Colts NFL Draft: Inside Linebacker Prospect Watch

Continually covering the Indianapolis Colts 2014 NFL Draft needs and prospects that fit those needs, we turn our attention to the Inside Linebacker position. The Inside Linebacker position for the Colts is one that really could go either way. Both Pat Angerer and Kavell Connor are free agents after this year, and seems likely that both won’t be signed. I’d say its likely that we won’t be resigning Kavell Connor, due to lack of production this year, injury concern, and he isn’t cut out to be a 3-4 ILB. Angerer, on the other hand,  has played well this year. Last year, he was battling injuries all hear and barely saw the field. He has really provided producing in the run and pass game. Now, I’m a huge fan of starting ILB Jerrell Freeman. He’s a smaller guy, but plays like he’s a Pro Bowler. Other ILBs on our roster include Kelvin Sheppard and Mario Harvey, whom simply aren’t cutting it.

Here are the ILBs the Colts should look at in the 2014 draft class

Shayne Skov, Stanford– Skov is a senior with solid size, standing 6’2 245 pounds. He had a rough year last year and the year before, suffering a torn ACL in 2011. This year, he’s been nothing but nasty. His most recent game against Oregon was one to remember. He was all over the field and causing havoc in the backfield. He definitely looks like he has regained his explosiveness this year. Skov is known to be overly aggressive, which I’m not sure if that’s good or bad, but I like the sound of it. He’d fit perfect in our 3-4 scheme and looks to be available in the 2nd round.

Chris Borland, Wisconsin– Borland is a fun guy to watch on defense. He won’t overwhelm you with his athleticism, but he is a flat-out stud on the field. A high IQ player. He is small though, which might hurt his draft stock (only 5’11). The thing I like the most about Borland is his determination to get to the ball no matter what.

Yawin Smallwood, UCONN– Smallwood is a personal favorite of mine. He is a junior, but I think it is likely that he declares this year. Like Borland, his determination to get to the ball carrier is amazing. He moves great laterally and has a high motor, something I love when scouting a LB. He’s capable of blitzing up the middle and stopping the run, as well as providing solid coverage skills. Now, I’m not sure if he will be available late in the second round (assuming we pick in the late 20s area) due to his upside, but if he is there still, why not snag him?

This isn’t a glaring need, but I think it’s important to get a key leader on our defense, someone to set the tone for us. We haven’t been the greatest run defensive team over the years, and all three of these guys will help in that aspect.