The Indianapolis Colts have finally brought in a safety this off-season. They added Derrick Kindred which may not be the splashiest addition of the off-season, but is a solid ad overall. The Colts claimed the former Browns’ draft pick today and inherited what is left of his original rookie deal with the team. He was recently released by the team after they traded for safety Eric Murray from the Chiefs.
In today’s film room we will look what he brings to this Colts team. He struggled a bit in 2018 compared to previous seasons so we will also cover the areas that give me drawbacks in regards to this waiver claim.
5’10” 210 pounds
40 Time: 4.50 / Bench Reps: 17 / Vertical Jump: 37.5 inches / Broad Jump: 123 inches / 3-cone: 7.05 seconds
Career Stats (NFL):
108 total tackles, 10 tackles for a loss, 12 pass deflections, and 2 interceptions.
There weren’t too many strengths that popped out to me on Kindred’s film. He really struggled in 2018 overall but I do believe that the Colts’ valued him mostly for his versatility. He lined up all over the place for the Browns for this past season. In the six games I watched, I saw him line up at outside cornerback, slot cornerback, deep safety, box safety, linebacker, and he played a ton of special teams as well. This versatility is certainly something the Colts value.
This first clip showcases him lined up as a deep safety. Overall this is likely his weakest area as he struggles with his instincts and feel on the backend (which we will discuss later). He does a good job of coming downhill though and can make plays in the run game or in the short passing game from this area of the field as he does on this play.
This next play has him lined up in the box as the box safety/linebacker role. This role is likely his best one as his instincts and speed limitations are hidden. He is a physical player and does a good job of being patient and hitting tight ends off the line. He needs to be stronger in run defense in terms of setting an edge and disengaging from blockers but overall he is decent in this role.
This last clip shows him on special teams. He is solid in this area. On kick teams he is a good tackler who stays home on the outside and doesn’t allow big plays. On punt team, he displays great effort all around and makes key blocks or tackles when needed. Here he is coming down the right side and is able to track down the returner for the tackle.
How does a player make up for not being the most talented or instinctual player on the field? By giving effort on every single play. He is always involved in the action. For a team like the Colts who preach a swarm mentality on defense, his mindset should fit in nicely. If he were to ever see defensive snaps, the way he hustles on every play would be right in line with the rest of the defense.
This first clip has Kindred starting off as an edge rusher of all positions. He drops into zone coverage near the sideline as the ball is snapped. Once he sees Deshaun Watson start rolling out of the pocket, he starts to come downhill out of his zone. He doesn’t stop in his pursuit until he comes away with the tackle just a couple yards down the field. This is good pursuit by Kindred and a solid tackle in open space.
This next clip he travels quite a bit. He drops again into zone coverage out of his spot near the line of scrimmage at the snap. Once he sees Watson roll out of the pocket, he comes downfield to stop the run. Watson is able to find his receiver about ten yards away but Kindred continues his pursuit as he turns around and races towards the receiver to push him out of bounds. This is really good pursuit and effort.
Like I mentioned earlier, I didn’t see too many strengths in his game from watching his 2018 film. The biggest concerns I had though were his tackling and his struggles in coverage. In terms of run defense, he scored a 42.8 grade in run defense and a 36 grade in tackling according to Pro Football Focus. PFF also noted that he missed 10 tackles while only making 34 solo tackles on the year. That is one missed tackle for around every three made tackles on the season.
In terms of coverage, it wasn’t much better. He graded out with a 52.5 overall grade in this department on the year. He allowed 19 catches on 24 targets for 266 yards and 2 touchdowns on the season as the primary player in coverage.
This first clip shows my main concern with his tackling. He isn’t a soft by any means but he struggles to line up his target and make good, clean tackles. He prefers to lunge at runner’s legs which results in many missed tackles. Here he dives for Marshawn Lynch’s legs which results in the miss and extra yards for the offense.
In coverage, he had his fair share of struggles as well. In the box, he struggled with diagnosing play-action and would lose his man quite a bit in man coverage. I think he has the strength and physicality to match up well in man but his instincts, ability to diagnose the play, and speed are concerns for me. Here he gets fooled by the play-fake and allows a reception over the middle.
His lack of instincts in deep coverage are also very worrisome. He often is slow to react or makes the wrong reads when tasked with playing half the field or in single high. Here he gets caught looking at the inside route and the Raiders are able to hit the streak on the sideline where he should be in coverage.
Derrick Kindred is a decent addition that really doesn’t push the needle at all for the Colts. He is a young player who had some success in 2017 before regressing a bit in 2018. The Colts likely are hoping that he will return to the success he had in 2017 with a more simplified scheme— Gregg Williams runs a very different scheme from the rest of the NFL to put it nicely— and better overall coaches on staff to help with development.
I already know what some comments will say about this film room. “Why sign a safety who can’t cover or tackle?” I get the concerns with Kindred and think that currently he could be cut before next season even starts. There is no harm in claiming him though. Add bodies and depth to an already solid roster and push for competition.
If, big if, Kindred can return to form, then this is a great waiver pickup. If not, there is no risk and he can be easily cut. Overall though I do like Ballard’s approach to continually add talent and depth to this roster. Bringing in more competition can only strengthen the locker room and build on an already great foundation. Just a low risk addition overall that could pan out long-term much like how Kenny Moore II and Pierre Desir have since they were claimed off of waivers before.