Nobody expected the Colts to make this kind of a leap in year one of the Frank Reich regime, but that's what an impressive draft class will get you. Indianapolis still has plenty of holes to fill, beginning with a defensive line in need of pass rush help and a secondary looking for another starter or two that can provide some splash.
Don't forget about wide receiver either, where the Colts desperately could use another playmaker or two. With three picks in the top 60, Indy is in a strong position to address their needs or move around to get a potentially elite player, which is important considering Chris Ballard will likely do little in free agency.
In order to make these selections, I fired up The Draft Network's Mock Draft Machine, which releases to the public on February 25th. You can draft for one team, two teams, heck, you can draft for all 32 teams if you’d like. Make sure to keep your eye out for the launch!
Round 1, Pick 26: Dre'Mont Jones, IDL, Ohio State
A pass-rushing interior defensive lineman is exactly what Indy needs, and even though this might be a little high for Jones, the fit is on point. A rare athlete at the position, Jones' movement skills and explosiveness would fill a role the Colts don't currently have on their current defensive line, but there is no doubt he can stand to improve against the run.
Round 2, Pick 34: Deebo Samuel, WR, South Carolina
The Colts desperately need a receiver who can make magic happen with the ball in his hands, and that's Samuel's game to a 'T'. A strong route runner with good short-area quickness and strength and creativity post-catch, Samuel's style is the perfect complement to the vertical abilities of T.Y. Hilton and Eric Ebron in Indianapolis' offense. Gonna be one of Andrew Luck's favorites early on.
Round 2, Pick 59: Trayvon Mullen, CB, Clemson
Mullen isn't a finished product, but the Colts might not need him to be. Kenny Moore and Quincy Wilson should still be in the starting lineup plans, and free agent Pierre Desir probably played well enough last season to earn a cheap contract to return to Indy. Mullen's traits are impressive, and his flashes will attract teams in a weak cornerback class. Improving his technique will take some time, but the payoff could be significant.
Round 3, Pick 92: Mike Bell, S, Fresno State
Help in the secondary continues for Indy, as they currently don't have a strong safety to play next to Malik Hooker. Clayton Geathers and Mike Mitchell are free agents, and nobody else on the roster projects as a starting-caliber option. Bell isn't getting enough love in this class, both for his physicality and intensity against the run or his ball skills in coverage. I think he can start right away for Indy.
Round 4, Pick 123: L.J. Collier, EDGE, TCU
Collier has some inside/outside versatility thanks to his explosive hands and impressive power as a pas rusher. He's kind of like Tyquan Lewis, who the Colts drafted in the second round a year ago, which might mean the team sees drafting him as redundant. However, I think Collier's plan of attack is better, and he has even more versatility as he occasionally played in a 2-point stance at TCU.
Round 5, Pick 154: Jalen Hurd, WR, Baylor
A developmental talent with upside at wide receiver, Jalen Hurd's draft stock is anyone's guess at this point. Too banged up to participate in the Senior Bowl, Hurd could still give himself a bump with a strong Combine, but currently projects as more of a day 3 pick. With Hilton, Samuel and another veteran almost certainly in the mix for Indy, Hurd projects as a special teams/situational player in 2019, with more involvement down the road.
Round 6, Pick 187: Joey Alfieri, LB, Stanford
Alfieri is a sleeper in this linebacker class, but he's a versatile athlete who consistently played hard when on the field at Stanford. Playing some on the edge and some off-the-ball, Alfieri projects best as a true linebacker who will start out as a force on special teams, but could have the athletic upside to develop into at least a long/late down option next to Darius Leonard.
Round 7, Pick 218: Jordan Wyatt, CB, Southern Methodist
The Colts met with Wyatt for quite awhile in St. Petersburg at the Shrine Game, no doubt impressed by some of the plays he made in coverage that week. He had 11 interceptions and 21 passes defensed in four years as a Mustang, showing some click-and-close that would be a factor as a nickel corner down the road. For now, special teams is the route.
*REMINDER*: You can play general manager for your favorite team too when Mock Draft Machine releases to the public on February 25th!