Tag Archives: Indianapolis Colts

2019 NFL Draft recap, pick-by-pick: AFC South

Omenihu, the Big 12 Defensive Lineman of the Year in 2018, has nearly 37-inch arms. He could be a fit in DC Romeo Crennel’s schemes.
Houston Texans Notable picks: Howard and Johnson both ranked in our Top 50 and represent potential starting players in Year 1.  Scharping is as technically advanced as any OL in the draft and Warring could be a factor in two tight end sets.  The signing of Matt Kalil ensures the team goes into training camp with competition at the offensive tackle spot. Of the team’s Day 3 draft picks, Omenihu may be asked to adjust right away from a need perspective. Will Fuller’s injury history could leave the team depending on backups again late in the year.
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‘Nasty’ Take:
1 (23) Tytus Howard OT/Alabama State 41/2nd Round The former high school quarterback often talked about the task of gaining weight and has gotten up to the 322-pound range.  His quick-footed nature could become a fit on the right side for the Texans.
2 (54) Lonnie Johnson CB/

Kentucky

47/2nd Round Johnson’s occasional pass interference penalty sometimes comes from not using his length to disrupt the wide receiver’s release.  When he does, it is tough for the wide receiver to get off the line. On the plus side, his tackling technique and hip flexibility make for a unique combination at 6’2, 213 pounds. 
2 (55) Max

Scharping

OT/Northern Illinois 81/2nd Round We talked about how Scharping’s NFL Combine performance alleviated some of the concerns about pure quickness heading into the draft.  The Texans went into this year’s draft hoping to cure some of the ills along its offensive line and this selection continues to work in that direction. 
3 (88) Kahale

Warring

TE/San Diego State 57/2nd Round Warring uses his foot speed to get on top of opponents as a receiver.  He still needs refinement in terms of sustaining blocks, but his best football is ahead of him.
5 (161) Charles Omenihu DE/Texas 122/3rd Round Omenihu’s 36 1/2-inch arms continued to aid him in his development while in school.  The Big 12 Defensive Lineman of the Year began to display increased pass rush acumen as a senior when it came to counters.  He is a solid run defender and will compete with Carlos Watkins, who has largely been disappointing. 
6 (195) Xavier Crawford CB/Central Michigan, Oregon State 300/4th Round After missing seven games at Oregon State in 2017 due to a back injury, the first-team All-MAC corner defended 13 passes in 2018.  He competes on routes outside the numbers.
7 (220) Cullen Gillaspia FB/Texas A&M N/A Texas A&M’s 12th man was a special teams stalwart and team captain.  The former walk-on posted nine tackles in 2016.
Tell III (No. 7 pictured) impressed NFL personnel at the 2019 NFL Combine with a 42″vertical jump, 11’4″ broad jump, 4.01 20-yard short shuttle and a 6.63-second time in the three-cone drill.
Indianapolis Colts Notable picks: General manager Chris Ballard continues to add positive pieces to one of the better young rosters in the NFL.  Ya-Sin and Banogu have a chance to add an element of speed and toughness that the defense continues to expand.  Okereke and Willis will be special teams contributors in Year 1 with the expectation that they can challenge for bigger roles early.  Tell III may be asked to move to cornerback, where his smooth change of direction could perhaps shine.  Campbell has the speed to stretch defenses vertically to take some of the pressure off of stud WR T.Y. Hilton, but his potential contributions in the kick return game should not be underestimated.  Patterson will compete to backup all three interior line spots.
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‘Nasty’ Take:
2 (34) Rock Ya-Sin CB/Temple, Presbyterian 63/2nd Round The first-team All-AAC selection has a background that includes a stint as an All-Big South corner for the Blue Hose.  Watching him play puts you in the mind frame of viewing a 6-foot-2 corner (he is nearly 6’0) because he plays bigger than even his size would indicate. 
2 (49) Ben Banogu DE-OLB/TCU 44/2nd Round Banogu moved around so much in school and with so much effectiveness, he shouldn’t have been pigeon-holed as a Rush outside linebacker.  His loose nature gives him options, but the team is expected to start him with his hand in the dirt. 
2 (59) Parris Campbell All-Purpose/

Ohio State

39/2nd Round Campbell’s speed was used more going sideways in school, but he did work the middle of the field on deep crossing patterns and square-ins.The team has a number of targets already efficient in those roles, so how he is incorporated will be interesting to observe.  He may be a dynamo as a kickoff returner early.
3 (89) Bobby

Okereke

LB/Stanford 162/3rd Round Okereke’s speed would seem to be a match for the type of scheme the Colts run.  His size/speed/weight ratio is in line with 2018 Defensive Rookie of the Year Darius Leonard and fellow LB Anthony Walker.  He will start off as a special teams contributor.
4 (109)

Acquired from Oakland via Jacksonville

Khari Willis S/Michigan State 87/3rd Round Willis’ high football IQ and overall steady nature earned him praise through the draft process.  His ability to cover tight ends at 213 pounds also adds to his value.  He gives the Colts unique depth at the safety spot.
5 (144)

Acquired from Cleveland via Jacksonville

Marvell Tell III DB/USC 387/5th Round We speculated that a team would look at Tell’s physical profile and project him to cornerback.  He may in fact get an opportunity to show off his cover skills outside in training camp. 
5 (164) EJ Speed LB/Tarleton State N/A Speed overcame some off the field and injury concerns to get into the draft after totaling 106 tackles, 5 QB sacks and 12.5 TFLs in 2018. 
6 (199) Gerri Green OLB/

Mississippi State

210/4th Round Green appeared in 52 games during school and has made starts at both DE and OLB.  He will likely become an exchange linebacker, where he has been pretty good at sliding and shuffling despite weighting in the 250-pound range.  Versatile performer. 
7 (240) Jackson Barton OT/Utah 341/5th Round Barton’s lateral kick-slide won to a spot on many occasions in pass pro.  He is a decent athlete with questionable leverage.  There are possibilities for him to compete with Joe Haeg and Le’Raven Clark for a backup spot outside.
7 (246)

Acquired from Philadelphia via New England

Javon

Patterson

OL/Ole Miss 404/5th Round The former five-star recruit has to overcome small hands that make it difficult to latch.  On the positive side, he is an effective pulling option and cuts off on angles with efficiency as a run blocker.  The fact that he has started at OG and OC could him stick in Indy.

 

Taylor (No. 65 pictured), a former Freshman All-American, made starts at both right tackle and left tackle as a Gator.

 

Jacksonville Jaguars Notable picks: It will be interesting to see DC Todd Wash intends to use Allen.  He got up to around the 262-pound mark prior to the draft, but he has played in the 240-pound range in the past.  He has enough flexibility to be at least serviceable in coverage, but they drafted him to rush the passer.  The selection of Taylor would seem to add positive depth to an offensive line always in search of physical players.  Williams and Armstead will increase the team’s speed on special teams. This was a solid, if unspectacular, draft haul that produced a number of players who fit the personality and make-up of the current roster. 
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‘Nasty’ Take:
1 (7) Josh Allen Kentucky 6/1st Round Allen will get an opportunity to build on what was a breakout senior year.  He finished his career with 41 tackles for losses and 11 forced fumbles.  His activity in school was his biggest strength.  Look for the team to make him a wild card type of player tough to identify.
2 (35) Jawaan

Taylor

OT/Florida 7/1st Round There may have been some concerns about Taylor’s health, but he is in line with what the Jaguars want to do when it comes to running the ball.  Taylor has quality footwork that shines when he is in optimum condition.
3 (69) Josh Oliver TE/San Jose State 107/3rd Round Oliver’s foot speed, ball skills and ability to flex add an element perhaps missing from the team’s offense prior to the draft.  He and free agent acquisition Geoff Swaim could potentially form a solid one-two punch at the position. 
3 (98) Quincy Williams LB/Murray State 339/5th Round Quinnen Williams’ older brother found a way to sneak into the third round due to his speed and explosiveness.  The former safety was frequently walked-out in an overhang position for the Racers, and there is work to be done when it comes to key-and-diagnose from the exchange LB spot.
5 (140) Ryquell Armstead RB/Temple 153/3rd Round Armstead’s downhill running style closely mirrors many of the running backs he will compete with for a roster spot.  The difference?  His 4.45 speed overcomes a bit of a rigid nature and he played a few snaps on defense in 2018 for the Owls.
6 (178) Gardner Minshew QB/

Washington State,

ECU

372/5th Round Minshew carries similar traits to current Jaguars backup Cody Kessler when it comes to hand size, height and weight.  He was a bit of a gambler at ECU, but he played at a faster pace under Mike Leach while at Washington State.
7 (235)

Acquired from Oakland via Seattle

Dontavius Russell DT/Auburn 183/3rd Round Russell kind of got lost in the shuffle in what proved to be a deep defensive tackle class. We felt he had underrated strength, particularly when aligned in an inside shade of an offensive guard or center.  If he earns a roster spot, it will be to take some of the snaps off of the team’s starters. 

 

Long (seen scooping the ball versus Utah in the 2017 Heart of Dallas Bowl) was named an AP second-team All-American and the Big 12’s Defensive Player of the Year in 2018. He finished with 111 tackles, 8 QB sacks, 19 TFLs and 4 PBUs.
Tennessee Titans Notable picks: Simmons may not be available for action until 2020, which requires this draft class to drift into somewhat of a wait-and-see proposition.  Brown, however, will have his slot evaluated early on. The same can be said for both Davis and Hooker.  Hooker brings a lot of desirable traits to a defensive backfield full of capable playmakers.  Walker’s inability to perform until late in the process caused him to slide, but he was at his best against the best competition.  There are not many drafts that allow you to draft a conference’s Defensive Player of the Year in the sixth round, but the Titans picked one up from the Big 12 in Long, Jr.
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‘Nasty’ Take:
1 (19) Jeffery

Simmons

DT/

Mississippi State

5/1stRound With Brian Orakpo’s retirement, the onus falls on Harold Landry -last year’s second-round pick- to take the next step.  Although Simmons may redshirt in 2019, he could become a Pro Bowler if he can return to full health after suffering an ACL tear while training for pre-draft workouts.
2 (51) A.J. Brown WR/Ole Miss 16/1st Round Brown’s strong run after the catch skills make him a tough tackle for any defensive back at 226 pounds.  He displayed the ability to go outside against Vanderbilt, but he primarily worked from the slot on his Pro Day.
3 (82) Nate Davis OG/

Charlotte

92/3rd Round Despite playing right tackle in 2018, he was outstanding with his quick-set technique as a LG.  We were most impressed with his vision, but he needs work on preventing his frame from getting overextended.  He will compete for the right guard position in training camp.
4 (116) Amani Hooker DB/Iowa 34/2nd Round The Big Ten Defensive Back of the Year may have been hurt by the fact that he covered the slot in school.  He will have to prove that he can get off the hash in coverage, which he has done effectively on occasion.  He is at his best reading and passing off underneath routes.
5 (168)

Acquired from N.Y. Jets via New Orleans

D’Andre Walker OLB/Georgia 85/2nd Round Walker received one of final second round grades and the Titans were able to pick him up in the fifth round.  We liked his ability to work from either a two-point or three-point stance effectively.  This team needed more pass rushers and he can play from either side. 
6 (188)

Acquired from Miami

David Long, Jr. LB/

West Virginia

115/3rd Round Long was nicked for his size and lack of length.  He was also unable to complete a full workout until late in the process.  The Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year routinely attacks the action and consistently trusts what he sees in front of him.  He will have to shine on special teams to earn a roster spot.

 

 

 

Heavy handed

Washington offensive tackle Kaleb McGary finished his career with 43 straight starts. The Huskies right tackle is intent on proving to NFL personnel that his heavy-handed nature translates to multiple spots along an offensive line. His efforts include working with a former Pro Bowl offensive lineman and legendary NFL offensive line coach. DraftNasty’s Corey Chavous sat down with him to talk about technique and his future prospects.

McGary: Nice to meet you.

Corey: Nice to meet you too man. You started off today (Senior Bowl 2019 practices, Day 1), with a very strong pass pro period and you complemented that with a strong team period. How did you feel about your first day out here?

McGary: I felt like I had a pretty good day. I think I showed I’m very capable…a very good tackle. I just hope to continue to improve and show that I’m better and better as time goes on.

Corey: Well you’ve played a lot on the right side of the offensive line, but do you feel like you’re capable of playing on the left side if needed?

McGary: I am. Actually the last couple of weeks I’ve done a lot of work with retired coach Howard Mudd (former three-time Pro Bowl offensive lineman and 40-year NFL OL coach who has since this interview been re-hired by the Indianapolis Colts) on guard and left tackle sets. I actually intend to try and jump over to the left side, even guard, if they’ll let me.

Corey: When you talk about being able to play multiple positions, what other positions do you feel like you can backup? Now you talked about guard. Do you feel like you’re a guy who can backup all four positions and maybe be a starter at the right tackle or the left tackle spot?

McGary (No. 58 pictured) earned the Pac-12’s Morris Trophy Award in 2018. The award goes to the conference’s best offensive lineman as voted on by the opposing teams’ players.

McGary: I think so. I was given a lot of really good physical abilities. I’m really flexible for my size so it lets me kinda bend and get down there for a guard position. So I do. I think I’m capable and I think if given a chance I think I can earn my way into any of those four spots.

Corey: Talk about your short-set technique or quick-set or whatever you would describe it as. That’s something that’s been very effective for you. Talk about how you’ve perfected that technique.

McGary: Working with Coach Howard Mudd. He came up with the short-set/dish idea. And just working with him a lot over the time that I’ve known him. Sessions upon sessions with him, and it fits my play style. I like to be aggressive, I like to get on, get up…I don’t like to leave a lot of things to question or room for them to do their thing. I like to put pressure on D-linemen. Can’t wait for them to apply pressure to me. It just fits the way I go.

Corey: Heavy hands. Scouts have described you as having heavy hands. Do you feel like you’ve got heavy hands?

McGary: I think so man. I want let them know if I hit ’em.

Corey: Who was the toughest opponent you went against in school?

McGary: Probably my time against Greg (Gaines) and Vita Vea. Those guys are big, brawny, just freakin’ boulders. Playing against them every day made me what I am I think or it’s a large part of it, having to go against that kind of ability.

Corey: Look forward to you having a great NFL career man..

McGary: Appreciate it.

Corey: Nice to meet you.

McGary: My pleasure.

Miami Dolphins vs Indianapolis Colts, 11-25-18: In-game report

A furious fourth quarter comeback allowed the Colts to extend their winning streak to five games.  The return of Miami starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill was not enough as the Colts defeated the Dolphins, 27-24.  DraftNasty’s Troy Jefferson gives his impressions in this in-game report:

Colts passing game

The Colts passing game has powered their five-game winning streak. Despite not having injured starting center Ryan Kelly, Indianapolis kept on humming offensively.  Rookie guards Quenton Nelson and Braden Smith are athletic and nasty.  Smith could be seen paving the way on a bubble screen on third down for T.Y. Hilton 25 yards down the field. The front five cares about their quarterback, multiple linemen sprinted after the play to see if quarterback Andrew Luck was fine after a late hit from Dolphins linebacker Kiko Alonso.  Luck has benefited from the improved offensive line play, throwing for 32 touchdowns and 11 interceptions this season.  He has also been sacked just 11 times, which is tied for a league low. 

Ryan Tannehill

After missing five weeks of action, Tannehill returned on Sunday and gave the Dolphins consistent play at quarterback against the Colts. It had been three games since the Dolphins had thrown a passing touchdown but Tannehill threw a pair of first half touchdowns to keep Miami tied at half.  For the game, Tannehill finished with two touchdowns and zero interceptions while completing 17-of-25 passes.  The former Texas A&M quarterback is an upgrade over Brock Osweiler, who started in his absence, but that may not be enough to keep his starting job going into next season.  As the Dolphinsn enter the final month of the season, look for the quarterback position to be closely evaluated. 

Eric Ebron 

Indianapolis tight end Jack Doyle will miss the rest of the year with a kidney injury.

Eric Ebron has been the biggest beneficiary of Andrew Luck’s comeback season.  The tight end has caught 44 passes for 508 yards and 11 touchdowns while splitting time with fellow tight end Jack Doyle.  Doyle will miss the rest of the season with a kidney injury, which means even more will be asked of the former Detroit Lion. Against the Dolphins, Ebron hauled in a pair of red zone touchdowns, in what was his third multi-touchdown game of the year.  Ebron is a red zone threat because of his size and athletic ability.   He is able to work the seams and catch in traffic as well as jump over smaller defensive backs.  However, his overall skill-set will be measured by how well he can fill in as a run blocking tight end for Doyle, who was one of the NFL’s best in that regard. 

Indianapolis Colts vs. Washington Redskins, 9-16-18: In-game report

Washington had a chance to move to 2-0 for the first time since 2011 but strong play from the Colts defense and key adjustments in the offensive passing game led to an upset.  Washington (1-1) fell to Indianapolis (1-1), 21-9.  DraftNasty’s Troy Jefferson gives his impressions in this in-game report:

Darius Leonard 

Meet the NFL’s tackle leader: Darius Leonard, the 31st-ranked player on DraftNasty’s 2018 Big Board.  And if you watched Leonard at South Carolina State this shouldn’t come as a surprise.  Leonard stuffed the stat sheet against the Redskins, posting 18 tackles, one quarterback sack, a forced fumble and a pass deflection.  As his numbers would indicate, Leonard was dominant in the run and pass game.  What was most impressive in the game against Washington was Leonard’s ability to use his closing speed to diagnose plays and keep potential 10-15 yard gains to minimal pickups. The rookie linebacker wears the helmet transmitter during games and has made himself into the quarterback of the defense.   His athleticism allows him to match up against tight ends and running backs in the pass game and is willing to help in the run game. He reminds me of Derrick Brooks with his sideline-to-sideline quickness and his matchup versatility.  Look for the Colts, who are in a rebuilding mode, to continue to build the defense around rookie linebacker Darius Leonard.

Colts offense

Hilton has 12 receptions and two receiving touchdowns in the first two games of the year.

Frank Reich has made a name in the NFL as a coach because of his ability to adapt and tailor his game plans from week-to-week. The Colts used a heavy diet of pick plays against man-to-man coverage that caught the Redskins off guard.  Washington has several corners, including Josh Norman and Quinton Dunbar, who excel in press man coverage and the pick routes used by the Colts allowed their quick-twitched receivers to roam free over the middle of the field and took away the Redskins’ strong suit of jamming receivers at the line. T.Y. Hilton, the Colts star receiver, was the beneficiary of the game plan and from the first drive of the game it was clear that the Colts plan of attack centered on getting Norman off of his body.  To begin the second quarter, Luck bought Hilton in motion from the right sideline to the numbers and immediately snapped the ball, which gave the Pro Bowl receiver more room to work with on his post route against Norman, who couldn’t jam the receiver at the line. Hilton finished with seven catches for 83 yards and a touchdown against Washington.

Redskins offense

If the Colts offense was original, the Redskins offense was vanilla and predictable.  The Redskins  finished with just 65 rushing yards and 269 passing yards, the bulk of which came in garbage time. Washington thrived in Week 1 with a balanced running attack but as has been the case in Jay Gruden’s tenure, the team has a tendency to abandon the run for no obvious reason.  The team’s receivers aren’t at the level to carry their offense and struggled against the Colts cornerbacks to get separation in their routes.  Look for Washington to get back to a more balanced attack against Green Bay as Gruden may open the game with a deep ball or two to loosen up the Packers secondary.