Indianapolis Colts 2012 Mock Draft

ROUND 1 (pick 1): Andrew Luck, Quarterback, Stanford 

When I see Andrew Luck, I see Peyton Manning.  And the Colts do too.  This one is a no-brainer.  Luck is the best prospect since, well, Manning, and maybe before.  He has it all: the character, the skills, the mind, the maturity.  He will be a star in the league for the next decade. Indianapolis went from the greatest quarterback of all time to Andrew Luck.  That is pretty Luck-y.  To close, I had someone say to me the other day that “You know Luck will not be as good as Peyton, right?”  Yes, I know that.  No one will ever be as good as Peyton was (and is?).  But Andrew Luck could still be a hall of famer and not be better than Peyton Manning.  He should not be compared to number 18.  Hopefully in a few years, the comparisons will stop.  Nobody could ever make Indianapolis forget their hero, but Andrew Luck will be a star.  An absolute star.  I guarantee it.  

ROUND 2 (pick 34): Janoris Jenkins, Cornerback, North Alabama

This is where it gets tricky.  The Colts hold the 34th pick overall, which is not too much lower than where they have been drafting in the first round the past few years.  At this spot, there will be first round talent still available.  But the question is who?  Stanford tight end Coby Fleener would be the ideal pick for Indy here.  Fleener is a threat much like Dallas Clark, and the Colts do not have a receiving option at tight end right now.  However, Andrew Luck’s former teammate may not make it to the Colts.  With the way the league is going in regards to tight ends, Fleener will likely be a first round pick.  I think he will go 30 overall to the San Francisco 49ers, as do most experts.  Who will be available?  I think there is a good chance that either wide receiver Stephen Hill or cornerback Janoris Jenkins is available by the time the Colts select Friday night.  I think both of them will be, and I see the Colts going with Jenkins here.  TheNorth Alabama prospect (and former Florida Gator) is a great talent at corner, one of the Colts’ most depleted spots.  He may even be the most talented corner in the draft.  The reason Jenkins will not be taken in the first round is his off the field issues.  He has many.  But the old Colts’ regime is gone, and the Colts need talent.  They cannot pass on a kid as talented as Jenkins if he falls into the Colts’ lap in the second round.  The real threat is the St. Louis Rams at pick number 33, but for some strange reason I have a gut feeling that they will not take him.  If they do not, Jenkins is the pick. 

ROUND 3 (pick 64): Alameda Ta’amu, Nose Tackle, Washington

Let me just get this out there: if the Colts enter Saturday with Luck, Jenkins, and Ta’amu, I will be ecstatic.  Ta’amu is a very good nose tackle for a 3-4 defense and would greatly help the Colts’ efforts to adjust to it.  He figures to be available at the Colts’ spot in the third round.  

ROUND 4 (pick 97): Ladarius Green, Tight End, Louisiana-Lafayette

While he is not as good of a player as Coby Fleener is, Green is a good pass catcher and a good red zone target.  His blocking is bad but Dallas Clark’s was never great either.  Most pass catching tight ends are not great blockers.  Green could be a good weapon in Andrew Luck’s passing game and although he will probably only be a situational player at first (due to his blocking issues); Green will be a contributor and a good pick.  Besides, the Colts need a receiving tight end badly. 

ROUND 5 (pick 136): Brandon Taylor, Safety, LSU 

The safety out of LSU would be a great addition to the Colts secondary.  While he does have some injury issues, he is a good player.  Some have Taylor going in rounds three through four, but I think he will still be there at the beginning of the fifth.  If so, the Colts need to draft him.  Tom Zbikowski will start at strong safety next year for the Colts, but Taylor could provide depth and could be the starter a few years down the road.  

ROUND 5 (pick 170 – compensatory pick): Gino Gradkowski, Offensive Center, Delaware  

Gradkowski’s draft stock has been rising recently, and the Colts have shown interest.  The guy who partially models his game after Jeff Saturday could become the Colts next starting center in a few years.  Indy just signed Samson Satele to a two year deal, but in three years it could very well be Gradkowski snapping the ball to Andrew Luck.

 ROUND 6 (pick 206 – compensatory pick): Rhett Ellison, Tight End, USC 

Yes, I know, this would make two tight ends in the last four picks.  But with Green likely being almost exclusively a pass catching tight end, the Colts need someone to block.  Ellison could fill that role, as well as playing some fullback.  I could see the Colts running some two tight end sets next year, and Green and Ellison could both conceivably be on the field together.  Ellison would be a value pick for the Colts here as they would get a blocking tight end as well as a guy who can play fullback. 

ROUND 7 (pick 208): Keith Tandy, Cornerback, West Virginia 

Tandy was not invited to the NFL Scouting Combine, raising some eyebrows, but he figures to be a late round pick.  The Pittsburgh Steelers are reportedly interested in him, but if they do not take him in the sixth round the Colts are interested in him as well, and they could grab him with their first of three seventh round picks.  Tandy, along with Janoris Jenkins (second round) would greatly improve the Colts cornerback position.

 ROUND 7 (pick 214): B.J. Cunningham, Wide Receiver, Michigan State 

The Michigan State product figures to be available in the seventh round, and he would be a great fit in Indy.  He is a reliable receiver who, though not overly explosive, can make plays.  Coaches will love him, and in a few years he could be a very good number two wideout.  The Colts need wide receiver help as well, as only Reggie Wayne, Austin Collie, and Donnie Avery are legitimate options currently on the roster.  

ROUND 7 (pick 253 – compensatory pick): Adrien Cole, Inside Linebacker, Louisiana Tech 

Mr. Irrelevant.  The last player taken in the draft – pick number 253.  The Colts begin and end the 2012 draft.  The difference between the guy taken here and an undrafted free agent is not great, but the Colts need to use this pick wisely nonetheless.  Cole is a work in progress and will not be ready to play much right away, which is perfectly fine since the Colts already have some good linebackers.  Cole would provide depth and in a few years, could be a regular.  The Colts would do very well finishing off their 2012 draft class by making Adrien Cole Mr. Irrelevant.

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About Josh Wilson
Follow Josh on twitter @jwilsonWL, on Facebook at the Operation: Freedom page, or you can reach him by email at operation.freedom@yahoo.com.

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