The 2011 NFL Draft has finally arrived. After months have gone by without Colts football, it is time for Bill Polian, Chris Polian, Tom Telesco, and the remainder of Indy’s scouting and personnel team to do their work. It has been both tedious and educational to dedicate a great deal of time to researching the many talented players hoping to embark on their NFL careers. After taking a close look at as many players as possible, at each position, and after considering each of the team’s needs, it has come time for the final Coltzilla mock draft. We hope that you have enjoyed all of our pre-draft coverage this year and we welcome any feedback our readers have on where and how we can improve.
We invite you to visit our Draft page to find links to the resources we have compiled for the draft this year. A special thank you to Coltzilla writer Jacob Crocker who has put tireless effort into researching the offensive linemen. Now for the Coltzilla Colts “Mock” Draft.
Round 1 – Pick 22
OT – Gabe Carimi – Wisconsin – Carimi would most certainly offer the Colts a starting tackle in his rookie season. What he offers over Castonzo is a bit more of a mean streak, arguably experience against better competition, and his run blocking is rated higher than the BC product — though Castonzo is typically regarded as the better pass blocker. Carimi is a Big 10 player, who often receive a great deal of attention from the Colts recruiting staff, which may make him more known to the Indy draft room than to any other team. If he is around, the Colts should grab him without hesitation. HIGHLIGHTS
Round 2 – Pick 53
S – Quinton Carter – Oklahoma – Carter has been in competition amongst Colts fans this spring as the top early round safety prospect. There is a lot to like about his game, his aggressive nature, his ability to close on ball carrier, strength against the run, and his ability to put big hits on opponents. If the Colts grab him in the second round, he may be capable of starting at some point during his rookie season. HIGHLIGHTS
Round 3 – Pick 87
OT – Joseph Barksdale – LSU – Barksdale is a player who has not been getting the kind of attention he deserves prior to the draft and he may go higher than the third round because teams see the talent he offers but if he does drop to the third round, he is a steal in my book. A pairing of Barksdale and a first round tackle offer Indianapolis a long-term future at the position, significantly increases depth, and allows Charlie Johnson to move inside to guard. The benefit to the offensive line would be too good to pass up.
Round 4 – Pick 119
DT – Sione Fua – Stanford – At 6-foot 2-inches tall and 310 pounds, Fua has the build and college playing resume to be a high value mid round nose tackle prospect. Although Indianapolis has not officially expressed a lot of interest in Fua, Bill Polian’s son Brian is the special teams coach for the Cardinals and certainly can give the Colts scouting staff a lot of insight. Do not be surprised if the Colts go for late round value, one of Bill Polian’s favorite moves, with a player like Fua. HIGHLIGHTS
Round 5 – Pick 152
LB – Nate Irving – N.C. State – Irving could be a steal in the fifth round. He plays with a lot of on-field speed, tenacity, and shows impressive vision pursuing ball carriers. How well he will do in coverage is a bit uncertain and he looks really good as a 4-3 middle linebacker but would likely get work at strong side for the Colts. He battled back after suffering severe injuries in a car accident that cost him his 2009 season. HIGHLIGHTS
Round 6 – Pick 188
C – 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.