Evan Silva (@EvanSilva) is the Senior Football Editor for Rotoworld's NFL Page, and Josh Norris (@JoshNorris) leads Rotoworld's college football and NFL draft coverage. Together, they're breaking down every team's biggest needs and offering potential solutions in May's draft.
For a breakdown on every team, check out the team-by-team draft preview schedule.
No. 1 Team Need: Safety
Incumbent FS Mike Adams is coming off a renaissance season, but turned 34 in March. Special teamer Winston Guy currently sits atop the strong safety depth chart. The Colts play press-man coverage at cornerback, and require range from their free safety. They need to start thinking about Adams' eventual successor. They also need an immediate starter at strong safety. Coach Chuck Pagano likes to use his strong safety as a tone setter in the box.
No. 2 Team Need: Offensive Line
The Colts have a lot of bodies on the offensive line, but only LT Anthony Castonzo and promising sophomore LG Jack Mewhort should be assured starting jobs for 2015. Incumbent RGs Hugh Thornton and Lance Louis have been injury-plagued and ineffective on the field, while free agent pickup Todd Herremans is best suited for a "swing" backup role at this stage of his career. Center will be up for grabs between Khaled Holmes and Jonotthan Harrison. RT Gosder Cherilus' knees may be shot. Although OC Pep Hamilton smartly embraced a pass-first philosophy last season, the Colts still fancy themselves a power-running team.
No. 3 Team Need: OLB
Whether it comes via the defensive line or outside linebacker, the Colts need more pass rush. This was the thinking behind GM Ryan Grigson's signing of Trent Cole, but Cole is a mere short-term stopgap entering his age-33 season. Erik Walden is best suited to set the edge in run defense, while 34-year-old Robert Mathis (Achilles') is headed for reserve/PUP. 2014 fifth-round pick Jonathan Newsome flashed promising pass-rush tools as a rookie, but is probably only a role-player. 2013 first-round pick Bjoern Werner is a bust.
Norris’ Mock Draft
Round 1 (29): EDGE Danielle Hunter, LSU - From where projections stand right now (which obviously won’t be true), there are not many edge rushers available in the late first-round. This was between Hunter and Eli Harold. I received a lot of jokes saying the Colts will target the most unathletic edge player in this spot. We have seen teams try to overcorrect on the athletic spectrum in the past, see the Steelers in 2014. Hunter is an outstanding athlete who is a solid run defender, but he has zero intent when rushing the passer. It is only a feeling, but coaches and evaluators will want to work with what Hunter offers.
Round 2 (61): SS Jaquiski Tartt, Stamford - Some will say “Tartt can be drafted in the fourth-round.” Can he? Do we know he makes it that long. If Landon Collins is available in the first, I bet the Colts make that pick. I bet Tartt is selected earlier than expected due to his big hitting play style.
Round 3 (93): RB David Cobb, Minnesota - A personal favorite. Cobb will be an awesome long term replacement for Frank Gore and offers somewhat similar traits in terms of beating first contact. He is also comfortable as a receiver. An Combine quad pull, which limited his workouts, could keep him on the board. Yes, something that minor.
Round 4 (128): T Rob Havenstein, Wisconsin - The Badgers consistently ran behind Havenstein’s side of the line. The right tackle gets wide with his punch which results in losses in pass pro, but he does have strength in the running game.
Round 5 (165): S Kurtis Drummond, Michigan State - Many project Drummond to free safety. I never feel comfortable with safety evaluations. Drummond did play in an aggressive defense that asked him to take reliable angles with good timing.
Round 6 (206): LB Junior Sylvestre, Toledo - Sylvestre could be seen as an “undersized” linebacker when compared to traditional standards. He compensates for the size with athleticism, something the Colts could use behind their starters.
Round 6 (244): Terrance Magee, LSU - Passing down specialist. Magee might not be a special athlete, but he has a foundation in pass protection and has flashed receiving skills.
Round 6 (255): WR Chris Harper, Cal - A combine snub. Harper left school early and is more fluid than explosive. His production dropped during his final season.
Colts Current Offensive Depth Chart
QB: Andrew Luck
RB: Frank Gore
WR: T.Y. Hilton
WR: Andre Johnson
TE: Dwayne Allen
TE: Coby Fleener
LT: Anthony Castonzo
LG: Jack Mewhort
RG: Todd Herremans
RT: Gosder Cherilus
Colts Current Defensive Depth Chart
LE: Kendall Langford
RE: Arthur Jones
NT: Josh Chapman
OLB: Trent Cole
OLB: Erik Walden
ILB: Jerrell Freeman
ILB: D'Qwell Jackson
CB: Vontae Davis
CB: Greg Toler
FS: Mike Adams
SS: Winston Guy