2011 NFL Mock Draft: Indianapolis Colts' Seven Rounds
With the NFL draft less than a week away, owners and GMs are scrambling to finish their player analysis. Likewise, NFL writers are scrambling to finish their own mock drafts.
The Indianapolis Colts have a higher draft pick than usual with the 22nd selection and have some major holes to fill on both sides of the ball.
With Manning at QB, the Colts always have a shot. But adding some young talent could really help this team take the next step in their run for another Superbowl.
Here are possible players the Colts could take in each of the seven rounds.
Colts' Draft Needs
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Bill Polian has always done a great job of finding talent in the later rounds of the draft. But a number of recent first-round selections have not played up to expectations, putting extreme importance on this draft.
The Colts have needs at the CB, OT, OG and DT positions.
Despite leading the NFL in fewest sacks allowed (16), the Colts finished 29th in the league in rushing and 25th in yards per carry. A tackle or guard could be added to help improve the run game.
The Colts finished 31st in the league in interceptions; a new corner who can create turnovers is needed.
And as usual, they finished near the bottom of the NFL in run-defense, finishing 25th in yards allowed and in yards per carry. A big DT could help improve the run defense.
First Round Selection: Anthony Castonzo, OT, Boston College
Castonzo's experience and maturity would enable him to instantly step in and protect Manning's blindside.
The offensive line is the Colts' number one concern and is an issue that needs to be fixed. Castonzo was a four-year starter and team captain for Boston College.
Running behind Castonzo, RB Montel Harris led the ACC in rushing. The tackle's long arms and good footwork make him an effective run blocker.
He fills a major area of need and is very good value at this pick if still around. The Colts can't pass him up.
Wisconsin OT Gabe Carimi, Washington QB Jake Locker, Illinois DT Corey Liuget
Second Round Selection: Marvin Austin, DT, UNC
Austin was a top-ten draft pick entering the season, but was found guilty of accepting improper benefits and suspended the entire season. He is a risky pick, but could end up being the steal of the draft.
He is a very athletic DT that is great at creating plays in the backfield.
He had a good combine, proving he was at least still in football shape. But without having played football in over a year, there has to be questions of rust, causing him to plummet down draft boards.
Selecting a once projected top-ten pick in the second-round is certainly very good value (Scott Wright of DraftCountdown has him as his 53rd overall prospect). It's worth the risk at this point in the draft.
Virginia CB Ras I-Dowling, TCU OG Marcus Cannon, Iowa DT Christian Ballard
Third Round Selection: Demarco Murray, RB, Oklahoma
Whoever is starting at RB for the Colts next season, they could use a solid backup.
Joe Addai is a free agent and former first-round pick Donald Brown has been a major disappointment, so the Colts would benefit adding some new blood to the backfield.
Murray had 50 rushing touchdowns in his collegiate career and is a gifted receiver and returner. While a very good athlete, he lacks the top-end speed to be a top draft pick.
He would be a great third down/change of pace back for the Colts and could return kicks as well.
Alabama OG James Carpenter, Utah CB Brandon Burton, UNC WR Greg Little
Fourth Round Selection: Terrence Toliver, WR, LSU
At 6'3" and with a big frame, Toliver is a great possession receiver and excellent red-zone threat, something the Colts lack with their WR core.
The Colts could certainly use depth at the receiver position after Pierre Garçon, Austin Collie and Dallas Clark (the Colts use him like a receiver) all missed time with injury last season.
His career high in touchdowns was only five, but that's understandable coming from LSU's run first offense.
Tolivers main concern is his speed. His forty time was only 4.6, leaving questions of whether he will be able to create separation at the next level.
Indiana WR Tandon Doss, Boston College LB Mark Herzlich, Stanford DT Sione Fua
Fifth Round Selection: Justin Boren, OG, Ohio State
Although the Colts already spent their first pick on an offensive lineman, the Colts number one concern has to be fixing the run game, so another lineman would help.
Justin is versatile, playing at guard and center in college. He has high football IQ and a good work ethic, with a chance to impress and challenge for a starting job after a a year or two of NFL experience.
At the very least the Colts are adding a capable backup, which is all you can ask of a fifth-round selection, as this is the point in the draft where teams draft boards start to look very different.
Arkansas OG Ray Dominguez, Virginia Tech RB Darren Evans, Ohio State LB Brian Rolle
Sixth Round Selection: Cortez Allen, CB, Citadel
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Allen came from a small school, but has great athleticism, running a 4.4 forty and with good height for a corner at 6'1".
At this point in the draft, there are a lot of unknown players and GM's tend to just stick to their list of players still available.
It's unsure if Colts' management is as high on Allen as I am, but he has very high upside for a player still available at this point in the draft.
Oregon OT Bo Thran, UCLA DT David Carter, TCU S Colin Jones
Seventh Round Selection: Eric Gordon, LB, Michigan State
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While it's normal for seventh-round picks to not even make the final roster, neither of the Colts' two outside starting linebackers are spectacular, so Gordon could provide depth.
Greg Jones is the better known linebacking prospect from MSU, but Gordon played great playing alongside him.
He is a multi-talented player who can drop back in pass coverage, but his lack of athleticism is troublesome as he will have to rely on extra effort to cover players with NFL speed.
Ohio State DT Dexter Larimore, Texas Tech WR Detron Lewis, Wisconsin RB John Clay