Since five offensive linemen are already off the board, the value on my big board doesn't align well with the Colts' need to draft a replacement for retired left tackle Anthony Castonzo. The best available offensive tackle is Jalen Mayfield (my 35th-ranked prospect), so it may make sense to target a different need here and then tackle in Round 2 as it's a deep position group.
Xavier Rhodes rebounded in a major way with the Colts last season and he's back on a one-year deal for his age-31 season. While he has missed multiple games every year at Northwestern, Newsome is scheme-diverse with excellent speed (sub-4.4 forty) and fluidity.
Nearly half of the Colts' respectable 40 sacks a year ago were generated by Justin Houston (currently a free agent) and Denico Autry (signed by Tennessee). Ojulari, who led Georgia in sacks each of the past two seasons and won't turn 21 until June, offers a package of size, burst and bend. He would be a fantastic value at this point in the draft.
Colts GM Chris Ballard didn't let Darius Leonard's size get in the way of his football evaluation, and he won't let it happen here with the 6-foot-2, 249-pound Ojulari. He seemed to get better as the season went along and put together the best pass-rush season in the entire SEC in 2020. Hopefully for the Colts, this breaks a long streak of missing on edge rushers.
Phillips is a tough evaluation due to his medical history, but his talent is worthy of early first-round consideration. If the Colts' medical staff gives general manager Chris Ballard two thumbs up, Phillips could be a steal for a team in need of more juice rushing the passer.
GM Chris Ballard says he's a listen-to-the-board drafter, and Vera-Tucker is a top-20 prospect in some evaluators' minds. Can he play left tackle? All we saw of him in college was six games' worth at that spot in 2020, and he might lack ideal length at that position in the NFL. Could the Colts move Quenton Nelson to left tackle and play Vera-Tucker at left guard? Don't rule that out.
With my first-round offensive tackles all picked, Indianapolis should address its pass rush, even if it does bring back Justin Houston. Phillips might be the best pure pass-rusher in this class, but he needs to improve his all-around game. He also has some durability concerns -- he had multiple concussions at UCLA before he transferred to Miami -- which means his medical checks with teams are extremely important.
Horn gave up just eight catches on passes thrown in his direction last year, per Pro Football Focus. He has a professional build and competitive spirit. This defense's tone is set by Darius Leonard. Horn would match that fire on the back end.