INDIANAPOLIS - After trading the 13th-overall pick for defensive tackle DeForest Buckner, the Indianapolis Colts now initially pick at 34th and 44th overall in the 2020 NFL Draft. We take a look at which players the various experts believe will land in Indianapolis with those two second-round picks in this week's Mock Draft Monday.
Here's this week's breakdown by player:
Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson: 6 selections Jacob Eason, QB, Washington: 4 selections (one trade up into first round) Jalen Reagor, WR, TCU: 3 selections Ross Blacklock, DT, TCU: 2 selections Brandon Aiyuk, WR, Arizona State: 1 selection Ezra Cleveland, T, Boise State: 1 selection Marlon Davidson, DT, Auburn: 1 selection Trevon Diggs, CB, Alabama: 1 selection Grant Delpit, S, LSU: 1 selection Jordan Elliott, DT, Missouri: 1 selection A.J. Epenesa, DE, Iowa: 1 selection Jake Fromm, QB, Georgia: 1 selection Neville Gallimore, DT, Oklahoma: 1 selection Robert Hunt, G/T, Louisiana-Lafayette: 1 selection Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU: 1 selection (trade up into first round) Cole Kmet, TE, Notre Dame: 1 selection Terrell Lewis, DE, Alabama: 1 selection Denzel Mims, WR, Baylor: 1 selection Laviska Shenault, WR, Colorado: 1 selection John Simpson, G, Clemson: 1 selection Josh Uche, DE, Michigan: 1 selection
Let's get to the mock drafts, sorted by date:
----- Brandon Aiyuk, WR, Arizona State & Cole Kmet, TE, Notre Dame
Expert: Charlie Campbell, WalterFootball.com / March 30 (link)
On Aiyuk: "The Colts need a third receiver to go with T.Y. Hilton and Parris Campbell. Aiyuk had a big jump in production from his junior to senior year, and that helped to land him an invitation to the Senior Bowl. After catching only 33 passes for 474 yards and three scores in 2018, Aiyuk jumped to 65 receptions for 1,192 yards and eight scores as a senior. The 5-foot-11, 201-pounder has quality size to him as well. He could rise in the leadup to the 2020 NFL Draft."
On Kmet: "The Colts are moving on from Eric Ebron and could use another tight end to go with Jack Doyle. Kmet was one of the best tight ends in college football during the 2019 season, catching 43 passes for 515 yards and six touchdowns. At 6-foot-6, 262-pounds, he has good size for the NFL with the ability to become a three-down starter. Kmet had a huge jump in production compared to his sophomore year, when he totaled only 15 receptions for 162 yards."
----- Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson & Terrell Lewis, DE, Alabama
Expert: Joe Marino, The Draft Network / March 30 (link)
----- Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson & Robert Hunt, G/T, Louisiana-Lafayette
Expert: Ryan Wilson, CBS Sports / March 30 (link)
On Higgins: "There's a lot to love about Higgins' game but questions remain about his deep speed. That said, Philip Rivers finds a way to get the most out of his receivers and this could be a great landing spot for the Clemson standout."
On Hunt: "The Colts have to protect Philip Rivers. Hunt, who played tackle in college, is a Day 1 starter on the interior in the NFL."
----- Jacob Eason, QB, Washington & Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson
Expert: Luke Easterling, The Draft Wire / March 29 (link)
----- Denzel Mims, WR, Baylor & Jacob Eason, QB, Washington
Expert: Josh Edwards, CBS Sports / March 27 (link)
On Mims: "Indianapolis punted on its wide receiver need when they traded out of the first round. Mims can provide some height and downfield ability, which should create more opportunity for T.Y. Hilton."
On Eason: "Indianapolis can have its cake and eat it too. Philip Rivers was signed to a one-year deal, which would be perfect to bring along another young quarterback."
----- Ross Blacklock, DT, TCU & John Simpson, G, Clemson
Expert: DraftTek.com / March 27 (link)
On Blacklock: "Now that Colts' GM Chris Ballard has completed his Free Agency splash (or has he?), the question now becomes whether he covets a top-caliber wideout or a CB to replace the one he let go in Pierre Desir. There is still a need for more defensive linemen and another OG, while TE is yet another hole to fill. In RD2 for this CMD, the Colts stay on the defensive side and select TCU 3-tech Ross Blacklock. Indy gets a guy who may not be super-polished (yet), but has the toolkit full, fundamentally and instinctively. Put him in there with newly-acquired FA DeForest Buckner, rotate with Turay and Banogu, and the Colts begin to have a young, fierce front. Obviously, the Colts could very well go wideout, OG, CB, EDGE, or WR here --depending on how the board falls. Don't be shocked if Ballard combines both his RD2 picks to move back into RD1."
----- Laviska Shenault, WR, Colorado & Ezra Cleveland, T, Boise State
Expert: Chad Reuter, NFL.com / March 26 (link)
----- Jalen Reagor, WR, TCU & A.J. Epenesa, DE, Iowa
Expert: Eric Edholm, Yahoo Sports / March 25 (link)
On Reagor: "Reagor looked a bit too bulky at the combine, but his open-field juice could give this offense a boost."
On Epenesa: "GM Chris Ballard is nothing if not an opportunist. Landing a sliding Epenesa, who fits a need, would be savvy."
----- Trevon Diggs, CB, Alabama & Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson
Expert: Walter Cherepinksy, WalterFootball.com / March 24 (link)
On Diggs: "The Colts lost Pierre Desir this offseason, and yet they already needed cornerback help. They'll need to address this position in the second round. Trevon Diggs, younger brother of Vikings receiver Stefon Diggs, began as a receiver at Alabama, but was tremendous last season at cornerback before suffering a foot injury."
On Higgins: "The Colts will need to add at receiver to go along with T.Y. Hilton and Parris Campbell. Tee Higgins is a matchup nightmare receiver with his incredible size (6-4, 200), but didn't run at the combine because he thought he would test poorly."
----- Ross Blacklock, DT, TCU & Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson
Expert: Robby Esch, The Huddle Report / March 24 (link)
----- Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson & Marlon Davidson, DT, Auburn
Expert: Danny Kelly, The Ringer / March 24 (link)
On Higgins "Fluid big-play threat who separates late and catches everything in his area code. ... Higgins is a big, confident wideout with a massive catch radius and exceptional focus on contested passes. The 6-foot-4, 205-pound junior caught 59 passes for 1,167 yards and 13 touchdowns in 2019, eclipsing his 936-yard, 12-touchdown line from the season prior. He's a dangerous deep threat who averaged 19.8 yards per reception last season―good for 13th among FBS players―and uses his long arms, strong hands, and top-tier body control to reach out over defenders and pluck passes out of the air. Higgins isn't super sudden and doesn't possess elite speed, but he has quick feet to beat press coverage and wins with his ability to separate late in his routes; he understands leverage and how to keep defenders on his hip until the ball arrives. He has dependable hands, with just six drops on 120 catchable passes in the past two seasons, per PFF."
On Davidson: "Burly, physical defensive lineman who brings inside/outside flexibility and a tone-setting tenacity to the field. ... Davidson is built like a beer keg with a broad chest, a thick lower half, and long arms. He was a four-year impact player for the Tigers, starting all 51 games he played in, and racked up 7.5 sacks 2019. Davidson offers intriguing schematic versatility―he packs the power (and mass) of a defensive tackle but frequently played as an end at Auburn―and recently told reporters at the combine that his favorite part of football is that he "can literally go out there and hit a man consistently, and pound him, and the police won't come." He's an active, tenacious hand-fighter who never stops attacking and keeps his feet churning. Tight ends and backs can't block him. He gives full effort chasing plays down the line and in the second level. And he looks to dole out punishment to ball carriers. Davidson brings good lateral quickness and is able to impact the quarterback on stunts and twists, and he blocked three kicks in 2018. Davidson offers positional flexibility, but he lacks the quick-twitch explosiveness and bend to consistently threaten the edge in the pros and will be a work in progress as a nickel interior rusher. The former Tiger feasted on lesser competition in 2019, but was a standout at the Senior Bowl, regularly blasting past offensive linemen who tried to block him."
----- Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU
Expert: R.J. White, CBS Sports / March 24 (link)
Note: White did not do a second-round mock draft, but did project the Colts acquiring the 27th-overall pick from the Seattle Seahawks in exchange for the 34th- and 75th-overall picks.
On Jefferson: "With the receiver run seemingly about to begin, the Colts trade No. 34 and No. 75 for this pick and No. 133 to hop the pack for the excellent Jefferson to complement T.Y. Hilton."
----- Jalen Reagor, WR, TCU & Jacob Eason, QB, Washington
Expert: Kevin Hanson, MMQB / March 20 (link)
----- Jacob Eason, QB, Washington
Expert: Chris Trapasso, CBS Sports / March 18 (link)
Note: Trapasso did not do a second-round mock draft, but did project the Colts acquiring the 31st-overall pick from the San Francisco 49ers and taking Eason.
On Eason: "Instead of double-dipping in the first round, the 49ers are content trading out to get some Day 2 picks, and the Colts pick Eason to be the heir apparent to Philip Rivers."
----- Neville Gallimore, DT, Oklahoma & Josh Uche, DE, Michigan
Expert: Dan Kadar, SBNation / March 16 (link)
----- Jordan Elliott, DT, Missouri & Jake Fromm, QB, Georgia
Expert: Dane Brugler, The Athletic / March 4 (link; subscription required)
----- Grant Delpit, S, LSU & Jalen Reagor, WR, TCU
Expert: Matt Miller, Bleacher Report / March 2 (link)