INDIANAPOLIS – We are less than two months away from the 2021 NFL Draft.
As free agency nears (March 17th), the Colts have crossed off the biggest need this offseason.
With Carson Wentz under center for 2021 (and the Colts hope beyond), critical needs remain at left tackle, edge rusher, cornerback and wide receiver.
The Colts were able to keep their first (No. 21 overall) and second (No. 54 overall) round picks in 2021, but no longer have their third-round selection, with that going to Philly for Wentz.
Here is our third Mock Draft look for 2021:
Kiper’s Analysis: The Colts would probably love to get a tackle to replace the retired Anthony Costanzo, but I don’t see a great fit based on my rankings. (They could solve the issue by kicking All-Pro guard Quenton Nelson outside.) Instead they can address their pass rush and get younger with Justin Houston likely leaving in free agency. Rousseau, who opted out of the 2020 season, had 15.5 sacks in 2019, though he’s still raw. I’m interested in seeing his testing numbers at his pro day next month. Indianapolis should have a few options to take its preferred edge rusher here because the class lacks elite prospects.
Jeremiah’s Analysis: Free agency could create a void at the position for Indy, and teams are very high on Newsome, a height-weight-speed corner.
Davis’ Analysis: Anthony Castonzo’s retirement leaves a void at left tackle for an otherwise stalwart line. Barring a free agent signing or shuffling All-Pro LG Quenton Nelson outside, the path of least resistance might be drafting steady Darrisaw and leaving the other four starters in place. Gotta safeguard newly secured Wentz after he was sacked a league-high 50 times (in 12 games) and eventually fell apart.
Brugler’s Analysis: Several of the Colts’ options at left tackle were scooped up before their pick at No. 21, but in this scenario they able to move back, pick up extra draft picks and land a solid tackle option. Eichenberg has only average athletic traits, but his veteran awareness and strong hands help him win the point-of-attack
Kelly’s Analysis: Everything the Colts do on offense starts with their top-tier offensive line, but Anthony Castonzo’s retirement leaves the team with a hole at left tackle. Vera-Tucker may lack prototypical length but makes up for it with quick feet and easy movement skills. He’d be a nice plug-and-play option for Indy at the position.
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:
DE-Gregory Rousseau (2)
QB-Mac Jones (1)
QB-Kyle Trask (1)
CB-Tyson Campbell (1)
WR-Rashod Bateman (1)
DE-Kwity Payne (1)
OT-Samuel Cosmi (1)
WR-Kadarius Toney (1)
CB-Jaycee Horn (1)
OT-Liam Eichenberg (1)
OT-Aljiah Vera-Tucker (1)
OT-Christan Darrisaw (1)
CB-Greg Newsome (1)
Bowen’s Analysis: The days of potentially slotting the Colts with a quarterback at No. 21, or having them as a possible trade-up team for that position, are over. We see a heavy trench-focus to the Colts in this third look. By far, this is the most offensive tackle flavor we’ve seen for the Colts. You even have a very interesting trade back scenario that would allow for Chris Ballard to re-coup the third rounder he lost in the Eagles trade. In Rousseau, he’s the first person to be predicted to the Colts in multiple mocks. Rousseau chose to opt-out for the 2020 season and you have to be curious how that decision impacts the Colts’ level of interest. FWIW, Ballard has not had a good history in drafting edge rushers early. Newsome would mark the 3rd time in 5 Ballard drafts that the Colts have chosen a cornerback in the first 50 picks.