The Colts addressed several needs, and did so without reaching and without giving away the farm in up-trades. The Colts added a viable #2 RB to replace Dom Rhodes, two big run-stuffing DTs, a project CB to add depth, a project slot receiver/potential kick returner, a value-pick late-round QB, a punter to replace Hunter Smith, and another value-pick, late-rounder OG.
The Colts made only two, very minor draft moves: trading up in the second round to get DT Moala (which cost the Colts their fifth-rounder), and trading their 2010 sixth-rounder to get P/K McAfee.
The only mildly surprising omission from the draft slate is LB. Either the Colts didn't like the value at LB at their selection points, or else the team is satisfied with the current linebacker corps. Either way, it is difficult to argue for an LB over any of the Colts' picks (except perhaps QB Painter - though he could easily prove to be a much cheaper #2 QB than Sorgi, and equally effective).
Donald Brown, RB, UConn
(HT: 5'10" / WT: 210lbs / 40: 4.51s)
The Colts have a tendency to draft skill position players on the first day of the draft, and in the first round in particular. Thus, a RB selection isn't surprising. Polian has indicated that Brown was drafted not as Addai's replacement, but rather as Dom Rhodes' replacement (whom the Colts lost to free agency in the off-season). While the Colts have a young offensive line that led to much of the team's rushing problems in 2008, it is also clear that the Colts - like most of the teams in the league - are moving away from a feature-back system to a two-back system. Thus, the Colts need a solid back like Brown to fill that second-back role.
This pick addresses an obvious need (solid #2 running back) with a player who should be well-suited to the Colts' system, wasn't a reach, and saw the first-round pick used for a relatively safe RB selection.
Fili Moala, DT, USC
(HT: 6'4" / WT: 305 / 40: 5.16)
Note: The Colts traded their 61st pick in the second round along with their 5th round pick, for the 56th pick in the second round from the Dolphins.
The Colts gave up a fifth rounder to move up five spots in order to nab Moala - a solid DT that should fit perfectly into the Colts' defensive line. Moala's skills appear to be well-suited to a one-gap system such as the Colts'. Moala was knocked for being unable at times to shed double-teams in college; however, if he can draw double-teams with the Colts, then his job is already done, since if he is being double-teamed, then either Freeney or Mathis will be singled up on the ends. Moala provides a big, run-stuffing body on the interior line, and has a frame that could allow him to bulk up even more.
This pick also addresses an obvious need (beefing up the interior DL) with another player who should be well-suited to the Colts' system, and didn't cost the Colts much to trade up to get.
Jerraud Powers, CB, Auburn
(HT: 5'9" / WT: 188lbs / 40: 4.49)
The Colts needed depth at corner, and Powers should be a good fit at nickel. Powers is possibly a project pick, but may prove to be an upgrade over Tim Jennings sooner rather than later.
Austin Collie, WR, BYU
(HT: 6'1" / WT: 200 / 40: 4.63)
With the departure of Marvin Harrison, the Colts needed depth at WR. The emergence of Gonzales last season as a legitimate outside receiver, coupled with the team's young, talented TE corps will give the Colts plenty of options in the 2 TE set. However, the Colts are at their best with a true slot-receiver option. Collie will fit in perfectly in that role, and could play immediately. Also, Collie could be used as a returner on special teams.
Terrance Taylor, DT, Michigan
(HT: 6'0" / WT: 306lbs / 40: 5.39)
Note: compensatory pick
The Colts have had a long-standing need for stability on the interior defensive line, especially in running situations, and Taylor should be a player who can step in immediately and contribute. This pick resembles a typical Polian mid-rounder value pick, and should make Colts fans quite happy. Taylor and Moala appear to be direct responses to the Colts defense's glaring inability to get off of the field in short-yardage situations last season.
Curtis Painter, QB, Purdue
(HT: 6'3" / WT: 225lbs / 40: 4.87)
This pick is a prime example of Polian's draft philosophy of taking the best player available at the given pick. The Colts still have depth needs at LB, and need a punter, but Painter could at least challenge Jim Sorgi for clipboard duty behind Peyton Manning.
Pat McAfee, K, West Virginia
(HT: 6'1" / WT: 221lbs / 40: 5.0)
(Note: The Colts traded their 2010 6th Round pick for the 222nd pick from PHI.)
The Colts needed a punter to replace Hunter Smith, whom the Colts lost to free agency. McAfee was both a punter and a place kicker at WVU, and showed ability both to force fair catches and to land punts inside the red zone. McAfee also has Hunter Smith's size and tackling ability, which has been important at times in the past for the Colts punt-coverage unit.
Jaimie Thomas, OG, Maryland
(HT: 6'4" / WT: 323lbs / 40: 5.42)
The Colts add a value pick in the seventh-rounder Jaimie Thomas, who has shown good skill at left guard. Thomas is just the sort of late-round, low-risk pick that may very well shine under the tutelage of Howard Mudd.