INDIANAPOLIS – The first round of the draft reshaped a portion of the NFL landscape.
But, it did nothing to reshape the Indianapolis Colts roster.
We expected that heading into Thursday’s opening round. The Colts were without a first-round pick for the third time in four years and stood pat. They waited and watched as one of the more unique first rounds unfolded.
That changes Friday evening with Chris Ballard and his personnel staff joining the process. The Colts hold seven picks over the final six rounds, including the 10th selection in round 2 (42nd overall) and the 9th in round 3 (73rd).
Thursday? Crickets from the Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance Football Center. Elsewhere? One of the more unique first rounds in recent memory.
- Defensive players came off the board with the first five selections for the first time since 1991. Jacksonville led things off with Georgia defensive end Travon Walker, paving the way for Michigan defensive end Aidan Hutchinson to be the hometown pick for the Detroit Lions.
- Only one quarterback was taken for the first time since 2013 (you remember E.J. Manuel, right? Taken 16th by Buffalo). Pittsburgh found Ben Roethlisberger’s successor in its own backyard with Pitts’ Kenny Pickett. He was grabbed at No. 20, the latest a QB has been drafted since Jim Druckenmiller (another blast from the past) by San Francisco with the 26th pick in 1997.
- As expected, receivers were in demand. Six were taken, all within the first 20 picks for the first time in the common-era of the draft (1970): Drake London (8th to Atlanta), Garrett Wilson (10th to the Jets), Chris Olave (11th to New Orleans), Jameson Williams (12th to Detroit), Jahan Dotson (16th to Washington) and Treylon Burks (18th to Tennessee).
- Two veteran receivers grabbed the spotlight. Baltimore shipped its top wideout, Hollywood Brown, to Arizona and the Titans traded its No. 1 receiver, A.J. Brown, to Philadelphia. Each is heading into the final year of his rookie deal and poised to join the rush for mega-contracts by players at his position. The Eagles signed A.J. Brown to a four-year, $100 million extension with $57 million guaranteed. Contracts for veteran wideouts are going through the roof, and some teams apparently aren’t interested in ponying up.
- Overall, nine trades were executed.
After the flurry of round 1 activity, the Colts pretty much find themselves where they expected to be heading into day 2. They have attractive options at various positions of need; the only question is whether Ballard sits at No. 42 or opts to trade up a few rungs to ensure getting a player he truly covets. And remember, there’s also round 3 tonight.
Consider some of the prospects still on the board:
- Receiver: George Pickens, Georgia; Christian Watson, North Dakota State; Skyy Moore, Western Michigan; John Metchie III, Alabama; Jalen Tolbert, South Alabama; Alec Pierce, Cincinnati; David Bell, Purdue.
- Tight end: Trey McBride, Colorado State; Greg Dulcich, UCLA; Jeremy Ruckert, Ohio State; Cade Otton, Washington.
- Offensive tackle: Bernhard Raimann, Central Michigan; Daniel Faalele, Minnesota; Nicholas Petit-Frere, Ohio State.
- Cornerback: Andrew Booth Jr., Clemson; Kyler Gordon, Washington; Roger McCreary, Auburn; Tariq Woolen, UTSA.
- Defensive end: David Ojabo, Michigan; Boye Mafe, Minnesota; Arnold Ebiketie, Penn State.
- Linebacker: Nakobe Dean, Georgia; Chad Muma, Wyoming; Christian Harris, Alabama.
- Quarterback: Malik Willis, Liberty; Matt Corral, Ole Miss; Desmond Ridder, Cincinnati; Sam Howell, North Carolina.
You can follow Mike Cha
You can follow Mike Chappell on Twitter at @mchappell51.