It’s almost that time of year, when owners, coaches, general managers, and the rest of the front office lock themselves in a room and heavily debate which players to draft to improve the team. This room is called the “War Room” for a reason. Everyone in this room is heavily opinionated and has become attached to a prospect that they don’t believe the team can do without.
In this segment, we will put ourselves in the war room and go over the picks we believe teams need to make when they’re on the clock. We’ll cover all 32 teams, but today’s segment is dedicated to the: Indianapolis Colts.
The Colt’s biggest concern entering this year’s draft has to be protecting 35-year-old Peyton Manning. They’ll likely look to draft a couple tackles and could even look inside for a guard as well. Wide receiver could also be a focus in the mid-rounds. Reggie Wayne is entering his mid-thirties, while Anthony Gonzalez and Austin Collie have battled injuries. Depth-wise, don’t be surprised to see the Colts look at a running back in the later rounds, while they could also very well draft a quarterback at some point with Manning having recently turned 35, although I expect he’ll be a very good quarterback for another few years.
On defense, the biggest need is defensive tackle. They signed DeMario Pressley, but adding some bodies to the interior of the defensive line should be a priority. With Bob Sanders now gone, strong safety also becomes a need. Other areas that may get some attention include outside linebacker and free safety, while the Colts could look to add depth to the defensive end position.
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Indianapolis Colts Mock Draft
Round 1 (#22): Derek Sherrod, OT, Mississippi State Bulldogs: Protecting Peyton Manning is a priority for the Colts. He’s the player that gives them the best chance to win every week and they’re going to invest a helluva lot of money in him.
Round 2 (#53): Marvin Austin, DT, North Carolina Tar Heels: There are some that believe Austin could go in the first round like his former teammate Robert Quinn. Both Austin and Quinn sat out last year because of the scandal that hit UNC, but Quinn’s skills as a pass rusher are what makes him a top-ten pick this year. Austin has first round talent, but he could fall to the middle of the second round. He’s a good run stopper and while not a dynamic pass rusher, he knows how to disrupt the play.
Round 3 (#87): Tyler Sash, SS, Iowa Hawkeyes: Bob Sanders is gone, so the Colts could look elsewhere for help at strong safety. Sash came from the same school as Sanders at Iowa and could help this defense early.
Round 4 (#119): Joseph Barksdale, OT, LSU Tigers: Barksdale would mark the second tackle taken by the Colts in this year’s draft as they look to keep Manning upright and healthy all season.
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Round 5 (#152): Jeremy Kerley, WR, TCU Horned Frogs: The Colts need to add a receiver in this draft in case Austin Collie or Anthony Gonzalez goes down with injury again. Reggie Wayne is 33-years-old and the Colts would do themselves good to bolster the receiving corps.
Round 6 (#188): T.J. Yates, QB, North Carolina Tar Heels: I wouldn’t be surprised if this sixth-rounder, the last selection for the Colts in this year’s draft, is a quarterback. They could also look at a running back here or in an earlier round.
That’s how it played out in our Mock of the Indianapolis Colts “War Room”