Some years of bad moves by former general manager Ryan Grigson, like trading a first-round pick for Trent Richardson and blowing one on Bjoern Werner, are coming back to bite Indianapolis. The Colts have a ton of needs on their talent-deficient roster, including edge rusher, running back, cornerback, defensive line, linebacker, and more offensive line talent. The defense is in horrible shape, so Indianapolis could take the best defensive player available regardless of position. McKinley isn't the best player available, as I know some teams that graded him in the mid-rounds, but the Colts have shown a ton of interest in him, including general manager Chris Ballard spending a lot of time with McKinley.
McKinley is a pass-rushing specialist who enjoyed a breakout senior season. In 2016, he racked up 61 tackles with 18 tackles for a loss, 10 sacks, three forced fumbles and six passes batted. It was a big improvement over his junior year when he recorded 35 tackles with 4.5 sacks, two forced fumbles and four passes broken up. McKinley was a backup as a sophomore, but had 2.5 sacks.
For the NFL, the 6-foot-2, 250-pounder's body type would fit best as a 3-4 outside linebacker. He could play right defensive end in 4-3 scheme, but would have to be rotated regularly and could struggle to defend against the run. In college, McKinley had a high motor, but he would get destroyed against the run regularly. He also lacks pass-rushing moves, is very tight, and is a one-trick pony speed rusher. Thus, I think he has some bust potential.
Rd. 2, Pk. 2
Malik McDowell, DT/3-4DE, Michigan State
The Colts continue to build up the talent on their defensive line. They need a disruptor at the point of attack, and McDowell could make a significant impact at five-technique. Indianapolis has hosted him on a visit, and I think this could be a great value for the Colts in the second round.
McDowell totaled 34 tackles with seven for a loss and just 1.5 sacks in 2016, but was very disruptive with pressure on the quarterback. He was a backup in 2014, but broke out in 2015. At times during that season, McDowell was the Spartans' most disruptive defensive lineman. He totaled 41 tackles with 13 for a loss, 4.5 sacks, two forced fumbles and a pick-six on the year.
The 6-foot-6, 295-pounder has a lot of upside to develop. Teams love his skill set, but have concerns about his work ethic in the weight room and motor. They also feel that McDowell seemed to be protecting himself in his final games. They question his desire to be great and love of football. Still, he would be a perfect fit as a five-technique in a 3-4 defense. Sources from multiple teams have McDowell as a high first-round talent and like him more than Arik Armstead and similarly to DeForest Buckner.
Rd. 3, Pk. 3
D'Onta Foreman, RB, Texas
The Colts could use a running back to eventually replace Frank Gore.
Foreman was a beast in 2016, rolling over defenders while averaging 6.3 yards per carry for 2,028 yards with 15 touchdowns. He wasn't much of a receiver with seven receptions for 75 yards, but Foreman is a load as a runner who can run over the opposition. The 6-foot, 233-pounder is a power back for the NFL, and sources have said that Foreman really impressed them in 2016.
Rd. 4, Pk. 4
Howard Wilson, CB, Houston
The Colts could use more talent at corner, plus they have Vontae Davis in a contract year.
Wilson (6-1, 184) was a surprise early entry in the 2017 NFL Draft as he was not expected to skip his final two seasons of college football. The NFL Draft Advisory recommended that Wilson go back to school. He probably will be a mid-round pick, but he has a good skill set. In 2016, Wilson notched 54 tackles with 10 passes broken up and five interceptions. He could be a sleeper corner who ends up being a nice value pick.
Rd. 4, Pk. 4
Anthony Walker, OLB/ILB, Northwestern
The Colts need to improve their roster all over the place. Here is some linebacker help.
In 2016, Walker recorded 105 tackles with 10 for a loss, four forced fumbles, two sacks, five passes broken up and one interception. Sources say they liked Walker (6-1, 238) more as a player in 2015. He was 20 pounds heavier in 2016, and sources feel that the extra weight severely degraded his speed and explosion.
Prior to his weight gain, Walker was a fast sideline-to-sideline defender. He functioned well in man coverage and was very dangerous in zone. Walker had a great 2015 season as he totaled 122 tackles with 20.5 tackles for a loss, three sacks, four passes batted, one forced fumble and one interception.
Rd. 4, Pk. 4
Eddie Jackson, S, Alabama
The Colts continue to build up their defense with a free safety upgrade.
Jackson recorded 24 tackles with two passes broken up, one interception that was returned 55 yards for a touchdown, and two punts returned for touchdowns in 2016 before a broken leg ended his season after eight games. The 6-foot, 194-pounder massively improved after a move to safety from cornerback for 2015. He had six interceptions, 46 tackles and two passes broken up there at the former that season. Jackson looked more natural in coverage as a safety. As a sophomore corner, Jackson totaled 41 tackles with six passes broken up and one interception. He had 19 tackles with two passes broken up and a pick in 2013. Jackson needs to continue to add weight to play in the box and tackle in the NFL.
Rd. 5, Pk. 5
De'Veon Smith, RB, Michigan
The Colts could use multiple running back upgrades. Smith is a good fit and will help protect Andrew Luck.
The Colts grab a difference-maker for their pass rush with a player to build their defense around. <br> <br>
The 6-foot-6, 260-pounder is a fast edge rusher with a ton of upside to develop. Sources have told me that Key loves football and is a hard-worker who strives to improve in the offseason. They said he has worked with pass-rushing-moves guru Chuck Smith, and that is impressive dedication for a collegiate player. Key missed the first two games of 2017 and was eased back into action in Week 3 against Mississippi State. He had three tackles and a half-sack against the Bulldogs. Key also had a game-clinching sack against Auburn. He played well taking on Alabama, having his way with both offensive tackles. Thus far this season, Key has 33 tackles with four sacks and a forced fumble. <br> <br>
In 2016, Key was one of the best players in college football. He recorded 56 tackles with 14.5 for a loss, 12 sacks, three forced fumbles and three passes broken up on the year. Key is a dangerous pass-rusher with excellent speed and the ability to bend around the corner. He flashed a ton of potential as a freshman for LSU, totaling 41 tackles with 6.5 for a loss, five sacks and one pass broken up.
The Colts number one priority needs to be keeping Andrew Luck healthy and on the field. But with a top 3 pick, Connor Williams already off the board, and the fact there arent going to being any trades in this mock draft, they would be smart to go with a defensive prospect. Indy selected two ball hawking DBs with their first two picks last year in Malik Hooker, and Quincy Wilson, so and with the selection of Chubb, it will make those guys jobs a lot easier. Bradley Chubb is a ruthless defensive end that seems to be where ever the ball is on the field. He is very easy to spot out if you watch N.C. State play because he is most likely blowing up the play for the opposing offense. He simply lives in the back field, whether thats a sack, a tackle for a loss, or simply just heavy pressure, he is there. Bradley Chubb looks to translate those pressures to the NFL, and make the opposing quarterback turn the ball over for the Colts. Don't be surprised if you hear Chubb being compared to the likes of J.J Watt and Khalil Mack within the next couple of seasons.
<i> 2017 NFL Mock Draft Pick (as of 11/25): Adoree' Jackson, CB </i>
The Colts could use an upgrade at running back badly. <br> <br>
Barkley has been excellent this season, and NFL sources have already said they think he's a stud back for the next level. The sophomore has averaged 5.6 yards per carry for 1,205 yards and 14 touchdowns so far this year. He also has 19 receptions for 316 yards and two touchdowns. <br> <br>
Barkley was very impressive as a freshman in 2015 when he averaged 5.9 yards per carry for 1,076 yards with seven touchdowns. He also caught 20 passes for 161 yards and a score. Barkley was very impressive running for 194 yards on 26 carries against an Ohio State defense loaded with NFL talent. The 5-foot-11, 223-pounder is a tough runner with a burst. <br> <br>
<u> <i> Pick change; previously Quincy Wilson, CB </i> </u>
After the depth acquired and moves made this offseason it looks like something happened to Andrew Luck for the Colts to selecting this early. This is a result of the offense being 100% dependent of him for success and thats not the way an offense should operate. The Colts need to give Luck the running game he hasn't had in his career, his starting running backs have ranged from Vick Ballard to the bust Trent Richardson to the very much aging Frank Gore, who just cannot preform at a top level anymore. They drafted Marlon Mack who will steal carries from Gore, but can't carry the load by himself. After the 2017-18 season Gore is a free agent and will likely retire unless another poor soul signs him to be their running back, and now makes an even bigger hole at running back. Guice has shown great running skills when he's played, but now with Leonard Fournette gone he can show he full ability and could challenge Saquon Barkley for the spot at best running back in the class. Guise can take pressure off of Luck and create a more balanced offense in Indianapolis.
The Colts signed John Simon and Jabaal Sheard, but both of them are rotational pass-rushers and edge defenders. Indianapolis needs a lead pass-rusher to build around. <br> <br>
Landry (6-3, 250) had an impressive junior season as an edge rusher for Boston College, recording 16.5 sacks, 22 tackles for a loss, seven forced fumbles, four passes batted and 51 tackles. He contributed as a sophomore with 60 stops and 4.5 sacks. Landry would fit best as a 3-4 outside linebacker in the NFL. <br> <br>
<u> <i> Pick change; previously Minkah Fitzpatrick, S/CB </i> </u>