3 NFL Draft prospects to watch for the Colts — Week 4

In this weekly series, we’ll break down three prospects who could be great fits for the Indianapolis Colts.

Ricardo B. Brazziell / USA TODAY NETWORK

Xavier Worthy — Wide Receiver — Texas

Everyone knows that Xavier Worthy is very fast and explosiveness, but not everyone knows that he’s also a good route runner. He can stop on a dime, he can run a variety of routes and he’s so damn quick. He is a threat on every play and I’ve noticed that most teams either play one guy with a soft cushion on him or play tight with a safety over the top; in essence, they don’t want him to beat them deep. That type of attention opens up a lot of things for other players. He reminds me of a faster version of TY Hilton.

One big issue is that he’s very undersized at 165 pounds and could be liable to a lot of injuries. The lack of size also hurts him in 50/50 situations and winning in traffic. He’s essentially limited to being a speed threat to stretch the defense and won’t be someone who can be relied upon in the red-zone due to the limited space. He also needs to work on being a hands catcher as I find he relies on his body too often.

Worthy, on paper, is a great fit for the Colts. The Colts are lacking a threat that stretches the field and while many still believe in Alec Pierce’s long-term potential (I don’t), most can agree that Worthy would be a better fit as a flanker. Worthy’s size and restrictions in some areas might cap his ceiling as a #2 complimentary receiver, but he could still be a good fit in Indianapolis. The issue is he probably won’t be around in the 2nd round and taking him in the mid teens is probably a tad early, especially in a strong receiver class, so the only way for Worthy to make sense as the 1st pick is if the Colts trade back to late in the 1st to grab him.

Max Melton — Cornerback — Rutgers

The first thing that checks out with Melton is his athleticism and length, which we’ve come to see is crucial for a Chris Ballard draft pick. With a sub 4.40 40 time, long arms and decent size, he looks a lot like Dallis Flowers in terms of his physical build.

Melton is a versatile player who excels in press and off zone, and from the inside or outside. I like how quick he is in terms of his reaction time and how sudden his movements are at the snap. He does a really good job of matching the movements of the receivers he’s playing in man coverage. He also has some ball hawk in him with 3 interceptions this past season while being targeted 44 times (one out of every 15 throws towards him is intercepted which is above average). His passer rating allowed of 65 is above average versus his counterparts and considering he went up against some top teams like Michigan, Ohio State and Penn State, those numbers are impressive.

 

I wouldn’t necessarily call him an aggressive player in terms of his run support and he’s not often involved in many tackles. That and his general lack of physicality will probably hurt his chances of being a nickel corner in the NFL and will most likely keep him outside, which is fine since the Colts have Kenny Moore playing inside for the next year or two at least. He can also get a little too handsy in coverage and has been caught holding a few times; his 5 penalties this past season also ranks highly amongst cornerbacks in college last season.

In a deep cornerback class, Melton ranks somewhere between the top 5 and 10 guys. He should be available when the Colts are making their 2nd pick and he could even be there when they’re making their 3rd pick. He could start for the Colts if needed, but would be best served as a versatile backup in 2024.

Joe Milton — Quarterback — Tennessee

If the Colts are looking to find a long-term backup who could be a clone of Anthony Richardson, then they should look no further than Joe Milton. Milton has one of the strongest arms I’ve ever seen of any college athlete and has tremendous size with good general athleticism. Just by looking at him on tape, you can see a lot of Anthony Richardson in him.

What he doesn’t have is a lot of natural quarterback traits such as a consistent ball placement, timing, touch and decision making. The ability is shown, but there is zero consistency and you can’t get away with being inconsistent in any of those areas in the NFL. Currently, he’s a one read and throw type of quarterback who isn’t in an offense that allows him to make 2-3 reads on most throws. The adjustment from being a one read, half-field QB to being a full field, multi-read QB will be his biggest transition.

In terms of mechanics, his throwing motion is pretty good, with a nice consistent J motion, but takes a little longer than average to release the ball. A good QB coach will need to shave some time off his initial move. In terms of his footwork, he’s shown good lower body mechanics (mostly one steps) and alignment, but within the confines of a spread offense, so many one step drops. He doesn’t have a lot of a 3 and 5-step drop tape out there, so that will most likely need to be developed more in the NFL.

Milton will require at least 2 years of development before he can be relied upon in a pinch. Having Joe Flacco there for 2024 is a benefit to the entire quarterback room, but based on the amount of development that is needed for Milton, I don’t see how he could be ready to play any meaningful snaps in relief in 2025 either. If his ceiling hits though, he could be a top backup quarterback in the league and a perfect fit long-term for the Colts. With all that being considered, the Colts should not look to take Milton with anything higher than a 5th or 6th round pick.

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