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2011 NFL Mock Draft: Indianapolis Colts

The first month of tracking the mocks is in the books, a little less than 3 more until Carolina goes on the clock.

Week 4's Results: (taken 1/28)

Positions: 30 OTs, 4 DTs (3 3-tech, 1 1-tech), 1 G, 1 OLB

Popular Players:
Anthony Castonzo 11 picks
Derek Sherrod 10
Gabe Carimi 3
Nate Solder 3 
Tyron Smith 3
Corey Liuget 3 

Odd Ducks: Mike Pouncey (G, Florida), Stephen Paea (DT, Oregon St.) , Akeem Ayers (OLB, UCLA)

Experts vs Fans: Another week light on updates from the experts with Senior Bowl week in mid-swing. Only 5 mocks updated with a pretty representative breakdown. With a week of watching many of the top prospects in action up close, next week should see the experts with plenty to say. 

Shake's Impact: OTs across the board at MtD this week. In regards to the choice of OTs rather than an effect on my part, there may be a Colts Homer effect. While Tyron Smith appears at the same rate between the groups (1 in 10 vs 2 in 20), Gabe Carimi, a man Colts Homer pines for in a way that can't be considered healthy appeared twice in the 10 MtD mocks versus only once in the 20 randomly drawn mocks.

Discussion: The disappointing weigh-in and serious knee injury suffered by Stephen Paea last week rippled through the mocks sending Paea from the most popular non-OT each of the previous 3 weeks, being slotted to Indy up to 7 times in a week to appearing just once as Indy's 1st round pick. The beneficiaries of that seem to be Castonzo and Sherrod who have became the clear favorites even before Nate Solder struggled at the Senior Bowl. Akeem Ayers is likely the worst pick I've seen so far. While the raw value is there for Ayers, positional value and need are not. Indy features it's deepest LB corps in a very long time and since the move to the Tampa-2 haven't spent a pick higher than the late 3rd on a OLB (if you consider the late 2nd round Angerer to be Brackett's successor at MLB who just happens to be starting at OLB for now, as I do). It's not nearly Terrence Cody to Indy as I saw from time to time last year (yuck), but shows a poor understanding of Indy's system, roster and recent history.

Shake's Pick: Anthony Castonzo, OT, Boston College
From my first mock draft of the year: A poor start to the Senior Bowl by Derek Sherrod (combined with some hesitancy to invest in another LT from a run-heavy, not especially pro-style offense) and a disastrous Senior Bowl for Stephen Paea (coming at 295 as opposed to his listed 311 and suffering a knee injury that will require surgery) leaves Castonzo my favorite on the board. While lanky and lacking strength in the running game, he has elite athleticism and excellent pass blocking skills. A 4 year starter at BC. Serious academic chops as biochemistry major and nominee for a Rhodes Scholarship.

Trends of January:
The OTs gained major ground over the DTs over the course of the mock going from a 28-12 split to this weeks 30-4 and while Derek Sherrod and Anthony Castonzo have remained popular, Nate Solder fell from the most popular individual player down to only appearing 3 times.


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