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NFL Draft 2017: Colts draft cornerback Nate Hairston in fifth round

NCAA Football: South Florida at Temple Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The Indianapolis Colts have drafted Temple cornerback Nate Hairston with the 158th overall pick, their first selection in the fifth round.

Hairston spent his first three seasons at Temple as a wide receiver but didn’t see much playing time, ultimately leading to his switch to cornerback as a junior. He only had one season as a full-time starter, his senior season in 2016, but he recorded 27 tackles, three tackles for loss, two interceptions, and three passes defensed. According to Pro Football Focus, Hairston was targeted 40 times in coverage last year and allowed 23 receptions, but he didn’t allow a touchdown and picked off two passes. Opposing quarterbacks had an NFL passer rating of 51.8 when targeting Hairston. His lack of experience at corner means that he’s a guy the Colts can work with and help develop in the secondary.

This is the second cornerback that the Colts have drafted this year, along with Florida’s Quincy Wilson in the second round. Wilson likely will step in and start, but Hairston is more of a developmental guy. There’s quite a bit of upside and potential with him due to the fact that he hasn’t spent much time playing corner, and that had to have been intriguing to Chuck Pagano and Chris Ballard. Harrison said today that he really bought in to switching to corner when Jets head coach Todd Bowles told him after a practice in 2015 that he could be an NFL corner.

Here’s a complete look at the Colts’ picks in the 2017 NFL Draft:

1st round, 15th overall: Malik Hooker, S, Ohio State

2nd round, 46th overall: Quincy Wilson, CB, Florida

3rd round, 80th overall: Tarell Basham, EDGE, Ohio

4th round, 121st overall (traded to San Francisco 49ers)

4th round, 137th overall (from New England Patriots): Zach Banner, OT, USC

4th round, 143rd overall (from San Francisco 49ers): Marlon Mack, RB, South Florida

4th round, 144th overall (compensatory): Grover Stewart, DT, Albany State

5th round, 158th overall

5th round, 161st overall (from San Francisco 49ers)

The Colts picked up an extra fourth round pick (137th overall) from the New England Patriots earlier this offseason in exchange for tight end Dwayne Allen and their sixth round pick. That’s where the team’s sixth round pick went, and their seventh round pick was traded early in the 2015 season to the Cleveland Browns as a conditional draft choice for Billy Winn. The Colts also received an extra fourth round pick this year (144th overall) as a compensatory pick because of the departure of tight end Coby Fleener to the New Orleans Saints last offseason. They made a trade on day three of the draft to send the 121st overall pick to the San Francisco 49ers in exchange for the 143rd and 161st overall picks.

To keep up with all of the picks throughout the league in the 2017 NFL Draft, check out our draft tracker here.


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