Grading The Colts Draft
The 2013 NFL Draft is over and the Indianapolis Colts have some new, exciting pieces at their disposal. Well, I don’t know if you would necessarily call them exciting when three of the seven picks are big linemen and most of them aren’t names the average football fan would recognize.
Nevertheless, all Colts fans should be excited. The team addressed several key needs made several potentially strong value picks in the process.
Here are my grades for each of the Colts’ draft picks.
Bjoern Werner B+
The undisputed number one need for this team heading into the draft was a pass-rushing outside linebacker. It's what the Colts got here, but they didn’t get the ideal individual. Werner is a defensive end that will have to convert to outside linebacker. We’ve seen this work in the NFL before, (ala Bryce Paup) and we’ve seen it not work (sorry Dwight Freeney). However, Werner is still relatively raw and should be able to eventually develop into an effective all-around outside linebacker. It’s just going to take some time. In the meantime, he’ll help as a pass-rushing specialist.
Hugh Thornton and Montori Hughes B
I grouped these two guys together because they are very similar picks. Both fill areas of great need: Thornton is the nasty, tough guard that fits perfectly in OC Pep Hamilton’s new power running scheme and Hughes is the huge space eater at nose tackle that can really improve the Colts’ dreadful run defense from last year. Both could end up being huge value picks, too. Because of character concerns, each fell in the draft and because of this, these guys are huge wild cards. They could either crash and burn because of off-the-field matters or blossom under the strong leadership the Colts have and play up to their true potential.
Kerwynn Williams B
This guy is small, but very explosive. He doesn’t fit Hamilton’s desire to pound the football in the running game, but he still can be effective. His biggest impact will be on special teams, as he amassed 3,408 career kick return yards at Utah State. His speed and skill in the passing game will also make him useful on third downs and screens. Considering he was ranked as the 11th-best running back by ESPN, getting him in the seventh round was really good value.
Khaled Holmes B-
The Colts addressed another need with this pick. Samson Satele and A.Q. Shipley simply aren’t starting-center material. Holmes definitely is, and getting him late in the fourth round was good value. The problem I have with this pick is Holmes’ style of play. He’s much more suited for a zone-blocking scheme as opposed to a power scheme like the Colts. Still, he’s a very smart center with good awareness that should still be a solid starter in another year or two.
John Boyett C
Safety was a need for the Colts, but it wasn’t a huge one. Add Boyett’s injury history to the mix and you’re left scratching your head. Boyett has natural talent that could develop him into a ball hawk in the NFL, but he played in only one game his senior year at Oregon because of surgery on both of his patella knee tendons, which he still has not recovered from. Not to mention that followed a junior year full of nagging injuries. If the Colts were going to pick a player in the secondary, a durable cornerback would have been a much better selection.
Justice Cunningham C
He’s Mr. Irrelevant, so he can’t hurt too much, right? Correct, but I still question the need to take a tight end here. The Colts drafted two stars in the making last year in Dwayne Allen and Coby Fleener. Dominique Jones and Weslye Saunders also proved to be solid backups. Cunningham is a solid blocker, which means he’ll likely just be used for running formations. This makes sense, but Allen is a terrific blocker, and Saunders and Jones both are good too.