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SOUTHBOUND EXPRESS

By Marc Lawrence — Continuing our outline of each team’s needs in the 2020 NFL Draft, courtesy of The Athletic, it’s on to the AFC South where we zero in on the Indianapolis Colts who are desperately in need of pass catchers at the wide receiver and tight end spots. T.Y. Hilton is 30 years old and coming off an injury-marred 2019, He needs some help. So does Indy’s new 38-year-old starting quarterback, Philip Rivers. Beyond that, a defensive end is always in play for this team. Given the ridiculous depth at receiver in this draft, the Colts are going to have options at No. 34. It’s just a matter of deciding what type of receiver they want. Do they want a tall, long, positionally versatile pass catcher? That’s Clemson’s Tee Higgins. Do they want a burner? That’s TCU’s Jalen Reagor. Do they want a weapon in the slot? That’s Penn State’s K.J. Hamler. Do they want a big body who can enforce his will on defensive backs? That’s USC’s Michael Pittman Jr. It’s like a receiver buffet, and all the Colts have to do is choose. Given what they already have on the roster, Higgins (6-foot-4, 216) or Pittman (6-4, 223) seem right. For a look at each team’s draft needs in the AFC South click here.
Trending Today
In the last four years we have accurately named 94 of the 127 players selected in the first round in our annual Playbook NFL Mock Draft, with 22 players (9 last season) selected by their designated teams. Pending any trades, here is Playbook’s assessment on the 2020 NFL Draft based on player talent, availability and team needs. Worth noting: The Athletic reports that new Cleveland Browns GM Eric Berry was with Philadelphia last year when they drafted offensive tackle Andre Dillard in the first round at No. 22 overall. Dillard had the top SPARQ (speed, power, agility, reaction, quickness) score among offensive tackles in last year s class. Tristan Wirfs of Iowa has the top SPARQ score in this year s class after he lit up the combine, running faster and jumping higher than any 320-pound man should. Wirfs 135.6 SPARQ score puts him in the 99th percentile among current NFL offensive linemen. Enjoy our Mock Draft here.
Grinding Out The Profits
From the 2020 PLAYBOOK Football Preview Guide magazine: New Charlotte head coach Will Healy arrived last year from Austin Pay where he orchestrated one of the most incredible turnarounds in college football history, going 8-4 in his second-year with the Governors after they had gone 1-45 over the previous four years. He took over a fledgling 49ers program that had gone 12-36 in its four FBS seasons and immediately took them to a bowl game last season. Yes, the guy can coach.
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