Over the course of May, both Kyle Crabbs and I will be assessing each team’s specific Draft class. The objective here is to identify value: where it was best and where it was worst. NDT Premium members will soon be able to access the comprehensive breakdowns of draft classes as well, which looks at the pick by pick breakdown of value across our respective 2017 NFL Draft boards. Today I look at the Indianapolis Colts.
The full list of their 2017 NFL Draft class is below:
|15||S||Malik Hooker||Ohio State|
|137||OT||Zach Banner||Southern California|
|143||RB||Marlon Mack||South Florida|
|144||DT||Grover Stewart||Albany State|
Best Value: CB Quincy Wilson, Florida
Quincy Wilson is a long press corner that excels at getting a jam and remaining sticky down the field. He has excellent balls skills that combine with his length, which makes it difficult to complete passes against his coverage. Wilson has good feet and functions from a balanced base.
There are concerns about his ability to defend the D-gap, which is odd considering his size, but he offers high-end upside as a starting outside cornerback in coverage.
Worst Value: OL Zach Banner, Southern California
Zach Banner is an experienced, massive blocker who was able to win in college because he was bigger and stronger than everyone he matched up with. While those size and power elements will help him in the NFL, Banner must develop technique to achieve NFL success. As it stands, Banner has slothful, heavy feet which limit his ability to mirror rushers and slide into gaps. Speed rushers with natural get-off will be an overwhelming task for Banner and he will need help. Redirecting his weight to shut down an inside move is another challenge for Banner.
Granted, he has considerable mass and length to get around, but the lack of movement skills are difficult to ignore. As a run blocker, Banner can handle power stacked on top of him and has raw power and size to create holes despite a lack of bend to leverage his hips. Banner projects as a backup who should work to drop weight and increase mobility. He may have some value in heavy sets as an extra blocker initially.
Could Surprise: CB Nathan Hairston, Temple
Nate Hairston entered Temple as a wide receiver and is leaving an NFL prospect at cornerback. With just two years under his belt playing the position, Hairston offers an appealing skill set that gives him a chance to get drafted. Hairston plays with smooth feet, balance, and loose hips to cleanly transition and match patterns. He is an aggressive tackler and never turns down chances to be physical.
He does need continued development, primarily in his ball skills, where he has yet to show consistent ability to play the football in the air and stay connected to his man. He is late to find the football and he has limited targets against him in game situations. His press coverage ability tends to yield mixed results, as he quickly bails before doing anything to disrupt timing. Hairston initially projects as a backup and core special teamer but it would not be a surprise to see him compete for a starting position by year three.