Unless you’ve been living under a rock since the Wild Card loss to the Buffalo Bills, the Indianapolis Colts desperately need help at left tackle and pass rusher following the retirement of Anthony Castonzo and the departure of Denico Autry in free agency.
General Manager Chris Ballard has unsurprisingly been quiet in free agency, which puts the Colts’ roster-building emphasis ahead of the 2021 season on the NFL Draft at this point.
Knowing that, mock drafts have been mostly routine for the Colts as of late, pairing the franchise with similar names throughout the process.
Recently, USA Today Touchdown Wire’s Mark Schofield paired the Colts with two big names at Edge and OL in his latest two-round mock draft.
At No. 21 overall, Schofield has the Colts grabbing Georgia EDGE Azeez Ojulari.
“The Indianapolis Colts could use some help off the edge, and Frank Reich has said as much recently. With the return of T.Y. Hilton the Colts largely have their offense intact from last season, and while left tackle remains a concern — Sam Tevi might not be the answer — the depth of the offensive tackle class lets Indianapolis go in a different direction here.
“Azeez Ojulari is a name rising up boards off the edge, thanks to his length and athleticism. He needs to fill in some of the pieces, as he relies heavily on winning to the outside and needs to develop a complete array of moves as a pass rusher, but the upside is tough to ignore.”
Ojulari doesn’t quite meet what the Colts prefer on the edge in terms of insane length, but he’s a terrific athlete off the edge that can win with speed right away. He still needs to develop a full repertoire, but he’d be a solid grab at 21 overall.
Following the selection of Ojulari at No. 21, Schofield has the Colts swinging for the fences at No. 54 overall, grabbing former 5-Star recruit Jackson Carman, a junior out of Clemson, who could come in and plug the left tackle spot for a decade.
“The Indianapolis Colts addressed pass rush in the first round, and now they turn to another pressing issue: Making sure they can protect Carson Wentz. Indianapolis added tackle Sam Tevi recently, but something tells me they are not done trying to find a replacement for the retired Anthony Castonzo. Jackson Carman protected Trevor Lawrence’s blindside the past two seasons and is a powerful tackle, but might struggle with pure speed rushers off the edge.”
Carman is pretty darn raw overall despite starting 27 career games for the Tigers. He’s a powerful, long tackle that can swallow up defenders with his reach. He has good overall footwork but struggles at times against speed off the corner.
Should the Colts come away with a haul like this in the first two rounds, it could be a special year in 2021 for Indianapolis and its fans.
What do you think of the haul the Colts get in this mock draft? Drop your thoughts below in the comment section!