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Indianapolis Colts 2023 NFL Draft Roundup

Colts got the guy they wanted since the combine in March. He is a self-proclaimed “Alien” due to his talents and out of this planet athleticism. He is not a perfect prospect as he does have some accuracy, experience, and decision-making concerns but the overall talent, traits and mobility will allow him to grow and learn this new offensive system. Steichen will bring out the best of his talents and with rookies CJ Stroud and Will Levis also joining the AFC South, his growth and development will be paramount to stay ahead in the division.

Round 1, Pick 4
QB Anthony Richardson
University of Florida

Round 2, Pick 44
DB Julius Brents
Kansas State University

After trading down twice, Colts grab Brents to fill arguably their biggest need other than QB. Brents is an "oversized" DB at 6’3 and had the largest wingspan for a DB in NFL combine history. He is a local to Indianapolis as he went to Indianapolis HS Warren Central. He is an effective run stopper, locker room leader and isn’t afraid to lay a huge hit. He will have the opportunity to start day one as the Colts are thin in the secondary.

Round 3, Pick 73
WR Josh Downs
University Of North Carolina

Picking a wide receiver isn’t a surprise here. What is surprising is Ballard selecting a small undersized receiver. The prototypical pass catcher for him is large and with great hands. Colts WR coach Reggie Wayne worked out Josh Downs and called him "the best receiver in this class" and that he needed him on this roster. Downs measured in at the combine a very small 5’9 and 171 lbs. His final twos seasons in Chapel Hill, he grabbed 97 receptions for 1,180 yards and 19 TDs. He was also used on Special Teams as a punt returner. While he lacks size and speed, he makes up for it with elite route running and being a reception machine. Expect to see Downs used on special teams and in the slot alongside WR Isiah McKenzie.

Round 4, Pick 106
OT Blake Freeland
Brigham Young University

Chris Ballard drafts another large framed offensive lineman. He can play both tackle positions as he started 26 games at LT and 15 games at RT. While both sides of the outside line appear to be set with returning starters, look for Freeland to be a rotational piece and ultimately, strong competition for the others. LT Bernard Raimann will be the main competition with Freeland for the starting LT position in training camp.

Round 4, Pick 110
DL Adetomiwa Adebawore
Northwestern University

Another year, another defensive lineman drafted for the Indianapolis Colts. They grabbed an absolute freak athlete from Nortwestern. Coming in at 282 lbs at the combine, he ran 4.49 40-yard dash. For some context, that is faster than DB Julius Brents (who Indy selected in Round 2). With only one of last years defensive lineman still on the team, Adebawore has a unique opportunity to make an impact on this team next season as a depth piece behind Pro Bowlers Grover Stewart and DeForest Buckner.

Round 5, Pick 138
CB Darius Rush
University of South Carolina

Colts snagged their second DB of the draft with Darius Rush. In the same mold as Brents, he is a wide receiver turned CB coming in at 6’2 and 198 lbs. And he has speed with a 40-yard dash time of 4.36 at the combine. With the trade of Stephon Gilmore to Dallas and Brandon Facyson going back to Vegas in free agency, this was position of desperate need. This will allow Rush to compete for a starting spot in his rookie season with returning starter Isaiah Rodgers (who is in a contract year).

Round 5, Pick 158
Safety Daniel Scott
University of California

Scott will join a very youthful Safety room with Julian Blackmon and returning 2nd year players Nick Cross and Rodney Thomas. Don’t expect Scott to see an abundance of playing time his rookie season at safety (especially if veteran Rodney McCleod returns) but he can fill in when needed. He will see time on Special Teams, as he was used extensively in college. Many analysts didn’t think Colts needed depth at Safety, but I disagreed. I think you always need at least 4 serviceable players at that position and Scott gives you that.

Round 5, Pick 162
TE Will Mallory
Miami (FL) University

While Chris Ballard thought this was one of the deepest tight end classes he had ever seen in the draft, it was a bit unexpected to see him select one with an already full TE room. They now have 6 TEs that will be competing for 4 spots. Veteran Mo Alie-Cox seems to be one of the odd men out for the upcoming season. With the struggles of the Colts OL last season having a strong blocking tight end appeared to be a focus for the upcoming season. Will Mallory is not a blocking tight end, he is pass catching, speedy TE. He was the fastest TE at the combine clocking in with a 4.54 40-yard dash. This will be one camp battle to watch this summer.

Round 5, Pick 176
RB Evan Hull
Northwestern University

I’m going to sound like a broken record here again, but Hull joins another crowded RB room with a chance to compete for a spot on the roster. Ballard promised more competition this upcoming season and he is holding to his commitment. Johnathon Taylor and Zack Moss are roster locks, but Hull will have a chance to compete against the other players. Hull brings some versatility and pass catching ability to the backfield that Indy lost in the Nyheim Hines trade. He finished with 2,000 yards rushing the past two seasons and had an impressive 88 receptions in that same two-year period.

Round 6, Pick 211
DE/Edge Titus Leo
Wagner College

Leo becomes the 4th player ever drafted out of Wagner College and joins former Wagner standout Chris Williams in Indianapolis. The two-time NEC Defensive Player of the Year was invited and participated in the East-West Shrine Bowl. He doesn’t have huge stats, but he has the quickness off the edge that all scouts look for. He will still need some work and will need to adjust to the speed of the NFL but the positive traits are there.

Round 7, Pick 221
CB Jaylon Jones
Texas A&M University

Colts draft their 3rd DB of the draft with Jaylon Jones. He has great size and experience as a three-year starter. He can play safety and will be able to help out on special teams’ coverage as well.  He mostly played zone coverage in college, which will be perfect for the Gus Bradley scheme. One crazy stat, Jones only allowed 94 yards in coverage last season which was the fewest among all FBS CBs.

Round 7, Pick 236
OT Jake Witt
University of Northern Michigan

Colts take a converted basketball player with their final pick of the 7th round. Witt played basketball at Michigan Tech his freshman season before transferring to Northern Michigan where he joined the football team as a Tight End and eventually settled in at tackle (due to team needs) his final season. He had a pretty good pro day where he ran a sub 5 second 40-yard dash and showed some great athleticism for man of his size. I don’t expect him to make the opening day roster, but he could definitely make the practice squad to continue his growth.

Main image credit Embed from Getty Images

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