The Indianapolis Colts have had a busy offseason, and while they've added some key players, the NFL draft is still a place where they could find a few more key additions. Considering the changes in the secondary, the Colts should take a long look at Washington State strong safety Deone Bucannon with one of their first two picks.
The secondary for the Colts is still pretty thin, even after bringing back Vontae Davis. Greg Toler and Darius Butler will help out at cornerback, but at safety, the Colts lost Antoine Bethea, who left for the San Francisco 49ers. LaRon Landry will likely move to free safety, but the Colts lack another starting-caliber safety, with players like Corey Lynch and Sergio Brown near the top of the depth chart.
While they won't have a first-round pick in this year's draft after trading for Trent Richardson, this year's draft class is still deep enough that Indianapolis will likely find some solid prospects in the second and third rounds.
One of the players that they may take with either of those picks is Bucannon. While he didn't play at the biggest school in the Pac-12, he made his presence known throughout last season, putting up 114 total tackles, six interceptions and three forced fumbles while laying out a number of opposing players with some solid hits.
At 6'1'' and 211 pounds, Bucannon has the size and length to succeed at the next level. He's not afraid to use his size either, making big hits with regularity. His ability to read the run and wrap up ball-carriers is a big help, coming in with enough momentum to keep running backs from picking up additional yards.
While he's not always the most consistent player in pass coverage, Bucannon has shown the awareness at times to make impressive plays. During last season's game against the Stanford Cardinal, he showed some serious potential.
During a play in the second quarter inside of the red zone, Stanford wide receiver Devon Cajuste was planning to run a post corner route to the back of the end zone, with Bucannon sitting back and reading the quarterback.
Bucannon quickly notices that Kevin Hogan is planning to make a throw to Cajuste in the back of the end zone. At the same time, Bucannon's teammate bites on the inside cut from Cajuste, and the strong safety starts sprinting towards the ball.
Thanks to his quick reaction time, Bucannon is able to jump the throw, grabbing a key interception.
Along with everything he showed on tape, Bucannon also helped his draft stock after an impressive performance at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis. He finished in the top three at the safety position in the 40-yard dash, bench press, vertical jump, broad jump and three-cone drill, showing off his overall athleticism.
|Drill||Result||Rank (among safeties)|
|40-Yard Dash||4.49 seconds||T-3rd|
|Bench Press||19 reps||3rd|
|Vertical Jump||36.5 inches||T-3rd|
|Broad Jump||125 inches||2nd|
|Three-Cone Drill||6.96 seconds||3rd|
|20-Yard Shuttle||4.26 seconds||8th|
If the Colts are in fact interested in bringing in Bucannon, it will be interesting to see if they try to take him in the second round or try to hold off and wait to see if he's there in the third. Keep in mind that safeties like Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Calvin Pryor and even Jimmie Ward could be going in the first round and teams may be looking to take a safety early in the draft, so the second round may be more realistic.
Safety isn't the only need for the Colts, but it may very well be the biggest. The Colts should be focused more on taking the best player available, but in the second round, they may be able to pick the top player while also filling their biggest need by bringing in Bucannon.