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For both Laiatu Latu, the defensive end out of UCLA drafted 15th-overall by the Indianapolis Colts, and Adonai “AD” Mitchell, the wide receiver out of Texas that the Colts grabbed with their 2nd-round pick, the NFL Draft was a bit of a roller coaster.

Both had to wait longer than they would have liked, for entirely different reasons. For Latu, there were lingering concerns over a neck injury that forced him away from football for two years. Those concerns led Latu, a potential top-5 pick based purely on his talent and production, to fall to the middle of the 1st round, where the Colts were waiting. As for Mitchell, anonymous reports about character concerns, his pre-draft interviews, and more caused him to drop out of the first round entirely, though Colts GM Chris Ballard would energetically (and profanely) defend his new receiver in the post-draft press conference.

So, were all those worries about Latu’s health and Mitchell’s character justified? Or will the Colts benefit from other team’s caution?

On the Wednesday edition of The Ride With JMV, ESPN’s Matt Miller joined the show to provide some insight, assuage some concerns and perhaps offer a welcome distraction to Indianapolis sports fans still recovering from an awful Pacers performance in Game 5 of their playoff series against the Milwaukee Bucks. First, Matt gave his thoughts on Laiatu Latu, and his medical history.

“I liked the pick a lot. I thought pass rusher was one of my top needs for the Colts, so I liked that they were able to address that early. Love the player, great hand usage. He’s pro ready. You watched him at UCLA last year, and the guy looks like an NFL defensive end…Really good size, really good power, he’s got [a] very, very good first step, premium length…the only thing you don’t really like is the medicals. [They] were the only negative…Obviously Indianapolis is good with the medical concerns or they wouldn’t have drafted him at 15…If they feel comfortable with the medicals, then I do as well. 

If AD Mitchell was surprised that he fell out of the first round, then he’d be glad to know he isn’t alone, as Matt also expressed disbelief that the talented pass-catcher was still there for the Colts to take with the 52nd overall pick.

“I was absolutely shocked. Couldn’t believe it, I had him as my number 16 overall player in the draft. I love AD Mitchell, and I know, ‘oh, there’s anonymous scout stuff on him’; I’ll tell you, I never heard that from anyone at the University of Texas, I never heard it from anyone in the pre-draft process. That came out of nowhere about two weeks before the draft…That did surprise me [that he dropped]…[He was] one of the best testing wide receivers in NFL Combine history. To have his size, his speed, his burst, his vertical ability, everything. I mean, he’s an elite tester, and had elite production. 11 touchdowns to 1 drop last year. 5 college football playoff games in his career between Georgia and Texas, 5 touchdowns. The dude is a big game player. Now, did his effort ebb and flow at times? Yeah, but he’s a receiver, and that’s pretty normal for college receivers just like it is for college pass rushers. So, I never heard a negative thing about him in the process and I’m super excited that he’s going to team up with Anthony Richardson.” 

Listen to the rest of the conversation below to hear Matt’s thoughts on the rest of the Colts draft, what other teams around the league did, and more! Tune into The Ride With JMV’s weekdays from 3-6pm on 93.5/107.5 The Fan! 

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