At the moment, Colts writers and fans seem to find ourselves in a slow news period. The NFL Draft is in the rear view mirror, the start of the season is still far down the road. So, during these next couple of weeks when we aren’t expecting huge news, I wanted to look back at some of the young players on the roster and speculate on what may await them in the 2019-2020 season.
In this article, I’ll take a look at Kemoko Turay, a bit of his film/technique and where I see him fitting in the Colts future scheme. He’s an interesting player with an incredible amount of upside. Conversely, he could also be a terrible bust. Let’s take a closer look.
Weight: 253 pounds
Arm Length: 33 3/8’’
“I’m our generations Von Miller.”
That was the first thing out of Turay’s mouth the very first time he was interviewed by Indianapolis Media. Confidence clearly isn’t something that he lacks. Another thing that he doesn’t lack? God-given physical gifts. His arm length, explosiveness and motor are most certainly the reasons Ballard decided to give the Scarlet Knight a chance at number 52 overall in the 2018 Draft.
Last year, he proved Ballard correct by demonstrating how oozed with potential in the passing game. Unfortunately, the section of his draft profile detailing his inability to impact the run game was proven accurate, and was a problem throughout the season.
This is what makes Turay’s statements about being the next Von Miller seem like they’re not that exaggerated: Miller is 6’3’’ and about 250 pounds. Turay is 6’5’’ and 253 pounds. Miller has 33.5 inch arms. Turay has 33 3/8th inch arms. Miller ran a 4.42 second 40 dash. Turay ran a 4.65 second 40 dash. So on paper, they have similar physical capabilities. Let’s see if that translates into film.
This first clip is a great example of Turay’s incredible burst. He quickly accelerates from the moment he gets off the line and with just 4 strides, the LT has to completely rotate. Turay curves around the edge so fast that #71 is only able to get his hands on Turay’s shoulder, who just swats them away. Unfortunately, this play isn’t perfect. The first mistake isn’t Turay’s fault, but it does affect his pass rush. Margus Hunt stunts so that Moore can come in with a rather undetermined blitz, as he seems to slip. This gives the running back enough time to pick up the blitz and leave a gaping hole for Wentz to step up into. Secondly, Turay bumps into Geathers in the backfield. This is not completely their fault because, as I stated above, Wentz just steps up to avoid the rush. However, Turay needs to dip his shoulder more. That’s one of the big differences between him and Von Miller. Miller is a master at getting low, which helps him turn more effectively. Turay is too upright, making it harder for him to turn up into the pocket. Geathers hitting him square in the chest as he goes for the tackle also doesn’t help.
Here is another great example of Turay’s acceleration. Once again, by the time the LT gets his hands on him, Turay is already gone. I would hope to see a little bit more bend. Right now, his go-to move is using his speed to get past the lineman and then either swatting their hands away or extending his arm to create separation. These moves are fine, but they are primarily helpful when he already has the LT beat. When playing against better linemen, these techniques will succeed at a lower percentage.
Length and Motor
Another physical gift Turay takes full on advantage of is his length. His long arms, paired with his non-stop moto,r remind me of another young stud on the Colts roster who won DROY last year: Darius Leonard (you may have heard of him).
This rep puts it all together in one snap. Turay gets off the line and shoots through the B Gap so fast that the Lineman can’t even get a good grip on him. Then, with Margus “The Estonian Mountain” Hunt setting the edge on one side and Zaire Franklin preventing the cut-back lane, the RB has nowhere to go. This allows Turay to just freely pursue the RB and use his length to eventually bring him down. He has to be careful with the horse collar tackle, but besides that everything else is perfect.
I ended up cutting this article short in favor of making it a two-part read. I know my material tends to be a little longer and more drawn out, but for the sake of time,this piece will be more focused on Turay’s athletic abilities while Part 2 will be geared towards Turay’s technique and intangibles.
Also, I plan on doing a “Building Blocks” breakdown on Tyquan Lewis next. However, if you would like me to focus on another young player, which the Colts have a plethora of, then leave a comment or tweet me.
Also thanks to @paint_tristanfields for the cover art, I really enjoyed it!