The Indianapolis Colts are coming off a playoff berth with a young roster ready to compete. Here is how the NFL Draft can help them.
Few teams were able to maximize their return on draft picks like the Colts did with their selections during the 2018 NFL Draft. After inheriting a roster in shambles from the previous regime, new general manager Chris Ballard had some work to do. Quarterback Andrew Luck had missed most of the last two seasons and there were holes everywhere. Ballard turned that roster and a collection of talent he acquired into a Wild Card playoff team in 2018. That is a remarkable turn around.
It started with last year’s NFL Draft. Ballard worked his magic with his team’s No. 3 overall pick, sending it to the New York Jets for additional second-round picks in 2018 and 2019 while also moving back to the sixth pick in the first round last year. That sixth pick turned into guard Quenton Nelson, the leader of the cultural revolution going on in Indianapolis. With the extra second-round pick, Ballard found linebacker Darius Leonard, who went on to win Defensive Rookie of the Year. The other second-round pick turned into starting right tackle Braden Smith, who joined Nelson to turn the Colts offensive line into an elite unit.
Success like that brings higher expectations. The Colts are entering the 2019 NFL Draft with an extra early second-round pick, a compensatory fourth-round pick and their own picks. That is a lot of ammunition for a general manager who likes to move around the board and has success as an evaluator of talent.
This mock draft was done using The Draft Network’s mock draft machine and the site’s predictive board. There are no trades, just the teams picking in their respective draft slots.