The East-West Shrine Game will take place this Saturday, though a lot of the real evaluation for NFL teams comes during the week as they watch practices and talk with players. We mentioned yesterday that NFL.com reported that the Colts talked with Oregon defensive lineman Alex Balducci after Tuesday's practice, and NFL.com's Chase Goodbread mentioned three players who the Colts talked with after Wednesday's practice: Virginia Tech defensive lineman Luther Maddy, Michigan State defensive back R.J. Williamson, and Arizona State defensive back Lloyd Carrington.
It's important to note that just talking with a player at the Shrine Game after a practice does not mean much, as teams can simply talk with a player on the practice field following the conclusion of that day's practice session. Those meetings can be about a wide variety of topics, such as clearing up a question, finding out more about the player, gauging interest, or setting up a future meeting. So just because the Colts talked with these three players doesn't mean much, but tracking these meetings does give us a better indication of who the Colts might be interested in - or at least who they're looking into further.
Maddy (6-2, 283 pounds) was a defensive tackle for Virginia Tech who played in 56 games and started 46 over his five years there (he received a medial redshirt for his 2014 season after playing in four games before tearing his meniscus). In his career, Maddy recorded 175 tackles, 14 sacks, 29.5 tackles for loss, 45 quarterback hits, two forced fumbles, and two fumble recoveries. In 2015, he was voted first-team All-ACC by the ACC Media. He has received interest from a few teams this week at the Shrine Game andis projected as a mid-to-late round pick.
Williamson (6-0, 216 pounds) played safety for Michigan State for the past four seasons, playing in 44 games. He recorded 154 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, a forced fumble, two fumble recoveries, 12 passes defensed, and eight interceptions while also scoring three defensive touchdowns (two on interception returns and one on a fumble return). He was injured during his senior season, however, and missed the final eight regular season games with a torn biceps before returning for the College Football Playoff. Williamson is projected as a late round pick.
Carrington (6-0, 195 pounds) played cornerback at Arizona State for the past three seasons after transferring from Pittsburgh following his freshman season. While at Arizona State, Carrington played in 40 games and started 29 of them, including 26 in a row between 2014 and 2015. He recorded 136 tackles, eight tackles for loss, four sacks, three interceptions, two defensive touchdowns, 15 passes defensed, and two forced fumbles. He was named a co-captain in 2015 and received the Tim Landers Iron Man award (given to the Arizona State player who shows great work ethic in the weight room, on the field, and in the community) as well as the Darren Woodson Outstanding Secondary award (given to the Arizona State player who, as you might have guessed, was outstanding in the secondary). Before the 2015 season, CBS Sports' Rob Rang noted that some teams see Carrington as a guy who could switch to safety because of his skills. He is projected as a late-round pick.