Indianapolis Mock Draft: Instant Contributors the Colts Can Find in Every Round
With the 2014 NFL draft order completely finalized with the compensatory picks announced, it's time for more mock drafts.
With those overall positions, what players are reasonable selections for Indianapolis come May 9-10?
These are not players that I necessarily think are the best players at these potential picks. Rather each new mock draft is a new mix of players that makes up a realistic group of potential picks for Indianapolis, based on need, scheme fit and the franchise's past tendencies.
2nd Round, 59th Overall: OLB Jeremiah Attaochu, Georgia Tech
Sure, Jeremiah Attaochu isn't going to start right away as a rookie, but that doesn't mean he won't contribute.
The 6'3", 252-pound outside linebacker out of Georgia Tech projects as a ROLB in a 3-4 scheme, which would put him as a rotational player behind Robert Mathis. The team desperately needs pass rush, and Attaochu has Pro Bowl potential in that vein. The native Nigerian was a third-team AP All-American as a 4-3 defensive end last season, but was a 3-4 linebacker in years prior.
Attaochu has the athleticism and to drop into coverage and the versatility to line up all over the field, something he did for coaches at the Senior Bowl earlier this year, per CBS Sports' Rob Rang.
Grades for Attaochu range, and if he's there at the bottom of the second round, expect for the Colts to take a long, hard look. The team is hosting a visit with Attaochu next week, and his versatility is something the Colts covet.
3rd Round, 90th Overall: SS Deone Bucannon, Washington State
The NFL is a passing league, and teams are looking for more and more center field-type safeties to combat that (think Earl Thomas). Traditional strong safeties can get undervalued, as T.J. Ward was on the free agent market this offseason.
Deone Bucannon is one prospect who could slip in the draft because of this trend. The former Washington State safety is a load at 6'1", 211 pounds, and he packs a punch to match. He's a physical player who has a knack for creating turnovers, knowing when to go for the ball while tackling and picking off six passes in 2013.
The Colts are almost certainly going to look to draft a safety early, according to coach Chuck Pagano, and the team sent secondary coach Mike Gillhamer to Bucannon's pro day. With the team using LaRon Landry as a free safety, Bucannon is a player that they could see as a long-term partner.
Bucannon had a solid Senior Bowl week and has all the physical attributes of a playmaker, but on film I see a slower Landry. Bucannon is a big hitter but can lunge and miss as well, and has liabilities in both zone and man coverage. I see him as a very possible option for Indianapolis, but I wouldn't be in favor in the early rounds.
5th Round, 166th Overall: OG Trai Turner, LSU
A powerful run-blocker with a quick first step, Trai Turner is exactly the kind of guard the Colts could be looking for to boost their power-running game.
The Colts love quick feet on their offensive linemen, evidenced by the drafting of Hugh Thornton and Khaled Holmes last year, and Turner matches that profile with his 4.93-second 40-yard dash at the combine, the third-fastest time among all offensive linemen. That speed allows him to get into open space quickly on screens and pull-blocks, something that Pep Hamilton uses with regularity.
Indianapolis needs depth offensive linemen drastically, and Turner could even compete for a starting spot with 2013 rookie Hugh Thornton and newly-signed Lance Louis.
6th Round, 203rd Overall: RB/KR Dri Archer, Kent State
One of my personal favorites in this draft, Kent State running back Dri Archer is an electrifying player with rare speed. Archer's 4.26-second 40-yard dash time was the fastest of anybody at the combine, and the second-fastest since 2006 (Chris Johnson still holds the record at 4.24 in 2008).
That speed isn't just a combine number, it shows up on tape.
Archer can line up at running back or wide receiver, and can contribute as a returner as well. He's the kind of weapon that you just have to figure out how to get him the ball and get out of his way. The Colts could use some big-play potential at running back, and the team hasn't effectively replaced Deji Karim at kick returner either.
The Colts set up a private workout with the KR/RB/WR, so the interest is definitely there. The only question is whether or not it will materialize into a pick.
7th Round, 232nd Overall: CB Kendall James, Maine
The Colts need depth at cornerback, and lightning-quick corner Kendall James figures to be a great option on the third day of the draft. The senior out of Maine was a first team All-Colonial Athletic Association selection in 2013 and has very good instincts along with great speed and quickness.
Indianapolis had scouts at James' pro day last week, where he ran a 4.40-second 40 to go along with his 39" vertical jump from the combine, third-best among corners. James can play both man and zone coverage well, according to Nolan Nawrocki of NFL.com, but he does have some size concerns at 5'10", 180 pounds.
But in the seventh round of the draft, the Colts wouldn't be looking for a sure-fire starter, but someone who could come in as a dime corner, especially with Cassius Vaughn moving on this offseason. James' ability to play both man and zone would make him an excellent piece in dime packages, and his speed and willingness to tackle would get him a spot on special teams early as well.