Tony Pauline of Draft Insider. Adams has been projected as an early second-rounder by many, but if he is still there when the Colts pick at No. 59 overall, expect the Colts to pull the trigger.
Falling: LB Yawin Smallwood
The 6'2", 246-pound linebacker from the University of Connecticut has had a rough couple of months. Smallwood ran just a 5.01-second 40-yard dash at the combine in February, raising questions about his ability to be a three-down linebacker in the NFL.
Smallwood's biggest asset on tape is his ability to drop back in coverage and play versatile roles, but if he's not fast enough, he won't be able to cut it in the NFL.
Smallwood was supposed to have a chance to redeem himself at his pro day, but was hampered by a hamstring injury and chose not to participate in the measurable drills. While he did run through some positional drills for scouts, the damage was done.
Once thought to be a potential second-round pick, Smallwood likely is a late third-rounder at best.
Rising: WR Cody Latimer
Latimer, one of the bright spots in an otherwise depressing season for Indiana University, has been overlooked in this deep class of receivers, but is exactly the type of possession receiver that the Colts could use in their rotation. Latimer has some of the strongest hands in the draft and has an ideal frame at 6'3", 215 pounds.
The junior was unable to participate in much of the combine drills in February after having foot surgery in January, but ran a blistering 4.38-second 40-yard dash at his pro day on Wednesday. Latimer's speed and explosiveness were his biggest question marks, so a time like that will certainly have teams thinking about him in the early rounds.
The Colts spent time with Latimer at the pro day, according to Tony Pauline of Draft Insider, and the in-state receiving threat is sure to get consideration from the Colts as early as the third round.
Falling: DL Will Sutton
Once projected as a potential first-round pick, Arizona State defensive lineman Will Sutton has fallen hard after his senior season. After a lackluster combine, Sutton's pro day needed to blow scouts away.
Unfortunately, it didn't. Sutton improved his 40-yard dash, shuttle and three-cone times (marginally), but didn't wow anybody in attendance, according to NFL draft analyst Gil Brandt (per NFL.com's Mike Huguenin). Brandt called the pro day underwhelming, saying Sutton is a third-day pick at best.
Colts head coach Chuck Pagano was at the pro day, and he may have seen something in Sutton that warrants a look in the draft, but it shouldn't be with the Colts' early picks.
Rising: RB/WR Dri Archer
The hybrid weapon out of Kent State has been slowly moving up boards since the combine, where Archer ran a 4.26-second 40-yard dash. Archer chose not to run again at his pro day, but did run some drills, including punt return drills.
The Colts need help in the return game as well as a big-play threat in the backfield, and Archer could fit in well as a late-round pick. The Colts apparently agree; Archer told Jeff Schudel of The News-Herald he has a private workout with the team.
Falling: CB Loucheiz Purifoy
Matt Miller recently named Purifoy, a former Florida cornerback, as one of five players dropping in the draft due to his lack of polished technique and the depth in this year's draft at corner. Purifoy's name has consistently come up in my draft research, but his disappointing combine and mediocre tape keeps me from getting excited.
Both Purifoy and teammate Marcus Roberson failed to improve upon their combines at the Florida pro day a couple weeks ago, when every team had scouts present. Poor conditions may have impacted the numbers as rain forced the pro day inside, where the athletes ran barefoot. But CBS Sports' Rob Rang says "the athleticism didn't necessarily translate into positional drills" either.
Rising: DE Demarcus Lawrence
Boise State defensive end Demarcus Lawrence drew a lot of attention from the Colts at his pro day on March 17, according to NFL.com's Gil Brandt. Colts head coach Chuck Pagano and linebacker coach Jeff FitzGerald both attended the pro day.
Lawrence has been projected anywhere from the late third round to the late first round, so there is some question whether or not he'll be around for the Colts' first pick at No. 59. But if he does last until then, there is certainly some indication that the Colts are interested.
Pagano's time with Bjoern Werner at a workout predraft was a big reason why the Colts went with him in the first round, so for him to see Lawrence personally certainly helps Lawrence's chances of coming to Indianapolis.
Rising: C Marcus Martin
Another player to draw Chuck Pagano's pro-day interest, USC center Marcus Martin is considered by many to be the No. 1 center in this year's draft. Currently, center is the Colts' only open starting spot on offense, and it wouldn't be a surprise if they addressed the position in the draft.
Pagano was at the USC pro day last week and spent a considerable amount of time with the offensive linemen, according to Bryan Fischer of NFL.com.
While it would be a bit of a surprise to see the Colts choose a center from USC two years in a row—they selected Khaled Holmes in the fourth round last year—Martin's versatility would make him a strong addition to the Colts' line at both center and guard.
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