Fans, welcome to your first look at some potential prospects the franchise could target in April 2024. No, the season is not over, and this Colts Mock Draft is not a proverbial throwing in of the towel a quarter of the way into the campaign. Instead, I am kicking off the annual tradition of prospect introduction. A long road still exists between now and the 2024 NFL Draft, so until then, we will begin the process of matching players with the Colts’ potential needs.
Indianapolis Colts Mock Draft: Anthony Richardson Receives More Weapons
Secondly, I will be operating under the assumption that Jonathan Taylor will not be on the roster next year, opening a potential need at running back with Zack Moss entering free agency. That is not to say JT has no chance of returning, but skepticism remains regarding his future with The Shoe. Without further ado, let’s get this initial Colts Mock Draft underway!
Round 1, Pick 20: Malik Nabers, WR, LSU
There is still a chance Alec Pierce will continue his growth in the intermediate spaces of the field, making him a viable No. 2 option going forward. However, for now, it seems the former second-round pick typically only wins down the field. If that trend continues, the Colts should view Pierce as more of a one-trick pony who would function as the fourth wide receiver on deep passing concepts.
Assuming Indianapolis re-signs Anthony Richardson’s new best friend Michael Pittman Jr., the Colts wide receiver core in Richardson’s sophomore season would include Pittman, Pierce, Malik Nabers, Josh Downs, and Ashton Dulin.
Nabers, who is trending towards blue-chip prospect status with his massive production in LSU’s offense is the type of receiver the Colts do not currently have. At 6-foot-flat and weighing 200 pounds, Nabers isn’t huge, but his aggressive style at the catch point allows him to win most jump balls. Moreover, the LSU wide receiver is extremely quick and a natural separator who racks up a lot of yards after the catch.
Nabers Is An Ideal Target In This Colts Mock Draft
A natural separator with a knack for coming down with jump balls seems like the best of both worlds, and I believe Nabers can be a WR1 at the next level. If Nabers does turn into that type of player, I could see him winning in the same mold as Ja’Marr Chase does for the Bengals. He is a hot commodity in any mock draft.
Beautiful rep here by Malik Nabers on the corner fade from the slot
This guy just moves different
First round NFL talent right here
— Joe O’Leary (@TheHQNerd) September 29, 2023
Round 2, Pick 51: T.J. Tampa, CB, Iowa State
Iowa State’s T.J. Tampa would be yet another long-armed cornerback selection for the Colts on Day 2. Tampa is the type of player who could garner first-round buzz going into the draft due to his intangibles and play style. At 6-foot-2 and 200 pounds, the Cyclone defender can match up with any receiver due to his low 4.4 speed. I found him to be aggressive against the run and a relatively good tackler in space, a trait that is hard to come by in cornerbacks.
The Colts need to continue adding to the secondary this offseason, and a cornerback room of JuJu Brents, Jaylon Jones, Dallis Flowers, Kenny Moore (re-sign!), T.J. Tampa, and a veteran like Shaq Griffin or Marcus Peters would be much more competitive going into 2024.
— Iowa State Nation (@IowaStateNation) September 23, 2023
Round 3, Pick 86: Bucky Irving, RB, Oregon
If Jonathan Taylor isn’t retained in free agency, I would love to see the Colts re-sign Zack Moss and draft a prospect like Bucky Irving. Irving is known for his home run abilities from the running back position with impressive speed. The shifty ball carrier isn’t a workhorse back, as he only weighs 195 pounds, but he displays impressive hands out of the backfield and would be a great change of pace from Moss.
Irving is a decisive, quick back who runs competitively every time he touches the ball. If you ever get a chance to watch Oregon play this year, keep an eye out for #0. He could become a fixture in several Colts Mock Draft articles.
Bucky Irving is smooth. Love this run: pic.twitter.com/KjxSnnYSwG
— John Canzano (@johncanzanobft) October 1, 2023
Round 4, Pick 121: Christian Haynes, IOL, UConn
It is no secret that the Colts need offensive line depth. Christian Haynes provides that with starter upside. The UConn guard’s stock is trending towards mid-late Day 2, so he may not be available in the fourth round. Regardless, the Colts need interior offensive line depth to go along with Wesley French and Josh Sills. An early Day 3 investment in a guard would be worthwhile for Chris Ballard and Co.
UConn has some *dudes* on the offensive line. Always been a fan of RT Chase Lundt’s mobility in space, but RG Christian Haynes is the headliner.
Scary explosiveness and urgency on the move for his size. Destroys the second-level defender here.
— Ian Cummings (@IC_Draft) August 31, 2023
Round 5, Pick 157: Jasheen Davis, DE, Wake Forest
Jasheen Davis has put up impressive numbers this year at Wake Forest. No matter the strength of your front seven, taking a shot at a pass rusher each draft is important.
Jasheen Davis’s 7 pressures almost all came from different alignments and/or different rush moves.
He won on edge with speed/bend, on edge with power/burst, stunting inside with balance and high motor against double teams.
— Eric Galko (@EricGalko) September 11, 2023
Round 6, Pick 197: Robert Scott Jr., OT, Florida State
Robert Scott Jr. dominated his matchup with Myles Murphy, a first-round pick out of Clemson last year. When it’s this late in the mock draft, teams will be looking for flashes, and Scott provides those. I imagine the Colts would bring in a swing tackle to bolster the offensive line depth as well.
Round 7, Pick 243: Jackson Mitchell, LB, UConn
To finish things off, I took a swing at a position that Chris Ballard has historically been great at drafting. Linebacker has become a position that teams can get starters from on Day 3 of the NFL Draft, e.g. Zaire Franklin and E.J. Speed. This mock draft is no different. The selection of Mitchell is purely for depth, especially with the uncertainty surrounding Shaq Leonard this year.
As a player, Mitchell is one of the best players on the Husky defense. I don’t know if he’ll actually be here in the 7th round, but if so, I predict he would make the roster easily.
UConn’s Jackson Mitchell (#8) has great vision (both when reading keys and peaking into the backfield) and always seems to make key tackles when he’s the lone defender in position for a stop.
With his size, range, and instincts, he can be the top G5 LBs in the 2024 NFL Draft. pic.twitter.com/GBXjC6sIE6
— Bobby Football (@Rob__Paul) July 7, 2023
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