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2017 NFL Mock Draft: Indianapolis Colts choose Derek Barnett

With the No. 15 overall pick in the 2017 Bleeding Green Nation community mock draft, Indianapolis Colts GM mconner96 selects ...

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Derek Barnett, DE, Tennessee

Height: 6'3"

Weight: 258 lbs

Age: 20 years old

College Stats (3 years):

Total Tackles: 198

Tackles for Loss: 52

Sacks: 32

Forced Fumbles: 3

Buh-bye Robert Mathis... Hello, Derek Barnett (in this situation anyways).

It's no secret the Colts' defense is bad. And I mean REALLY bad. They ranked 30th in total yards allowed, 27th in passing yards allowed, and 25th in rushing yards allowed. They were also 27th in sacks. They desperately need help, and GM Chris Ballard has said that he wants to build the defense by starting with the front line.

Barnett would be a great addition to the Colts defense, and would provide the kind of long-term asset they could build around. He had a very productive college career where he set Tennessee records in most sacks and tackles for loss in a season by a true freshman and most sacks in a career, broke the SEC record for most sacks by a freshman, and was First-team All-SEC last season. He is easily one of the best defenders to come out of the SEC in quite some time.

He has an insanely high motor and has the awareness to recognize play-action, reverses, and screens, which are two things that can separate a young rookie from the rest of the pack. He was also described as a "championship hand-fighter" by NFL Media's Lance Zierlein. You can see that motor in the video below at 0:57, where he is able to sack the quarterback while being blocked to the ground, and his amazing pursuit-ability is on display throughout the entire video.

Are you not aware that Barnett has average foot speed, takes a lot of penalties, and his technique opens him to a lot of cut blocks?

That is a very specific question, but yes, I am aware of that. Every prospect is going to have his weaknesses, and Barnett's are definitely fixable. You can get faster, become more disciplined, and work on technique. What you can't necessarily fix is heart and effort, which are definitely not weaknesses of Barnett's.

But haven't you considered the fact that there have been many fantastic college players who sucked in the pros?

Yes. Yes, I have. But here's the thing, Derek Barnett is not going to suck. In fact, his surpassing of Reggie White's record is a sign that he will in fact become a better pass rusher than White, and is well on his way to Canton. Just kidding... or am I? The truth is, I have no idea whether or not he will be a bust, and neither do you. No one does. The only thing that is known is that the Colts defense is bad, and Derek Barnett could potentially make the Colts less bad.

Barnett has the skill and heart to be a force in the NFL, and if he is available when the Colts are on the clock, then he should definitely be given a look.

2017 BGN Mock Draft Order

1) Browns (JALupowitz): Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M
2) 49ers (sports00fan00): Solomon Thomas, DE, Stanford
3) Bears (gubby): Jonathan Allen, DT, Alabama
4) Jaguars (TheWhalwing): Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU
5) Titans (drc242): Jamal Adams, S, LSU
6) Jets (boomorbust): Marshon Lattimore, CB, Ohio State
7) Chargers (NowWhat?): Malik Hooker, S, Ohio State
8) Panthers (B-Potts): Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan
9) Bengals (Kiko’s Delivery Service): Reuben Foster, LB, Alabama
10) Bills (jimmyrustler): O.J. Howard, TE, Alabama
11) Saints (NotSoSlick): Taco Charlton, DE, Michigan
12) Browns (Straight Edge Sid): Mike Williams, WR, Clemson
13) Cardinals (Paulie97): Haason Reddick, LB, Temple
14) Eagles (ablesser88): Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford
15) Colts (mconner96): Derek Barnett, DE, Tennessee
16) Ravens (The Man, The Myth, the Matthews!):
17) Washington (kbruneault):
18) Titans (mchiodo):
19) Buccaneers (ei78):
20) Broncos (NVEaglesShark):
21) Lions (Shark Fighter):
22) Dolphins (J. Wil):
23) Giants (BigWardy59):
24) Raiders (big DUB):
25) Texans (GotFunds):
26) Seahawks (Rogmcc23):
27) Chiefs (B1G Cat):
28) Cowboys (RegalEagle):
29) Packers (Wutang_):
30) Steelers (General_Lee12): 
31) Falcons (SirJon):
32) Saints (Huffs_cellmate):