FILED UNDER: Draft prospects that make sense for the Colts: Part II / Defense

Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images

This is the continuation of a series. You can check out the first article here. This installment will be focused only on defensive prospects.

Javon Bullard, safety / slot cornerback, Georgia

The Colts need at safety is as obvious as it gets, and while I expect Ballard to get a veteran later on in the free-agency period, getting a player like Bullard in the Draft would solve the problem for the foreseeable future. More than 1.200 snaps at the SEC, playing for the best defense in the country and probably in college history, Bullard comes in at just 5’11’’ which is why some analysts have him as a hybrid type of player. The Colts need players like him in the secondary, and Bradley’s scheme favours intelligent players over pure athletic ones. Bullard would also help as the perfect backup for Kenny Moore as they are very similar type of players. Bullard would not fill the hole at safety per se, but his value comes more as a guy that could potentially play safety, slot cornerback, and perhaps even in the box.

Jeremiah Trotter Jr., linebacker, Clemson

Trotter, like Bullard, is also a bit undersized for the position standing at a rather generous measuring of 6’0’’ and 230, but what he lacks in size he more than makes up for it with playing experience at a high level (close to 1.500 snaps at Clemson), and an off-the-charts football IQ that pops up when studying his film. The Colts are rather thin at linebacker with just Zaire Franklin, E.J. Speed, and Segun Olubi at the position, and personally I think that Speed left a bit to be desired last season and the Colts could use an upgrade at the position. I also have some doubts about Zaire Franklin’s body being able to withstand the toll that 350 combined tackles made over the past two years.

Tyler Nubin, safety, Minnesota

Nubin is one of my dream prospects for the Colts in this Draft, as he has the size, athleticism, and playing experience to come in and take the starter spot right away. This is a guy that would take over the startuing safety and already at Day 1 be much better than Nick Cross or Rodney Thomas. Gus Bradley’s scheme really needs safeties that can play well from deep and prevent big plays, and Nubin is exactly that with an impressive range and long arms. My dream scenario would be a trade back and getting Nubin later in the first.

Byron Murphy, defensive tackle, Texas

DeForest Buckner is not getting any younger, Grover Stewart does not particularly excel at rushing the passer, and the Colts will face C.J. Stroud twice a year in the fight for the division. Those facts make it clear that the team needs to improve it’s pass rushing capabilities. Byron Murphy would be the perfect complement to DeForest on the interior on passing downs, and would also allow Stewart to take a breather on those snaps. He will most likely be available at #15, and could come in and contribute right away. My worries with Murphy are not only his lack of experience overall but also his lack of experience playing the A gap, but the talent and potential is certainly there for the Colts to develop.

Jared Verse, edge rusher, Florida State University

The Colts lack an edge rusher that can consistently put pressure on opposing quarterbacks, as Kwity Paye is just not developing as expected when it comes to rushing the passer, Dayo Odeyingbo is either a game-breaker or a non-factor, while Samson Ebukam’s specialty is against the run. Jared Verse would be a nice pick at #15 as he fits the mold of what the Colts desperately need from the position. 27 sacks in the SEC on a 6’4’’, 260 frame, would be an excellent addition to a Colts’ edge-rushing group that has lacked a true #1 pass-rusher since Robert Mathis retired.

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