2011 NFL Draft Grades: Evaluating Indianapolis Colts' Draft After Day 2

Mihir Bhagat@mihirbhagatSenior Analyst IIIApril 29, 2011

The 2011 NFL Draft is fully underway, and Day 2 has come to an end, which means the first three rounds are over. 

A lot of intriguing selections, interesting trades, and overall bold moves have been made so far, setting us up a lot of anticipation for the final day of the event.

One of the best team's who have drafted so far are the Indianapolis Colts.

Yesterday, they took Boston College offensive tackle Anthony Costanzo, which I reviewed in my column yesterday. He's a smart, quick lineman who fits what they like to do in the trenches. I expect him to be protecting Peyton Manning for the next decade.

With that the case, I'm sure Bill Polian and the Colts organization were confident going into the resumption of the draft today.

They originally held the 53rd pick but gave up a fifth rounder to move up four spots, and with that selection they fortified their offensive line once again by taking Villanova's Ben Ijalana. He's an exception pass blocker and has the potential to be a dominant run blocker as well. He may need to get adjusted to the speed of the pro game, but the good thing is that there's no pressure for him to start right away.   

Going in there was some speculation as to whether or not the Colts should draft a successor to 35-year-old Peyton Manning, but apparently they'd rather extend his career by providing him with quality protection and I have to admit I agree. I mean, can you really replace Manning? 

May I add that what really stands out to me about this pick is that Polian rarely takes players from small scale schools, and add in the fact that he moved up, and it means he must really like this guy.

After that, they had a few needs left, including their secondary and defensive line, and with their final pick at No. 87 overall they took LSU defensive tackle Drake Nevis.

He's a typical three-technique who can demand a double team at times and is a great penetrator to put pressure on the quarterback, which should improve their 30 sack total from last year. Moreover, he possesses refined technique and boasts tremendous strength. The only real knock is the fact that he's inexperienced and has only started for one full season. But at some point I don't think that's too big of a deal. 

With that said, in my opinion, taking Nevis was somewhat of a steal considering that some had him going twenty slots earlier. 

So, what do I award them after Day 2? A big fat 'A+'. I truly love this draft for the Colts and they once again prove why they're one of the best franchises in the NFL.