Following the trade made last week with the New York Jets, the Indianapolis Colts are now picking sixth overall in the 2018 draft, and with holes all over the roster and a glaring lack of free agency moves, it is clear that Chris Ballard needs to knock this year’s draft out of the park.
Interviewing after the trade, Ballard said despite moving down to six, the Colts will “still be able to acquire a premium player”, and that will especially be the case if there is an early run of quarterbacks. But who could the Colts be targeting? Find below some possible Colts draft targets at pick number 6, assuming the Colts don’t move down again.
OG Quenton Nelson, Notre Dame
With a glaring weakness on the offensive line, it would make sense for the Colts to target interior help to protect returning franchise quarterback Andrew Luck, who missed the whole 2017 season with a shoulder injury. Regarded as the best OL in the draft, Nelson would be an automatic starter in a line that saw 18 different combinations last year, and also help a run game that averaged just 1.07 yards before contact per PFF. There is the question mark over whether Nelson will be available however, and it could all depend on if the Broncos want to draft their QB of the future, or roll with free agency pick up Case Keenum for now.
DE Bradley Chubb, NC State
Having lacked a consistent, quality pass rush since Robert Mathis retired, Chubb could be a perfect addition to the Colts offensive line. Pairing Chubb with the impressive Jabaal Sheard in new defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus’ 4-3 defense could mean the Colts finally have a legitimate pass rushing threat, and somewhat ease the pressure on a young secondary. One worry with Chubb is a disappointing 3-cone time at his Pro Day could affect his draft stock, which means he is very likely to be there when the Colts pick.
Bradley Chubb is REALLY impressive. He’s not just a pass rushing DE or one trick pony, he does everything at a high level. He can beat tackles with speed or power while also able to anchor and set the edge against the run #NFLDraft #NFL #NFLUK #DraftTwitter pic.twitter.com/9BZEhFMcvU
— Tom Like (@TomLikeNFL) March 20, 2018
CB Mike Hughes, UCF
With Rashaan Melvin leaving on a cut price deal to the Raiders in free agency, the Colts have a glaring need at cornerback, despite what Quincy Wilson thinks. One answer to this problem would be Hughes, a corner who excels playing both inside an outside. Whilst Minkah Fitzpatrick may be the best DB in the draft, the emergence of Nate Hairston as a slot CB may lead the Colts to look for a corner to play outside opposite Wilson.
LB Tremaine Edmunds, Virginia Tech
Chris Ballard has highlighted getting younger and quicker on defense, and with a massive hole at ILB, Edmunds would be a day one starter. Edmunds, who could also be used in pass rushing situations, has All-Pro potential and would be a versatile asset to the new Colts defense. As well as his ability rushing the passer and against the run, Edmunds is a do-it-all linebacker who is also adept in coverage situations and would be an immediate upgrade wherever he lines up.
LB Roquan Smith, Georgia
Smith would fil a hole as the WLB in the Colts 4-3 defense as a playmaker against both the run and the pass. Whilst it’s almost certain he’ll be there at 6, it’s likely so would Edmunds, who would be a better pick. Smith could still end up with the Colts if, as has been rumoured, the Colts trade once again, with the Bills and their 12th overall pick seen as a possible partner. Should that trade happen, the four players mentioned earlier will likely be off the board, but Smith would still be a premium player that would start day one for the Colts.
Having moved out of the top 5, it is highly unlikely that RB Saquon Barkley will still be on the board, with his likely destination being either the Giants at #2, or the Browns at #4 if the Giants take a QB. However, having holes all around the roster, the Colts could do much worse than picking Nelson, a projected 10 year anchor on the OL, or any of a number of defensive playmakers.
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Colts Draft Targets.