Colts need help on D; Buffalo won't trade up

Mel Kiper's latest mailbag takes a look at how the Colts will bolster their defense and how QB J.P. Losman affects the Bills' draft strategy.

Updated: April 1, 2005, 1:27 PM ET
By Mel Kiper Jr. | ESPN Insider
We all know the Indianapolis Colts need to work on defense, so who will be available for them at No. 29 overall?
Russ, Tampa, Fla.

I previously projected the Colts to take Florida middle linebacker Channing Crowder at that spot, but his stock is quickly falling into the third-round area thanks to injury/durability concerns. If the Colts still want to go linebacker there, the best option would be Barrett Ruud of Nebraska, but they also need a physical, run-stuffing presence along the defensive line, and Wisconsin defensive tackle Anttaj Hawthorne fits that mold perfectly. His 6-foot-3, 320-pound frame would plug the middle and give the Colts a strong presence up front. Cornerback will also be front and center as a need for the Colts, so look for them to go heavy on defense early in the draft.

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Mel Kiper Jr.

Football analyst