We know the Indianapolis Colts are taking Andrew Luck at No. 1, but after that is anybody’s guess. They have obvious needs at wide receiver, offensive line, defensive tackle, tight end and linebacker. OK, just about everywhere.
Prior to Thursday’s NFL Draft, ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. and the NFL Network’s Mike Mayock fielded questions from other media members. Both were asked about the Colts situation and how they should surround Luck.
MEL KIPER, JR.: This team has so many holes. I mean, it almost on paper looks like an expansion team. With the No. 1 pick, they pretty much are tearing it down, trying to build it back up. It resembles an expansion team.
They obviously have Freeney and Mathis and they’re going to be adjusting possibly to new positions. You think about offensively Reggie Wayne is there, but he’s at the end of his career. If you look at the kind of players they’re starting, like I say, it has the look of an expansion team.
It wouldn’t surprise me if they’re picking No. 1 again next year. Andrew Luck, you just hope he can survive. You put him out there; you hope he can survive with this personnel around him.
Obviously they have a pick in the top of the second, and you also have to think about the defense. You can’t forget about the defense. The defense has a lot of holes, too, and if you’re going with this scheme you need players who can play it. They brought in a couple guys from the Ravens, Redding and Zbikowski, to help out there in terms of just understanding what Chuck Pagano wants.
But will Fleener be there in the second round? Possibly. I’ve been going one pick ahead, and obviously if you have Andrew Luck, you bring in Coby Fleener, there’s nothing wrong with that. (Peyton) Manning relied on the tight ends heavily and certainly Fleener did it at Stanford, was a key guy. Fleener was the go to guy for Andrew Luck. Andrew Luck also had two other tight ends that were heavily in the mix.
The bottom line is, yeah, that could be, but you have so many need areas. You could go wide receiver at some point early, offensive line early. You could go defensive line early. This team has got so many holes where they can just basically set up their board and just pick accordingly.
MIKE MAYOCK: I think that’s important. On the surface, RG3 has got a better chance to succeed day one, because they went ahead in free agency and signed a couple high-level wide receivers.
To Indianapolis’s credit, they re-signed Reggie Wayne, however and they signed [Donnie] Avery. But they have got to upgrade the wide receiver group. They have got to get a young, explosive wide receiver in there.
At the tight end position, Brody Eldridge, Anthony Hill, there’s nothing there that’s going to scare you from a pass perspective, as much as I like Brody Eldridge on the run game.
So there’s no doubt in my mind that if you look at successful rookie quarterbacks, it’s typically when they have got a good run game and a good defense: Joe Flacco, Matt Ryan, [Andy] Dalton, guys that make the playoffs, that’s been the common denominator. Indy doesn’t have that right now.
So they are going to have go around them, not unlike when Peyton Manning was a first round pick and they went 3-13. That was a tough year. But the next year, if I remember correctly, they won 12 or 13 games.
So it’s critical to build around on the offensive side of the ball, and I think what you do have, though, is that you took a first round tackle who is going to be a good player in [Anthony] Castanzo. You took a second round tackle in [Ben] Ijalana, who got hurt but was showing a heck of a lot of promise.
So at least from the inside out, you’ve got a chance and now you’ve got to give the guy some weapons.