2018 Stampede Blue NFL Draft Guide Player Profile
James would immediately improve the Colts secondary
The Indianapolis Colts had one of the NFL’s worst secondaries last season. In the passing game, they allowed 246.6 yards per game, which ranked 28th in the NFL. Their pass defense wasn’t much better, giving up 120.4 rushing yards per game, 26th in the NFL. Combine the two and the Colts defense as a whole was even worse than the two, giving up 367.1 yards per game last year, which was 30th in the league. It is no surprise that majority of mock drafts has the Colts taking a defensive player in the first round.
Derwin James, a 6-foot-3, 215-pound safety out of Florida State could be a terrific option for the Colts if they decide to move down to the middle of the first round. James is rated as the second-best safety in the NFL Draft, according to Stampede Blue’s rankings. He is a big, athletic freak that is able to both slow down the run game up the middle and be a good presence in the passing game.
With his size, speed and athleticism, James is able to play in basically any scheme. With the Colts moving to a different defensive scheme, this makes James even more valuable. Even with adjustments to the scheme, James can still be a very productive player in the back of the defense.
James is very versatile because of his ability to not only slow down the run but to play in the slot and in coverage. Nowadays in the NFL, you have to be able to do it all, especially with players only getting faster and stronger year-to-year. James’ versatility will allow him to play in the league for a long time.
The Indianapolis’ defense is rebuilding after a very disappointing season and it wouldn’t be a surprise if the Colts move down and take James. He is a defensive coordinator’s dream and would be a great fit for the Colts in the middle of the first round.