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NFL Draft 32 for 32 - Indianapolis Colts


Andrew Luck returned to the Colts lineup in 2018 and immediately increased the value of numerous players on this offense. The biggest contributors of his QB5 finish (4,593 yards and 39 TDs) were T.Y. Hilton and often ridiculed Eric Ebron. Hilton was back to his old ways as a weekly starter with consistent production while Ebron scored a surprising 13 TD last season, leading the position.

Needless to say, Luck proved his worth as a top tier QB in fantasy with his production last season and again will be among the first names off the board at QB. With another year to work under the Frank Reich scheme, it's kind of scary to think that this offense may actually be better in 2019. Hilton is likely to be drafted as a WR1 this year, while some owners will mistakenly chase the TD potential from Ebron. Always a mistake in a draft to chase last year's numbers, but Ebron will easily return the value of a TE1, just don't make the error of reaching too soon.

As for the running game for the Colts, Marlon Mack was a nice surprise for owners that took the risk. Although he did miss four games on the year, Mack shook off a rough start to become one of the more consistent scorers down the stretch in fantasy. Finishing just shy of 1,000 yards on the year, his nine TD pushed him into high-end RB2 territory. The trick for Mack will be whether or not he can reproduce that strong performance in 2019. The team seems sold on him as their starting RB this season and have a clear rotation in mind to keep him fresh. He should be drafted as an RB2 this season and I believe that is where his value will finish by season's end. In PPR formats, the back to keep an eye on will be Nyheim Hines. Hauling in 63 receptions in his rookie season could be a safe floor for him moving forward making him a player that has Flex appeal weekly this year.

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Top Three Projected Selections

First Round- Jeffrey Simmons, DT Mississippi State (26th overall)
Second Round- Parris Campbell, WR Ohio State (34th)
Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, S Florida (59th)

Remaining Picks
Third Round- 89th
Fourth Round- 129th, 135th
Fifth Round- 164th
Sixth Round- 199th
Seventh Round- 240th

 

Needs Analysis

When it comes to the draft for the Colts this year, look for the team to focus on the defensive side of the ball. With needs at each level and the number of picks they have, the team should come away with players that give them a good amount of depth to build upon. Don't be surprised to see them add a receiver to the fold that they can place on the outside opposite of Hilton.

Jeffrey Simmons is an imposing defensive tackle that will find a home in the middle of the Colts defensive line. He has the rare combo of strength and athleticism that will make him a menace for opposing blockers. He has all the physical tools to make him a Pro-Bowler for years to come, but can be hampered by a lack of instincts. If he can work through some inconsistencies and rely solely on his attributes, he will improve the front of this Colts defense right away.

Parris Campbell is a receiver that continues to rise up draft boards after an impressive showing at the combine. His package of size, speed, and fluidity at the position will make him hard to defend as a slot receiver at the pro level. He can create mismatches at different levels on the field as he can beat you underneath, but also has the speed to get over the top on defenders. Campbell can be explosive with the ball in his hands, so look for the team to work with him on receiver screens and jet sweeps to get him into open space.

He should be a player worth investing in for seasonal leagues late in a draft. He could find a role quickly in this offense and his big-play ability makes him a perfect candidate for best ball drafts. For dynasty players, Campbell is starting to creep into the late first round in rookie drafts and if you have a need at receiver, that is where you just might have to take your shot. He has the upside to be a weekly starter for many years.

Chauncey Gardner-Johnson is a big, athletic defensive back that figures to find a role at some point in the 2019 season for the Colts. He is flexible with his play style as he can drop into the box as a run defender, while also playing back as a Cover-1 safety. He, at times, can be a step behind in his reads, but his ball tracking ability to take away a misread. His versatility and talent give him a high ceiling as a starting safety for a number of years.

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