Following the Colts drama with Josh McDaniels, the team’s GM Chris Ballard had this to say on the New England Patriots: “The rivalry is back on.”
Well, if the Colts plan on seriously contending with the Patriots anytime soon, they can start with a successful 2018 NFL Draft. Here is our Full 7-Round Mock for the Colts. Be sure to let us know what you liked and disliked by leaving a comment or sending us a tweet @FrontRow_Sport.
Round 1: Bradley Chubb, DE, NC State
Bradley Chubb is by far the best EDGE defender in this draft class, and is not even close. The drop off from Chubb, to the second best EDGE defender, is significant. It gets way worse when comparing Chubb to the 5th/6th best EDGE defender. The point is, if the Colts pass on Chubb in Round 1, they will not be able to land a player close to his caliber later on. The EDGE defender class is not very deep, and the Colts can afford to pass on other positions in Round 1, and address them later. Chubb gives the Colts a defensive cornerstone for years to come, and he should make an impact for the team right away. Some Colts fans might be begging for the team to select RB Saquon Barkley, but with the extreme talent and depth in this RB class, that would not be the smart. The Colts should take Bradley Chubb. He has the ability to rush the passer and stuff the run at a high level, and would he would be the smartest selection for the Colts.
Oh….and in order to beat the Patriots, the Colts need to improve their pass rush. When the Eagles beat the Patriots in the Super Bowl, they basically clinched the game when Brandon Graham had a strip-sack of Brady late in the 4th quarter. Additionally, the Patriots 2011 & 2007 Super Bowls losses were mainly due to the Giants pass rush, which was able to pressure and limit Brady. So, Chris Ballard if “the rivalry is back on”, the Colts 1st Round Pick should be quite simple. Take Bradley Chubb.
Round 2: Will Hernandez, OG, UTEP
Will Hernandez is a nasty blocker who should be able to start right away for the team that selects him. Hernandez (6-2, 348) is a mauler, and is built like a wrecking ball. He plows over defenders in the run game and stays firm like a wall in pass protection. Hernandez is a tad undersized, and has short arms, but he makes up for it with excellent body control, footwork, and technique. Hernandez would be a great addition to a Colts offensive line that needs reinforcements. NFL.com had high praise on their scouting report regarding Hernandez:
Possesses impressive natural movement for his size. Flexible and agile. Knee bender able to unlock his hips and explode into opponents at point of attack. Base is wide and steady. Has the feet and the force to keep run blocks sustained and centered. Contact balance and body control are excellent. Plays with an aggressive, finishing demeanor on every snap. Flashes outstanding upper body strength to turn defenders out of the run lane. Once he digs his hands into an opponent’s frame, they are done. Feet are nimble and quick. Quality pull blocker and has feet to mirror most pass rushes.
Round 3: Nick Chubb, RB, Georgia
MORE NFL DRAFT: 2018 NFL Draft Big Board: Top 50 Prospects (w/ Gifs)
Nick Chubb is a terrific running back. He runs with great power and vision, and refuses to be taken down easily. In his four year career, Chubb (5-10, 225) rushed for 4769 yards and 44 TDs. Chubb is a hard nosed runner, and can run well in between the tackles and on the edge. Chubb would provide Andrew Luck a needed dynamic running mate who can create something out of nothing. Chubb should be a very productive back on 1st and 2nd down, as well as in the Red Zone. It will be interesting to see how fast Chubb runs in the 40 yard dash; any time in the 4.4-4.5 second range would be golden for Chubb. A fast 40 time will obviously only help Chubb’s stock. Either way, Chubb landing with Indianapolis would be a great fit. Chubb would be a great upgrade and replacement for Frank Gore, and he would create a nice tandem with 2017 draftee Marlon Mack.
Round 4: Equanimeous St. Brown, WR, Notre Dame
Equanimeous St. Brown can be a big time wide receiver in the NFL. St. Brown (6-4, 190) was not used much in Notre Dame’s offense, but that is not his fault. The Fighting Irish chose to rely on their run game, which was successful largely thanks to premier talents Quenton Nelson and Mike McGlinchey. Even with the Irish being a run first team, St. Brown still managed 1476 recieving yards and 13 TDs in his past two seasons. St. Brown is a bit under the radar for now, but it won’t last long; I see him testing very well at the combine. If he does so, with his size and speed combination, St. Brown could hear his name called as early as the 2nd Round. St. Brown is a vertical threat that can make plays all over the field; watching him reminds me of Steelers WR Martavias Bryant. St. Brown would be a tremendous complement to TY Hilton, and would be able to provide the Colts a big target that can make plays downfield.
Round 5: Fred Warner, LB, BYU
Fred Warner is one of my favorite Linebackers in this entire class. Warner has the versatility to play various linebacker positions, inside or outside, in either a 3-4 or 4-3. Warner (6-3, 235) has great size and moves well in space. Warner has amassed 173 tackles, four interceptions, and three forced fumbles in his past two seasons for BYU. Warner has not only been a standout player, but also a standout leader for BYU. Warner is a high-character prospect, who offers versatility and can make plays. The combination of those factors bodes very well for Warner, and he should fly up draft boards if he tests well at the upcoming NFL Combine. The Colts need to address multiple linebacker spots, and Warner would be a great addition.
Round 6: Micah Kiser, LB, Virginia
Micah Kiser would be a great addition for the Colts; the team could use upgrades at multiple linebacker spots. Kiser is at his best defending the run, and could develop into an impact player for the Colts defense. Kiser plays with great physicality, and would add some quality young talent to the team. Draftwire.com had high praise for Kiser:
When your production puts you in a category with just Luke Kuechly, you know you’re doing something right. That’s the case for Kiser, who joined the five-time Pro Bowler as the only other player to lead the ACC in tackles three years in a row. While the NFL seems to be trending more toward smaller linebackers, there’s still a place in the league for throwback thumpers like Kiser, who use their bulk and physicality to their advantage. While he may not be as effective in space as some of this year’s more athletic prospects at the position, he’s a sure tackler capable of becoming a starter at the next level.
MORE NFL DRAFT: 2018 NFL Draft Positional Ranking (with GIFS)
Round 7: Kameron Kelly, CB, San Diego State
At 6’2” 200lbs, Kelly is a former safety who turned cornerback in his senior year at SDSU. Kelly tallied 67 tackles, five tackles for loss, two sacks, three interceptions and seven pass breakups in the 2017 season. Kelly has great size, athleticism, and physicality to develop into a great corner in the NFL. Kelly’s stock could rise as the Draft process matures; landing him in Day 3 of the Draft would be a tremendous selection for the Colts.
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Sources used: Indystar.com, cbssports.com, draftwire.com, sports-refrence.com, and espn.com. For the gifs used, all rights are reserved to their owners. They are not mine. For the gifs, credit goes to ESPN, Big Ten Sport Network, the Poinsettia Bowl, Draft Breakdown, @BigC1736, ACC Digital Network, SEC Network, ESPN CFB, gifs.com, Steelers Depot, and more.
Founder and writer for Front Row Football (2018-present).
Writer for Armed Rodgery (2016-2017).