Part 1 covered the top 19 prospects for the Colts in my eyes plus 12 other players who are definitely worth a first round pick, but not to Indy. Here we’ll dig a bit deeper into the draft.
Tier 4: Trade Up/Down Targets
20. Rodney Hudson, G/C, Florida St.
Dominant guard at the college level, with loads of experience and plenty of athleticism to play on the inside. Holding him back is that Hudson played at under 300lbs and even adding weight for the combine was only up to 299lbs (at 6’2″). While it mostly didn’t show up in his game at the college level, against NFL DTs he won’t have great power.
21. Danny Watkins, T/G, Baylor
Played left tackle for Baylor, but was moved to guard for the Senior Bowl due to his size (6’3″ 310lbs) and lack of elite quickness. He took to the position change extremely well becoming one of the top interior line prospects in the draft. Holding back his stock is that he played just two years above the junior college level, four years total and turns 27 this November.
22. Stefen Wiesniewski, G/C, Penn St.
Quick lineman with 3 years of starting experience between the center and guard position. Not a mauler in the run game and played at about 300lbs, though he was up to 313 at the combine. A versatile Big10 lineman with more quickness than power is right in the Colts wheelhouse.
23. Quinton Carter, S, Oklahoma
Very good zone coverage guy with solid size at 6’1″ 208lbs and good run support skills. Like pretty much the entire 2010 class of safeties, he didn’t run that well at the combine. This safety class is considered quite weak, but Carter is one of the, if not the, top player in it. High character guy who started a non-profit to help kids in his hometown of Las Vegas while still in college.
24. Ben Ijalana, T/G, Villanova
Dominated at the FCS level, but most want to move him inside to guard citing sub 6’4″ height and struggles pass protecting against very athletic defenders. Has significant technique issues that need to be corrected, but if they are he looks to be an excellent guard and might even be able to stay at tackle. Probably starting out as a guard then he might kick outside once he’s had some quality time with a NFL line coach.
25. Christian Ballard, DT/DE, Iowa
TE turned DE, turned DT, turned pretty much everything on the DL, Ballard is a very athletic lineman who was a strong run stopper at LE and very disruptive on the inside. Getting some attention as a 3-4 DE as high as the late 1st but if he slides into the 2nd due to a lack of ideal 3-4 DE size at 283lbs, he could be worth a pick filling Raheem Brock’s old role providing good run D and spells for Freeney/Mathis at DE as well as bringing some heat from the inside on 3rd down.
Tier 5: 2nd Round Favorites
26. James Carpenter, T/G, Alabama
Almost the reverse of Watkins’ Senior Bowl, Carpenter was expected to play mostly RT and guard despite starting the past two years at LT for ‘Bama, but saw significant time at LT and held his own against top edge rushers. Pretty athletic and good in pass pro with enough weight to stop the bull rush, but not a lot of power in the running game. Not as tall (6’4 3/8ths”) or quick as you’d want at LT, but a very good RT or guard prospect.
27. Tyler Sash, SS, Iowa
Hard for a strong safety to impress at Iowa with Bob Sanders still fresh in everyone’s minds, but Sash managed with strong run support and an uncanny knack for getting into the right place at the right time for a pick (13 INTs in 3 years). Sash isn’t the freakish athlete Bob was, but he does come with the size (6’0″ 211lbs) and durability (played all 38 games, starting 37 the past 3 years) Sanders’ lacked. Not a good option for man coverage or centerfield, but plays a deep half well and can come up into the box.
28. Rahim Moore, FS, UCLA
A great athlete and likely the best cover safety in the draft Moore is the safety most likely to sneak into the first round from a lackluster class of safeties. Moore comes up quick to support the run, but isn’t particularly big or strong making him a much better fit playing deep coverage, rather than rolling up into the box.
29. Ras-I Dowling, CB, Virginia
One of the top CB prospects in the country going into last season, Dowling was plagued by injuries and played only 5 games. At the combine he answered one major concern showing much better speed than expected, but deepened the other pulling up with a hamstring injury. Good size and speed with excellent skills in zone coverage and run support are very attractive, but his inability to stay healthy this past year is troubling.
30. Jarvis Jenkins, DT, Clemson
Great size at 6’4″ 310lbs, very strong against the run and a pretty good athlete for his size. 3 year starter who saw significant time as a freshman. Probably only a 2 down player as he seems to have stamina issues and wasn’t much of a factor rushing the passer (never reached 2 sacks in a season, 4.5 for his career). Could be a great addition at the 1-tech.
31. Aaron Williams, CB, Texas
Good skills and experience in zone coverage and athletic enough for man to man, but struggles when trying to get physical with receivers despite having good size. Quick and willing in run support, but gets overpowered trying to make the tackle too often.
32. Leonard Hankerson, WR, Miami
Excellent size and speed running a 4.43 at 6’2″ 205lbs. Hankerson struggled mightily with drops early in his career, but showed much better hands as an upperclassman including a fantastic senior season catching 72 passes for 1,156 yards and 13 TDs. His route running needs more work and he isn’t a great YAC guy, but if you can trust his hands he’s an excellent WR prospect.
Tier 5: In the Mix
33. Chris Hairston, OT, Clemson
3 year starter at LT with excellent size at 6’6″ 326lbs and good athleticism. Significantly better in pass pro than run blocking which makes it kind of hard to place him since his struggles against double moves and poor performance against top competition isn’t what you want in a starting LT. Could be a great RT If he gets stronger.
34. Sione Fua, DT, Stanford
Very hard to move in the run game and can bull rush his way into the backfield, but doesn’t have the quickness to shoot through gaps and his range in pursuit is limited. Good option to shore up a run D as a 1-tech DT, but a 2 down player.
35. Torrey Smith, WR/RS, Maryland
As a blazingly fast, but raw receiver with good size out of Maryland, Smith’s draft stock is haunted by the ghost of Darrius Heyward-Bey. The similarities are undoubtably there, but Smith brings return value that DHB lacked and he isn’t going to be wildly overdrafted in the top 10. Also, while Smith is chided for not catching with his hands in pretty much every report out there, he doesn’t seem to have the issues with drops that followed DHB from college into the pros.
36. Jason Pinkston, T/G, Pittsburgh
Smart strong lineman with good technique and athleticism, but his work ethic and desire are questioned for not turning that into a better product on the field. A bit short for a tackle, but has the athleticism to protect the edge at RT. Wasn’t a great run blocker despite seeming to have all the ingredients required.