2021 NFL Draft week is finally upon us!
If you've been following along, you know we've been keeping track of the players that experts across the web have been giving to the Indianapolis Colts in their mock drafts.
In this final week, people are using their best information and relying more on what they think will happen rather than what they would do.
With that in mind, here is a collection of recent mock drafts from the last week and the players that have been slated to go to the Colts.
- Edge defender (10)
- Offensive tackle (4)
- Cornerback (2)
- Wide receiver (1)
- Tight end (1)
- Linebacker (1)
- Defensive tackle (1)
Azeez Ojulari | ED | Georgia (6)
(Pauline) Azeez Ojulari is a big-time talent with star potential and fits the edge-rushing need for the Colts. If the medical flags are too much for Ballard and the Colts, I’m told the pick could be Liam Eichenberg.
Also selected: Walker Little | OT | Stanford (2:54)
Eric Edholm, Yahoo! Sports (April 28)
The Colts might want a tackle, but the mini-OL run forces a pivot. Ojulari makes a lot of sense for them with his pass-rush upside if his right knee cleared medical checks.
Jonathan Jones, CBS Sports (April 27)
I've been frustrated by the Colts' lack of activity this offseason, but it's hard to argue against the results Chris Ballard has gotten. They went the veteran route along the OL, so now it's time to get the edge rusher in the draft.
Rhett Lewis, NFL Network (April 26)
Adding a dominant edge force to go along with DeForest Buckner inside and the maniac Darius Leonard at LB would help the Colts' defense continue to be tops in the division and one of the best units in the NFL. Ojulari is a name that’s been steadily gaining steam in this draft process.
As we wrote last week, the Colts have one of the worst edge situations in all of football, and Ojulari adds an athletic and productive player into that mix. A lighter edge, Ojulari has a statistical comp of Shaun Phillips, who was a productive player for San Diego over the past decade.
If six of the mock drafts I found have Ojulari going to the Colts then there must be something to it. He fits the mold as an athletic pass rusher with plenty of room to grow. Everything is determined by how the board falls to the Colts at 21 (or wherever they pick), but it feels like offensive tackle may be their focus first up.
Kwity Paye | ED | Michigan (2)
ESPN NFL Nation (April 27)
Linebacker Darius Leonard and defensive lineman DeForest Buckner need some help now. Denico Autry and his 7.5 sacks are in Tennessee and veteran Justin Houston (8.0 sacks) is a free agent. Paye, despite 11.5 sacks in a little more than three years at Michigan, fits coordinator Matt Eberflus' style of having fast and aggressive players. -- Mike Wells
Dalton Johnson and Josh Schrock, NBC Sports (April 26)
The Colts will be tempted to grab a tackle here, but the potential of Paye is too much to pass up on. An elite athlete, Paye has one of the highest ceilings in the draft if he lands in the right spot. Still raw as a prospect, Paye will be able to contribute explosive plays immediately while fine-tuning his technique in Indy.
As we get closer to the draft, it seems less likely that Paye will be available when the Colts hit the clock. Among the top edge rushers, he's got the fewest red flags and is right up there with the most talent. Still, the Colts would be very wise to pick him as he'd likely be among the best players available and fits a position of need.
Christian Darrisaw | OT | Virginia Tech
Doug Farrar, TouchdownWire (April 28)
The Colts need edge help as well, but they can get it later in the draft, and the primary requirement this roster presents is a left tackle to capably replace the retired Anthony Castonzo. This is especially true given how new starting quarterback Carson Wentz performed under pressure last season, with a 39.2% completion rate, four touchdowns, and five interceptions for the Eagles. Right now, Julie’n Davenport is the projected LT1, which is fine if you want a guy who has allowed 19 sacks in 1,213 pass-blocking snaps throughout his career. It would be better for Wentz and the entire Colts offense if general manager Chris Ballard were to avail himself of Darrisaw, who refused to allow a single sack or quarterback hit in 293 pass-blocking snaps last season, showing great improvement on the edge. And if you want a left tackle with some nasty in him to line up to Quenton Nelson’s left… well, Darrisaw qualifies.
This would be an outstanding pickup for the Colts, as they would add an athletic, powerful offensive tackle who would fit in perfectly with the culture of their offensive line. Among the bevy of offensive tackles likely to be available to the Colts in the first couple of rounds, Darrisaw is likely to be the best.
Liam Eichenberg | OT | Notre Dame
Chad Reuter, NFL.com (April 23)
Even after moving down via trade, the Colts land the replacement for long-time left tackle Anthony Castonzo. Eichenberg is viewed as a guard by some, but GM Chris Ballard may have different thoughts; after all, right tackle Braden Smith was projected as an interior linemen when Ballard selected him in the second round in 2018.
Also selected: Nick Bolton | LB | Missouri (2:54), Robert Rochell | CB | Central Arkansas (4:127), Quincy Roche | ED | Miami (4:135), Jacob Harris | TE | UCF (4:142), Frank Darby | WR | Arizona State (5:165), Khiyiris Tonga | DT | BYU, Antonio Phillips | CB | Ball State (7:248)
Reuter has the Colts trading down with the Green Bay Packers from No. 21 to the 29th-overall pick in exchange for two fourth-round picks, No. 135 and 142. Eichenberg is another name that's had plenty of smoke to it surrounding the Colts after they were rumored to be a prominent presence at Notre Dame's pro day. Eichenberg has plenty of potential and is a solid run blocker but he's already balanced enough to contribute right away.
Teven Jenkins | OT | Oklahoma State
Charles Davis, NFL Media (April 28)
The Colts invested valuable assets to make Carson Wentz their new starter. They make this pick to help maximize the QB's opportunities to succeed.
Yet another offensive tackle, Jenkins is arguably the nastiest blocker in the draft and would be a dream to watch play next to Quenton Nelson. He too could contribute right away although his pass blocking has some catching up to do compared to his run blocking.
Jaelan Phillips | ED | Miami
Bucky Brooks, NFL.com (April 27)
The Colts must generate pressure with a four-man rush to effectively run Matt Eberflus’ version of the Tampa 2. Phillips is a skilled technician with a nonstop motor and a polished game.
Phillips probably has the most upside among all of this class' edge rushers, but health is likely to cause teams to pass on him after he previously had multiple concussions at UCLA, which forced him to briefly retire. He returned to football by transferring to Miami and blowing up in a big way with 8.0 sacks and 15.5 tackles for loss, which rekindled his stock. If the Colts select him, they're getting a terrific defensive end prospect. If they pass, it'll make sense.
What do you think the Colts should do in the first round? Drop your thoughts below in the comment section!