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Indianapolis Colts: 2017 NFL Combine Players To Watch

Colts Combine Players To Watch Agustin Quintana via


The Indianapolis Colts had a disappointing 2016 as they finished third in the AFC South. Years of failing to protect Andrew Luck and field a competent defense lead to General Manager Ryan Grigson’s dismissal.

On paper the Colts have one of the best offenses in the league. Luck is already a superstar, while his receiving options are the envy of many teams. Hilton and Moncrief are genuine difference makers. Andrew Luck hasn’t played in 16 games since 2014, though, and that’s an issue.

The defense needs revamping. There are pieces there but the unit needs investment. The team can’t go into 2017 hoping for old guys and journeymen to step up. The Colts won’t have to go far for answers with the 2017 NFL Combine in Indianapolis.

Derek Barnett – DE, Tennessee

Barnett has all the production that a team could want. He dominated the SEC for 3 years and is still only 20 years old. Free agent Erik Walden surprised the league with 11 sacks, but he’s not a long-term option. Robert Mathis is retiring and Trent Cole looks done. None of them look as if they will be on the team in 2017. Barnett would give the Colts a presence on the outside who could do a variety of things for them.

Few players have as much to gain or lose at the Combine than Barnett. Despite his success in college, there are concerns about his athleticism. An impressive showing would push him closer to the top of the pass rusher rankings. How he runs and jumps will be monitored closely.

Tim Williams – OLB, Alabama

Williams was a limited player in college and will probably be a limited player in the NFL. Luckily, the thing that he does incredibly well is rush the passer. He’s a special talent when it comes to hitting the quarterback and that’s an area that the Colts need to address. When you’re a team looking to win with offense, the opposition should be forced to pass the ball. Having a player like Williams who can end drives would be a huge boost.

Williams has been slipping down draft boards due to reports of off-field concerns. Chuck Pagano and new GM Chris Ballard should use the opportunity to sit down with Williams. If they come away feeling good then they might have a player who can take over seamlessly from Robert Mathis.

Taco Charlton – DE, Michigan

Listed at 6’6 and 272 pounds, Taco Charlton looks every inch of an NFL pass rusher. He’s strong and athletic. The traits show up when you watch him, too. The production hasn’t always been there, though. 2016 was his 1st year as a starter and, although he performed well, there are always questions about players with limited starting experience.

Having played predominantly in a 4-3, Charlton will need to adapt to the Colts’ defensive scheme. How he reacts to coaching will be crucial if he ends up in Indianapolis. Chuck Pagano’s teams haven’t got the best reputation for developing talent, but the physical tools are there.

Taylor Moton – OT, Western Michigan

The Colts could look for more offensive line help fter hitting with last year’s 1st round pick, Ryan Kelly. Kelly has center locked up, while Jack Mewhort and Anthony Castonzo look set to continue on the left side. Moton looks likely to be a day 2 pick who could come in and start at right tackle. Le’Raven Clark was drafted as a prospect and can’t be counted on to play an entire season. The team will go as far as the offense can take them. Moton will protect Andrew Luck and can dominate in the run game. The fact that he could also play right guard will make him even more appealing.

Moton will have to show that his footwork is good enough to allow him to reach his potential. He’s much more suited to the power game and could struggle with faster players.

Jamaal Williams – RB, BYU

With such a strong running back class and such drastic weaknesses elsewhere, the Colts should wait before drafting Frank Gore’s successor. Jamaal Williams could be available on day 3 and has the size and power to succeed in an increasingly physical AFC South. Williams is capable of grinding out 1st downs and finding the end zone. Gore has had an outstanding career, but teams don’t fear him anymore. Williams has the ability to run the ball straight through the middle of a defense again and again. He’s capable of bulldozing linebackers and safeties.

While Williams is incredibly physical, there are questions about his speed. A good 40 yard dash time would ease some of those concerns.

T.J. Watt – OLB, Wisconsin

Nobody knows better than the Colts what it is like to face a Watt. T.J. isn’t his older brother, but he’s an improving player with a relentless motor. Watt is suited to the 3-4 defense that the Colts run and has the ability to breeze past offensive tackles with outstanding hand use. He has limited experience at the position and has the potential to add weight to his frame.

If the Colts sit down with him then they will fall in love with his dedication to football. The medical evaluations will be important, as he has struggled with knee injuries. He’s unlikely to blow up the combine like J.J. did but it would be a surprise if he didn’t show up ready.