Again, I’ve chosen these players based on mock drafts on PFN and PFF to determine what players would be there for the Colts in round 3 at pick 73. Before starting this, I’d like to say why I would love McBride at 73. However, I feel he will not be available for the Colts to draft, so I left him off the list.
WR Alec Pierce Cincinnati
Before I go into why I think Pierce would be a solid receiver in the pros, I would like to take a moment to show why I believe he’d be a “Ballard guy.” One thing that has hurt the Indianapolis Colts in the WR room, in my opinion, was having to cut players who wouldn’t work on special teams. Pierce has special team experience meaning he could probably play special teams for the Colts. The Colts just lost Zach Pascal to the Eagles in the off-season. In my opinion, one of Pascal’s greatest strengths was as a blocker. Pierce is also a good blocker. Let’s take a look at the boxes here. Can he block? Yes. Can he play on special teams? Yes. The boxes are starting to be checked with Pierce. Alec Pierce is 6’3 and weighs 211 pounds; he had a vertical of 40.5 and ran a 4.41. Watching the tape of Pierce, one thing is clear. Pierce knows how to use his 6’3 frame to his advantage. Pierce plays explosive, and his athleticism shines on tape. Pierce would bring versatility to the Colts as he’s played both in the slot and outside. The Colts, in my opinion, have lacked a genuine red zone threat. I believe Pierce could be that red zone target for Matty Ice.
OL Jamaree Salyer Georgia
The offensive line was once a strength for the Colts but has become an area of need. The retirement of AC last season created a hole at tackle, and the Colts could not find a long-term solution last season. Chris Ballard let free agent Chris Reed walk, meaning a guard spot is open. At the same time, it’s expected that Danny Pinter would fill those shoes left by Reed. Someone will now need to be added for depth along the offensive line. I believe Salyer could be that guy. When I watched the tape of Salyer, the one thing that caught my eye besides his size was his versatility. Salyer has tape at every position on the offensive line. That’s good for the Indianapolis Colts, who need help at tackle and potentially at guard. Salyer could quickly come in and play either tackle or guard and be effective for the Indianapolis Colts. While he isn’t the greatest in the run, he makes up for it in the passing game. Salyer has the potential to make a day one impact for the Colts in round 3.
WR Justyn Ross Clemson
The Colts need weapons for new quarterback Matt Ryan. Clemson has a significant history of developing receivers in the NFL. Players such as Hopkins, Higgins, Williams, and Renfrow, I believe Justyn Ross will be the next star receiver from Clemson. Ross has the elite size you want from a wide receiver. The only real knock on Ross is his extensive injury history. This could be a red flag for Chris Ballard, especially when injuries in the past have derailed the receiver room. But we’ve also known Ballard not to be afraid to draft an injured player. If Ross can find a way to stay healthy, you could find a first-round talent in round 3. The thing that hurt Ross besides his injuries was poor quarterback play. When Ross had a future number 1 overall pick, Trevor Lawrence, throwing him the rock, Ross looked like a superstar. Reggie Wayne could have some fun with molding Ross into a superstar.
WR David Bell Purdue
What’s better than a hometown hero? No one got a better reaction at the combine than David Bell in front of the Indianapolis crowd. While his combine performance hurt his draft stock, he could be a viable option in round 3 for the Colts. Bell has a lot of positives to his game, such as his good frame, body control, and good catch radius. Bell has the tools to succeed as a receiver at the next level. Bell would be a reliable target on the outside for Matt Ryan. While Bell is no burner by any means, Bell is reliable. Bell doesn’t fit the Ballard mold of gravitating toward elite athletes, but what he lacks in athleticism, he makes up for it in production. While he’s no burner, he’s shockingly a magician with the ball. Bell’s run after the catch is surprisingly good. David Bell could be the hometown hero story Indianapolis needs.
OL Cole Strange Chattanooga
I saved the best for last—Cole Strange from Chattanooga. I believe Strange is going to be a star in this league. I think Strange should be drafted in the second round. Cole Strange put on an absolute show at the senior bowl in front of many scouts. The Colts need a guard for depth or to compete with Pinter at guard. Strange could very well be that guy for the Colts. Strange has a lot of experience being a sixth-year player and a five-year starter. Strange is one of the more explosive players in this draft class. Small school or big school, I believe at the senior bowl and combine, he showed that he could hang with the bigger school talent. Chris Ballard tends to target players with high character, which I believe Strange checks that box.
As you can see, the Colts have plenty of options in this draft to help make the team better at multiple positions. Where do you feel the Colts should go in round 3? Did you like my options, or would you like to see someone else be drafted here? Let us know on Twitter or in the comments.