If there's one thing that Indianapolis Colts fans can look forward to this draft it's that Ryan Grigson isn't around to screw it up. An absolute disaster since taking over for Bill Polian in 2012, Grigson made one dumb move after another (remember when he traded a 1st round pick for Trent Richardson?!) and put this franchise at risk of wasting Andrew Luck’s career.
Even with Grigson’s failures, this team still has the potential to have one of the best offenses in the league and is one of the more intriguing teams heading into the draft from a fantasy standpoint. Running back is the main area of focus here since Frank Gore is 65 years old and if the Colts draft another wide receiver there may be riots on the streets of Indy. All rounds are approximated because, well, I'm not a “draft expert” and let's be honest even those guys don't know what teams are doing most of the time.
Christian McCaffery, RB, Stanford
Round 1, 14 overall
Christian McCaffery might be my favorite running back in this class, and I'm not alone as I've seen mock drafts where McCaffery has gone ahead of Leonard Fournette. I don't think he gets drafted ahead of Fournette when the day comes however but the Colts couldn't run to the podium fast enough if he's sitting there at pick 14. At 5’11 202 pounds, McCaffery might be smaller than the prototypical NFL running back, but he has the type of athleticism that scouts drool over. At Stanford, McCaffery was a workhorse back and the centerpiece of the Stanford offense rushing for over 1,600 yards his last season. His vision and ability to make defenders miss would be an immediate asset playing behind the Colts porous offensive line. McCaffery has drawn comparisons to Brian Westbrook due to his versatility in the passing game and he would be one of the best 3rd down threats in the league on day one. The Colts have to create a faster passing game if they want to keep Andrew Luck alive and McCaffery could be the key to making that happen. I think this move wouldn't just make sense for the Colts, but would be one of the best things for McCaffery’s career as he could work a platoon role with Gore during his rookie season and would allow his body to acclimate to the rigorous NFL schedule.
Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State
Round 1, 14 overall
Once thought by many to be the best running back prospect in the draft, Cook had fallen down draft boards due to a poor performance at the NFL Combine but I think the hate has gone too far. When you watch his tape, you can't help but leave impressed with Cook’s abilities as a runner. Showing excellent patience to allow his blockers to open lanes and necessary burst to maximize his running lanes, there's no doubt in my mind that Cook is one of the best running backs in this class, regardless of what he does in shorts. Cook also has shown great pass catching ability, and would be a nice complementary piece to Frank Gore in what could be his last season. Cook also has the ability to create for himself and make defenders miss, both of which he’ll need in order to succeed in this offense. Playerporfiler.com lists Cooks best comparable as Tevin Coleman, who showed this last season that he can be an explosive and dynamic piece of an NFL offense. Cooks pass catching and playmaking ability would be an instant success in this offense and the Colts would be fools to pass on him at pick 14.
Joe Mixon, RB, Oklahoma
2nd round 48 overall
Probably the player I hate talking about most in this class, there's no denying Joe Mixon’s talent. An outstanding runner, Joe grades out as an unholy combination of LeVeon Bell’s patience and Ezekiel Elliot's athletic prowess. Mixon is an underrated pass catcher also, and unlike the two mentioned before he has the size necessary to withstand every down work at the NFL level. If the Colts draft Mixon, I wouldn't be surprised if he takes over as the lead back by mid season and relegated Frank Gore to a complementary role. If it wasn't for the character concerns, Mixon might be the top running back in this class. Anyone thinking that Mixon is going to go undrafted is fooling themselves, talent always trumps character in the NFL. Tyreek Hill punched a pregnant woman and as soon as he was making electric plays even Chris Collinsworth would dance around it when calling Cheifs games. Ray Rice’s career may have ended because of a assault video, but he was an aging player that underperformed the year prior. Given Mixon’s ability, I would be shocked to see him fall further than the second round and he would instantly be a more dynamic talent than Indianapolis has had since Edgerrin James.
Evan Engram, TE Ole Miss
Round 2 48 overall
It wouldn't be an Indianapolis Colts draft preview if I didn't include at least one pass catcher. After the Colts traded Dwayne Allen to the Patriots this last offseason, they have a hole at tight end and something tells me they don't believe Jack Doyle is the long term answer there. While I like Doyle, he isn't a special talent at any aspect of football and is better suited as a complimentary 2nd tight end. Engram was the focal point of the passing game at Ole Miss catching a team-high 65 passes for 926 yards. Engram is a great mismatch tight end with speed to outrun linebackers and enough size to box out most NFL corners. He compares favorably to Jordan Reed, who is a dominant weapon when healthy. While he isn't a proficient blocker, he is the type of tight end that you can move all over the field in order to find the best matchup. Drafting Engram would give Luck yet another weapon in the passing game and provide a security blanket for the type of quick pass offense the Colts need to evolve into to make up for their terrible offensive line.
Anthony Reimer is a contributor and member of the FLAFFL House Family. Follow him on Twitter @reimeras & on the Fantasy Life App @mrmeseeks