The 4pm cut deadline has come and gone as GM Chris Ballard and HC Frank Reich have trimmed the roster down to the mandatory 53. The next major step in getting this team ready for the regular season is waiver claims where the Colts are currently third in the waiver order.
Each player that is cut, the Colts will have a chance to claim tonight through waivers. Outside of the Wide Receiver position, the defensive backs look to be the position in the most dire need of players added through waivers.
The current cornerback group sits as Nate Hairston, Quincy Wilson, Pierre Desir, Chris Milton, Kenny Moore and Lenzy Pipkins. The current Safety group is Malik Hooker, Clayton Geathers, Matthias Farley, and George Odum. Overall the talent is lacking here so here is my top five candidates to be added through waivers to this shaky defensive back depth chart:
5.) Kai Nacua S Ravens
After playing in a handful of games for the Browns last season, Nacua was waived and claimed by the Ravens. Nacua boasted a strong preseason where he finished up with 6 tackles and a pick 6 against the Washington Redskins.
Nacua is an impressive tackler and run defender who also has the ball skills and athleticism (4.49 40 yard dash) to be a deep safety. Add on that he has some experience at cornerback and is a solid special teamer and a team is going to have a solid player. If it were up to me, I’d personally waive George Odum and add Nacua as the team’s 4th safety because of the versatility he offers.
Kai Nacua is the definition of a ball hawk. This is an amazing catch. pic.twitter.com/aa5pYdfNMb— Jake Lee (@jacobrexlee) August 31, 2018
4.) Brendan Langley CB Broncos
Brendan Langley was a bit of a surprising cut today by the Broncos. Langley, a 2017 3rd round draft pick, was largely a disappointment last year as he only tallied 3 tackles for the year. Still though, there is talent with Langley. He was very solid on special teams and boasts an impressive athletic profile for a corner standing at 6’0” 205 pounds and running an impressive 4.43 40 time at the combine.
Langley may still have some developing to do but so do all the corners on the Colts roster. The Colts would be wise to claim Langley as he could immediately compete for snaps with guys like Pierre Desir and Lenzy Pipkins as the team’s 4th corner.
3.) Cre’Von Leblanc CB Bears
Cre’Von Leblanc really intrigues me as a slot corner. I know that Nate Hairston is the team’s current slot corner but signing Leblanc would give the Colts another player who can play that role which can bump Hairston outside in some packages.
LeBlanc has been a very productive corner for the Bears the last two seasons as he has tallied 61 tackles, 1 sack, and 2 interceptions while playing slot corner there. At the very worst, LeBlanc would provide valuable, cheap depth that is an instant upgrade over Kenny Moore in the slot.
#Bears have informed CB Cre'Von LeBlanc he will be waived. Appeared in 28 games with 10 starts the past two seasons. Could help a team in need of a slot corner.— Brad Biggs (@BradBiggs) September 1, 2018
2.) Quenton Meeks CB Jaguars
The entire draft world was shocked when Quenton Meeks went undrafted back in this past draft. Meeks was super productive at Stanford where he had 7 interceptions and 17 pass deflections in three years as a starter. Meeks is a big, physical corner (6’2” 197lbs) who is very similar to Quincy Wilson.
Meeks likely would have made the Jaguars roster if their cornerback group wasn’t so deep to begin with. Much like with Langley, Meeks would be an excellent developmental player who could occasionally play and wear down opponents. He offers much more upside than players like Pipkins, Milton, or Moore and I think the Colts desperately need a player with his potential on the team.
Pick-six for CB Quenton Meeks (Del Norte HS/Stanford) in the Rose Bowl. pic.twitter.com/Xx9DJnljhK— Bodie DeSilva (@SDPreps) January 1, 2016
1.) Keith Tandy S Buccaneers
It might come as a shock to some people reading this that a safety is my number one choice, but honestly I’m a bit worried about the durability of Malik Hooker and Clayton Geathers. Both are coming off of significant injuries and if either are looking at missing time in the regular season, then UDFA George Odum could be forced to see playing time.
I’d personally like another proven commodity like Matthias Farley backing these two up in the case of another injury. Tandy is a proven vet and has been a ball hawk the last 5 seasons with the Bucs. Tandy could also bring some valuable leadership and veteran presence to the safety group as the main three players are all fairly young and inexperienced. Tandy’s combination of skill and leadership would be an excellent addition to the Colts secondary and that is why he is my number one defensive back waiver priority for today.