Draft Expert Identifies Colts' Top Needs Ahead of NFL Draft

ESPN Senior Writer Todd McShay identifies a handful of positional needs for the Indianapolis Colts ahead of the 2021 NFL Draft.
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With less than two weeks until the start of the 2021 NFL Draft, it's turning into crunch time for team executives and media members.

On Friday, ESPN Senior Writer Todd McShay rolled out a 32-team positional needs article for ESPN (subscription required).

It should come as no surprise that offensive tackle and pass rusher topped McShay's list of positional needs for the Colts. However, McShay did touch on receiver, safety, tight end, and cornerback as other areas of need ahead of the 2021 NFL Draft, scheduled for April 29-May 1.

Top draft needs: OT, Edge, WR, S, TE, CB

The Eagles' offensive line was missing Brandon Brooks and Lane Johnson for at least half the season in 2020, and Carson Wentz was drilled for 50 sacks in 12 games -- the most in the NFL despite sitting for a fourth of the season. His play suffered, and you can bet the Colts aren't willing to make the same mistake with him after acquiring him from Philly. Longtime left tackle Anthony Costanzo retired, and Indy might target a difference-maker in the first round at that spot.

But the Colts lost Denico Autry and are likely to lose Justin Houston off the edge, too, and I think it's possible they turn their attention there if the top tackles are off the board when they pick at No. 21. Either way, expect both categories to get attention over the team's six picks (tied for the second fewest). Secondary and wide receiver depth are other areas to watch.

Picks in the first three rounds: Nos. 21, 54

McShay brings up a good point about the Colts needing to address offensive tackle early, considering the beating new quarterback Carson Wentz sustained in Philadelphia the last two years as guys struggled to say healthy in front of him.

Aside from offensive tackle, the Colts will have to address pass rusher at some point, especially if they don't end up bringing back Justin Houston to at least offset the loss of Denico Autry in free agency.

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Receiver and safety aren't as big of needs right now, considering the Colts are at least four deep on paper at receiver, while guys like Sean Davis and George Odum (should he sign his tender) provide some experienced depth behind Julian Blackmon and Khari Willis.

Corner should be looked at with Xavier Rhodes on another one-year deal and Rock Ya-Sin struggling to take that next step forward. Tight end feels alright with Jack Doyle and Mo Alie-Cox right now, but it wouldn't hurt to add a veteran tight end in free agency, or take a swing on a tight end late in the 2021 NFL Draft.

Have thoughts on Todd McShay's positional needs for the Indianapolis Colts? Drop a line in the comments section below!


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