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Final Draft Summary: Colts Focus on Trenches, Forgo Addressing Skill Positions

In case you were unable to pay attention this weekend, the Colts came away with seven picks in the 2013 Draft, as well as about 18 undrafted free agents. 

My initial reaction is that the Colts had a solid draft, although Ryan Grigson has failed to address a few things. Here's my reaction to each pick, as well as the draft strategy as a whole. For each pick you can click on the name and find my long-form analysis of how the pick will fit in Indianapolis.

First round, 24 overall: Bjoern Werner, OLB, Florida State

Overall, I've really warmed to this pick. The Colts desperately needed pass rush, and Erik Walden is the weakest starter on the defensive side of the ball. Werner likely won't replace Walden right away, but split time with him throughout 2013. Walden is the run specialist, while Werner will likely be the pass rusher. Werner should especially excel in nickel and dime situations, when the Colts go to four down lineman. Werner is best with his hand on the ground, as he can use exceptional burst off the line to get an advantage over offensive linemen. 

I liked the value of a few other picks better at this spot, such as cornerback Xavier Rhodes. But Werner was one of my top five OLB prospects, and I like the fit as a SOLB. 

Third round, 86 overall: Hugh Thornton, OG, Illinois

I projected the Colts going interior line with this pick, but honestly expected the Colts to go with one of the top center/guard prospects on the board in Brian Schwenke or Barrett Jones. 

Instead, the Colts went with Thornton, who was the top guard on the board, but one most had in the fourth round or lower. Grigson would later go on to say that Thornton was the target for the entire day. Thornton is a big guy 6-3, 320 lbs, but is surprisingly nimble on his feet. He has a real shot at starting at right guard over Mike McGlynn in Hamilton's offense. 

Fourth round, 121 overall: Khaled Holmes, C/G, USC

This pick was a bit of a head scratcher for me, to be honest. The Colts had just addressed the interior line with the previous pick, and Holmes was a far lesser prospect than Barrett Jones and Brian Schwenke, who were available in the previous round. By going Holmes here, the Colts passed up on several skill position players that were gone by the end of the round, namely Johnathan Franklin, Chris Harper, Quinton Patton, and Marcus Lattimore. 

Holmes is a decent prospect, but most scouts have him as a guard due to Holmes' struggles to get low enough to anchor well in pass protection as a center. Holmes, like Thornton, does have quick feet, however, and will allow Hamilton to pull him and get him to the second level if he makes it on the field. 

Fifth round, 139 overall: Montori Hughes, DT, Tennessee-Martin

I like this pick, although I'm not crazy about the trading a 2014 fourth rounder to get it. Hughes is a bit of a risk, with a sketchy personal history and character questions. He's the kind of player you take if he drops on your board, not the one you trade up for. 

That being said, Hughes has a high ceiling and potential to be a long-term answer at nose tackle. The reason why I like it is simple. Unlike the Holmes pick, Hughs is a boom/bust type of player. The Colts have plenty of bodies at both C/G and NT. But Hughes has the potential to be a long time star if he gets his act together. The Colts don't have elite talent on the DL, and Hughes could be that.

6th round, 192 overall: John Boyett, FS, Oregon

Boyett is another pick I liked, although I don't believe he was the one that the Colts were initially targeting here. Bacarri Rambo, a ball-hawking free safety from Georgia went just before the Colts' pick, and the Colts took an uncharacteristically long amount of time in getting this pick in. I think they, like me, wanted Rambo here, but Boyett isn't a bad consolation prize. 

Boyett has great instincts as a center-field free safety. He's a little short, but when he's healthy he has great range in the defensive backfield and could be a potential replacement for Antoine Bethea, whose contract is up after this season. 

Boyett's problem is injuries. He tore both patellar tendons this past year, and will need to prove that he's completely healthy. He's a 3rd or 4th round prospect if healthy, so I love the value here for the Colts. 

7th round, 230 overall: Kerwynn Williams, RB, Utah State

Williams is a pick that has gotten a lot of praise from around the web in post-draft analysis. Williams is extremely fast, with subtle shiftiness that makes him a big play threat at any time. 

He's not a long-term answer at running back, and may not even see the field behind Andrew Luck this season, but he will compete for return duties and could possibly even see time as a utility-type back in the future. 

7th round, 254 overall: Justice Cunningham, TE, South Carolina

Cunningham is a big tight end prospect at 6-3, 258 lbs. He's a very good blocker, although likely too slow to be a threat in the passing game. 

He has soft hands, and is versatile enough to see the field, but most likely scenario is he competes with Weslye Saunders and Dominque Jones for the third TE spot, and could be used in run-heavy sets. 


Overall, I think this is a solid draft that addresses the Colts' biggest needs: outside linebacker and interior offensive line. But the way the Colts went about it is a little baffling. 

Yes, the Colts need to upgrade at interior line, but Thornton and Holmes are NOT prospects that immediately upgrade. They will compete for the spots, but overall it seems like the Colts added two more mediocre (moreso in Holmes case) bodies to a position that is littered with them. The Colts now have 10 guard or centers on the roster, not counting any UDFAs. 

Of those 10, Justin Anderson and Robert Griffin are the only ones that you can count on as being significantly behind the rest, in my opinion. You can lock Donald Thomas into the left guard spot, but the rest seem like they're up for grabs. So, you have seven players competing for two positions. I like the depth, but the starting talent isn't significantly better. Thornton may pan out as a solid guard, but I don't have confidence that Holmes will be an upgrade. 

Meanwhile, the Colts passed up finding a potential starter at wide receiver, cornerback, or running back, positions where the Colts need elite playmakers to make the next step. There was very good value at all three positions in the middle rounds that the Colts passed up on that may haunt them in the future. 

Overall, as I said before, I think it's a solid draft. But the Colts have a lot of holes, and I would have liked to see the front office try to address them. They brought in more skill players with their UDFAs, but those have a much lower chance of panning into the playmakers the Colts need at those positions. 

Kyle J. Rodriguez

About Kyle J. Rodriguez

A film and numbers guru, Kyle writes about the NFL and the Indianapolis Colts for Bleacher Report, Draft Mecca and The Football Educator, and is a co-founder and associate editor of Colts Authority. Kyle also is a high school sports reporter for the MLive Media Group in Michigan, covering high school sports across the state.

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