Colts Attempted To Move Up In First Round

In the build-up to last night’s opening round of the draft, the Colts were one of several teams mentioned as a suitor regarding a move up the order. Adding a receiver or highly-touted tight end Brock Bowers was a reported goal, but the team ultimately wound up focusing on the opposite of the ball.

After an historic start to the draft with 14 straight offensive players coming off the board, Indianapolis selected UCLA edge rusher Laiatu LatuThat decision came after a concerted effort was made to trade up, however. General manager Chris Ballard spoke on that front following the first round’s conclusion.

“We had some serious, serious discussions,” Ballard said (via Joel A. Erickson of the Indy Star). “With big offers, by the way.”

Fox59’s Mike Chappell notes, meanwhile, that a Colts move up the order would have likely been aimed at acquiring LSU wideout Malik Nabers. Indianapolis was known to be high on Marvin Harrison Jr., but a trade putting the team in range for either pass-catcher would have come at a high price. To little surprise, Harrison was selected fourth overall by the Cardinals, while Nabers went two picks later to the Giants.

With respect to the Latu selection, that came as a surprise to many. Part of the reason that is the case is the fact Indianapolis did not meet in person with the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year, as noted by ESPN’s Stephen Holder. Latu’s medicals (stemming from a neck surgery which threatened his future ability to play football) made him one of the more polarizing prospects in the 2024 class. Teams often spend considerable time speaking with players with such potential concerns, but the Colts were comfortable using their top pick absent in-person discussions in this case.

Indianapolis was not the only team keen on selecting Latu. Steve Wyche of NFL Network reports the Falcons attempted to trade back into the first-round order and in doing so add the former Bruins sack artist (video link). Atlanta provided the largest surprise of the night by selecting Michael Penix Jr. eighth overall, but adding Latu would have addressed the team’s more immediate roster hole along the edge. Instead, the Colts remained in place at No. 15 and added a high-upside presence in their front seven.

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