2011 NFL Mock Draft: Indianapolis Colts

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The top prospects began hitting the field for the first time since the college season wrapped up in the College All-Star Games.

Last weekend's East-West Shrine Bowl and this weekends Senior Bowl being the main attractions.

We should see some changes as scouts and fans are now getting upclose and personal with prospects as well as getting to see them facing off on the field together.

Week 3's results: (taken 1/21)

Positions: 31 OTs, 6 DTs (3 1-tech, 3 3-tech), 1 G, 1 S, 1 RB. 

Popular Players:
Derek Sherrod 9 (picks)
Nate Solder 9
Anthony Castonzo 7
Tyron Smith 5
Stephen Paea 3 

Odd Ducks: (picked once each):
Mike Pouncey, G, Florida,  Rahim Moore, S, UCLA,  Mikel LeShoure RB, Illinois

Experts vs Fans: The 11 expert mocks accounted all 3 of the 3-tech DTs this week and were much more DT focused in general taking 4 in 11 mocks vs just 2 in the 29 fan mocks. Again the none of the experts sent Tyron Smith to Indy, while it remains popular among the fans (and likely a poor prediction given the Colts history).

Shake's impact: Again all the MtD fanposts mocked Indy either an OT or 1-tech DT Stephen Paea. Tyron Smith was relatively popular accounting for 2 of 9 (vs 3 of 20), seemingly coming at the expensive of Nate Solder (1 of 9 vs 5 of 20), but these mocks came out before my anti-Smith views really firmed up. Over on the random side OTs dominated making up 17 of the 20 picks, but instead of being peppered with DTs as usual there were a couple more exotic picks alongside the ever present single interior O-lineman.

Discussion: It's an offensive tackles' world a handful of DTs and smattering of other positions are just living in it. 3 OTs alone (Sherrod, Solder and Castonzo) each appear as many times as all the non-OTs put together. Despite this we'll take a minute to look at that endangered species, the DT, since I've gotten some questions about a distinction I've been making a lot, 1-tech vs 3-tech DTs. This refers to where a DT lines up in Indy's scheme and what they do. A 3-tech DT lines up just outside of the guard with the basic assignment of shooting into the gap between the guard and tackle, slicing between the linemen into the backfield where he'll cause all kinds of trouble for the offense. Quickness is key, making size and strength of significant, but secondary importance. 1-tech lines up between the center and guard, this makes them far more likely to be double teamed than the 3-tech since the OT in position to help out against the 3-tech has a defensive end to worry about, while the center and guard can team up on the 1-tech without leaving another d-lineman unblocked. 1-tech DTs therefore need to be bigger stronger types who can hold ground against the run well and drive a pass blocking lineman backwards preventing the QB from stepping up away from the pressure coming off the edges.

On the roster right now Antonio Johnson, Daniel Muir and Ricardo Mathews generally play the 1-tech, while Fili Moala and Eric Foster man the 3-tech. I'm very encouraged by Moala's season and a big fan of Eric Foster as a situational player. I'm less impressed by the Colts options at the 1-tech, which is why I'm in favor adding a 1-tech DT in the draft and have little interest in 3-techs. DTs in the area of 310lbs with high marks against the run are who I'd look for as potential additions at DT.

Shake's Pick: Gabe Carimi, OT, Wisconsin

Representing the Colts in a 2 round community mock draft at MtD I went with the Outland Award winner. A tough call with Carimi, Castonzo and Paea all on the board. A career low in yards/completion and lowest yards/attempt since his rookie year from Peyton Manning is a giant red flag that the Colts have pushed Peyton's ability to perform behind a sub-par line to it's limit. As nice as it'd be to had a 1-tech DT of Paea's skill to the middle of the D the OL needs to be addressed whenever the value is there. Carimi fits the Colts profile for an early pick very well, as a 5th year senior with academic accolades from the Big10. Some concerns about his ability to stay at LT in the pros are the potential wrench in the works, but Indy regrets passing on Rodger Saffold last year for those reasons and have already making been due with an athletically limited LT. Even if he were destined to merely be a stud right tackle I expect there'd be much rejoicing on the part of Colts fans for the removal of Ryan Diem from the starting lineup.

In the 2nd round I snagged Quinton Carter out of Oklahoma, strong in zone coverage, against the run, with the kind of commitment to academics and community service that'll fit in great in Indy.


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