The 2019 NFL Draft is in the books, and the Colts made one thing clear through their selections, they wanted to add speed, versatility, athleticism, and high character to their roster to boost competition, especially on the defensive side of the ball.
Here is a look at the complete Indianapolis Colts 2019 Draft Class:
Colts 2019 Draft Class
|2||59||Parris Campbell||Wide Receiver||Ohio State|
|4||109||Khari Willis||Safety||Michigan State|
|5||164||E.J. Speed||Linebacker||Tarleton State|
|6||199||Gerri Green||Defensive End||Mississippi State|
|7||240||Jackson Barton||Offensive Tackle||Utah|
|7||246||Javon Patterson||Center||Ole Miss|
After the draft had concluded, Chris Ballard and Frank Reich sat down to discuss some of the picks and their mentality behind them, and it provided a good look at the ideas he has for this roster going forward.
Rock Ya-Sin - Cornerback, Temple
The Colts’ first pick didn’t come until day two, but they got a difference-making cornerback who many thought had first round talent. Ya-Sin has solid footwork and instincts, and showed himself to be a guy well suited to a zone scheme like the Colts use. He is a solid tackler who isn’t afraid to make himself a factor in the run game, which is definitely a big part of being a corner for this team.
Another cool note on new #Colts cornerback Rock Ya-Sin:— Charlie Clifford (@cliffWISH8) April 26, 2019
1st #Temple player in program history to wear single digit number during first season with team
The Owls only give out single digit numbers to the 9 toughest players on the roster
Not. Soft. @WISH_TV
Ballard had good things to say about him, pointing out Ya-Sin’s performance at the Senior Bowl, and saying that while they had an opportunity to move down, they decided to stay and pick at 34 because they didn’t want to miss the opportunity to get Ya-Sin.
As an additional feather in the cap of the Temple CB, PFF reported that Ya-Sin had the 2nd lowest yards per catch allowed of all draft-eligible defensive backs with 250 snaps or more at cornerback. That is certainly the kind of thing that would make him a good fit with Matt Eberflus’ defense.
Ben Banogu – Linebacker, TCU
The selection of Banogu is one that fit precisely inside the profile this draft class seemed to aim for. An athletic freak who the Colts believe can be a versatile piece all around the defense, Banogu provides the possibility of filling a role they haven’t really had on this defense so far. The Colts talked this offseason about really honing in on players who fit the profile defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus was looking for, and this selection was evidence of that.
Ballard praised Banogu’s positional flexibility and while he said they would start him at the SAM position, they think he can come up to rush the passer. Another attribute that Ballard referenced is the ability to perform really well on the turf at Lucas Oil Stadium. He offered up a comparison to Jamie Collins coming out of college.
Banogu is a player who we might not truly have a feel for until we get to see him in action during OTA’s and training camp, but he certain adds an athlete to the mix and competition in the front seven.
Parris Campbell - Wide Receiver, Ohio State
The selection of Parris Campbell seems like it is destined to be a perfect fit with what Frank Reich does best. He drew comparisons to Percy Harvin as a bit of a gadget player when our own Stephen Reed scouted him. Unfortunately for Harvin, he never got linked up with a coach who really knew how to use him effectively. Frank Reich will have no such issues.
Campbell’s blazing 4.31 speed and effective use as a threat over the middle will be an immediate help in the offense, and his game-breaking speed and explosiveness should lend itself to a special teams unit that has long lacked a dangerous return man.
Campbell will provide competition in a wide receiver room that has been good but far from great. Apart from T.Y. Hilton, this group still has a lot of unanswered questions, and Campbell should provide them with a player who can stretch the field opposite Hilton. With Deon Cain, Devin Funchess, Chester Rogers all vying for spots behind T.Y. Hilton, along with a slew of UDFA’s, this room has better competition than they have in awhile.
Frank Reich had this to say about Campbell:
Paris (Campbell) was the one guy that really jumped off the tape to me. Just his explosiveness. Playing in the slot, you see all the things he can do, but I really saw some abilities in him that I thought translate and make him not just a slot receiver that you can do a lot of different things with him. But the 4.31 speed, the high character, the intelligence and the high character is important because that has to be an unselfish room.
Bobby Okereke – Linebacker, Stanford
In case you were wondering whether the Colts have a type at linebacker, the selection of Bobby Okereke should answer that question. Okereke might be the perfect example of their “type.” A sideline to sideline freak athletic linebacker with long arms and good coverage instincts.
His actual athletic profile reminded some almost forcibly of Darius Leonard. Ballard specifically stated about him that they believed he could play at any position in the linebacker corps, but that he would be given the opportunity to compete and the best guy would start.
Adding in a quality depth player who is both another elite athlete and who has versatility around the field fits in perfectly with the goals Ballard seems to have had for this draft class. The added upshot of having solid depth and great athleticism there is that special teams will be the likely beneficiary of a higher level of talent as well.
Of the Colts four picks on day two, three went toward adding depth and competition to the defense. Two quality linebackers and a cornerback will bolster a defense that struggled any time they were missing a starter. This defense should be able to weather injury much more effectively, and with tougher competition for starting spots and better scheme fits for Eberflus, it should be a very entertaining training camp.
Check back for the day three summary.