We can add two more players to the list of those the Indianapolis Colts met with at the NFL Combine, as Walter Football's Charlie Campbell reports that the team met with Miami cornerback Artie Burns and Oregon defensive end DeForest Buckner at the Combine last week.
Burns spent three seasons at Miami before declaring early for the NFL Draft for family reasons. His mother passed away of a heart attack and his father is incarcerated, so he took over custody of his two brothers as well as raising his own son. During his time at Miami, Burns played in 36 games (starting 23) and recorded 93 tackles, three tackles for loss, two sacks, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery, 14 passes defensed, and seven interceptions. In 2015, he led the ACC with six interceptions, the most in a season by a Miami player since 2003. He was a dual-sport athlete at Miami, as he also participated in track and field as a hurdler. He is projected to be a second or third round pick by CBS.
The Colts need a number two cornerback to play alongside Vontae Davis, so it should come as no surprise that they are looking into some of the corners in this year's draft. They simply don't know what D'Joun Smith can do since he missed most of his rookie season, so it's smart to do their homework on this year's group of corners - which seems to be what they're doing.
Buckner is one of the top prospects in this year's draft after a tremendous career at Oregon. During his senior season, he was the team's Defensive Most Outstanding Player, the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year, the Morris Trophy recipient (voted on by opposing Pac-12 linemen), and a finalist for the Ted Hendricks Award (the nation's top defensive end). He played in 54 games at Oregon, recording 232 tackles, 36 tackles for loss, ten passes defensed, two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, ten quarterback hits, and 18 sacks.
It is likely that Buckner will be gone by the time the Colts pick, but it's smart for Indy to do their due diligence on him in the unexpected case that Buckner drops to pick number 18. He projects to be a very good 3-4 defensive end in the NFL, and while that's not near the top of the lists of the Colts' needs, adding a player like Buckner would absolutely help regardless and give the team a very talented player to work with.
Here's the list of prospects we've heard of the Colts meeting with at the NFL Combine (remember, they are allowed to meet with up to 60, so this list is just a small sampling of the players the team actually did meet with):
Artie Burns, CB, Miami
DeForest Buckner, DL, Oregon