Feb. 12, 2018 - Source: Michael Reaves/Getty Images North America
I think we can all agree that the past few weeks in this NFL Offseason has been crazy! Not only did the Cleveland Browns make headlines by wheeling and dealing pretty much half of their roster, but the speculation around this years draft has been remarkable as well. I can't think of the last time a draft class had this many question marks this close to the big day itself, and if you're a Colts fan like I am, the draft just got a whole lot more interesting. So with that in mind I try and break down the potential picks that may come with the 6th pick overall in the 2018 NFL Entry Draft.
First and foremost I just want to say that I am basing these choices off of teams needs, the players potential, and the immediate impact said player could have on the team.
1. Saquon Barkley
I refuse to believe that this is a dead meme. The odds that Barkley, the best Running Back prospect in almost a decade, gets past the Cleveland Browns are slim to none but let's not forget they are the Browns. Suspend disbelief for just as second, IF Barkley does manage to drop past all others and lands in the lap of the Colts they have to take him. You have to question just how much the Colts loved the idea of him on the squad in the first place however, I mean they traded down and put themselves at a disadvantage to land him, but when you look at the offer they got form the Jets it's hard to argue as to why they made the move. He would make an immediate impact at the Running Back position and is an impact player this offence is in desperate need off. He runs a solid 4.40sec 40 time, an extremely diverse athlete with the ability to block, run routes, and catch. He's a freak, and the Colts don't have many of those. Like I said, I doubt he'll be there, but if the former Penn State standout drops you got to take him.
2. Bradley Chubb
Depending on who you ask Bradley Chubb is the best defensive player in the draft. Standing at 6'4 and weighing in at a 270lbs, the man is a stud, but more importantly he can get to the Quarterback and that's exactly what the Colts need. With a defence that ranked 3rd worst in the league overall last season, they were truly awful all-around defensively. They couldn't stop the run, they couldn't stop the pass, they couldn't get teams off the field period. How do you fix that? Get a player who is good in both areas, get a player who not only creates pressure on the Quarterback, but also fills up the holes in the running department as well, and Chubbs is that guy. Plus with the team moving towards a 4-3 scheme rather then their old 3-4, it's a no brainer that an athletic edge rusher is needed. Again, Indy did move down in the draft, so they're either comfortable with getting Chubbs at 6 or they feel that with the amount of talent in this class there is no downside. With that said though, it looks as the though the first 3 picks will be dedicated to Quarterbacks, so that gives 2 picks of leeway for Colts to get their prized Defensive End.
3. Quenton Nelson
There hasn't been this much buzz over a Guard in a long, long time, and for good reason. Every mock draft, every scout, anyone who watches tape on this young man are in agreement that he is everything you'd want in an offensive lineman, and then some. I mean the guys weighs over 300lbs and has abs...how is that possible? But I digress. If you are in the Colts shoes the offensive line has been a big issue for a few years now, other then Castonzo, the O-line was weak overall last year and it's something that should be addressed especially with Luck expected to play. It looks as though free agency is a dud, so it seems the focus is on the draft and Nelson is the perfect guy to start with. The problem lies with the stigma of Guards not being worth high picks, but when you have a guy like Nelson who can not only cause chaos by opening up massive holes in the run game, but can also bring some stability to the line, I think a high pick is warranted. It's not the sexy pick a lot of Colts want, but it is the smart pick the Colts organization needs.
Taking off the GM hat for a second and seeing what the Colts lack on both sides of the ball, any of these picks will make a massive difference this upcoming season. With key players like QB Andrew Luck and Safety Malik Hooker set to return, plus having 4 of the first 50 picks, Head Coach Frank Reich and the Indianapolis Colts will have a whole new look going into next season. And after a 3 and 13 year I think all of Colts Nation can agree a fresh start is welcomed.