Pre-draft visits and workouts are always significant and worth paying attention to, and we’ve heard of a handful of those for the Indianapolis Colts so far this year.
Add another one to the list, as Sporting News’ Kristian Dyer reports that UCLA defensive tackle Eli Ankou will have a pre-draft visit and workout with the Colts on April 23.
Ankou spent four seasons at UCLA and was a starter in his final two of them, playing in 27 games and starting 19 during his career. He recorded 87 tackles, seven tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, a fumble recovery, three passes defensed, and a blocked kick. He recorded 47 tackles and five tackles for loss in 2015, and then he followed that up with 38 tackles and two tackles for loss in 2016. He is expected to be a very high pick in the CFL draft.
Ankou will likely be a mid-to-late round pick. Though it can never be known for sure what the specific reasons are for bringing in a prospect for a pre-draft visit and workout, part of it can sometimes be developing a relationship with a player so that the team has an inside track to signing the player should he go undrafted. But it’s also normally a time where the team wants to get as much info on a prospect as possible, including whether to draft him - and where. It’s likely a combination of those two things for the Colts as they host Ankou shortly before the draft.
The defensive line could be an area that the Colts address in the draft, given Chris Ballard’s emphasis on building the trenches. It’s not one of their biggest needs as a team, but that shouldn’t prevent them from adding players they think are talented enough to contribute and compete. It’s possible that Eli Ankou could be one of those late round targets for the Colts if they wish to bolster their defensive line depth some.