As the offseason draws near, we continue to look at potential prospects for the Indianapolis Colts in the 2021 NFL draft.
The Colts are still well in the playoff picture so the focus around the team isn’t on the draft or the upcoming moves in the offseason. It’s seeing how far they can go if they make the playoffs.
Holding the No. 23 pick after Week 14, here’s a look at a mock draft for the Colts with three games remaining in the regular season:
Round 1 | No. 29 overall
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*Trade* The Pick: Zaven Collins, LB, Tulsa In this mock, Indianapolis was able to move back with the Green Bay Packers. The trade was the 23rd pick, for the 29th, and 130th pick in this year's draft, including a future seventh. With a big need at edge, Collins could be another player that Ballard drafts, where he switches from linebacker to defensive end for the Colts. Collins has spent most of his career at Tulsa as a stand-up linebacker, but at 6'4" 260 pounds, he has the size to be a defensive end. He can come in and play right away, but will need to work on his pass-rushing techniques when he gets to the NFL, at this point though, Indianapolis just needs edge players that can come in right away and play.
Round 2 | No. 55 overall
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Round 2 | Pick 55 The Pick: Daniel Faalele, OT, Minnesota A long-term answer is needed at left tackle for the Colts with Anthony Castonzo playing one more year on his contract. It shouldn't surprise anyone if Indianapolis drafts a tackle with one of their first two picks. A guy who could cover up the moon if he stood in front of it, Daniel Faalele is 6'8 400 pounds, and is fairly athletic for someone his size. As many tackles that come into the NFL, Faalele needs some technical work in his pass sets. Sitting a year behind Anthony Castonzo could help with that.
Round 3 | No. 99 overall
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*Trade* The Pick: Hunter Long, TE, Boston College Indianapolis was able to trade back again in the middle of the draft. They were able to move back 13 spots to pick No. 99, while adding a sixth-round pick. After moving back, the Colts look to add more to the offense by selecting Long out of Boston College. Long is the prototypical size at tight end, at 6'5, 250 pounds, and is an all-around solid TE prospect. A good run blocker, and has very good hands, Long can come in day one and play significant snaps for the Colts.
Round 4 | No. 124 overall
The Pick: Jordan Smith, Edge, UAB Taking Collins in the first round was a pick to get an edge player in the building to play Day 1. This pick in the fourth round of Smith is a potential long-term answer at the pass-rushing edge. Smith is an athletic freak, with tremendous get-off, but like a lot of pass rushers, needs development with his moves. Smith can come in and play situationally, but could be a long-term answer as a pass rusher for Indianapolis.
Round 4 | No. 130 overall
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The Pick: Tedarrell Slaton, IDL, Florida Most likely a one-technique at 6-foot-5 and 340 pounds, Slaton has 98 tackles, 10.0 tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks during his four-year career at Florida.
Round 5 | No. 163 overall
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The Pick: Amari Rodgers, WR, Clemson Back to the offensive side in this mock. WR still needs to be addressed, and Indianapolis lacks a game-breaking WR outside of Parris Campbell. That's where Amari Rodgers comes in. While Rodgers is only 5'9, he's built like a running back, and runs like it too. Drafting Rodgers in the later rounds will give the offense another playmaker to use each week.
Round 6 | No. 200 overall
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The Pick: Jarrett Patterson, IOL, Notre Dame As someone who emphasizes offensive and defensive line depth, it shouldn't surprise anyone if Ballard goes out and gets another interior offensive lineman in this draft. Patterson is a mauling, run-blocking offensive lineman, who in two years could compete for a starting spot at guard with Danny Pinter.
Round 6 | No. 219 overall
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The Pick: Trey Dean III, CB, Florida
Late-round picks are all about finding depth and special teams value with some upsde. 2020 has shown Indianapolis’ lack of depth at cornerback, even with the resurgence of Xavier Rhodes, and without having Marvell Tell. Trey Dean is 6-foot-3, long, lanky and a cornerback that can fit well in the Colts zone scheme.
Round 7 | No. 244 overall
The Pick: Jaelon Darden, WR, Missouri This would be a dart throw at a possible playmaker if Indianapolis were to select a WR like Darden in the late rounds. Darden is another gadget type WR, who could fight for a roster spot at the back of the WR depth chart in camp.