2024 NFL Draft Review: Indianapolis Colts

Review of all 32 teams draft, with grades and UDFA signings. This time it’s the Indianapolis Colts 
2024 NFL Draft - Round 1
2024 NFL Draft - Round 1 / Gregory Shamus/GettyImages

Previously we reviewed the Houston Texans draft selections, now it’s time to take a look at how the Indianapolis Colts  drafted and grade the picks. Which player was the best value and earned the team choice award, and who did the team sign during the undrafted free-agent period? Let’s break it all down.

1 (15): EDGE Laiatu Latu, UCLA

Some will say Latu was the best defensive player in the draft and the fact he was the first defensive player drafted (after a 14-player offensive streak) is a testament to that. The Colts were in need of defensive backs and wide receivers, but when Latu landed with the Colts it was too irresistible to pass on him. Sure there’s the neck injury from two years ago but based on his production last year it’s safe to it’s not bothering him. With 64 pressures, 13 sacks, and a tremendous 22 tackles for loss last season, Latu is a defensive playmaker who immediately upgrades the Colts' defense and the team as a whole. 

Laiatu Latu
UCLA v USC / Ric Tapia/GettyImages

Grade: A

(Team Choice Award)

2 (52): WR Adonai Mitchell, Texas

There’s that wide receiver we just talked about. The Colts needed a wide receiver and didn’t hang about too long to grab one. Mitchell was the Longhorns' most productive receiver last season. People felt worried about the speed when watching his tape, but his combine really proved that isn’t the case after running a 4.34s in the 40, and at 6’3” and 205 lbs at that speed puts him right near the top on the height-weight speed chart. His jumps in the combine were just as impressive with a vertical of 39½" and a broad jump of an insane 136”, he truly is an elite athlete. 

Adonai Mitchell
Allstate Sugar Bowl - Texas v Washington / Jonathan Bachman/GettyImages

Grade:  A

3 (79): T Matt Goncalves, Pittsburgh

Anthony Richardson has a history of bad injuries so protecting him at all cost is a smart move. Goncalves has a lot of potential and his 2022 season was extremely efficient. He got the starting job for Pittsburgh at right tackle (later switching to left tackle) and he allowed only 17 pressures and zero sacks. Unfortunately, he only played in three games in 2023 before being ruled out for the year with a toe injury. High ceiling, low floor selection here. 

Israel Abanikanda, Matt Goncalves
Rhode Island v Pittsburgh / Joe Sargent/GettyImages

Grade: B

4 (117): C Tanor Bortolini, Wisconsin

The question here is where Bortolini ends up playing. For one, the Colts are well set at center but need help at guard. The good news is that Bortolini is better at guard than center and projects better at guard in the NFL than he does at center. He has more chance of getting a roster spot at Indianapolis at guard as well when you look at contract expiration timelines. The biggest negative for Bortolini for playing center is his snap accuracy. He miss-timed a lot of snaps last year. 

Tanor Bortolini
Georgia Southern v Wisconsin / John Fisher/GettyImages

Grade: B-

5 (142): WR Anthony Gould, Oregon State

Looking for prospects who can play multiple roles on a roster is a good strategy for finding guys on Day 3. Gould offers an explosive element to the pass-catching corps for Indy. But more importantly, he also offers a level of reliability as a returner. He scored two touchdowns last year as a punt returner off 26 punts and went for 423 return yards (averaging 16.3 per return). That’s some extra production to tap into this late into the draft. 

Anthony Gould
Oregon State Spring Scrimmage / Abbie Parr/GettyImages

Grade: B+

5 (151): S Jaylon Carlies, Missouri

There is a lot of versatility to be had here with the Mizz safety. The Colts really needed defensive back help and waited a long time, so finding one as versatile as Carlies was important for Chris Ballard here. Carlies has taken over 150 snaps at both linebacker and slot defender while also playing over 300 snaps at safety for Missouri.

Jaylon Carlies
NFL Combine / Stacy Revere/GettyImages

Grade: B+

5 (164): S Jaylin Simpson, Auburn

After skipping past the secondary for most of the draft, the Colts go back-to-back in the fifth round. Simpson is a fantastic and instinctual safety who has seven interceptions and 12 pass breakups for Auburn in the last three years. The good news is that Simpson is still on the rise and in 2023, he saw his best season in terms of coverage and allowed a season-best of 54.0 passer rating. His athleticism is subpar which is why he’s a Day 3 selection, but let’s see what an NFL conditioning program can pull out of him. 

Jaylin Simpson
New Mexico State v Auburn / Michael Chang/GettyImages

Grade: A-

6 (201): CB Micah Abraham, Marshall

It’s interesting to see this pick for several reasons. To draft a cornerback this late tells Colts fans the coaching staff feels good about the development of their cornerback room. The other reason this is interesting is the fact Abraham is far from a good athlete, and athleticism is vital for cornerback. Go check his test scores and see how bad things are. His final athletic score ranked 1,558 out of 2,472 cornerbacks since 1987. 

Micah Abraham, Tykee Ogle-Kellogg
Scooter's Coffee Frisco Bowl - UTSA v Marshall / Sam Hodde/GettyImages

Grade: D

7 (234): DI Jonah Laulu, Oklahoma

Defensive line a need for Indy? Ok, so it’s the final pick and these seventh-round picks are more guys team don’t want to risk going to the UDFA market. Laulu is the complete opposite of what the team has looked for with their final two picks. Where Abraham has been productive but is a poor athlete, the opposite can be said for Laulu. Last season, Laluu recorded only one sack and nine tackles, but he crushed the athletic testing scoring a 9.62 in RAS (relative athletic score) which places him in the elite category. 

Jonah Laulu
Oklahoma v Texas Tech / John E. Moore III/GettyImages

Grade: C+

UDFA Signings- 

QB Kedon Slovis, BYU

QB Jason Bean, Kansas

WR Xavier White, Texas Tech

TE Trent Pennix, NC State

K Spencer Shrader, Notre Dame

Overall Grade: A-