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Indianapolis Colts select USC DB Marvell Tell III with 144th pick

Washington v USC Photo by Sean Haffey/Getty Images

The Indianapolis Colts continued to address the secondary on the third day of the 2019 NFL Draft by selecting USC defensive back Marvell Tell III. Tell was not rated high as a safety in the Anthony Arena Memorial 2019 NFL Draft Guide but will likely not play at that position for the Colts.

He also played on special teams all four years with the Trojans and that will certainly help him have a chance to make the roster in what is becoming a rather crowded defensive backfield.

He reminds me of Pierre Desir, in that he has great length at 6’2”, 198 lbs. and doesn’t have a blazing 40 yard time — although his 4.57 second time at USC’s Pro Day is good enough. He put up a 42” vertical jump, which was third among all defensive backs; a 136” broad jump, which was second; ran a 6.63 second three-cone, good for second; and a 4.01 second 20-yard shuttle, good for third.

As we can see above, Tell is another rare athlete the Colts coaching staff will have the chance to mold into something more at the next level. How well he transitions to corner is hard to project but there is another important trait to acknowledge.

Tell not only was a well respected player on his team who stayed for four years, even though he likely could have been drafted after his junior season, but also worked really hard in the classroom and in preparation for life after football. He is another clear locker room fit and should continue to build upon the culture Chris Ballard has been working hard to create.

His best college season came as a junior where he tallied 85 tackles, 2.5 for a loss, 3 interceptions, 2 passes defensed, a fumble recovery and a touchdown — earning him a nod as first-team All-Pac-12. For his career, Tell tallied 220 tackles, 6.5 for a loss, .5 sack, 5 interceptions, 13 passes defensed, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery and a touchdown.