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INDIANAPOLIS – If the Colts end up using all 7 of their draft picks in 2020, and make no trades to acquire more selections, it will be the smallest haul for Chris Ballard in his 4 years as general manager.

Hence why Ballard wants more picks.

With 7 picks, all coming in the first six rounds, many believe it should be an offensive heavy draft for Indy. They did not make a single addition in free agency at running back, wide receiver, tight end or the offensive line.

And of their last 12 draft selections, 3 have come on the offensive side of the ball (two in the 7th round round).

So how should a positional Mock Draft, based soley off team needs, look for the Colts in 2020?

Round 2, Overall 34: Quarterback

             -Just because the Colts traded out of the first round, and signed Philip Rivers, doesn’t mean they should ignore quarterback in the draft. I get the ‘you can’t force it at quarterback’ thought, but it still doesn’t mean there’s a bigger need on this football team when looking ahead. None of Rivers, Jacoby Brissett or Chad Kelly are under contract past 2020. In a perfect world, the 34th pick would be a QB who could turn into another non-Round One quarterback that has panned out, like present day signal callers Derek Carr (2nd round), Jimmy Garoppolo (2nd round), Russell Wilson (3rd round), Dak Prescott (4th round), Kirk Cousins (4th round). That’s lofty, but it’s a shot needed to be taken at the most important position in sports. Even if it doesn’t pan out, this guy could be a valuable backup moving forward. The Colts haven’t drafted a quarterback since 2012 (longest streak in the NFL). That needs to change in 2020.

Round 2, Overall 44: Wide Receiver

             -Yep, the most immediate need in 2020 is at wide receiver. Fortunately, that position is by far the deepest in this 2020 Draft. This historic group of wideouts needs to lead to the Colts finding an instant impact guy to aid Philip Rivers and company. Preferably, a taller receiver would be the best fit. Still a playmaker when it comes to 50/50 balls and/or after the catch are the two skillsets that should be the goal for the Colts. In 2019, Round Two wideouts delivered for many teams in the NFL. The Colts would love to be one of those teams in 2020.

Round 3, Overall 75: Tight End 

            -Many pundits believe this isn’t a very deep class for tight ends. That’s not great for the Colts because they do have a need there in trying to complement what Jack Doyle provides. That would be more of a vertical, stretch the field tight end, which would fit well into the multiple tight end personnel groupings Frank Reich enjoys using. If you are going to make a significant move for Philip Rivers, providing him some talented pass catchers would be wise. It’s interesting to note the Colts haven’t drafted a tight end since 2013 (Justice Cunningham with the final pick in that draft), the longest drought of any team in the league.

Round 4, Overall 122: Offensive Line

             -We have not shied away from the offensive line depth questions that the Colts still face. Even though a Week 1 starting job isn’t going to be handed to any drafted offensive linemen, that player could still be the team’s top backup up front. The tackle position, more so than an interior option, would be the route I’d go as well, for current depth needs and still looking ahead to potential life after Anthony Castonzo (turns 32 in August, signed a 2-year deal in March). The Colts have selected at least one offensive linemen in every draft since 2002.

Round 5, Overall 160: Wide Receiver

             -Yep, again. Chris Ballard said the Colts ‘dabbled’ with a couple of free agent wideouts, but nothing led to a deal. Right now, Reece Fountain would be the No. 4 wideout for the Colts. Well, Fountain has never caught a pass in the NFL and is coming off a serious ankle injury. This isn’t a shot at Fountain. It’s simply to stress the need to get some better depth at receiver. Parris Campbell is the only Indy wideout under contract past 2020. With T.Y. Hilton turning 31 years old later this year, the Colts should commit multiple picks and take advantage of this historic receiver draft depth.

-Round 6, Overall 193: Safety

           -Chris Ballard waiting until Round 6 to take his first defensive player is probably laughable, but this is a compliment to that side of the ball’s depth situation. The defensive line is strong in numbers. The linebackers have a lot of draft capital invested with some intriguing athletes. Now, the secondary could probably use another body. At safety, you could try and find another Marvell Tell on Day 3, with more of a safety focus. Or you could try to get a physical player that fits in more of the mold of the departing Clayton Geathers.

Round 6, Overall 197: Running Back

            -Taking one running back every draft is a good philosophy. Currently, the Colts still have Marlon Mack, Nyheim Hines and Jordan Wilkins on their rookie deals (with Mack heading into a contract year). Jonathan Williams is a free agent on the open market. We saw last year the need for Williams to step in and fill a necessary void when Mack got banged up. So adding a running back on Day 3 would make sense for the Colts. You can never have enough runners over the course of a 16-game season, especially when you are as committed to pounding the rock as the Colts are.

 

Thoughts: Let’s remember, this is a Mock Draft based off team needs, not on how things will unfold this week. I’m always ‘team taking an edge rusher,’ so it pains me to go through an entire draft without taking one (and know the Colts have taken at least one defensive linemen in each of the last 13 drafts). But you do have some young rushers that could use a deeper look. I just think it’s time to give the offense more attention. The extreme defensive rebuild that Chris Ballard has led now has entirely ‘his’ players on that side of the ball. When you look at numbers like 9 of the last 12 draft picks on defense, 9 of Ballard’s 12 Day One or Two picks also occurring on defense, and then looking at the long-term outlook/depth on offense, it just makes sense to give that side of the ball a heavy amount of attention this draft.