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Sunday, Aug. 28, 2016

A Colts fan's draft perspective

Posted Tuesday, April 21, 2009, at 8:05 PM

If you're an Indianapolis Colts fan and a football nut like me, you'll have more than a little interest in this weekend's NFL Draft festivities.

The upcoming season has taken on a decidedly different look than in past years and Indy has been spinning its wheels in the postseason the past couple of years. So with a new head coach in Jim Caldwell and what promises to be a very weird lack of No. 88 lining up at wide receiver, the draft is of the utmost concern suddenly. Luckily for Indianapolis, draft day is where the Colts' front office excels.

Team president Bill Polian has shown a tendency to draft on the offensive side of the ball in round one and there isn't much to show that he won't do the same again this time around.

With Marvin Harrison no longer on the team, the need for a complement to Reggie Wayne is apparent since Anthony Gonzalez kind of lacks that 'wow' factor that Harrison brought for so long.

There is plenty of talent at the wide receiver position in this year's draft and several interesting possibilities that could be around when Indy drafts at No. 27 in round number one.

It's doubtful that Maryland's Darrius Heyward-Bey will still be there late in the first round, but he's got the numbers and the physical attributes to make him a steal at the Colts' spot.

He's 6'2, 206 pounds and coming out after his junior season with the Terrapins. Last season he caught 42 passes for 609 yards and five scores for the 7-5 team. He's also proven to be very consistent as he caught between 42 and 51 passes each year and averaged between 14.5 and 15.4 yards per catch.

If you're a believer in ESPN's pundits, Rutgers' Kenny Britt and North Carolina's Hakeem Nicks are also capable of stepping in immediately.

Britt has excellent size at 6'3, 218 pounds, but Nicks is almost a Harrison-type clone at just under 6'1 and 212 pounds and put up huge numbers in his final year with the Tarheels. Nicks had 68 catches and 1,222 yards receiving with 12 touchdowns.

Florida wide receiver Percy Harvin is also projected to be available in the Colts' neighborhood and his versatility might make him attractive as well.

Indianapolis could also use a certain upgrade on the defensive line and someone like Mississippi's Peria Jerry could show up in blue and white.

Another possibility is Missouri's Evander Hood, who at 6'3, 300 pounds, has the size to immediately make a difference on the defensive line. He's also got a great nickname, Ziggy, which would endear him to the fans and should make for some great endzone signs.

What Polian has got to like is his productivity having started 35 games for the Tigers and collecting 144 total tackles, 20 for a loss and garnering 13 sacks, forcing five fumbles and recovering three.

What makes me nervous about drafting at the position is that anyone picked will have to overcome the Colts' defensive tackle jinx.

Since 2006 the Colts have lost Corey Simon due to illness, Booger McFarland to injury, Quinn Pitcock to a surprising retirement and Ed Johnson to his own screwups with the law.

Personally, I wouldn't be entirely surprised to see the Colts trade down and out of the first round to possibly acquire an extra pick, which they've done well with in the past. Few teams get as much value out of late round picks than the Colts and with needs at linebacker and perhaps running back as well, quantity could also be more important.

Regardless, you can most definitely guarantee that this will be another year that the Colts will pick someone that you'll have to go to Google to figure out who they are. But if your in a position to draft someone that every football fan has seen on the highlight reel on ESPN a dozen times, than your very likely missing the playoffs most seasons. Personally, I'll take the time to check out Scouts.com or ESPN to find out the details on the newest Colts. So get your NFL junkee friends over and cook up some brats and pop open a cold one for the last real dose of football until two-a-days start.

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