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Colts' 2024 NFL Draft Report Card

I know there's always a guy or two we don't get most wanted, but as Ballard said before the draft, they sometimes find something bad we can't see. Chris Ballard has had an exceptional draft!

The Colts have even received an A+ rating from PFF, and some say it is the best draft of any team this year. Although there may be a few players that fans wanted but didn't get, Ballard had mentioned before the draft that sometimes they find something alarming we can't see.

Round One

In this draft, the first defensive player selected was Laiatu Latu. This means that Ballard had a choice of the best defensive players available. I would have preferred Turner, but the team may have found an issue with him or felt that he wouldn't fit their scheme, as Latu would.


Initially, I was worried about Latu due to his previous neck injury. He was told he would never be able to play again and was retired by Washington in 2021. However, he couldn't stay away from the game and underwent another surgery with the same doctor who performed neck surgery on Peyton Manning. Latu returned to the football field at UCLA and is now a first-round pick for the Indianapolis Colts. I would give this pick an A- grade.


Round Two

The Colts picked Adonai Mitchell in the second round after trading back from 46 to 52 with the Panthers. Mitchell was a projected first-rounder but slipped due to "character issues" and diabetes. Despite this, I believe he is an excellent player with great route-running ability and breakaway speed.

I expect him to compete with Alec Pierce for the true number two wide receiver position. If Pierce doesn't perform well this year, he may be replaced with Mitchell, the new addition to the team. Overall, I give this pick a grade of A+.


Round Three

The Colts decided to trade up with the Cardinals instead of trading back and secured pick 79. With this pick, they drafted offensive lineman Matt Conclaves from Pitt. Although Conclaves' senior season ended early due to an injury, the Colts believe that he has something special to offer. Perhaps it's his high ceiling or versatility on the line. I'd grade this pick an A.


Round Four

The Indianapolis Colts selected Tanor Bortolini from Wisconsin as their pick in the fourth draft round. Bortolini is an offensive lineman who can play the guard position and serve as a backup center.

He is known for his impressive run-blocking abilities and is expected to be a valuable addition to the Colts' offensive line as a depth piece. Bortolini made 28 career starts playing multiple positions, including center, left guard, right tackle, right guard, and extra tight end. Overall, I graded this pick as an A.


Round Five

The Indianapolis Colts had three picks in the fifth round of the NFL draft. They selected a player on the offensive side of the ball for the first pick, while they chose defensive backs for their remaining two picks. With their first pick in the fifth round, they went with another wide receiver, Anthony Gould. Though Gould is primarily a slot receiver, the Colts likely drafted him to be their next return man, as he has showcased excellent ability in this area, even scoring one in the Shrine Bowl this offseason. I grade this pick an A-.

I have to say, my favorite pick in this draft is Jaylon Carlies, a safety from Mizzou. There are rumors that Carlies will be switching to linebacker, which makes sense, given his impressive run-stopping ability. Carlies is known for his speed and agility on the field, and he always seems to be in the right place at the right time. He's also a natural ball hawk, a valuable skill for any defensive player. I give Ballard an A+ grade for making this pick.


The Indianapolis Colts made their final selection in the draft's fifth round, choosing Jaylin Simpson, a safety from Auburn University. Simpson is known to have switched from playing as a corner to safety during his time at Auburn. Speculations suggest that Simpson may return to the corner position with the Colts. He is known for his exceptional ball-hawking skills, and I think he has a good chance of starting at some point this season if he performs well. I would give this pick an A- grade.


Round Six

The Indianapolis Colts used their sixth pick to select Micah Abraham, a defensive back from Marshall University. Abraham has an impressive track record with 10 interceptions in the last two years. Despite being 5'11" tall, his wingspan measures 73 1/4 inches. I give this pick a grade of B+, and it is seen as another strong addition to the Colts' defense.


Round Seven

In the seventh round, the Indianapolis Colts concluded their draft by picking Jonah Laulu, a defensive lineman from Oklahoma. Laulu scored a Relative Athletic Score of 9.62, which ranks 70th out of 1,808 defensive tackles since 1987. Considering that this was the Colts' last pick, I would give it a B+ grade, as it will likely be just a depth piece.



Overall

Overall, I give the Colts an A grade. I think it was an excellent draft, but there's always room for improvement. However, this might have been Chris Ballard's best draft yet with Indy. From top to bottom, he did extremely well-addressing needs and taking positions when they became available instead of reaching out.

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