Head Coach: Bruce Arians
Bruce Arians has really charged the Indianapolis Colts. Stepping in after a tragic event, Bruce really fired his team up, got them playing great, and has them in the playoff hunt. Even with a rookie QB, a rookie RB, and a rookie WR, the team is moving forward at a great pace.
Bruce is also a great offensive mind. He knows how to handle a large, mobile QB, how to have the QB throw down the field, when to be a tough-nosed coach, and how to win football games. He is up there in age (60), so we may would need to bring in someone to groom for the coaching job about five years from now (Harold Goodwin would be perfect).
The hiring of Bruce Arians would fit right along with the idea of doing things the Steelers’ way, like Jerry Richardson has always wanted to do.
1st Round – Luke Joeckel, LT – Texas A&M
Even though the NFL is becoming an all-offense, all-QB league, it is still apparent (especially after our season this year) that the offensive line is still one of the key components of any football team. With a struggling offensive line, not offense is going to look good. And with the deep passing/running balance of Bruce Arians offense, it’s going to have to start at the very front, and the 2nd most important position on any team (in my opinion), the LT.
Luke Joeckel is a monster. It’s had to say exactly how good he is, because he hasn’t even reached his full potential yet. He’s nimble, he’s quick, he’s strong, and he delivers a mean punch to opposing defenders. Where most LTs rely on their strength to overpower their opponents, letting the small DEs by, Joeckel plays with a finesse that is only seen in the likes of players like Joe Thomas.
Yes, Joeckel is that good.
Joeckel will fit perfect in with Arians’ deep pass/strong running game offense. Joeckel’s finesse giving him a huge advantage in that style of offense.
2nd Round – Dallas Thomas, OG – Tennessee
Dallas Thomas is an incredibly interesting prospect. Playing LT his entire career, he was told going into his senior season that he would be moving to LG instead. How did he do? Incredibly.
Thomas is a versatile player, with strength in the run game and quickness in the passing game. He can move inside and out, but is probably best at the Guard position. Would he start immediately on our offensive line? Absolutely, but it wouldn’t be at LG. I think that Thomas may be best at RG, with his strong punch off the ball, his ability to drive defenders back in the running game, and he pulling ability.
With Joeckel on one side and Thomas on the other, we have the beginnings of an incredible offense… Something that Coach Arians loves.
4th Round – Zeke Motta, FS – Notre Dame
We need to get rid of the terrible Haruki Nakamura and get an upgrade over Sherrod Martin. We would need a young player, someone who could really patrol the backfield, play at a really high level, and really change the defense from that position.
We would need a player that’s a lot like Harrison Smith. Too bad, though, that the Vikings have already drafted Harrison Smith. So, I guess we would need to find someone that plays exactly like him.
Luckily for us, there is Zeke Motta. Zeke is a carbon-copy of Harrison Smith. They played in the same system, the same position, are nearly the same size and stature, and both are incredibly intelligent football players (they got into Notre Dame…). Harrison Smith is probably a harder hitter than Zeke, but I do believe Zeke is better in the coverage area, which is what we’re missing.
5th Round – Conner Vernon, WR – Duke
Vernon isn’t the fastest guy in the world, nor is he the biggest, but he plays like a man twice his size. With his combination of route running, he compares a lot like a Wes Welker-esque player in the NFL, which is something any NFL team could use.
Vernon could learn a ton from Smitty, on how to prepare, on how to be a leader. So, when Smitty retires, we could have a guy step in and be that fiery, small guy that plays so much larger than he is.
Vernon could be that guy.
6th Round – Anthony White, DT – Michigan State
When Jerel Worthy (a guy that I was very high on last season) left for the NFL Draft, there were questions as to who would fill the giant shoes he left behind. Anthony White was the man that tried to step up and fill them.
Did he end up being the same dominant player that Worthy was? No, he didn’t. But, he did come in and play extremely well.
White is a huge, huge man. A true Nose Tackle. Weighing in at 330lbs, he’s a force. He doesn’t have great movement across the line, but neither did Teddy Washington. However, if you get into his “zone”, he’s going to make sure you feel it. His size alone with command double teams on the inside, which should free up the DEs on the ends.
7th Round (Compensatory Pick for D. Connor) – Theo Riddick, RB – Notre Dame
Theo Riddick looked like a stud as a WR his junior year, which makes the situation of making him a RB his senior year even more confusing. However, Riddick played very well at RB this season.
He’s quick, nimble, and has a dangerous juke move. CBSSports says that he won’t be much more than a change of pace back at the next level, but that’s fine. That’s exactly what we need him for. I honestly don’t think that DeAngelo will be on this team next year, whether we trade him or cut him, so we’re going to need a true change-up back from the power of Jonathon Stewart. Theo Riddick is the perfect player.