Indianapolis Colts: Pre-Combine Draft Prospects
By Rob Voigt
Special to Pro Football Guru
Enclosed are not the thoughts of a scout. Instead, it’s an attempt to predict what the Indianapolis Colts will do in the 2019 NFL Draft. It’s an exercise that’s been attempted for more than 30 years. The team has had its share of high draft choices for the last 15 years.
To assist in this endeavor, I am employing the assistance of three trusted sites: The Draft Network, The Huddle Report and Stampede Blue of SB Nation. These are excellent sources of information and they obviously do the heavy lifting in terms of draft prospects rankings and profiles.
Of course, there are the obligatory personal instincts. It’s called the eye test and there’s plenty of leg work involved on a Saturday afternoon. As for the process, it’s utilizing the big boards, and not mock drafts, to try to predict how the draft will flow by the TALENT available regardless of any team’s NEEDS. Next it’s a journey through every round, listing a “Colts Weight” Best Player Available.
Indianapolis owns the No. 26 and No. 34 selections in April’s draft. For this exercise, they are combined as one list of 10 players for either pick. For the remaining rounds, there are five players with one main desired position. The UDFA list will grow and it is mainly players who could wind up just about anywhere. For the record, a minimum of 10 games every Saturday are viewed, with the onus on the Power Five Conferences.
Back in January, there was a breakdown of the Colts’ roster (enclosed here) and a look at positions to draft. Now enclosed is a 2019 NFL Scouting Combined “Watch List.”
Everything subject to change after free agency signings. Free agency with “stupid money” will be foretelling of Colts GM Chris Ballard’s team building vision.
Draft value for any prospect will be determined when an NFL team drafts them. Not before. A lot of information will come out during the process leading up to the draft. Combine testing, interviews and physicals, along with college pro days, and NFL free agency will all influence where a prospect is selected. Even then, a player’s true value can only be determined by his on-the-field production.
The feeling here is that the team’s first two picks will be defensive lineman. Furthermore, these players will have the ability to fill multiple roles in defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus’ scheme. Refer to this paraphrased Ballard quote (the original version via Josh Wilson of SB Nation’s Stampede Blue), “It’s always about your fronts. I promise you, I will always be trying to acquire talent at those positions.”
With the Colts’ own second-round pick (No. 59), the feeling here is tight end. Jack Doyle has an injury history and will be a free agent after season. Eric Ebron is also a 2020 free agent. Colts’ head coach Frank Reich does love using three tight-end sets. Drafting another would allow that third one to not be reserve offensive lineman Joe Haeg.
In the third round (No. 89), the prediction here is a defensive end. The talent pool for the position drops after the top 100. A wide receiver with this pick would not be a surprise as well.
The remainder of the picks are viewed as roster needs in order of the draft talent depth. A wide receiver followed by a safety is viable. But those two could be easily flipped as the picks will be somewhat close together. Look for the team to team to take a tackle, piggy-backing off Ballard’s philosophy. In the seventh round, the club could go linebacker or defensive back.
For more details on draft prospects you may like, there’s this suggestion. Search the player’s draft profiles. Read as many different scouts’ analysis as you can. Watch highlight videos from scouts that will show negative traits also. Draw your own conclusions. Form your own opinions. And enjoy.
Rob Voigt is a freelance football writer. Follow him on Twitter at @ColtsFnSnceBert.