2012 NFL Draft - Indianapolis Colts

Posted Apr 28, 2012

Indianapolis Colts - AFC South, 2012 Draft Selections & Prospects


Indianapolis Colts

2012 NFL Draft Team Analysis - AFC
EAST Buffalo | Miami | New England | NY Jets
WEST Denver | Kansas CityOakland | San Diego
NORTH Baltimore | Cincinnati  Cleveland | Pittsburgh
SOUTH Houston | Indy | Jacksonville | Tennessee

2012 NFL Draft Team Analysis - NFC
EAST Dallas | NY Giants | Philadelphia | Washington
WEST Arizona | San Francisco | Seattle | St. Louis
NORTH Chicago | Detroit | Green Bay | Minnesota
SOUTH Atlanta | Carolina | New Orleans | Tampa Bay   

- 2011 Indianapolis Draft Breakdown
- 2010 Indianapolis Draft Breakdown

The Draft Was ... the first step. The demise of the Colts was more than just the loss of Peyton Manning, but the offense needed to quickly come up with a slew of new skill players to get the offense moving again. Andrew Luck was a no-brainer, and then Indy went New England by loading up at tight end taking Coby Fleener and Dwayne Allen. Overall, the Colts went after as many live bodies as possible, and when it doubt they went offense. That included the Mr. Irrelevant pick, QB Chandler Harnish – don't be shocked if he sticks.
Best Value Pick: DT Josh Chapman, Alabama, 5th round
Worst Value Pick: WR T.Y. Hilton, FIU, 3rd round
They Should've ... gone corner in the third round. After taking Fleener in the second, grabbing Allen was excessive considering the needs at corner. The next two picks after the Tiger tight end were corners Trumaine Johson and Josh Robinson.
Division Draft Ranking: 1
Overall Draft Ranking: 7

First Round

QB Andrew Luck, Stanford
(Jr.) 6-4, 234
Overall Pick No. 1 CFN Overall Ranking: 1

CFN Analysis: Of course this is the right pick. Luck would've been the first overall pick in each of the last two drafts, and despite Indianapolis pretending to be interested in RGIII, this is the obvious, no-brainer, once-in-a-generation pick. Fortunately for the Colts, it's a new generation after the Peyton Manning era. Unlike Cam Newton of last year, there's no guesswork here. It'll take a year or two for Luck to start looking like a franchise star – unlike Newton – but once the team starts to fill in around him. He'll hold up well under the pressure of doing the impossible and filling Manning's shoes and he'll handle the rookie disappointments and struggles without a problem.

Anyone looking for a negative or a problem is nitpicking. No, he's not the pro prospect that John Elway was coming out of Stanford, but he might be No. 2 on the list of all-time top sure-thing quarterbacks with just about every aspect of his game right out of central casting.

Everyone likes to hype up Robert Griffin's tools, but at 234 pounds Luck proved to be every bit the athlete with a 36" vertical at the Combine, a solid 4.64 in the 40, and a quarterback-best 10-4 broad jump. However, it was his Pro Day that sealed the deal as the sure-thing, no-brainer No. 1 overall pick showing every throw in the book and answering any all mild concerns about his arm.

No, he doesn't have a Brett Favre-like gun, but he can unleash it deep when needed and his arm is more than fine. However, he's not really a power pitcher and he won't be able to get away with the throws a quarterback with a true howitzer can make. Considering interceptions were a bit of a problem, he might struggle early on if he's not precise and if his decision making isn't crystal clear. The only other slightly negative aspect to note was his offensive line; he got ten days to work behind a front five with two first round talents in David DeCastro and Jonathan Martin. The offense was more geared toward the ground game than is might have seemed, but Luck had a lot to do with that thanks to a license to audible into any play he wanted. Again, the downsides are minor.

He's a true once—in-a-decade quarterback to build an entire franchise around with the humility to not need the spotlight to himself – almost to the point of it being too modest - and the leadership to make everyone around him better. A let's-go-to-work type of quarterback, he's great at blowing off all the outside distractions with a Peyton Manning-like focus on the job at hand. The arm is more than fine, and it's made better by a mind that sees the play two steps before it happens. Possibly the most ready-made pro quarterback ever – or at least since the last quarterback Indianapolis took with the No. 1 overall pick - there's absolutely no bust potential and no downside whatsoever.
CFN Projection: No. 1 overall

Second Round

TE Coby Fleener, Stanford 6-6, 252
Overall Pick No. 34 CFN Overall Ranking: 57
CFN Analysis: Andrew Luck has his go-to target and he has his old safety valve back. Fleener was considered by many to be the best tight end on the board and it was a bit of a shocker that he slid out of the first round. Now he can be a vertical threat who instantly makes the Colt passing game better. Did he come up with enough big games at Stanford? No, but he'll make the No. 1 overall pick very, very comfortable.

Very tall, very big, and a very good receiver, he's not Jimmy Graham athletically but he has the same sort of body type and knows how to dominate smaller defensive backs. With great hands, he doesn't drop the ball and is a good fighter when the ball is in the air. He didn't need to bail out Andrew Luck too often, but he helped the cause coming up with several big plays highlighted by a huge game in the 2011 Orange Bowl. However, he only had a few big games last year despite scoring ten times. The potential is there to be a stat-sheet filler and become a pure receiver, but forget about blocking. While he'll try, he doesn't get enough of a push and he's not going to do too much for the ground game. Yes, he's an athletic receiver, but he's not an elite athlete and is more of a football player than a workout warrior.
CFN Projection: Second Round

Third Round

TE Dwayne Allen, Clemson (Jr.) 6-4, 255
Overall Pick No. 64 CFN Overall Ranking: 42
CFN Analysis: Are the Colts trying to copy the New England Patriots by getting Coby Fleener in the second round and now taking Allen? The two new Indy tight ends aren't Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez, but they're two of the top big targets in the draft and they'll be instant safety valves for Andrew Luck. Allen isn't quite the receiver Fleener is, but he can be a big part of the passing game.

All the tools are there to be everything for everyone. One of the best all-around tight ends in the draft, he's a nice receiver with soft hands, and he's just strong enough to be a good blocker. He's aggressive and was a major producer in a high-octane attack, and now he has the potential to become a key part of any passing game. With the right size and the right body type, he looks the part of a go-to NFL tight end. Like most tight ends, though, he needs to be a better route runner and he could stand to be a more dominant run blocker, but he's going to be a sound part of an offense for a long time. He might not be a star, but he'll be a great starter.
CFN Projection: Second Round

Third Round

WR T.Y. Hilton, FIU 5-9, 183
Overall Pick No. 92 CFN Overall Ranking: 107
CFN Analysis: The Colts continue to give Andrew Luck playmakers to work with. They went after tight ends early on to give him safety valves, and now there's a dangerous slot target who should quickly make an impact. Along with his dangerous receiving abilities he should be one of the Colts' top return men. He won't be another Marvin Harrison or Reggie Wayne, but he'll be a good part of the passing game.

Not big and a wisp, he's never going to block anyone and he's never going to get any bigger, but he was an unstoppable all-around playmaker in the Sun Belt as both as a receiver and a returner. Very, very quick, he cuts on a dime and is creative when he gets into the open field. Maxed out on his frame after starting out his career around 150 pounds, he's tough for his size and he's not afraid to go across the middle to make the tough grab. Can he last? While he's not going to shy away from contact, he had a slew of bangs and bruises that he had to fight through. However, he'll find a role as a part of a passing game and on special teams. He might make a bigger mark as a returner than a target.
CFN Projection: Fourth Round  

Fifth Round

DT Josh Chapman, Alabama 6-1, 316
Overall Pick No. 136 CFN Overall Ranking: 70

Most of the top tackles in the draft can do several things and work in a variety of defenses. Chapman is a nose tackle – and that's about it. That's not a bad thing, though, with tremendous size and the build to sit in the middle of the line and not get budged. A tremendous run stopper, he's tough and holds up well. But again, this is it. He's not a pass rusher and he's not going to move too much. While he'll work, battle, and will always give an honest day's effort, he's mostly going to be a brick who everyone works around. Proven, he's the type of player who can sit on someone's defensive front and not be noticed by anyone other than the offensive interior that can't generate a push.
CFN Projection: Third Round 

Fifth Round

RB Vick Ballard, Mississippi State 5-10, 219
Overall Pick No. 170 CFN Overall Ranking: 152

Productive at an SEC level, even with defenses keying on him, he packs a nice punch to go along with the ability to bounce off tacklers and get the extra yards. A strong runner, he showed at the Combine that he had the raw strength with 23 reps, and he was great through the short drills, but he was slow with a mediocre 4.65 in the 40. A good prospect to work in a tandem, he can be physical and bang away for a few drives before giving way to the speedier backs. A good leader with great character he'll do whatever a coaching staff wants, but he doesn't have NFL skills. He's a good football player, but there's nothing about his game to make him a standout. While he could be a nice fill-in back, he doesn't have it to be a great starter.
CFN Projection: Fifth Round

Sixth Round

WR LaVon Brazill, Ohio 5-11, 192
Overall Pick No. 206 CFN Overall Ranking: Unranked
With excellent speed and return ability, he could fill a variety of roles and has the potential to be a nice late round flier. Productive for a team that didn't throw the ball, he's a good wide receiver who came up with a terrific MAC career. Tough for his size and a battler, he'll work his way into a role as long as he's not asked to be physical in any way.
CFN Projection: Free Agent 

Seventh Round

OG Justin Anderson, Georgia
Overall Pick No. 208   CFN Overall Rank: Unranked
CFN Projection: Free Agent

Seventh Round

LB Tim Fugger, Vanderbilt
Overall Pick No. 214   CFN Overall Rank: Unranked
CFN Projection: Free Agent

Seventh Round

QB Chandler Harnish, Northern Illinois 6-2, 219
Overall Pick No. 263 CFN Overall Ranking: 171
The textbook definition of a baller, he's not all that fast and he has an average arm, but he's a playmaker who ran wild in the MAC and was an ultra-productive leader and winner. Athletic, he was a 1,300-yard rusher with the passing skills to be more than just a runner; he's a smart thrower who doesn't make many mistakes. The body type isn't right, built more like a free safety than an NFL quarterback, and he doesn't throw the best ball, but all the intangibles are there to work as a long-time backup with a little bit of patience as he learns to work more in a pro-style attack.
CFN Projection: Sixth Round