We are now 1 week away from the NFL Draft so it’s time to release one of my two official 7-round Colts mock drafts. This is taking into account what I believe the Colts value at positions of need and what the coaching staff has eluded to looking for in certain positions.
No trades will be made in this mock but will be in the official Mock Draft 2.0 released right before the 2023 NFL Draft. Without further ado, let’s get to it.
4. Will Levis, QB (Kentucky):
I can hear the sound of multiple people clicking the exit button on this mock draft, but hold on and let me explain myself. While Levis may have his flaws, I believe he fits the criteria that Indy seeks. Most notably, the constant emphasis on high work ethic and leadership that HC Shane Steichen and Chris Ballard have mentioned multiple times.
Levis has a ton of tools to work with in the form of arm talent, athleticism, ability under pressure, and accuracy. While he needs to clean up his decision-making and footwork, I believe that his talent and work ethic will shine through as he works with the coaching staff to become a franchise QB.
35. Julius Brents, CB (Kansas State):
Long, athletic, gritty, and a local kid. Sounds too good to be true for Colts’ GM Chris Ballard. He needs to work on his inconsistent ball skills and eye discipline but he offers the length and short-area quickness to be a nightmare in press-man coverage from day one.
Indy has to find multiple DBs in this class that can compete for reps in Gus Bradley’s system and I truly believe that with Colts DBs Coach Ron Milus coaching, Brents will unlock the mental/technical aspect of his game and what you will see is a guy who comes in and competes for snaps right away.
79. Marvin Mims, WR (Oklahoma):
A 5’10, 185lb WR might go against Chris Ballard’s M.O. but the talent Mims possesses as a virtuoso field stretcher and deep threat fits what this Colts offense has lacked since T.Y. Hilton was blazing his trail in Lucas Oil Stadium. With the ability to play outside and in the slot and take full advantage of the new franchise QB’s strong arm, defensive coordinators will have a hard time adjusting to Alec Pierce/Marvin Mims taking the top off of opposing defenses for years to come.
While he does need to work on more nuanced route running skills and his ability against press-man coverages, I think he has the athletic talent and production to come in and make an immediate impact on Special Teams and as a rotational offensive weapon.
106. Jakorian Bennett, CB (Maryland):
Another athletic specimen (see a trend) that possesses elite speed and feet as well as above-average playmaking. Think of another version of Isaiah Rodgers Sr. Jakorian Bennett has been told he’s too small and wouldn’t make it in football multiple times throughout his life, and each time has overcome adversity. That’s what you love to see in the mental makeup of a kid with his talent and athleticism.
While he may never become a top-tier NFL CB, he has a chance to truly make a special impact on whichever team he lands on as a special teams gunner with starting CB caliber qualities. I would love to see the Colts take a chance on his game and reunite him with Nick Cross in the DB room.
138. Emil Ekiyor Jr., G (Alabama):
Another Indianapolis native who is a legacy NFL Player. His dad, Emil Ekiyor Sr., played in the NFL for 6 seasons (including a stint with the Colts). A first-team All-SEC guard for Alabama, Ekiyor Jr. possesses great arm length, good athleticism, and positional versatility at G/C.
Ekiyor Jr. has starter upside at a huge position of need for the Colts and shows great awareness and movement skills to fit into a zone-blocking scheme Day 1. He will need to work on hand placement and can find himself being walked back when his technique gives way but I think Indy would be getting a potentially great player on Day 3.
162. Jose Ramirez, Edge (Eastern Michigan):
An undersized edge rusher who led all Edge prospects at the combine with a 6.95 3-cone drill. It shows on tape as well. He has great short-area quickness and burst with hip flexibility and bend to get around opposing OTs and make plays on the QB. A relentless motor means he is always going to be around the football and QB.
The downside of being undersized comes with consequences that cause him to drop into day 3. He can be washed out in the run game and controlled at the line of scrimmage when his initial move doesn’t give way to pressure. While he may never be more than a rotational pass rusher, you can never have too many guys with his motor and athleticism attacking a QB on Sundays.
176. Payne Durham, TE (Purdue):
One of my favorite TE’s in this class after the clinic he put on in Mobile at the Reese’s Senior Bowl this year. Compares favorably to Jack Doyle. Great length and drive. Not a YAC or deep threat from the TE position, but will do the dirty work and has a chance to be a great weapon in the red zone. Will come in and compete as a blocker in the run game from Day 1.
221. Jake Witt, OT (Northern Michigan):
Extremely raw offensive tackle prospect with immense athletic upside and length. Witt was a 0-star recruit who only recently converted to OT from TE in 2021. While he is still gaining the weight and strength needed for the position, he possesses extremely impressive lateral movement speed, lower body explosion, and decent hands. He is the definition of a boom/bust prospect but with the proper coaching and patience from the team that drafts him, he has a chance to turn into a great starting-level OT.
236. Mohamoud Diabate, LB (Utah):
Long, rangy linebacker with great speed and explosiveness. Sounds like a Chris Ballard late-round special. A former Edge rusher who moved into a new role as an off-ball LBer this past season, he is still young in his mental development to the position. Can be an immediate special teams coverage contributor with potential upside to make an impact in a rotational role in the future.