22. Indianapolis Colts
Last year, the Indianapolis Colts ranked near the bottom of the league when it came to defense, and when seeing how competitive the AFC South has become in the offseason, Chuck Pagano‘s squad realizes they can’t afford to have that happen again. Pagano and the Colts are beginning to feel the pressure after missing out on the playoffs each of the last two seasons, but at least defense was the main area of focus for the team during their first three picks in the draft.
Selecting Malik Hooker at No. 15 was the right call for Indianapolis after seeing how successful he was as a leader on defense for Ohio State over the last few years. If Hooker gets healthy enough for the beginning of training camp, and picks up right where he left off with the Buckeyes, the Colts’ defense should see an immediate turnaround heading into the 2017 season.
The argument can be made that nobody expected Hooker to be available at this stage in the first round, and Indianapolis should consider themselves lucky to have the safety on board. Andrew Luck can only do so much on his own without the proper assistance from the defense, and even though it’s become a common theme over the years to select players from that side of the football, at least the Colts took advantage of this year’s class.