Mock draft season is in full effect, but so is mock draft exhaustion.
For those of us that peruse mock drafts regularly, by now we’re looking for something a little different, whether that be trades, extra rounds, etc.
In his most recent 2021 NFL mock draft, NFL.com’s Chad Reuter provided that, going four rounds long and inserting trade scenarios.
Reuter projected the Colts to trade back in the first round from where they currently sit at No. 21 overall, sending the pick to the Cleveland Browns in exchange for the 26th overall pick in the first round as well as Cleveland’s fourth and fifth-round picks.
Earlier this week, we talked about the success that Indianapolis Colts general manager Chris Ballard has had with trading back in the NFL Draft.
It’s always a well-known possibility for those who devote most of their attention in the NFL to the Colts, but that knowledge is starting to catch along nationally.
Here’s how Reuter’s selections went for the Colts.
Round 1, Pick 26
Kadarius Toney | Wide Receiver | Florida
“T.Y. Hilton's time in Indianapolis appears to be over, and it's tough to pick a more obvious replacement than Toney,” Retuer said. “Carson Wentz will love throwing to the quick and explosive former Gator whether he's in the slot or outside.”
Using their first pick on an offensive skill position player isn’t out of character for the Colts, as they used their first two picks last year on a wide receiver and running back.
However, passing up a bigger, more polished receiver like Rashod Bateman in favor of a smaller, gadgety-type receiver in Toney is a little out of character.
If this were the case, it would make sense that the Colts are trying to use Toney to inject into the offense what injuries have taken away from them with Parris Campbell.
Round 2, Pick 54
Samuel Cosmi | Offensive Tackle | Texas
The Colts spent decent draft capital to acquire new starting quarterback Carson Wentz, so it makes sense to build around him and give him every opportunity to succeed.
After gifting him an electric playmaker in Round 1, the Colts now get protection for Wentz in Round 2.
The offseason retirement of left tackle Anthony Castonzo put a dent in an offensive line that’s been considered among the best for the last three years. It’s an obvious position to fill that may also be addressed in free agency.
Cosmi’s style is a perfect fit with the Colts, and specifically right next to left guard Quenton Nelson. Cosmi and Nelson’s mauling style of run blocking could open holes for running back Jonathan Taylor all season long.
Round 4, Pick 111 (from CLE)
Rashad Weaver | Defensive End | Pittsburgh
Weaver checks some boxes for the Colts.
He’s a defensive end who participated in the Senior Bowl, and his 6-4, 265 frame with 33-¼” arms gives him the perfect size for the Colts’ system. He can also occasionally kick inside like Tyquan Lewis or Denico Autry.
His lack of elite athleticism is against the grain for the Colts, though, but doesn’t completely take him away as a fit. The fourth round is appropriate for this type of match.
Autry, Justin Houston, and Al-Quadin Muhammad are all set to hit free agency, so the Colts must address their defensive end group this offseason.
Round 4, Pick 128
Andre Cisco | Safety | Syracuse
Sure, the Colts have a great, young safety tandem in Julian Blackmon and Khari Willis, but they need depth.
Backup Tavon Wilson’s performance last year was a prime example of why the Colts need more help behind their starters. While George Odum is a quality option, his lack of defensive snaps in 2020 helped lead him to a First-Team All-Pro season as a special teamer.
Cisco can do a little bit of everything. He’s got ample size to hold up in the box, but he’s also got a high football IQ and instincts like both Blackmon and Willis and can take the ball away from the offense.
Reuter’s mock did a great job of addressing some of the Colts’ biggest needs, which we addressed recently as well.
However, if the Colts were to trade down in the first round, my guess is that Ballard would try to recoup the third-round pick that they gave up for Wentz rather than a fourth and fifth-round pick.
Note: Until the NFL announces compensatory picks, the full draft order is not yet official. Compensatory picks are rewarded at the ends of Rounds 3-7.