Perfect Picks 2024: Indianapolis Colts

By Jack Brentnall

2024 feels like a pivotal offseason for the Indianapolis Colts. After a handful of failed experiments, they landed their quarterback of the future in last year’s draft in the form of Florida’s Anthony Richardson. The task facing them this draft cycle is building a roster around the former Gator to take advantage of his rookie deal.

As part of our Perfect Picks series, Jack Brentnall gives his selections for the Colts’ 2024 NFL Draft, as well as going in-depth on four of their seven selections.

Round 1 - Brock Bowers, TE, Georgia

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Plenty of people will be clamouring for the Colts to take a cornerback with their first pick. Whilst that wouldn’t be a bad decision at all considering their lack of depth at that spot, their top priority is giving their young quarterback the weapons to work with. Ensuring that Richardson has the offensive infrastructure to develop takes precedence over everything else.

Bowers is the perfect player to do just that. He may be a tight end, but this is a player with the kind of athletic profile that wouldn’t be out of place in a receiver. He pairs that with serious size and the ability to line up all across the formation.

In his three years at Georgia, Bowers contributed 2,541 yards and 26 touchdowns, averaging 14.5 yards per reception. His career record of 2.64 yards per route run is also amongst the best we have seen from a tight end in recent years – for context, Kyle Pitts was at 2.36 coming out of Florida.

He fits nicely with Anthony Richardson’s playing style and gives him a true big-bodied weapon who is capable of winning at all three levels of the field. The fit makes sense from a schematic perspective too – few coaches are more creative with how they employ tight ends than Shane Steichen. What’s not to like?

Round 2 - TJ Tampa, CB, Iowa State

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This really would be the dream scenario for the Colts – grab a true blue chip pass catcher in the first round and still manage to beef up your secondary on day two. The need for cornerback help is well established. As things stand the Colts are set to start JuJu Brents and Dallis Flowers – the pair have combined for less than 1,000 career snaps.

Tampa would be a perfect fit for Gus Bradley’s zone-heavy defense given his impressive height and length plus his experience at Iowa State. He also offers seriously impressive change of direction ability for a bigger corner, allowing him to work effectively against more agile receivers.

His ball skills are enticing too, logging 17 forced incompletions in his two full seasons as a starter in college. With his combination of coverage production and willingness against the run, he projects as a high floor prospect who could be an immediate contributor as a rookie.

Mid Round Gem - Xavier Thomas, DE, Clemson

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We all know how much the Colts like to draft impressive athletes, and Thomas is no different. The former five-star recruit was the No. 3 overall prospect in the 2018 class, behind Trevor Lawrence and Justin Fields.

Whilst injuries have hampered his collegiate production, it is easy to see his pedigree on tape. Thomas possesses elite first step quickness and is excellent at beating opposing tackles around their outside shoulder. His bend and flexibility are both outstanding and he also shows the quick hands necessary to counter when required.

The Colts desperately need more help in the pass rushing department, and Thomas gives them that. At the very least he is a nice designated pass rusher. If he can find a path to staying healthy then there’s reason to believe he could develop into something more at the NFL level.

Late Round Sleeper - Kimani Vidal, RB, Troy

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Jonathan Taylor might be on the roster, but that is all the more reason for the Colts to invest in a running back. Having a dependable secondary option to keep Taylor fresh will be vital in getting the most out of this offense in the long term.

Vidal gives them just that. The former Troy back is a stoutly-built and tough runner, who also possesses some impressive athleticism, logging a 4.46 in the 40-yard dash and a 37.5” vertical jump. 

He has shown the ability to work effectively on both zone and gap scheme runs, something that fits nicely in a Colts offense that employs sprinklings of both. Vidal also established a reputation as one of the best backs in the country when it comes to creating his own yardage.

He averaged a whopping 3.58 yards after contact per carry in 2023, whilst his 0.32 forced missed tackles per attempt ranked in the 94th percentile. This strong record of production paired with some solid pass catching ability makes him an ideal rotational option for Indianapolis.

Draft in full

Round 1 – Brock Bowers, TE, Georgia

Round 2 – TJ Tampa, CB, Iowa State

Round 3 – Malik Mustapha – S, Wake Forest

Round 4 – Xavier Thomas, EDGE, Clemson

Round 5 – Cam Hart, CB, Notre Dame

Round 6 – Kimani Vidal, RB, Troy

Round 7 – Fabien Lovett, IDL, Florida State