2. Jack Mewhort, OT Ohio State 2. Jack Mewhort, OT Ohio State 2. Jack Mewhort, OT Ohio State

2014 NFL Draft Review: Indianapolis Colts


Nov 14, 2013; Nashville, TN, USA; Indianapolis Colts helmet on the sideline prior to the game against the Tennessee Titans at LP Field. Mandatory Credit: Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

2. Jack Mewhort, OT Ohio State
3. Donte Moncrief, WR Ole Miss
5. Jonathan Newsome, OLB Ball State
6. Andrew Jackson, ILB Western Kentucky
7. Ulrich John, OT Georgia State

The Indianapolis Colts had an outstanding 2012 NFL Draft.  They seemed to be satisfied with that and in addition to a far less stellar 2013 NFL Draft and continued in that vein when they decided they had no need of their first round pick in 2014, giving it away to the Cleveland Browns for Trent Richardson.  They also traded their fourth round pick in this draft to get into the fifth round of last year’s draft so they could select Montori HughesGeneral manager Ryan Grigson put himself in an extremely difficult position as a result.

The picks the Colts did have had some good picks, but it is unclear how much of an impact this class can have on this year.  The news of Robert Mathis’s four game ban may force one pick to give more earlier than the team might have expected.

The second round pick of Jack Mewhort is understandable, but not exactly inspiring.  Mewhort is a terrific athlete as an offensive tackle and can play at a number of different spots on the line.  He needs to continue to get stronger and improve his functional strength, so he can have a bigger impact in the running game.  Mewhort is nevertheless a solid pass blocker, which is what really matters to the Colts and their franchise quarterback Andrew Luck.

Mewhort could end up taking a starting spot along the interior of the line or be a swing tackle.  Ultimately, they have to think they would like to have Anthony Costanzo and Mewhort as their starting tackles in some form.  At this point, it is not clear what kind of schedule Mewhort is on, but if he had a productive offseason in the weight room and increasing his power, he could start soon.

The third round choice of Donte Moncrief is intriguing, because so much of Moncrief depends on what teams believe with him.  He has first round physical ability and measurables.  The issue is that his effort has wavered at times and the calculation that teams had to make between interviews and talking to people around the Ole Miss program is how much of that was a function of Moncrief and how much was a function of a bad quarterback situation and losing.

If he was simply fed up with the losing and lost focus when he was not involved in the game, he could prove to be a steal.  Playing with Luck could be a huge boost to his effort and energy and really allow him to flourish, becoming a big time receiving threat.  If not, Moncrief could be a player that has all of the talent in the world and cannot take full advantage.  There is an element of risk with Moncrief, but he might not have been able to go to a better situation.

My favorite pick in the draft was actually their fifth round selection in Jonathan Newsome.  He is a great fit as a standup rusher and all he goes is gets after the quarterback.  Newsome has the speed and quickness to give opposing tackles nightmares because he can win with the outside speed rush, but is not afraid to plant his foot in the ground and shoot inside.  He had a great game when Ball State played Virginia and he was able to push Morgan Moses to his limits.

Newsome offers next to nothing as a run defender at this point, which is why he ends up going in the fifth round.  As it is, especially with the news of Mathis’s impending suspension, Newsome will probably be forced into action perhaps earlier than the Colts would have liked, but just put him and let him loose to rush the passer.  Even if that is all he ever does, it should not be surprising if he can rack up a decent amount of sacks, starting as a rookie.  In my opinion, this pick could prove to be a big time steal and just what the doctor ordered for the Colts.

The Colts opted to pick Andrew Jackson in round 6.  He is incredibly big and strong for an inside linebacker and he can lay the wood if he gets the opportunity.  Even as a junior, when he lined up against Alabama, he looked like he belonged without issue.  He is the prototypical thumper.  The problem with Jackson is his instincts and ability to read.  When he is right and gets in the hole to make a play, he can make a highlight hit that makes the crowd cheer or go silent depending on where it is.  The problem is he ends up wrong far too often and gets out of position or misses the play entirely.

For the Colts and a 3-4 in general, reducing the amount of space he has to cover is good.  He is big enough and strong enough to take on blocks from opposing linemen.  It all comes down to a team getting him to be able to consistently put himself in the right spot.  Should that happen, he could be a nice player for the Colts and be able to play as a two down run specialist.

The Colts had a decent draft, but the sting of giving up that first rounder for Trent Richardson is always going to be associated with this class.  If Richardson can suddenly become the back that the Browns and then the Colts thought he could be, it will make this class look substantially better.

Mewhort is relatively boring by linemen standards but he could be a great player for them; it just comes down to when.  Meanwhile, their picks of Moncrief, Newsome and Jackson have some elements of risk, but could all prove to be great picks, even if two of them are more situational.  Moncrief legitimately has a chance to be the offensive rookie of the year, because he should have tons of opportunities to make a contribution this year.  Only having five picks puts a lot of pressure on the ones they got to deliver for them and if this class struggles, combined with the trade and a questionable class so far from last year, the honeymoon could be over real soon for Grigson as they may be trying to build a castle on sand with free agents.