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Scouting Notebook: Prospects to watch in the Red River Rivalry

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Which Oklahoma and Texas players should Colts fans have their eyes on?

NCAA Football: Southern California at Texas Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Indianapolis Colts just suffered their fourth loss in five games to start this 2018 NFL season to drop their record to 1-4. Their odds of making the playoffs seem to be very slim now so it is never too early to jump into some college football to watch some potential prospects for the 2019 draft. With the Colts having so many needs, its hard to narrow down who to watch. That’s where I come in as each week we break down the games of 4 college players who could potentially fit the Colts.

This week our guest is Dane Brugler of The Athletic and the Trust The Tape podcast alongside Jeff Cavanaugh. Dane is one of the best draft evaluators in the business right now and it is great to have his input here in this week’s notebook. Dane had the great idea to pick four prospects from the Texas and Oklahoma matchup— The Red River Rivalry— since pro scouts always have their eyes on that game. So without further ado, here’s the prospects you should keep an eye on in the Red River Rivalry.


Kris Boyd, CB (6’0” 195)

NCAA Football: Tulsa at Texas Jamie Harms-USA TODAY Sports

Background:

One of the most experienced players on Texas’ defense, Kris Boyd has played in 27 games so far in his collegiate career which includes playing significant time as a freshman. Boyd has watched numerous teammates leave for the NFL in his four years at Texas and is now the unquestioned leader of a defense that has played pretty well so far this season. For his career, Boyd has 136 total tackles, 27 pass breakups, and 3 interceptions.


Dane Brugler’s Analysis:

A good-sized athlete, Boyd is one of the veterans on the Longhorns’ defense and that experience shows in his play. He does a great job using body position to cut off vertical routes and uses the sideline as another defender, leveraging the wide receiver towards the white. He needs to improve his route anticipation and add more discipline to his play style, but his size, athleticism and toughness make him one of the top-five senior cornerbacks in this class.


Film Review:

Here Boyd is in zone flat coverage on third and short with responsibility to cover the sticks. Boyd in typical zone coverage is reading the eyes of the quarterback as he takes his initial read step. Once the quarterback releases the ball, Boyd shows off his athleticism as he flies forward with great burst to get the pass breakup. This is a common defense run by the Colts and its great to see Boyd excel at it.

One of my biggest concerns with the Colts’ current group of corners is their inability to tackle effectively. In the last clip we saw Boyd come down hill whereas here we see him make a big tackle in open space on Keke Coutee. A corner who can play this intimidator type role as a corner is big in the Colts’ zone defense as players are asked so commonly to be run defenders and to limit big plays on underneath throws. This again just shows more of the fit Boyd has with the Colts.

Perhaps the most promising play I saw from Boyd and what really makes me believe he is a fit for the Colts. Boyd is playing the deep flats here in cover 2 zone. He is able to effectively jam the receiver off his desired path then locates the quarterback to read his eyes. He reads that the quarterback is going deep and flips his hips and breaks on the ball to make the pass breakup. The lack of talent in the Colts cornerback group currently would not be able to make this play whereas Boyd has the feel in zone and athleticism to get the pass breakup.


Fit with the Colts:

Boyd is a great athlete at outside corner and really uses that to his advantage. As you can see in most of these clips, Boyd excels in a zone scheme where he is asked to read what is in front of him and he attacks downhill violently in run defense/ against the underneath pass. He also can play straight up man coverage and limit the deep ball. This is a perfect fit with the Colts as we’ve seen them prefer their corners to be zone scheme guys who can make tackles in run support. Boyd reminds me a bit of what Vontae Davis— pre Bills retirement Vontae Davis— brought to the team during his stint here. A good, physical zone corner who has the ability to shut down one side of the field.


Charles Omenihu, DL (6’6” 275)

NCAA Football: Texas at West Virginia Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

Background:

Charles Omenihu is a very intriguing piece who could add a lot to the Colts defense. The long and lengthy defensive lineman has flashed considerably in his limited playing time with Texas the last four seasons. In those four seasons with Texas, Omenihu has tallied 85 total tackles, 16 tackles for a loss, 10 sacks, and 4 forced fumbles.


Dane Brugler’s Analysis:

Straight out of central casting, Omenihu looks the part and plays with outstanding length to gain immediate leverage, lock out and track the football. He lines up primarily inside the offensive tackle in Texas’ 3-3-5 base scheme, but he has the lower body athleticism to line up outside as a more traditional pass rusher if needed. Although the consistency and technical skill need to improve, Omenihu is a future NFL player who can provide valuable reps, regardless of scheme.


Film Review:

Omenihu is able to explode off the line here for the strip sack of the quarterback. Notice how effortless he moves for a man his size. Also notice how he is able to keep the tackle away with his long arm and rip underneath to create separation from the tackle. This play right here shows the ability to be a very good pass rusher in the NFL as you get his explosion, length, and finishing ability all on display.

Now Omenihu is rushing from the inside against a guard— a position where I’d prefer him for the Colts— as he gets the safety. After initially exploding into the chest of the guard, he’s able to extend that long left arm and keep the guard from getting to his chest. It’s one thing to just have length but Omenihu uses hi slength to his advantage when rushing the passer.

This last rep is just unfair. A 6’6” 275 pound player bending around the edge? If he can consistently bend around the edge with his length and athleticism then its game over in the NFL. Again notice that he is able to force the fumble. Some pass rushers are just born with this natural ability to fore turnovers and Omenihu possesses that.

Fit with the Colts:

I see Omenihu as an excellent potential replacement for Margus Hunt if he should leave this offseason. Even if Hunt does stay, it never hurts to add another lengthy interior pass rusher. Omenihu likely profiles as a 3-tech in the Colts defense but could also flex around the entire line and even play some defensive end in some packages with his length. His run defense is a bit of a worry for me but he could be used more as a sub pass rusher much like Kemoko Turay has been this year. One thing is for certain here; Charles Omenihu is an excellent pass rusher and could build an excellent young pass rushing core along with Kemoko Turay and Tyquan Lewis.


Collin Johnson, WR, (6’6” 220)

NCAA Football: Texas at Maryland Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Background:

It seems as though Collin Johnson makes a Sportscenter Top 10 catch each and every time he takes the field for Texas. The big, electric playmaker has improved every season and is one of the nation’s top receiving threats. For his career, Johnson has caught 106 passes for 1430 yards and 8 touchdowns.


Dane Brugler’s Analysis:

A tall drink of water, Johnson is an immediate mismatch due to his size, length and catch radius, something that especially shows in the red zone. While his routes tend to be upright, he is not a stiff athlete and his long strides allow him to threaten defenses vertically. Johnson does his best work on slants and comebacks where his body can shield defenders, but his ability to bail out errant throws due to his length and athleticism is the true luxury he provides to quarterbacks.


Film Review:

His ability to bail quarterbacks out is completely insane. His 6’6” frame on full display here as Johnson is able to lay out here for the overthrown ball. Not that he would need to constantly do this with Andrew Luck as his quarterback but this ability would be great to have on the Colts. A player who can reach these types of throws and actually have the skill and athleticism to make a play would be a huge addition.

First thing to notice here is how his reach is a huge factor. It helps him create separation at the line with a strong extended arm then when the ball is thrown he is able to reach back further than almost any other receiver could. Another uncatchable ball turned into a completion. His concentration here to bring the ball in and keep his feet in bounds should also be commended as this takes so much skill to accomplish.

This play may seem unspectacular but I wanted to show it for two reasons. One is to show how much ground he covers with his long strides. He gets up field quickly for a 6’6” 220 pound guy. Second I wanted to show that he catches this ball and is able to then absorb the contact and still maintain control, something we did not see much of on Thursday night against the Patriots. Colts need a player with this ability.

Fit with the Colts:

Collin Johnson brings everything to the Colts that they have desperately needed this season. First off, standing at 6’6” along with being a deep vertical threat is something that Andrew Luck has never had in his entire career. Second is that his hands are absolutely incredible. With Luck’s receivers now he can make perfect throws and his guys will still drop the ball. Johnson makes so even when the ball is off target, there is still a chance for a catch. With Johnson’s length, athleticism, and hands he would be the perfect compliment to TY Hilton and immediately step in as the team’s number two target.


Neville Gallimore, DT (6’2” 330)

NCAA Football: Oklahoma State at Oklahoma Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Background:

The Canadian born Neville Gallimore is an absolute freak of nature. It has been reported in Oklahoma’s offseason that he has run a 4.76 40 yard dash and can squat up to 800 pounds. That is absolutely insane for a man his size. In his three years as a rotational lineman for the Oklahoma Sooners, Gallimore has accumulated 90 total tackles, 7.5 tackles for a loss, and 4.5 sacks.


Dane Brugler’s Analysis:

Few have ever questioned the raw talent Gallimore offers, but until this season, he had struggled to use his skills in unison to be a reliable and productive starter. However, that narrative is starting to change. Gallimore, who moved to nose tackle this season, has remarkable strength to overwhelm interior blockers and reset the line of scrimmage with his upper body power. His bully tactics allow him to dispose of single blocks while using his foot quickness to put pressure on the quarterback


Film Review:

Showing off a little bit of the pass rushing ability that he has seemingly developed this season, Gallimore is able to shed three blockers en route to a sack. Notice how this is a stunt play— a play concept that the Colts run often— and Gallimore is just able to barrel through for the sack. This strength and quickness he shows here give me hope that he can be a decent pass rusher in the NFL.

Here is where Gallimore is going to make his money in the NFL. He stays low and is able to get up and under the guard’s pads. As the running back approaches, he’s able to extend his arm and discard the blocker to make an easy tackle. This is where I see Gallimore fitting the Colts as they could use a young interior run stopper like him to pair with Grover Stewart.

Another pass rush rep that really stood out to me. Notice how Gallimore is able to drive this lineman straight back into the quarterback’s face as he is releasing the ball. That is a devastating that puts the right guard on skates. He also is able to get his hands up and nearly bat the ball away, a personal favorite trait of mine for players to showcase.


Fit with the Colts:

Neville Gallimore could be an excellent replacement for Al Woods, who turns 32 this offseason and has an expiring contract. Gallimore has exceptional strength that bodes well for his ability in run defense. When rushing the passer, he is able to drive the pocket well and does offer a nice combination of swim moves and rip moves that create separation from lineman. For the Colts, he’d likely fit in as a starting one or 0-tech type player who clogs run lanes to open up gaps for linebackers. With his foot quickness and ability, Gallimore would also really excel in all the stunting concepts that the Colts deploy.


Final Thoughts

Overall this is definitely a game that all Colts fans should be watching today on both sides of the ball. These four players will likely all showcase their NFL abilities along with Marquise “Hollywood” Brown who we talked about in a previous scouting notebook. These players all have profiles that fit the Colts and could be potential targets in the 2019 draft for GM Chris Ballard.

Big thanks again to Dane Brugler for providing his analysis for today’s notebook. If you want to read more of his work, go check out his work over at the athletic or his podcast Trust THe Tape with Jeff Cavanaugh. Its really an excellent podcast with lots of good draft information.

This concludes our fourth scouting notebook of the year. If you are interested in viewing the previous notebooks, these are all their links right here at the bottom:

Week 1 with guest analyst Gavino Borquez of the Draft Wire:

https://www.stampedeblue.com/2018/9/15/17860836/scouting-notebook-a-weekly-look-at-potential-colts-prospects

Week 2 with guest analyst Brad Kelly of the Draft Network:

https://www.stampedeblue.com/2018/9/22/17889030/scouting-notebook-potential-colts-wide-receiver-prospects

Week 3 with guest analyst Ben Solak of the Draft Network:

https://www.stampedeblue.com/2018/9/30/17919460/scouting-notebook-pac-12-players-to-watch-for-the-colts