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2010 NFL Draft: An Early Look at The Indianapolis Colts Needs

Posted By Eddie Garrison On February 9, 2010 @ 12:20 pm In Colts News | No Comments

The Indianapolis Colts [1] fell short of their preseason goal of winning the Super Bowl in Miami [2] losing to the New Orleans Saints [3].

During the regular season, it was quite obvious that the Colts [1] had improved drastically on defense from a year ago but still showed that they are lacking in depth on the defensive side of the ball, particularly on the line and at safety.

Gone are the days for Colts fans that they can expect Bob Sanders for a full season anymore and the Dwight Freeney injury showed they are very thin at the defensive end position.

I believe the Colts main areas of concern heading toward the NFL [4] combine and the draft will be primarily on the defensive side of the ball.

Having said that, we will look at the players and the positions the Colts may want to take a look at come April and the NFL draft.


First Round [31st pick] – Brian Price DT (UCLA)

The 6-foot-2, 300 pound defensive tackle did not surprise anyone at UCLA when he decided to leave after his junior season to enter the NFL draft after the mammoth season he had for the Bruins. He finished off his year with 48 tackles (41 solo, 7 assists), seven sacks, and 23.5 tackles for loss.

Price rounded out his final year at UCLA by winning the Pac-10 defensive player of the year award.

Brian shows great speed and has a penetrating force that can disrupt opposing offenses in both the passing and running games. He is constantly in the backfield ready to make a big play for a loss.

He has shown great athleticism by playing all over the line in his collegiate career. Price has played nose tackle, under tackle, and his natural defensive end position showing his versatility at more than just one position on the defensive line.

Brian is also more of a gap shooter than a stay at home defensive end, which is something the Colts look for in their defensive line players.

All these characteristics fit the mold of what the Colts look for as they are built for speed and pursuit more than size and sit back type defensive players. Brian Price will fit right in with Coyer’s system in Indianapolis.


Second Round [63rd pick] – Willie Young DE (NC State)

Keeping it on the defensive line in the second round, I believe the Colts will take a good look at the 6-foot-4, 250 pound Willie Young from NC State. Willie had a fabulous senior season for the Wolfpack finishing out with 55 tackles [14 for losses] and eight sacks.

Again the Colts tend to look at maybe “smaller” defensive ends due to the style of defense they play based more on speed and pass rushing ability. Young also fits this mold as Brian Price does.

Willie is a bigger defensive end (in college) and may not be the quickest defensive end at the combine but his footwork and pass rushing technique along with his pure strength off the line enable him to blow offensive line guys off the ball and make his way into the backfield.

At times his lack of quickness is not a liability as he uses his football IQ to make sure he is always in position to make the best play on the ball.

Having played all four years at NC State, his age and experience will allow him to step right into the Colts system without much of a learning or transitional period.


Third Round [95th pick] – Larry Asante SS (Nebraska)

With the never ending injuries and setbacks that Bob Sanders puts the Colts through, I believe they will be looking at taking a strong safety with one of their top three picks. That time to me would be in the third round, and I would have them look at the 6-foot-1, 215 pound Larry Asante from Nebraska.

Asante ended the 2009 season with 79 tackles, seven passes defended, and two picks to round out an impressive career at Nebraska after transferring from a JUCCO school earlier in his career.

His all-around ability to be a difference maker in both the passing game and as a run stopper make him a dangerous defensive weapon on the field much as Bob Sanders does when he is healthy.

A bigger safety at 215 pounds, he likes to sit back while he is in coverage and let the action unfold in front of him before he makes a play.

He may have a bit of a struggle at times when he is forced to cover man-on-man and teams go vertical on him, but with the play of the young corners the Colts have, this will not be an issue to them.

Asante’s play at Nebraska has earned him honorable-mention for the All-Big 12 honors each of his past two seasons with the Cornhuskers.


Another Possible Option

One other player the Colts may have their eyes on is defensive tackle Tyson Alualu from the University of California.

Alualu may not be the highest ranking defensive tackle on the draft board come this April, but like the other players we have discussed, he fits into the Colt’s system like a glove.

They favour the undersized athletic linemen that can get into the backfield and pressure the quarterback as well as contribute to stopping the run when need be. Alualu had an impressive week at the Senior Bowl and his draft stock is certainly on the rise.


The Indianapolis Colts main concerns as we have laid out here will once again be focused on the defensive side of the ball. The aforementioned players are some of the talent I believe the Colts are currently looking at heavily and could step right into their current defensive scheme.

During the Super Bowl and even earlier in the year, the Colts were exposed to being too thin at times on defense especially on the defensive line. So their main concern with their top picks in the draft will be on establishing some depth at the defensive end and tackle positions.

Read more Indianapolis Colts [1] news on BleacherReport.com

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[1] Indianapolis Colts: http://bleacherreport.com/indianapolis-colts

[2] Miami: http://bleacherreport.com/miami-dolphins

[3] New Orleans Saints: http://bleacherreport.com/new-orleans-saints

[4] NFL: http://bleacherreport.com/nfl

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