Inside the ColtPower War Room: Round 2

With no selection in the first round, only one selection in the first day, and four selections in the sixth round, the Colts front office will be put to the test in this year's NFL Draft. Brad Keller has possibilities and a prediction for Round 2.

Fifty-eight players will hear their name called before the Colts get their chance to pick towards the end of the second round — and, with the new format, the first day.

While we've covered the history of the 59th overall selection, the important item at hand on Saturday will be the present of that pick and how it will affect Indianapolis' future.

Who will be there and who does the crew at ColtPower think Bill Polian should select?

Defensive End:

Purdue defensive end Cliff Avril was the reigning champion of Chris Steuber's second-round mock draft, but was recently dethroned by Matt Forte.

Still, that doesn't discount the fact that he is the odds-on favorite to be the player selected if the Colts decide to go in that direction position-wise. 


Purdue's Cliff Avril
AP Photo/Paul Battaglia

Avril registered a 4.51 time in the 40-yard dash at the Combine, started 31 games for the Boilermakers throughout his career there — mostly at left end, but some at linebacker — and, while he collected only six sacks in each of the last two seasons, he has averaged 14 tackles for loss in those two years, so he is certainly familiar with how to force the offense into a negative play.

His experience at linebacker gives him some versatility, and it is worth noting that he also intercepted a pass in each of the last two seasons — once again, playing primarily on the defensive line.

His experience at linebacker also makes him difficult to project and classify. At 6 feet, 3 inches, 253 pounds, he would project as a Sam or Will linebacker on most 3-4 teams, but he could also add a little bit of weight onto his frame and play end, which is his natural position.

At Purdue's Pro Day on March 7, he stood on his Combine numbers for the most part, which was a wise decision, but he did run the short shuttle in 4.31 — a number that close to his 40 time shows that he does not have ideal lateral movement ability and would be well suited to play with his hand on the ground rather than in space.

He's currently listed as a defensive end by Scout and is the ninth-rated player at his position, projected to go in the late second to early third round.

There is also the outside chance that Auburn defensive end Quentin Groves will be available, given the fact that there is a great deal of disagreement on where exactly he would fit in different schemes and whether or not he has the necessary college production to take the next step.

If Groves is available, he would be the selection, since he is the 19th-rated player overall by Scout.com.

Running Back:

Since the Senior Bowl, there has been a great deal of buzz surrounding Tulane running back Matt Forte — and for good reason.


Tulane's Matt Forte
AP Photo/Steve Coleman

At almost 6 feet, 1 1/2 inches and 217 pounds, Forte still ran a 4.47 in the 40-yard dash and has the size and speed to be an every-down back in the NFL if Joseph Addai misses a significant amount of time, or a good change-of-pace back should he need a breather.

Additionally, he's one of the most accomplished receivers of the tailbacks in this class and that is a crucial aspect of playing the position for the Colts.

East Carolina running back Chris Johnson is a possibility given his blazing 4.29 40 speed.  However, any team looking to find the next Willie Parker might take Johnson late in the first round or early in the second.

Ray Rice of Rutgers also seems to fit the mold of what the Colts look for in a running back.

Short and slight at 5 feet, 8 inches, 199 pounds, Rice still posted an impressive 4.47 time in the 40.  He is also considered to be a change-of-pace back, with some receiving skills and without the necessary bulk to carry the load over the course of the season.

Regardless of what happens in the second round, Indianapolis needs to take a running back with one of their nine selections, given Kenton Keith's uncertain future.

Offensive Line:

After the run on offensive tackles in the first round and early second round, there should be a quiet period and the Colts may look to clean up the best of what's left when it comes to their turn to pick.


Toledo's John Greco
Photo: Toledo Athletics

It's unlikely that second-tier prospects such as Gosder Cherilus and Sam Baker will still be available, but it is possible, given the rise in value of the guard position across the NFL and the fact that up to six offensive tackles could be taken in the first 35 selections.

If Cherilus or Baker are not among the lucky men that are drafted, they could start to slide since every team that needed a tackle took one in the first stanza.

But, other experts seem to agree that Southern Cal prospect Chilo Rachal may be available.  As a guard prospect, he may be able to fill the void left by Jake Scott's departure, should Dylan Gandy turn out not to be the long-term answer at that position.

With Gandy signed for the foreseeable future, he may be the heir apparent to Jeff Saturday, since he played center at Texas A&M and in high school. 

An intriguing prospect at this point is Toledo's John Greco.

He's an excellent athlete, played both tackle positions in college, and also offers the versatility to play guard at the next level.

He actually projects as a better guard prospect, given the fact that his feet aren't quite as nimble as scouts would prefer and that his arms are too short to easily play the tackle position in the NFL.

Wide Receiver:

Eric Hartz has already covered this possibility quite thoroughly, and there are certainly some intriguing prospects that could still be available at No. 59.  The need for a receiver cannot be ignored in this draft and will be addressed in later rounds in the ColtPower War Room.  Stay tuned.

With the 59th Selection in the 2008 NFL Draft, the Indianapolis Colts Select:

Greco.  Lack of depth in the offensive line was exposed during the 2007 season and the only real starter the Colts lost in the offseason was Jake Scott.

When depth is a problem and a starter is lost, the issue needs to be addressed.  Greco fills a number of voids with his versatility and will eventually be looked upon as the steal of this draft, if given the time and guidance to succeed and take proper advantage of his physical talent.

But, a team that lost only one starter from a 13-win campaign does not have a lot of glaring needs.  With that in mind, Indianapolis is truly in a position to take the "best athlete available."

Depth and talent is a concern for any team in the league, so a quality player, regardless of position, will be a valued addition to the roster. 

Keep an eye on the overall rankings for Scout.com.  If someone is available that has a high overall ranking, the Colts owe it to themselves to take that athlete and count themselves lucky.  Provided that player isn't someone that would project to hold the clipboard for Peyton Manning for the next seven years.


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