Previewing the 2013 NFL Combine: Secondary

Tim Heitman-US PRESSWIRE

The Colts only have one CB that played significant minutes on the roster for 2013, and it's time for an upgrade at Strong Safety. Who's going to join Antoine Bethea and Vontae Davis?

As we talk about here at Stampede Blue all the time, the most successful teams in the NFL are the ones that can pass the ball, and can defend the pass. What better way to help the defensive part than by getting more talent in the Secondary? While the Front 7 obviously has their jobs in the passing game, CBs and Safeties have to be able to cover guys for the Defense to be effective. Thankfully for the Colts they have half of their Secondary in tact from last year, as Antoine Bethea and Vontae Davis will both be back, hoping to ride the momentum of the end of the season, where they both played really well. The Colts need more help though.

Cornerbacks:

I know nominally there are only two starting CBs, but in reality the Colts need three, if not four guys ready to play at any time, as they'll need to go into their Dime coverage consistently while up big in the 4th quarter, right? Depth is a huge thing at CB, something the Colts haven't had in quite a while (probably 2006, where Kelvin Hayden was the #4 guy). Wouldn't be nice to get back to that level?

Like I said above, Vontae Davis is definitely back next season, but the next three guys on the depth chart all are Free Agents, including Jerraud Powers. I really like him as a player, when he stays healthy, and won't be opposed to the Colts bringing him back on a short deal. I just have a tough time believing he'll make it through an entire season injury-free. Darius Butler and Cassius Vaughn are also FAs, and have no idea whether they'll be brought back. Even if both are, it doesn't mean the Colts can't take another CB, even early, to get more talent on the field.

The draft class is pretty heavy in the middle of the draft, with lots of guys in the 2nd to 5th round range. I'm not one to guarantee things, but barring the signing of the three guys above, plus another big-name guy, I'd almost guarantee the Colts take a CB in the middle rounds.

Players to watch at the Combine:

Name School Combine # Round
Banks, Johnthan Mississippi St DB05 1
Rhodes, Xavier Florida St DB36 1-2
Ryan, Logan Rutgers DB38 1-2
Trufant, Desmond Washington DB50 1-2
Amerson, David North Carolina St DB03 2-3
Davis, Will Utah St DB10 2-3
Mcfadden, Leon San Diego St DB27 2-3
Hawthorne, Terry Illinois DB15 2-4
Poyer, Jordan Oregon St DB32 2-4
Simon, Tharold Louisiana St DB39 2-4
Taylor, Jamar Boise St DB47 2-4
Wreh-Wilson, Blidi Connecticut DB60 2-4
Alford, Robert Southeastern Louisiana DB02 3-4
Commings, Sanders Georgia DB08 3-4
Gratz, Dwayne Connecticut DB14 3-4
Hyde, Micah Iowa DB18 3-4
Slay, Darius Mississippi St DB41 3-4
Sweeting, Rod Georgia Tech DB46 3-4
Webb, B W William & Mary DB52 3-4
Robey, Nickell Southern California DB37 4-5
Adams, Johnny Michigan St DB01 4-6
Anthony, Marc California DB04 4-6
Mathieu, Tyrann Louisiana St DB23 4-6
McGee, Brandon Miami-Fl DB28 5-6
Bushell, Adrian Louisville DB07 6-7
Edwards, Mike Hawaii DB11 6-7
Johnson, Jay Jay Purdue DB20 6-7
Reid, Greg Florida St DB35 6-7
Williams, Steve California DB57 6-7

Strong Safety:

The Colts have two guys that I'd be ok with as being the backup Strong Safety, but if last year taught us anything, it's that Tom Zbikowski is good in short spurts, but as much as it pains me to say, he's not an NFL starter. In fact, Joe Lefeged outplayed him while Zbikowski was hurt for a couple games. They are both under contract for next season, and I don't think an additional SS will necessarily cause one of these guys to lose their job.

There's a good chance that the two top guys will be available at pick #24 in Matt Elam and Kenny Vaccaro, although I saw some today that have Vaccaro going in the top 10. With the job of covering Tight Ends becoming so important for the Strong Safety, I'm all for taking one of those guys in Round 1, as neither would be a reach there. There's also some depth at the end of the draft as well, if they want to try for the steal in the later rounds.

Players to watch at the Combine:

Name School Combine # Round
Elam, Matt Florida DB12 1-2
Vaccaro, Kenny Texas DB51 1-2
Rambo, Bacarri Georgia DB33 2-3
Wilcox, J J Georgia Southern DB54 2-3
Thomas, Phillip Fresno St DB48 2-4
Cyprien, Johnathan Florida Int DB09 3-4
Lester, Robert Alabama DB22 3-4
Williams, Duke Nevada DB55 3-4
Williams, Shawn Georgia DB56 3-4
Motta, Zeke Notre Dame DB31 5-7
Thomas, Shamarko Syracuse DB49 5-7
Wolff, Earl North Carolina St DB58 5-7
Johnson, Keelan Arizona St DB21 6-7
Slaughter, Jamoris Notre Dame DB40 6-7
Starling, Jawanza Southern California DB43 6-7
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