5 NFL Draft Prospects Who Could Be Instant Starters for Indianapolis Colts

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5 NFL Draft Prospects Who Could Be Instant Starters for Indianapolis Colts

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Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The Indianapolis Colts' 2013 season was a successful one. The Colts finished the regular season with a record of 11-5 and the AFC South title. In the playoffs, the Colts won a thriller against the Kansas City Chiefs on Wild Card weekend. Then, the Colts lost in the divisional round to the New England Patriots.

With quarterback Andrew Luck at the helm, the Colts will be competitive again in 2014. But, the team still lacks some needed talent in order to be a serious Super Bowl contender. The Colts' running game is of low quality, and the defense needs quite a few enhancements. The club ranked 20th in total defense during the 2013 regular season, positioning it in the lower half of the league.

The Colts traded their 2014 first-round draft pick to the Cleveland Browns in exchange for running back Trent Richardson early in the 2013 NFL season, which of course leaves the organization with no first-round slots. Richardson did not have a good year in 2013, but the Colts' low-ranked running game wasn't entirely the fault of Richardson or any of the other team's running backs. The Colts interior offensive line is lackluster and needs an upgrade, and it's very likely that the Colts will make the interior offensive line a top draft priority. Moreover, there should be a good helping of quality lineman in the middle rounds.

Indianapolis could also use enhancements to its linebacker positions. Apart from outside linebacker Robert Mathis, the Colts do not have high-quality linebackers.

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5. G Gabe Jackson

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Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Gabe Jackson's physical traits fit the bill of an NFL offensive lineman. He is very powerful, and possesses the ability to drive defenders off the ball right at the snap. Jackson is also very good in pass protection. Defenders have a very hard time disengaging from Jackson once they get in his grasp.

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4. G Dakota Dozier

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Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Dakota Dozier, who is 6-foot-4 and 312 pounds, is projected to go in the third round of the draft. Dozier played his college ball at Furman. He is very quick off the snap and demonstrates the ability to get to the second level. Dozier utilizes his arms very well. Mostly, he played tackle in college, but his size will force him inside. Dozier's impressive athleticism is what makes him a very intriguing prospect.

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3. C Weston Richburg

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Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Weston Richburg, who played collegiately at Colorado State, is expected to be a second- or third-round draft pick. He displays impressive upper-body strength and good quickness, but he lacks strength in his lower body. Richburg is intelligent and durable, and played in all 49 games of his college career.

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2. ILB Yawin Smallwood

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Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Yawin Smallwood left Connecticut a year early to pursue a career in the NFL. Smallwood weighs 236 pounds and is 6-foot-3. Currently, He is a very good tackler and possesses great awareness.

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1. ILB Chris Borland

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Zach Zwinak-USA TODAY Sports

Chris Borland, who played at Wisconsin, stands at 6-foot tall and weighs 245 pounds. Borland is projected to go in the third-round. He lacks ideal size, but is a very smart player who doesn't make many mistakes. He is a very good run defender who makes a lot of plays near the line of scrimmage.


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