2011 NFL Draft Grades | Indianapolis Colts
The 2010 season didn’t go as expected for the Indianapolis Colts. The team once again took home the AFC South crown, but went just 10-6 and had to fend off the Jacksonville Jaguars at the end of the season just to make the playoffs. Injuries limited the Colts’ efforts, as key players like Austin Collie, Dallas Clark, Joseph Addai and Bob Sanders all missed significant time. Indy has some holes to fill along the offensive line, and used their first two draft picks in an effort to address that need, picking Anthony Costanzo in round one and Ben Ijalana in the second round.
Round 1, Pick 22: Anthony Costanzo, OT, Boston College
Castonzo could’ve easily been taken as high as No. 13 overall to the Lions, but fell to the Colts at 22. He may be the most NFL-ready offensive linemen in this draft class, as he started in each of his four seasons at Boston College. BC is known for producing NFL-quality offensive line talent, and Castonzo is no exception. Protecting Peyton Manning’s blind side is no small task, but expect him to start at left tackle for the Colts from day one.
Round 2, Pick 49: Ben Ijalana, T/G, Villanova
Villanova is primarily known for its basketball prowess, but they’ve produced a very good football player in Ben Ijalana. He’s extremely versatile, and can play any tackle or guard spot along the front line. He was able to perform at a high level despite playing through a double hernia for the last five games of last season. Think toughness is a question with this guy? No way.
Round 3, Pick 87: Drake Nevis, DT, LSU
Indy has solid depth at defensive end, but they had problems on the interior last season. Indy needs upgrades over Dan Muir and Antonio Johnson with good reason. Nevis is a big body that has shown that he can collapse a pocket and wreak havoc up the middle. With all the talent on the outside, the Colts needed a playmaker at DT. Nevis can be that guy. Great value in the third round, as well.
Round 4, Pick 119: Delone Carter, RB, Syracuse
Some feel as though Carter was worthy of being taken as high as the second round. With the injury history of Joseph Addai and the general ineffectiveness of former first round pick Donald Brown, the Colts needed to find some stability coming out of the backfield. They were one of the league’s worst rushing teams in 2009, and still were able to make it to the Super Bowl. Carter has great speed coming around the edge, and is the compact runner the Colts love.
Round 6, Pick 188: Chris Rucker, CB, Michigan State
Corner is a position at which you can never have enough depth, and the Colts could use some. Rucker has the ability to be a very strong starting cornerback in this league, especially if he’s able to improve his tackling and physicality. Some thought he’d go sooner, so this could turn out to be a very savvy choice.
Overall Grade: A-