Posted on: April 15, 2011 9:59 am
Edited on: April 15, 2011 10:01 am

Indianapolis Colts draft preview


   2010 record: 10-6, first place AFC South

2011 draft rundown

   Seven total picks (round): 22 (1), 53 (2), 87 (3), 119 (4), 152 (5), 188 (6) 

Top needs:

   Offensive Tackle: Finding a true left tackle is a must and improvements through the rest of the line aren't out of the question.

   Safety: Releasing the oft-injured Bob Sanders could be good for Melvin Bullitt, but depth really needed at both safety spots.

   Defensive Tackle: With Antonio Johnson and Daniel Muir potential free agents, the Colts may look to get stronger in the middle.

   Cornerback: Trading for Washington Redskins cast-off Justin Tryon last season was a clue the team needs healthy--and effective--bodies on the outside.

   Wide Receiver: If former first round pick Anthony Gonzalez can't stay on the field, the team may look for another difference-maker sometime during the draft to keep QB Peyton Manning happy.

   Running Back: Joseph Addai can't stay healthy and 2009 first round pick Donald Brown has disappointed, so it wouldn't hurt to take advantage of a deep class in the middle rounds.

First round focus

   22nd overall

   --The Colts are looking to sign franchise quarterback Peyton Manning to an extension, so improving their lackluster offensive line has to be part of the equation with their first selection. Two or three offensive tackles of value may be available to them, including Wisconsin's Gabe Carimi (the Colts tend to favor Big Ten prospects). would help protect Manning's blind side. If there's value at defensive tackle (Illinois' Corey Liuget), the team could take advantage, and they could see a lot of Reggie Wayne in Maryland's speedy Torrey Smith.

Five names on the Colts' board

   OT Gabe Carimi, Wisconsin
   OT Nate Solder, Colorado
   OT Derek Sherrod, Mississippi State
   DT Corey Liuget, Illinois
   WR Torrey Smith, Maryland

--Contributed by NFLDraftScout.com Senior Analyst Chad Reuter

Category: NFL Draft
Posted on: July 14, 2010 6:57 pm

Price-Brent's stock rising; Unga's 'settling'

With less than 24 hours before the NFL's annual Supplemental draft I polled various league sources to find all of the latest buzz surrounding its four applicants and the NFL teams likely to get involved.

Though BYU running back Harvey Unga has generated most of the pre-draft hype, I'm told it could be Illinois defensive tackle Joshua Price-Brent who is drafted first.

There are a few clubs thought to be quite high on the former Illinois standout. There is talk that Price-Brent is earning 4th round grades from some scouts -- though I'd be surprised, quite frankly, if any player was picked this high. Detroit, New Orleans, San Francisco, St. Louis and Green Bay are all thought to be interested. The value of the defensive tackle position, Price-Brent's size (6-2, 321) and his 20 career starts under respected coach Ron Zook were all given as reasons why the big run-stuffer is generating some late buzz.

Unga's stock, on the other hand, was characterized as "settling" by one league source.

Unga's production and strong running speak for themselves, but his 4.63-4.73 second times in the 40-yard dash at his July 8 Pro Day and lingering right ankle sprain only added to the perception that he was too slow and injury-prone to ever be a full-time back in the NFL. Few teams are willing to invest anything more than a very late pick in a running back specialist this close to training camp -- and a specialist is exactly how some scouts are characterizing the three-time Mountain West Conference honoree.

I'm hearing 6th-7th round for Unga with Philadelphia, Tampa Bay, Seattle, Indianapolis, St. Louis, Pittsburgh, Kansas City and Miami having all expressed some interest. There is some talk Unga could slip out of the draft, entirely. If he did so, I was assured he'd have several teams offering him a free agent contract.

The forecast doesn't appear to be as warm for the two other players eligible to be selected in Thursday's draft.

There doesn't seem to be a great deal of interest brewing for running backs Vanness Emokpae (Truman State) and Quentin Castille.
Posted on: March 10, 2010 7:06 pm

Husky defenders surprise at UW Pro Day

Washington inside linebacker Donald Butler made a strong impression at the Senior Bowl, earning himself a late invitation to the Combine after being passed over initially.

Then he surprised scouts in Indianapolis with his strength; leading all linebackers with 35 repetitions of 225 pounds. A sprained ankle suffered in Mobile kept him out of the rest of the drills, however.

Healthy, Butler helped himself Wednesday in Seattle, running in the high 4.6s to low 4.7s, according to those in attendance, and leading all participants with a 35.5" vertical jump.

While Butler may have solidified his reputation as one of more unheralded inside linebackers of this class, the player who helped himself the most was clearly pass rusher Daniel Te'o-Nesheim.

Scouts (and I, as well) had often characterized Te'o-Nesheim as a try-hard, limited athlete with little to offer NFL teams in terms of upside. He leaves UW as a four-year starter and the team's career leader with 30 sacks. However, he helped his cause with a solid performance at the Combine, ranking among the best defensive linemen in the vertical jump (37), 3-cone drill (6.91) and short shuttle (4.18).

At the Washington Pro Day Wednesday, Te'o-Nesheim proved both bigger (6-3 1/2, 267 pounds) and faster (4.63) that scouts expected.

Considering his straight-line speed and the surprising agility he's shown during drills, a number of teams are beginning to look at Te'o-Nesheim as a rising prospect for the 3-4 rush linebacker position. I felt that he could be successful in this role due to his pass rush ability and instincts. There are few players in the country who play with greater and more consistent hustle and intensity that he did throughout his career.

The Combine and Pro Day drills often identify workout warriors whose film doesn't back up the athleticism they show in shorts.

For Te'o-Nesheim, who I once characterized as a likely priority free agent,  the surprising athleticism he's showing during these drills could really boost his stock -- perhaps to the middle rounds.

Seattle, San Diego, Cleveland and Indianapolis were among the teams represented at Washington's Pro Day.
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