Here are the predictions and options for the Colts for those picks.
With the 127th Pick in the 2009 NFL Draft, the Indianapolis Colts Select:
Zack Follett, Linebacker, Cal.
A number of teams in search of an outside linebacker will pass on the chance to pick up Follett due to the fact that he's only 6-feet-2 and 235 pounds. That's actually a little big for a Colts linebacker, so they will have no trouble pulling the trigger on the talented prospect.
He was a very productive player in college and has the kind of speed and awareness that the Indianapolis defense requires at the position. He needs some work on his coverage skills — another reason that some teams will overlook him — but he has the necessary tools to contribute immediately on special teams and certainly would add valuable depth once he learns the system.
Mike Murphy has done more with less and, given Follett's pass rushing skills and the as yet untapped potential of second year player Philip Wheeler, the Colts will have plenty of options on passing downs with both men on the roster.
LB Jason Williams
Follett is currently the 101st overall prospect according to Scout.com's draft rankings, so he may be gone at this point. Western Illinois linebacker Jason Williams (125th overall) would be another option, as the team definitely needs to secure a linebacker in their first five picks, as well as combing the undrafted free agent market.
They could also trade this pick in order to move up in round two or round three. They have the talent on hand that they need to draft quality over quantity, so that is a possibility.
Florida offensive tackle Jason Watkins (124th overall) would be a good choice here as well, but he could be available later in the draft.
With the 136th Pick in the 2009 NFL Draft, the Indianapolis Colts Select:
Jason Watkins, Offensive Tackle, Florida.
Watkins has a great deal of size at 6-feet-6, 317 pounds, natural ability, and potential. But, he has limited upper body strength and his technique is lacking. He is the 11th-rated offensive tackle, so, if there is an early run at the position like there was in 2008, then he will be gone at this point.
However, since there was an early run on tackles in 2008, it is far less likely that he will be sitting there when the Colts use their compensatory selection.
They could take Watkins with their regular selection and wait to take either Follett or Williams when the compensatory pick comes up, but they do need to bolster their depth on the perimeter of the offensive line. But, they do not have a starting job to fill urgently, so they can take their time to develop Watkins as a possible left or right tackle of the future.
With the 201st Pick of the 2009 NFL Draft, the Indianapolis Colts Select:
Tez Doolittle, Defensive Tackle, Auburn.
Having already selected a defensive tackle at this point, the Colts could still use one more. Doolittle has the kind of speed, pass rushing skills, and determination to make an impact on the Indianapolis roster.
His age, experience, and injury history are factors, but, given everything he has needed to overcome just to get to this point, he will push everyone else at mini-camps and OTAs if nothing else.
At worst, the Colts end up improving the men that have a serious chance to make the roster — and the depth chart at defensive tackle could use a good kick in the rear. At best, they end up with a player in the mold of Darrell Reid that can provide some push on passing downs, give the starters a breather, and contribute in the kicking game.
Going with the longshot theme, they could also take a chance on Vince Anderson, who has garnered a lot of attention in recent weeks due to his determination and athleticism.
Of course, if they have stocked the cornerback cupboards, they could build depth with Auburn's Tyronne Green — conveniently enough, ranked 201st — or take a shot on another skinny wide receiver in South Carolina's Kenny McKinley (216th overall).
With the 236th Pick of the 2009 NFL Draft, the Indianapolis Colts Select:
Al Afalava, Safety, Oregon State.
Afalava has a hitter's mentality and was far more productive with the Beavers than any prospect ranked 290th overall has a right to be. He is surprisingly dangerous with the ball in his hands, scoring two touchdowns in his career.
Scouts are concerned about his coverage skills and that he was primarily a "box" player in college, but he has the ideal temperament and attitude to be a standout special teams player.
Since the Indianapolis depth chart is pretty well set at the position in terms of starters and backups — with Afalava clone Jamie Silva currently on the roster — they only need to worry about getting him action in the game's third phase.
Doolittle and Afalava could flip flop at this point, or the Colts could take a flyer on a guard or receiver. Although they will still have plenty of options and there will still be talent on the board, Afalava makes the most sense for Indianapolis as they prepare for the run on free agents after Mr. Irrelevant comes off the board.
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