Photo credit: Dalton Tinklenberg
The Colts have struggled drafting in the first round since taking the obvious pick at number one in 2012, Andrew Luck. Since then the Colts’ first round draft picks are as follows: 2013, Bjorn Werner #24 (no longer in the NFL), 2014, no pick due to the trade for Trent Richardson (no longer in the NFL), 2015, Phillip Dorsett (no longer with the team), 2016, Ryan Kelly (has missed five games this year due to injuries), 2017, Malik Hooker (only played in seven games before being placed on IR). The last two picks, Kelly and Hooker, have looked very promising but have suffered injuries. The Colts need to draft someone who is able to come in and make an immediate impact without missing time. The Colts are not far off from being a competitor in the AFC South again. They have been plagued with injuries this year, most noticeably star quarterback Andrew Luck for the entire season. Making the correct pick in the first round of the 2018 draft can help take them from the bottom of the league to the top, where Colts’ fans have been used to being at for the entire 21st century.
— Indianapolis Colts (@Colts) December 6, 2017
The Colts currently sit with the fifth pick and have the same record as Denver and Chicago, 3-9. Here are a few options the Colts can take in the first round:
The Popular Option
Currently most mock drafts have the Colts taking DE Bradley Chubb out of NC State. This is a safe pick as Chubb is the highest rated rusher and the Colts struggle heavily getting pressure to the quarterback, ranking 30th in sacks 12 games into the season. As well as being the top rated rusher Chubb has the added bonus of never missing a game since he took over as a starter in 2015. This sort of ability and consistency is what the Colts are looking for in the first round.
The Belichick Approach
One of the things that makes Bill Belichick such a successful coach is his approach to the draft. One of his philosophies in the draft is not to fall in love with a player around the teams pick and sticking to that player. He is constantly trading down to acquire more picks. This is something the Colts can try this year. This would involve taking Quenton Nelson, a guard out of Notre Dame. Guards aren’t usually taken with high picks in the draft that is reserved for offensive tackles. As it gets closer to the draft, and the position players are likely to get drafted as gets more clear, the Colts can try and send their high pick to a team in order to draft Nelson at the appropriate position. This would allow the Colts to not only fill a position of need, but also acquire more picks in attempts to land a gem in the second or third rounds.
The Bottom Line
It is vital that the Colts nail their first round pick this year. They are not as far out of the AFC South picture as their record may indicate. With how good the Titans and Jaguars have looked this year and the Texans before the loss of Deshuan Watson, the Colts cannot afford to fall behind. The AFC South looks to have the potential of going from one of the worsts divisions in the NFL to being one of the premier divisions. Being successful in the draft, especially in the first round, can help prevent the Colts from having a repeat of the 2017 season.