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INDIANAPOLIS – In just two weeks, the entire NFL will descend upon Indianapolis for the 2020 Scouting Combine.
Teams will get a chance to evaluate the top prospects for April’s Draft in person, via workouts, medical evaluations and interviews.
Mock Draft season has changed a bit since the Senior Bowl, and prognosticators have made a shift in what they are pegging for the Colts at No. 13 overall.
Here is our second Mock Draft look for 2020:
ESPN’s Todd McShay: QB-Justin Herbert (Oregon)
McShay’s Analysis: The Colts get a little lucky here with Herbert still on the board, so in this scenario, they put aside other pressing needs like wide receiver (Lamb?), defensive line and defensive back to snag this 6-foot-6 senior with a rocket arm. Indy might not be completely sold that Jacoby Brissett is its guy, and Herbert has shown he can lead an offense. That Senior Bowl showing did a lot to calm consistency concerns. After using seven of their 10 picks on defense in 2019, the Colts can’t pass on this tremendous value at a premier position. One more thing to consider: Brissett is signed through the 2020 season, meaning Indianapolis wouldn’t have to throw Herbert to the wolves out of the gate.
The Athletic’s Dane Brugler: WR-Jerry Jeudy (Alabama)
Brugler’s Analysis: The Colts are missing a big-play element in their offense, having produced only three 40-plus-yard receptions in 2019, which ranked next-to-last behind only the Chicago Bears. Part of the blame rests with the quarterback, but adding a talent like Jeudy would certainly help whoever is under center.
*Trade down with Cowboys to No. 17—Pro Football Focus’ Michael Renner: DE-A.J. Epenesa (Iowa)
Renner’s Analysis: Colts General Manager Chris Ballard lives to move down and accumulate more picks in the draft. Epenesa rarely flashed the on-field dominance that his immense physical tools at 6-foot-5, 280 pounds would suggest, but he was consistent against both the run and pass. His versatility would be the perfect addition to the Colts’ defensive line.
*Trade up with Jets to No. 11—USA Today’s Luke Easterling QB-Jordan Love (Utah State)
Easterling’s Analysis: This may seem early for Love, but after a solid week at the Senior Bowl, he just might be the clear-cut QB4 in this year’s class. That being the case, don’t be surprised if a team like the Colts make a small move up the board to make sure they land him. Jacoby Brissett would be a solid bridge option while Love smooths out the rough edges in his game.
NFL.com’s Chad Reuter QB-Jacob Eason (Washington)
Reuter’s Analysis: The Colts find their future starter. Eason’s arm strength will look great to teams in his pre-draft workouts. A quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator will believe they can work on the rest of his game.
Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller: QB-Jordan Love (Utah State)
Miller’s Analysis: Chris Ballard knows he’ll probably only get one shot at drafting a quarterback as general manager of the Indianapolis Colts; it’s quite rare for any general manager to get two early selections at quarterback. That means he needs to get this pick right. Jordan Love is a case study in what to scout when evaluating quarterbacks. He has ideal size (6’3⅝”, 223 lbs), athleticism, very good arm strength and very good mobility, but he also threw 17 interceptions in 2019 and scouts will pick apart his decision-making process. Go back to 2018, his fans will say, when Love excelled under then-coach Matt Wells with more NFL-caliber talent around him. With much of his supporting cast gone in 2019, Love pressed and struggled. Ballard has the hard task of figuring out which player Love is—the 2018 or 2019 version. If he falls for his traits and believes Frank Reich can develop him, Love could be the answer in a post-Andrew Luck world for the Colts.
MOCK DRAFT TOTALS
In each installment of the mock draft looks we will total up all the positions pundits have pegged for the Colts throughout the draft process:
–1st Mock Draft Look (January 20th)
DE-A.J. Epenesa (3)
WR-Jerry Jeudy (2)
QB-Jordan Love (2)
QB-Justin Herbert (1)
QB-Jacob Eason (1)
WR-Henry Ruggs III (1)
DL-Javon Kinlaw (1)
DE-Yetur Gross-Matos (1)
Bowen’s Analysis: After a bevy of defensive linemen and wide receivers slotted to the Colts in our first Mock Draft look, we saw a pretty notable shift this time around. Since the Senior Bowl (where Justin Herbert and Jordan Love participated), we are starting to see more national chatter around the Colts taking a quarterback at No. 13 overall. This mock look has the Colts taking a quarterback in 4 of the 7, trading up to No. 11 overall in one of them. We also saw a trade down to No. 17 overall for Iowa’s A.J. Epenesa. Now, many will question the likelihood that these quarterbacks will be there when the Colts draft at No. 13. One of the more difficult things in this evaluation for the Colts comes from how teams judge quarterbacks in terms of where they rank on a draft board. Teams will reach for QBs. That’s inevitable. The domino of free agency next month will help us get a better idea of which teams in the top-10 be very quarterback hungry come draft time.
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