The Colts are rolling through their 2018 season as they face the Washington Redskins this week in D.C. Now there is a lot to talk about regarding that game but lets talk about some draft prospects. With the Colts having 11 picks in the 2019 draft including three in the first two rounds, Colts fans need to be familiar with some of these college players. So this will be the first installment of a weekly Scouting Notebook here on Stampede Blue.
Each Scouting Notebook will feature me highlighting 3-4 prospects in college football and breaking down why I think they would be good fits for the Colts. Also, I will be including some analysis from an expert outside analysis each week as well. This week I asked Gavino Borquez of The Draft Wire to provide 3-4 players that he thought would fill the Colts needs, So without further ado, here is the first weekly Scouting Notebook of the year:
Jerry Tillery, IDL, Notre Dame
Jerry Tillery could be the perfect fit in Matt Eberflus’ defense as a 3-tech. Tillery has been a four year fixture on the Notre Dame defensive line ever since arriving on campus. Starting off as a key rotational player his first two years with The Fighting Irish, Tillery garnered 49 tackles, 5.5 tackles for a loss, and 1 sack in only 17 games played. Last year though, Tillery broke onto the scene in his first year fully starting. He tallied 56 tackles, 9 tackles for a loss, and 4.5 sacks in 13 games started.
Tillery is an excellent prospect as he displays incredible length and size for the position along with a few quality pass rushing moves in his repertoire. Standing at 6’7” 305 pounds, he effortlessly stacks and sheds defenders with his length. In run defense, he does have fairly decent fundamental athleticism to strafe down the line and make plays. I think Tillery can be an effective starting DT who provides a big boost in pass rushing in the NFL.
Here, Tillery shows off his length and pass rush savvy. Uses a push-pull technique to free himself from the guard and ends the play with a sack:
This is an impressive run stop by Tillery as he uses his right hand to shield the blocking guard as he strafes down the line to make the play:
Again we see the length and push-pull technique on full display. His go to move is very effective:
Overall I think Tillery would be a great fit on the Colts defensive line. With his length and pass rushing ability, I imagine DC Matt Eberflus could use him in a variety of ways. As a potential starting 3-tech, its hard to find a better fit for the Colts in college football. Keep an eye out for this guy.
Here’s what Gavino had to say about Tillery:
3T-Jerry Tillery (6-foot-6 and 305 pounds) Moved him to the three-technique this year and has been nearly unblockable. Long arms and frame. Good quickness and burst. Extremely durable. Nice get off.
Julian Love, CB, Notre Dame:
Sticking with Notre Dame, Julian Love is another really good prospect for the Colts. Corner is arguably the Colts biggest need and Love is a straight playmaker. In two years starting for Notre Dame, the Junior corner has 113 total tackles, 4 interceptions, and 23 pass deflections. Love also returned two of those four interceptions for touchdowns last season.
Love may be my favorite cornerback prospect in this class not named Greedy Williams (who we will likely discuss in another Scouting Notebook). Love is extremely aggressive along with being a very good athlete who can run with any receiver. He excels in a zone scheme as he has great burst in and out of his breaks which allows his to disrupt underneath passes. Although he is a bit susceptible to double moves, Love has the potential to be a number one corner in the NFL.
Here Love is in zone coverage on thrid and short playing the sticks. He sits on the quick out and quickly jumps the route for a pick 6:
Here Love is man coverage with Kelvin Harmon. Love does a great job of driving Harmon to the sideline making the pass almost impossible to complete. Great job getting his head around too to avoid a penalty:
Here Love sits on a quick curl and quickly jumps it for the PBU. His accleration out of his break is incredible.
Overall Love has the potential to be a number one corner for the Colts, especially in a zone scheme. His ability to read the QB and break on underneath routes is unprecedented and he has the athleticism to run with any receiver in man. He does have a tendency to get beat by double moves but I’m getting Marcus Peters Lite vibes from Love early on.
Here’s what Gavino had to say about Love:
CB-Julian Love (5-foot-11 and 193 pounds) Athletic, has a knack for the ball. Took two of his three INT to the house last year
Mack Wilson, LB, Alabama:
Mack Wilson is quietly continuing the Alabama tradition of producing excellent NFL linebackers. Wilson may not have much starter experience yet as he sat behind Reuben Foster, Shaun Dion Hamilton, and Rashaan Evans the last few years but he has been productive in limited time. As a rotational player last year, Wilson had 40 tackles, 2.5 tackles for a loss, and 4 interceptions.
Wilson is a pure cover linebacker with excellent athleticism. He moves like a safety at his 6’2” 240 pound frame. In coverage, he reads quarterbacks with ease and has the burst and acceleration to break on all passes. He could be that coveted tight end eraser in the NFL next year as well as he matches up well with most tight ends. This year will be big for Wilson as he is the guy now at middle linebacker. I think he shoots up draft boards after a string season.
Here Wilson does a good job of reading the run and shedding the blocker to make the play:
His athleticism on full display here. Great interception off the deflection and turns the corner for the touchdown:
In zone coverage here as he reads Francois and jumps the route. This play is impressive for a safety let alone a linebacker.
Overall Wilson has the potential to be a very good Mike linebacker in the NFL. He has the natural athleticism and pass coverage ability to be an instant three down starter for the Colts. If he can improve a bit on his consistency and continually improve this year as a starter, I’d love to see him in a Colts uniform next year.
Here’s what Gavino had to say about Wilson:
LB-Mack Wilson Better athlete than Rashaan Evans, in my opinion. Crashes down hard against the run. Great vision at seeing rushing lanes open up. Strong ability to stack/shed blocks. Premier in coverage. 4 INTs last year.
Today’s scouting notebook was more of a focus on the defensive side of the ball as the Colts appear to have the most weaknesses on that side. Each of these players bring a new type of talent that Chris Ballard and the Colts need to continue the rebuilding process. Julian Love is a potential number one corner with playmaking ability. Jerry Tillery offers insane size and pass rush ability that the Colts are lacking up front. Mack Wilson is an insane athlete with the potential to be a very good Mike backer in the NFL.
Next week we will likely focus on the receiver position as that appears to be the main issue on the offensive side of the ball (besides TY Hilton of course) Since this is a relatively new weekly installment I do want to hear your feedback. If any of you have any suggestions for future scouting notebooks, leave a comment on this article here or follow me on twitter, @zachhicks2, and send your ideas there.