Colts On The Mock Clock: Round 1

Who would you choose for the Colts with 18th overall selection?

The Indianapolis Colts are on the clock for the 18th overall selection in the NFL Draft … Who do you select?

Scout’s Mock Draft recently enlisted the opinions of NFL publishers on their team’s picks. Much like the NFL teams will do come April 28, you sit and wait, watching other players get chosen, keeping an eye on a short list of possible players.

The popular pick for the Colts in many mock drafts is Ohio State offensive tackle Taylor Decker. The Colts could take him and plug him in at right guard because they’re convinced Denzelle Good can be the right tackle, but who are the other names that keep popping up on mock boards?

Some suggest Michigan State offensive tackle Jack Conklin, rated higher than Decker by most analysts, but there’s more than a reasonable expectation that Conklin won’t fall to the Colts. He’ll likely be taken before No. 18.

Scout’s Mock Draft Muncher, based on the most popular pick, gave the Colts Eastern Kentucky defensive end Noah Spence. But that’s because Decker wasn’t available. Decker was the Colts’ most popular pick, but also for another team choosing ahead of Indy.

Spence has major red flags after failing drug tests twice, being kicked out of Ohio State, and had an alcohol-related arrest within the last year. It seems doubtful the Colts would take a chance on a guy with obvious off-field issues.

When it came time to make the selection, the player hoped for was still on the board, Alabama center Ryan Kelly. While some will say it’s early to take a center in this draft, Kelly makes too much sense. The Colts have a well-publicized need at center — owner Jim Irsay, general manager Ryan Grigson and head coach Chuck Pagano have echoed this in the offseason — and Kelly is the highest-rated center in this draft.

When Peyton Manning steered the Colts’ high-powered offense in the recent glory years, he had Pro Bowl center Jeff Saturday anchoring the O-line. Saturday made all the line calls and was on the same page as Manning.

The Colts need to give quarterback Andrew Luck an anchor up front. Some mocks suggest Kelly could fall to early in the second round, which suggests the Colts could trade down if they’re convinced he’ll stick around. But it doesn’t make sense to take that chance if he is the guy the Colts want.

Who else is on the Colts' short list? The mocks suggest Georgia linebacker Leonard Floyd, Baylor defensive tackle Andrew Billings, Alabama linebacker Reggie Ragland, Kansas State offensive guard Cody Whitehair or Ohio State outside linebacker Darron Lee.

Here's how the selections played out in Scout's Mock Draft for the opening round.

Phillip B. Wilson also can be found on Facebook and Google+.

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