1. First Round, 1st overall: Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford
Surprised? Here is what I said about Luck in my most recent mock draft:
The Colts land their quarterback of the future after gutting almost the entire roster. At least Luck will have Reggie Wayne, but the Colts lost Pierre Garcon, Anthony Gonzalez, and Dallas Clark. The biggest thing the Colts need to do now is add a piece to help Luck out. I don’t think we’ll see them make a move back into the first round, but they could use their high second round pick on a wide receiver to try and complement Luck’s skills. He is a potential franchise quarterback in the mold of an Aaron Rodgers or Matt Ryan. People say he is better than Elway or Manning as a prospect but I disagree that he’s even on a similar level. Those guys make everyone around them better, and as far as I’m concerned, Luck is not yet that kind of player. He is a game-changer, sure, but I don’t think he is legendary just yet. He certainly has the work ethic to develop into such a player, but for now, he reminds me more of a Matt Ryan who needs to be surrounded by elite talent (White, Jones, Gonzalez) rather than a guy like Manning who made Jacob Tamme look like a legit #1 TE.
2. Second Round, 34th overall: Coby Fleener, TE, Stanford
Let’s just get the whole gang back together, shall we? In all seriousness, Fleener was Luck’s favorite target at Stanford last year, and justifiably so. Fleener is a really nice tight end prospect who can be a mismatch nightmare down the seam. I think with Dallas Clark and Jacob Tamme leaving through free agency, the Colts could use another tight end to fill the void, because that position is the young quarterback’s best friend. Here is our report on Fleener:
Pros–Absolutely huge TE prospect at 6’6″, touchdown machine at Stanford, has experience in pro style offense with best QB in the country, obviously is a great outlet for Luck in the passing game, big play threat at all times…can line up in the slot and run pretty good routes…good at finding holes in zone coverage…impressive body control and ability to catch the ball in his soft hands…Cons–Will be 24 early in rookie season…lean build, can he hold up as a blocker at just 245 pounds? Can he handle not being top receiving option…impressive long range speed, but not necessarily dynamic off the snap…Player comparison–Marcedes Lewis
Jesse’s player comparison: Kevin Boss (entering the league, Boss has become a very good blocking tight end since then) Fleener also is faster and a more polished receiver, but they have that same uncommon size and long range speed.
Tony Scheffeler is another apt comparison
Round projection: late round 1, round two
NFLmocks preseason bio
Get used to hearing this guy’s name, because you will be hearing it a lot in the coming months and years. Fleener is a big tight end prospect that reminds me physically of Tony Scheffler. He has imposing size and excellent speed for his size, and he really broke out as a junior with Stanford when he had 28 receptions for 434 yards and seven touchdowns, three of which came in Stanford’s big bowl game win over Virginia Tech. His numbers won’t exactly jump out at you other than his bowl performance, but this is a guy ready to emerge as one of the country’s top tight ends. His combination of size and speed are scary for opposing defenses. He can line up as an in-line tight end, or possibly also as a wide receiver in some packages. He will be a great red zone threat and a very good target for Andrew Luck in 2011.
3. Third Round, 65th overall: Bernard Pierce, RB, Temple
The Colts parted ways with Joseph Addai, but truthfully even when he was healthy, they just couldn’t figure out who to put in the starting lineup at running back and make it work. Donald Brown looks like a bust pretty much from the 2009 draft, and I think the Colts need to surround Andrew Luck with as much talent as humanly possible. Here is my scouting report on Pierce:
Pierce is the type of guy who could come out after this year, his junior season, and make serious noise at offseason workouts. He is a physical marvel at about 6’1″ 220 pounds, and he reminds me a lot of Matt Forte with his ability to cut and his straight-line speed. I am not sure he has 4.4 speed like Forte, but he is definitely quick and a former track guy who can definitely burn defenders. Runs hard, will remind a lot of people of James Starks of the Green Bay Packers. Has had a huge career with Temple to this point, rushing for over 1,000 yards in two of his three seasons with 45 career touchdowns through 11/9/11. Needs to improve in his pass catching skills, but definitely has the ability to make plays in the open field. I am not willing to say he is a poor power back for his size, but he is definitely better suited to make plays on the outside and in the open field (similar to Forte).
Sometimes he will go down a little too easily on initial contact, but he is one of those guys who will have carries of 3, 4, 3, 2, and 3 yards and then just bust off a 30 or 40 yard rush. Nice agility, will at times try to do too much. Will have to make an adjustment to higher level of competition for sure, as he will not physically dominate most everyone like he does now at Temple. Good patience, doesn’t let the fact that defenses key on him on every play get to him as the game progresses. Solid balance, always looking for the open lane which can sometimes burn him as he will abandon initial gap read and try to reverse field.
PROS: Size, agility, big play ability, upside, hard runner, potential as a receiver, nose for the end zone
CONS: Lack of adequate competition, sometimes over-anxious, tends to rely too much on ability to dominate opposition with measurables, lack of receptions.
Player comparison: Matt Forte/James Starks
4. Fourth Round: Shaun Prater, CB, Iowa
Prater is a guy I really like and of course, when you’re thinking about the Colts you have to consider that they might draft any and all Iowa players. Prater is a tough kid with speed, tackling ability, special teams ability, and playmaking skills. I think he would be a fantastic value in the fourth round. Here is our report on him:
pros--Zone coverage, length, speed, special teams, playmaking ability, great teammate, leader, tough, solid tackler…fluid…good technique…
cons--Needs to work on closing speed, can get beat on occasion, not great size, best suited for Cover 2 scheme, struggles in man defense at times…doesn’t have big interception numbers…
player comparison--Domonique Foxworth, Ravens
NFLMocks preseason bio
Prater could stand to add a little bit of weight, but he is the prototypical Tampa 2 cornerback. He has ideal speed and athletic ability, and can make plays on the back end. He is a solid tackler and will have three years of starting going into the NFL next year, and he was one of the Iowa players who dabbled in leaving early for the draft. In my opinion it would have been foolish of him to leave early for the NFL, and 2011 will be a huge season for Prater. He needs to really step up his game and turn it on this offseason to get himself ready for the NFL.
5. Fifth Round: A.J. Jenkins, WR, Illinois
A.J. Jenkins has really good speed and athletic ability, but consistency could really push him down draft boards. If he can figure out how to put it together on a regular basis, this pick could wind up being a huge steal for the Colts. I think he reminds me a lot of a Brandon Lloyd type of player, and he might not even sneak to the top pick of the 5th round but Colts fans can certainly hope. Here is my report:
Jenkins really broke out as a junior, especially in the later portion of the season. In four of Illinois’ final five games, Jenkins had a touchdown reception and finished the season with 56 catches for 746 yards and seven touchdowns. He also has some ability in the return game, as he had 22 returns for 490 yards and a touchdown as a true freshman, when he also added 11 receptions for 287 yards and three touchdowns. Jenkins was easily Illinois’ best receiver last year, with more than double the yardage total of Jarred Fayson, who had 355 yards. Here’s what his QB had to say about him:
“He’s a confident player, he loves the competition and is willing to go up against any DB in the country I promise you that, so that’s we like throwing to him,” Scheelhaase said of Jenkins.
Jenkins is a speedy, athletic receiver who should undoubtedly get looks from NFL teams, especially if he continues to improve off of his excellent play in 2010. And, indeed he has supplemented his excellent 2010 season with another nice season in 2011, though marred by inconsistencies.
The senior wide receiver showed excellent playmaking ability this season, but he hasn’t scored a touchdown since early October. He is solid after the catch but really needs to work on being more consistent. In that way, he really reminds me a lot of Brandon Lloyd coming out.
6. Sixth Round: Akiem Hicks, DL, Regina
Hicks is a former LSU recruit who wound up in Canada and will likely either be a late round pick or undrafted because of potential off-field issues, but he is a nice talent with excellent size and pretty solid athletic ability. I think in the later rounds, the Colts trying to get bigger on the defensive line, the 6’5″ 318 pound Hicks could be a solid addition.
7. Seventh Round: Chris Owusu, WR, Stanford
Was this predictable too? OK, I realize the Colts are not going to try to replicate Stanford in the midwest, but you might as well get the value while it’s hot. Andrew Luck isn’t going to have much to throw to this year it appears, so let’s get him some guys he knows if we can. The Colts lost Pierre Garcon and Anthony Gonzalez to free agency, and while A.J. Jenkins and Chris Owusu can’t immediately replace that kind of talent or production, they could be solid young guys to have around. Here is our report on Owusu:
His best asset his ability to create yards after the catch…Good size…versatile, does a little bit of running can return kicks…good vision with the ball in his hands…gets up to top speed quickly a can create some separation down the field…does a good job against press coverage…catches the ball well…showed off much better straight line speed than I thought he had
Drability..even though he runs pretty good routes he doesn’t have the kind of quickness and fluid hips to create separation in short to intermediate routes
7th to undrafted free agent
Owusu is better than a sixth round prospect, but I think he’s going to get hurt by Jahvid Best. How so? Best came into the draft with questions about his concussions, but still was drafted high. Now, the Lions have lost Best for a long time period for concussion. With the crack down on concussions I think it could really hurt his stock.
Owusu is really a solid prospect. He protects the football well, he does a good, not great job of creating separation and getting open. He is at his best once he catches the football, he does a really good of creating yards after the catch and has really good vision with the ball in his hands His problem is the history of concussions. You have to feel bad for the guy and I wish him all the luck. Hopefully he can get over this issue stay healthy and have a pretty productive N.F.L. career.
NFL Mocks Preseason Bio:
Missed six games due to injury in 2010, but is still one of the top playmakers in the Stanford offensive attack. Lanky receiver with solid speed and playmaking ability. What Owusu brings to the table is versatility. He has very good speed, and is one of the better kick returners possibly available in the 2012 NFL Draft. He has good vision with the ball in his hands, and his best game of the season came against Arizona. He showed as a sophomore in 2009 what kind of player he could be, and I think he will show in 2011 that he is one of the top playmakers in the Pac 12.