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Rashaan Melvin is Colts’ Unsung Hero

Matt Harmon of listed CB Rashaan Melvin as the Colts’ unsung hero.

NFL: Indianapolis Colts at Tennessee Titans Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Indianapolis Colts cornerback Rashaan Melvin got some much deserved recognition on Tuesday when Matt Harmon of listed Melvin as the Colts’ unsung hero.

Not much went right for the Colts this season -- especially on defense, where they ranked outside the top 20 in points and yards allowed for the third straight season. However, they did enjoy something of a breakout season from this 2013 undrafted free agent. The lengthy 6-foot-2 cornerback was a strong cover man, allowing a paltry 66.8 passer rating and snaring three picks before landing on injured reserve in late December. Melvin made himself some money in 2017, as he heads into the offseason with a chance to test the free-agent market.

Melvin has been a standout performer for the Colts for the last two years, starting 19-of-25 games. He was signed in a desperation move right before the 2016 regular season as the Colts’ secondary was demolished by injury, and Melvin wound up forced into a starting role when Patrick Robinson couldn’t stay healthy.

Melvin has a great story and is a case of multiple teams’ trash being the Colts’ treasure. He changed teams five times before landing with the Colts, and his reputation had taken a beating because of an awful performance in the playoffs. With the Baltimore Ravens in 2015 against the New England Patriots, Melvin allowed catches on 12-of-15 targets for 224 yards and 2 touchdowns. He struggled to catch on with the Patriots and Miami Dolphins after that, finally getting another chance with the Colts.

In 2017, Melvin entered the season as an unquestioned starter opposite of Vontae Davis, and he supplanted Davis as the more effective cover man in no time. As Harmon mentioned, Melvin’s coverage was stingy, and he claimed his first three career interceptions. Ironically, he suffered a season-ending hand injury while making his final pick of the year.

Moving forward, Melvin is set to become an unrestricted free agent this March. While it makes sense for the Colts to bring him back, the 28-year-old is likely to command a hefty contract. Although his age and likely price isn’t ideal, he has proven himself to the Colts and may be considered a still-ascending player — the type that Colts general manager Chris Ballard covets.