The NFL Draft is two weeks from Thursday and over the next couple of weeks, Colts.com will assemble various mock drafts from national media outlets to gauge what NFL pundits are thinking the Colts might do with the 24th pick in the first round.
ESPN, Mel Kiper (April 5)
No. 24: CB Xavier Rhodes, Florida State
Kiper’s Analysis: The Colts could go a few different ways here, but they really need to not fall in love with a certain need and see how the board breaks. If the value on the offensive line isn’t there, I think Rhodes makes a lot of sense. The Colts were active in free agency, adding help in a handful of spots, but Rhodes has the chance to be the best cornerback on the roster after he gets a little seasoning. For a team that might feel it’ll be playing from ahead more and more in the future, the secondary needs to be a priority.
ESPN, Todd McShay (April 10)
No. 24: CB D.J. Hayden, Houston
McShay’s Anaylsis: Scenario 1: The Colts play man-cover schemes, and Hayden’s smooth movement skills and ability to manufacture turnovers would be a solid fit.
Scenario 2: Receiver doesn’t appear to be a pressing need, but QB Andrew Luck can never have too many options and Keenan Allen is an NFL-ready talent who can make plays downfield.
Scenario 3: If other options aren’t attractive, Indianapolis could opt for Lacy as the potential engine that drives its power running game.
Stats and Info: The Colts’ pass rush sacked, hit or put the quarterback under duress on 17.8 percent of drop backs, the second-worst rate in the league. Jarvis Joness led the FBS with 14.5 sacks, as well as all BCS defensive prospects with 31 total pressures last season.
No. 24: LB Arthur Brown, Kansas State
Banks’ Analysis: I’m still not sure how the Erik Walden signing in free agency made sense for the Colts financially or otherwise, but Brown would upgrade one of the few remaining spots on the roster where Indy is not better off than it was at the start of the offseason. UCLA defensive end Datone Jones, North Carolina defensive tackle Sylvester Williams and Florida State offensive tackle Menelik Watson are other options that add talent and depth at positions of need.
No. 24: DE Damontre Moore, Texas A&M
Brooks’ Analysis: Moore’s immaturity and lack of explosive athleticism could send him tumbling down draft boards. Indianapolis, which has a hard-nosed coach (Chuck Pagano) and a huge void at outside linebacker, could be the perfect landing spot.
No. 24: DT Jesse Williams, Alabama
Schrager’s Analysis: The Colts picked up two defensive tackles over the past two weeks, signing Ricky Jean-Francois and Aubrayo Franklin to free-agent deals. I don’t think they’re done addressing the interior of their defensive line. Williams is a versatile Australian-born big man who anchored college football’s most feared defensive unit. At 6-foot-3, 323 pounds, he’d be a nasty addition to a unit that’s already improving.
No. 24: WR Cordarrelle Patterson, Tennessee
Prisco’s Analysis: Reggie Wayne isn’t a kid anymore. They need help. Darius Heyward-Bey is a stopgap.
No. 24: OT D.J. Fluker, Alabama
Fluker’s Analysis: The Colts locked down their left tackle spot by signing Cherilus in free agency, and Fluker could step in and start at right tackle. There are other needs, of course, but it wouldn’t be a bad idea to further beef up protection for that franchise
No. 24: DE/OLB Corey Lemonier, Auburn.
Galko’s Analysis: Though Erik Walden is a nice signing on the edge for the Colts, they still need to add youth to their pass rush. Lemonier could fight for a starting spot in Week 1.
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