Indianapolis Colts: Ha Ha Clinton Dix

ESPN’s NFL Nation held a mock draft Tuesday afternoon. The mock was only for the first round, so of course that means the Indianapolis Colts didn’t have a pick since they gave their first to Cleveland for running back Trent Richardson last season.

So for the fun of it, let’s take a look at who the Browns picked at No. 26.

ESPN.com Cleveland reporter Pat McManamon has the Browns selecting receiver Cody Latimer out of Indiana.

I wrote a post Tuesday where receiver is a secondary need behind safety for the Colts, according to ESPN Stats & Information. Reggie Wayne and Hakeem Nicks will be free agents at the end of next season.

Latimer had 72 receptions for 1,096 yards and nine touchdowns last season with the Hoosiers.

Safety is the primary need for the Colts.

The two best safeties in the draft – Alabama’s Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and Louisville’s Calvin Pryor – were selected by Detroit and Chicago at No. 10 and 14, respectively.

The Colts need to find a replacement for Antoine Bethea, who signed last month with San Francisco.
INDIANAPOLIS -- I caught up with Mel Kiper Jr., ESPN's NFL draft expert, on Thursday to talk about the safeties in this year's draft.

The Indianapolis Colts will have their first pick at No. 59 in the second round. Coach Chuck Pagano said safety is a position they'll look to address.

Alabama's Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and Louisville's Calvin Pryor are the two best safeties and both should be taken in the first round.

Kiper said Jimmie Ward out of Northern Illinois, the same school Colts practice squad quarterback Chandler Harnish attended, and Terrence Brooks out of Florida State could be available when Indianapolis selects in the second round.

Ward had 89 tackles, six interceptions and a sack last season. Brooks had 48 tackles and two interceptions for the national champion Seminoles last season.

“You can make an argument (Ward) is the best cover safety in this draft,” Kiper said. “He’s coming off the (foot) injury, but had a very good career. He has great ball skills and real good hands for the interception. The intimidator isn’t necessarily needed anymore, the big hitters, you don’t need that (at safety). Ward is a decent tackler, but he doesn’t have tremendous size. The days of big intimidating safeties are about over.”

Former Philadelphia Eagles safety Kurt Coleman is scheduled to visit the Colts on Friday, as they continue to try to find a replacement for Antoine Bethea, who signed with San Francisco last month. Delano Howell, Sergio Brown and Corey Lynch are the in-house candidates for the Colts.
INDIANAPOLIS -- The initial thought by the Indianapolis Colts and safety Antoine Bethea was that they would have a chance to work out a new deal during the offseason.

Those thoughts changed as the offseason progressed because the communication between the two sides got less and less.

Then, it happened. Bethea, who started every game he played in during his eight years with the Colts, signed a deal with the San Francisco 49ers on the same day free agency started on March 11.

“It’s tough to have to replace a guy that this organization had for eight years and played the way he played and what he did for the Colts and the city,” Colts coach Chuck Pagano said. “It’s a harsh reality of today’s NFL -- you can’t keep everybody, and that’s what hurt. But you have to move on.”

Like general manager Ryan Grigson, Pagano talked about Delano Howell and Sergio Brown as potential in-house candidates to replace Bethea alongside LaRon Landry at safety.

The Colts' coach turned his attention to the draft and said they would like to select a safety.

“There are some great safeties in the draft,” Pagano said. “We have our board set, we’ll tweak it as we go through the month of April, go to pro days and gather information on the draft. We’ll see how the draft goes and how the board is once we get to our first pick. It’ll be nice to get a young one in the fold, but we’ll see how it goes.”

Here are the top 10 safeties in the May draft according to Scouts Inc. Alabama's Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and Louisville's Calvin Pryor are projected to be first-round picks.

 

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