The draft is upon us! As crazy as it seems, the NFL draft is a mere 48 hours away, give or take. The Indianapolis Colts are looking to take the next step in becoming true Super Bowl contenders in 2020. The 2019 NFL draft is where this all starts, where Chris Ballard will look to add more elite talent to the roster. Given their sheer amount of draft capital, I would not be surprised to see the Colts trade down. However, there are no trades in this mock draft. Given the unpredictable nature of trades, I choose to draft straight up. Without further adieu, let’s dive into the final Colts mock draft before the real deal.
(Thanks to The Draft Network for their mock draft simulator!)
Round One, Pick 26: Byron Murphy, CB, Washington
Byron Murphy and the Indianapolis are a match made in heaven. The Colts play zone for almost 90% of the time. Byron Murphy is an elite zone corner. Let’s make this happen. Murphy’s short area quickness, instincts and ball skills make Murphy a perfect fit Indianapolis.
Round Two, Pick 34: Jerry Tillery, IDL, Notre Dame
Am I dreaming? Tillery is a player I would be happy selecting in the first round, but he happened to fall eight more spots in this draft. The Colts need a pass rushing punch up the interior, in order to collapse pockets and allow the edge rushers to go to work. Despite the off-field red flags (that seem to be in his past), Tillery is worth of a high selection due to his true pass rushing upside.
Round Two, Pick 59: Darnell Savage, S, Maryland
The Colts love their safeties and often played three safeties in their dime package, moving Clayton Geathers down into the box. In drafting Savage, they can still play that package and considerably upgrade across from Malik Hooker. His coverage ability is far from elite and he fits best as a cover 2 safety, perfect for Indianapolis’ scheme. Savage plays with the requisite athleticism and physical tools to dominate his half of the field in run defense and pass coverage.
Round Three, Pick 89: Riley Ridley, WR, Georgia
Ridley’s stock has taken a dive after his poor athletic testing, combined with his lack of production at Georgia. However, he is one of the best route runners in the draft, separating with refined technique and elite quickness. Adding him to Indianapolis’ wide receiver room only improves the dynamism of the offensive and gives Andrew Luck another toy to play with.
Round Four, Pick 129: Joe Jackson, EDGE, Miami
You can never have too much pass rush, so the Colts grab a prototypical 4-3 EDGE rushing prospect in Jackson. Jackson isn’t overly quick and his pass rushing technique is not perfect, but he has the physical tools to set the edge and succeed in the run game.
Round Four, Pick 135: Stanley Morgan Jr., WR, Nebraska
We’re going back to the route running well, as Morgan is another one of the best route runners in this draft. It is likely one of him or Morgan work out, adding another elite route running technician to the already deadly Indianapolis offense.
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Round Five, Pick 164: Jalen Jelks, EDGE, Oregon
Remember what I said about the pass rush? To complement the run defending Jackson, we add a speed demon in Jalen Jelks. His burst and first step quickness off of the edge are one of the best in this class. Jelks is a project pick in every way, though the Colts can afford to take this risk and spend time developing Jelks’ pass-rushing plan.
Round Six, Pick 199: Alex Bars, IOL, Notre Dame
If Bars can overcome his nagging injuries, he could become a legitimate starter on an NFL line. He played tackle and guard at Notre Dame, winning with physicality, strong hands and power. Under the Colts’ regime, Bars could easily turn into a useable lineman if he can shake his injury history.
Round Seven, Pick 240: James Williams, RB, Washington
At this point in the draft, the Colts look to take a flier on an uber dynamic playmaker in James Williams. His excellent receiving ability makes him fit like a glove in the modern NFL and could be a secret weapon for the Colts on third downs.