Currently the Indianapolis Colts are projected to have the number four pick in the 2018 NFL draft. This draft has a lot of talent available, and the Colts are in a prime position to significantly improve a roster that needs upgrades at several key positions. Today, we are going to break down three options the Colts could make if the draft was today.
1. Beef up the offensive line
Quinten Nelson of Notre Dame is a player the Colts absolutely must look at with their first-round pick. The interior of their offensive line has been downright awful this season. Normally offensive linemen that go in the high picks of the draft are tackles, because they’re usually more important, but the Colts have Jack Mewhort and Anthony Castonzo at the tackle position and need to beef up the interior. Nelson is the rare guard that requires a top pick. He also fills in the Colts weakest lineman position at left guard. Keeping Andrew Luck upright and healthy will go a long way to making this team a contender, and a lineman like Nelson would well accomplish that goal.
2. Boost the Pass-Rush
A popular projected player among draft pundits has been Bradley Chubb, who’s an edge defender out of North Carolina State. In his career and this season in general, he has been a disruptive force. He owns the ACC career record for tackles for a loss, as well as leading the conference in sacks this season with 10. The Colts, as a team, have racked up only 19 sacks on the season. They have also struggled to stop ball carriers behind the line of scrimmage, as their leaders in tackles for loss are OLBs Jabaal Sheard and John Simon tied with six each. Chubb has 23 this season alone and 54 in his career, so adding a player with his talent would significantly improve a Colts defense that has struggled for many years.
3. Trading Places
When viewing the current projected top-10 draft order, only the Colts, Chicago Bears and San Francisco 49ers currently possess their quarterback of the future. The Colts could very easily possess a highly coveted pick for teams that are desperate to win now. Teams such as the Arizona Cardinals, Buffalo Bills and New York Jets could all be willing to trade up in an effort to jump-start their respective rebuilding projects. Carson Palmer appears to be on his last legs. New head coach Sean McDermott is noncommittal about Tyrod Taylor, and he presumably wants to have his own quarterback to build his system around. After being more successful than expected, the Jets will most likely want to bring in a new young quarterback to build the rest of their rebuild around. All three of these teams are picking after the Colts, and they could get nervous about not getting the quarterback they want. The Colts could trade down to gain extra picks, while still getting the player they want. Nelson is currently projected to go tenth to the Miami Dolphins. The Colts could trade with the Jets at number seven overall, which gets them their man and they would presumably get extra picks as a result.
The Colts have a large multitude of options in the upcoming draft. As long as Andrew Luck is going to return to 100%, that leaves their options even more open. With Chris Ballard at the helm, it will be fun for Colts fans to see what he is able to do in his second time around.
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