Colts are Interested: List of Players Entering 2011 NFL Draft

Each year leading up to the draft NFL teams have a spree of interviews, workouts, and visits with prospects. While most teams end up drafting players who they never have a reported interest or official contact with at any time, there are usually a handful of players that each team meets with who are either drafted or signed as priority free agents. In the 2010 NFL Draft, the Colts selected Jerry Hughes and Ray Fisher, both who visited with the team prior to the draft. Undrafted rookies Jeff Linkenbach, Vuna Tuihalamaka, and Mike Newton also were confirmed visitors.

With this in mind, after the jump you will find as many players at each position as Coltzilla could confirm having contact with the Colts prior to the start of the 2011 NFL Draft. Expect to see a few of these players at training camp this fall.

Quarterback

Andy Dalton – TCU – The biggest red flag for a team like the Colts has to be that he is already 24 years old, meaning that he will be nearly 30 by the time he will be asked to take over for Manning. Age alone drops his value this high in the draft significantly. SOURCE
Colin Kaepernick – Nevada – Kaepernick is one of the more intriguing quarterback prospects in the draft due to his size, intelligence, and arm strength. This will encourage teams selecting near the top of the second round to consider him. His speed and elusiveness are key attributes that make him more valuable for different systems. SOURCE

Running Back

Chad Spann – Northern Illinois SOURCE

Wide Receiver

Derrick McPhearson – Bowie State SOURCE
Jerrel Jernigan – Troy SOURCE

Offensive Tackle

Tyron Smith – USC – Smith is a player who is living on his athleticism in for the 2011 NFL Draft. He is projected by many to be the first tackle off of the board, even though his career at USC was only at right tackle. If analysts are correct, Smith will be off of the board far too early for the Colts, and his value compared to a handful of other first round tackles does not justify giving up a lot to trade up. SOURCE
Nate Solder - Colorado – What Solder offers is an elite athleticism that comes along with being a converted tight end. What he may not offer is two-fold. One, at 6-foot 8-inches tall he may be susceptible to speed rushers like Freeney and Mathis who can get very low to the ground and underneath his grasp. Two, he has struggled to keep on weight, which could limit his ability to play against NFL caliber defensive linemen. If he can keep on the weight, and if he can work on technique to keep his height from working against him, Solder arguably has the highest upside of all first round tackle prospects. SOURCE
Derek Sherrod - Mississippi State – Sherrod gets a knock for not having a mean streak like Carimi but otherwise he has shown the technical skills and size that project to make him a sure-fire candidate for starting right tackle in the NFL, with the upside to start on the left side if he develops quicker than usual or after he spends time on the right. In either case, if Sherrod is left he would be a solid pick. Whether the Colts should grab him at 22 or trade back to get one of Sherrod or Nate Solder lower, and pick up an extra pick or two in later rounds, is something only Polian will have a good bead on. SOURCE
Matt Murphy – UNLV SOURCE
Benjamin Ijalana - Villanova – Ijalana is a big man that looks the part of an NFL tackle but he is “only” 6-foot 4-inches tall which is not ideal for the position. He is rated as a solid pass protected but he may have difficulty dealing with the fastest speed rushers in the game. He has looked good working out and caught the eye of many NFL teams. If he dropped to the Colts pick in the second round he would have solid value, but his value would fluctuate based upon whether the draft room grabs one of the draft’s top five tackles. SOURCE
Byron Bell – New Mexico SOURCE
Eric Stanley – North Carolina Central SOURCE

Center

Jake Kirkpatrick – TCU – Kirkpatrick spent the better part of three to four years learning how to play center after not playing football until his senior season in high school. When he took over as a red shirt junior, he was ready. In his final two years, Kirkpatrick called the blocking assignments for a TCU offensive line that had great success. He won awards for his work as one of the nation’s best centers. SOURCE
John Gianninoto – UNLV SOURCE
Ryan Bartholomew – Syracuse SOURCE

Defensive Tackle

Kenrick Ellis - Hampton – Ellis is another massive nose tackle prospect who has the strength and athleticism to take on double teams and collapse the pocket. Adding a player his size would certainly help against the run and could free up the Colts pass rushers on passing downs. The issue regarding Ellis is whether he has the drive to work as hard as he will have to work to be dominant in the NFL and some drug related character concerns from his past. This is why he could slip to the third round and be solid pick for Indianapolis. SOURCE
Phil Taylor - Baylor – Taylor is a monstrous defensive tackle — 6-foot 3-inches tall and 334 pounds — with outstanding athletic ability. The Colts have already showed interest in Taylor and if he falls into the second round, there is a chance the Colts will pick him up. Need a nose tackle who can generate push and collapse the pocket? Check. SOURCE
Frank Kearse – Alabama A&M SOURCE
Teryl White – North Carolina Central SOURCE
Zach Clayton - Auburn – The Colts have shown interest in Clayton but at 6-foot 2-inches tall and right at 300 pounds he would be a consolation prize from the other linemen earlier in the draft. The team could hope to see him go undrafted and then pursue him in free agency. SOURCE

Defensive End

Brooks Reed – Arizona – Reed has a lot of similarities to Kyle Vanden Bosch. Both are very high-energy players who thrive on getting to the football. He has a tendency to create turnovers by stripping the football. A player like Reed is what makes the “value game” in the draft so difficult. He could drop into the high or mid second round. The difference between a player like him and a player like Houston is really hard to project. SOURCE
Da’Quan Bowers – Clemson SOURCE
Marc Schiechl – Colorado School of Mines SOURCE

Cornerback

Jimmy Wilson – Montana SOURCE
Prathon Wilkerson – Albany State SOURCE

Safety

Jaiquawn Jarrett - Temple – On tape Jarrett looks like a taller Bob Sanders clone. He plays with intensity toward the line, places big hits on ball carriers, and is an exceptional form tackler. What he lacks is the speed and potentially the range to be a steady pass defender. Fortunately for Jarrett, his 40-yard dash time is as fast or faster than any of the safety prospects in front of him except Moore. SOURCE
Chris Prosinski - Wyoming – Prosinksi is the kind of player in the late rounds who reminds me of getting value like Bullitt or Matt Giordano. Both players started their careers as backups and spent time filling in for injured teammates. Bullitt became a legit NFL starter, Giordano brought more value on special teams. In either case, a player like Prosinski shows the intelligence and athletic ability to compete at the next level. SOURCE
Mana Silva – Hawaii SOURCE

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