Defensive Back may be a higher need on the Colts draft board than many fans recognize. Polian has a history of addressing holes before they present themselves, and with the future of Antoine Bethea and Marlin Jackson in question, it may be a good time to find a strong replacement who shares their physical and athletic skill. If Chung or Delmas falls all the way down to the bottom of the 2nd Round they may present too much value for the Colts front office to pass them up. If both are available, which of the two prospects should the Colts select?
Patrick Chung - Oregon
5'11", 212 lbs.
4.49 40 Yard Dash, 4.24 20 Yard Shuttle, 7.11 3-Cone Drill
34 Inch Vertical Jump, 25 Bench Reps
SENIOR SEASON STATS:
92 Tackles, 34 Assists, 6.5 TFL, 2 Sacks, 1 INT, 6 PBU, 7 PD, 1QBH, 1 FF, 1 FR
1 Punt Return, 31 Yards, 1 TD
12 Kick Returns, 307 Yards (25.6 Yds./Avg)
2009: Could not complete shuttle drills at the NFL Combine due to a right knee sprain.
Strengths: Well-built, versatile athlete who has seen time at cornerback and as a returner. Flashes explosive hitting ability. Reads the action quickly and is seemingly always around the ball. Good lateral quickness, acceleration and smooth change-of-direction agility while in zone coverage. Attacks underneath routes and rarely allows the receiver to cross with the ball unscathed. Closes quickly on the ballcarrier. Receivers are cognizant of him when going over the middle. Quick enough to hang with receivers for a few seconds in the deep half. Among the more reliable open-field tacklers in the country and should be an excellent last line of defense at the NFL level. Accomplished blitzer. Few have Chung's ability to explode into ballcarriers while wrapping their arms securely. Whether deep in coverage or attacking the line of scrimmage, he limits the yards gained at the point he meets the ballcarrier. Consistently swarms to the ball. Durable, consistent performer. Instinctive defender. Should be a leader on defense and special teams.
Fierce, active safety best defending the run. Displays a good head for the ball in run defense, quick up the field, and a good open field tackler. Intense, plays physical football and goes hard until the whistle blows. Plays with a good degree of suddenness and flashes on the scene. Tremendous leader of the defense who does whatever necessary to make plays.
Patrick Chung is hard-hitting head-hunting S who can play both SS and FS. Not only will Chung step up to effectively defend the running game and get pressure on the QB, he also does an effective job in pass coverage and excels making breaks on the ball and on ball carriers in a zone. The kid has a lot of heart, is a great teammate, loves the game, and works hard to produce at the highest level possible. I am certain that he will do well and would be a very positive addition to our secondary.
Weaknesses: Questionable deep speed and is a bit shorter than scouts prefer because of their coverage duties against tight ends. Physical player who can get a bit grabby while in coverage, leading to some holding calls. Attacks the line or underneath routes too quickly, leaving room for the deep ball behind him. At his best facing the quarterback and running downhill toward the ball.
Does not consistently take proper angles to the action. Gets turned in coverage and loses his receivers when placed in man-coverage situations. Average ball skills.
Because Chung does not excel in deep coverage, he is better suited to the SS position. He would excel in the strong nickel as a rookie, with the ability to come up and defend the run and play the short-zone. With some development he could be ready to take over a starting role. I think he is the best Safety prospect in this draft and while it is unlikely that Chung will be available at the bottom of the 2nd Round, it's not impossible considering that very few safeties are typically drafted in the first two rounds of the draft.
SENIOR BOWL PRACTICE RECAP - TFYDraft.com
Monday Practice Notes: More of a rover linebacker than a true safety in college, Chung had a decent day in coverage today as more of a traditional safety. He did struggle changing directions, but he also made a play or two.
Tuesday Practice Notes: Chung struggled initially in pass coverage drills yet to his credit stuck with it and improved as the day proceeded. He was physical throughout the practice and really looked like one of the better safeties on the field.
Wednesday Practice Notes: Chung was very good up the field and between the numbers. He shows a lot of moxy to his game and plays very hard until the whistle blows. Overall it was a solid day for the Oregon safety.
Thursday Practice Notes: Chung went very hard in practice and was relatively effective. He's not afraid to throw his body around the field, even wearing no pads.
Analysis: Chung presented himself as a hard-hitting safety and threw his body around the field most of the week. He lacks the top range and speed to the flanks and was best when the action was in front of him or when he was defending the run. He's likely a third round pick for a zone safety defense.
Chung is a high-motor player who will bust his tail to make an impact on the field. He would be a solid special teams player as a rookie and would likely see time in strong nickel package, replacing Melvin Bullitt.
Louis Delmas - Western Michigan
6'0", 202 lbs.
4.52 40 Yard Dash, 4.17 20 Yard Shuttle, 6.67 3-Cone Drill
37 Inch Vertical Jump, 12 Bench Reps
SENIOR SEASON STATS:
111 Tackles, 50 Assists, 4 TFL, 4 INT, 3 PBU, 7 PD, 1 FR
2006: Suffered a left knee medial collateral ligament sprain against Virginia in September, missing the next two games.
2007: Left the West Virginia game in September after suffering a concussion that forced him to miss the Indiana and Missouri contests.
Strengths: Athletic build with the frame to carry additional mass. Active safety, unafraid to come up and support the run. Physical defender who flashes some explosiveness as a hitter. Reliable form tackler who attacks ballcarriers at their knees and wraps up securely. Good lateral agility to break down in space in the open field. Good instincts in coverage. Reads the quarterback and breaks on the ball. Smooth backpedal and appears to have at least adequate straight-line speed. Natural playmaker. Times his leaps well and can highpoint passes. Team captain.
Active and aggressive safety flying up draft boards. Quickly picks up assignments in coverage, effectively diagnoses the action and gets to plays with a closing burst of speed. Displays good sideline-to-sideline range, plays with a good degree of suddenness, and flies around the ball. Quick up the field in run defense, and sacrifices his body to make the tackle. Solid ball skills and good hands for the interception.
Delmas is also a head-hunter and big-time tackler. He may be superior to Chung in pass-coverage ability. The biggest question-mark about Delmas is the inflation of his production due to playing in the MAC. He would also be a solid special teams contributor although he does not bring the return aspect to the team.
Weaknesses: Lacks the bulk most teams prefer. Likes to evade blockers, rather than taking them on and shedding blocks. Resorts to low tackles and will, occasionally, duck his head and swipe. Can be more pesky than forceful as a tackler and will get dragged, at times. Aggressive defender; can be beaten with play-action. Questionable level of competition.
Lacks classic safety size. Too aggressive at times, and takes himself from the action. Inefficient and does not always take correct angles to plays.
Delmas' aggressive nature can haunt him on some plays. Rather than keep his eyes focused on the ball carrier he will lower his eyes and go for the "big hit" but not always succeed. Additionally, it's not uncommon to see him give up a couple extra yards on contact in-line as ball carriers who are bigger than him can hit him high and force him onto his back.
SENIOR BOWL PRACTICE RECAP - TFYDraft.com
Monday Practice Notes: Some eyes should have been opened with the play of Delmas today. The Western Michigan product made good reads throughout the day, covered well in the slot, and broke on the ball extremely well from his safety position.
Tuesday Practice Notes: Delmas was feisty and effective all day in practice. He mixed it up in practice and laid several hard licks on opponents. He was constantly around the ball and made a lot of positive plays against the run and pass. There's no doubt Delmas was one of the best defensive backs on the North squad and is really improving his draft stock.
Wednesday Practice Notes: Delmas had another solid day. There were no eye-popping hits as we saw on Tuesday but Delmas was impressive with his vocal leadership on the field, making sure players in the secondary were in proper position.
Thursday Practice Notes: No notes.
Analysis: Delmas was terrific and exceeded our expectations. He was physical, showed coverage skills and excellent leadership skills on the field. He relentlessly threw his body around the field and was constantly in the right place at the right time. There's no doubt he improved his draft stock anywhere from 15 slots to a full round based on his performance.
Delmas proved that he has what it takes to play in the NFL at the Senior Bowl practices. He displayed leadership, the ability to read the offense, and flashed the ability to punish opponents. His performance has shot him up to the top S prospect in the draft on some draft boards.
Delmas and Chung are very athletic performers with the ability to punish opponents. Both players play well in zone coverage and are above-average in deep coverage, though Delmas has displayed more ability in this area. While both players may be out of the Colts reach in the 2nd Round, it shouldn't be ignored that many of the draft's top DBs are considered CB/S hybrids and may move to S in the NFL. If that happens, Delmas and Chung may very well fall as the teams with the biggest needs at S may find their pick in the 1st Round. Whether Chung's special team's abilities or Delmas' superior deep coverage is the winning factor in making the choice, a decision may have to be made between the two. With the 61st pick in the draft, if Chung and Delmas are still on the board, who should the Colts select?