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NFL Draft Preview

Indianapolis Colts 2021 Draft Preview

First Round Pick: #21

Top Positional Needs: LT, EDGE, CB

The Colts had a really strong 2020 season, going 11-5 and nearly winning at heavily favored Buffalo in the Wild Card round. Offseason trade acquisition Carson Wentz replaces the retired Phillip Rivers at QB, but with longtime left tackle Anthony Castonzo now retired after a 10-year career in Indy, the team could use a suitable replacement. It could also use some pass rushing help to bolster the defensive line, but it seems like getting an offensive lineman could be the primary objective.

Who Could Be Available

Alijah Vera-Tucker, LT, USC

The 6-foot-4, 315-pound lineman could also start at guard at the NFL level and has the athleticism to play both positions. The 21-year-old can hold his own against strong pass rushers and could excel in a zone-blocking run scheme. Although he opted out of the late fall Pac-12 season, AVT is still well-regarded and could easily not be available when Indy picks.

Teven Jenkins, OT, Oklahoma State

 If the Colts want someone who can help out running back Jonathan Taylor, Jenkins is your guy. At 6-foot-6 and 310 pounds, he has a high motor who like Vera-Tucker can also play at guard. While not the best of athletes, Jenkins can help the Colts with a ground-and-pound, ball control offense to help ease Wentz in for his first Indy season.

Jaelan Phillips, EDGE, Miami (FL)

The top ranked defensive prospect in his class coming out of high school, Phillips had to medically retire from UCLA after being hit by a car while riding a scooter, suffering wrist and head injuries. But there’s no question the talent is there, a 6-foot-5 monster who recorded eight sacks in 10 games last season for the ‘Canes. The upside potential is huge.

Sleeper Draft Pick

Christian Darrishaw, OT, Virginia Tech

Graded a little higher than Vera-Tucker and Jenkins, Darrishaw has amazing footwork and short-area quickness who can contribute immediately to help both the pass and run games. He’ll likely be taken earlier, but the Colts will be very happy if he falls to them at 21.

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