For anybody who follows college football, one of the most highly anticipated articles each year is Bruce Feldman’s “Freaks List.” Feldman’s list is filled with a ton of great info as he goes around the nation recognizing the biggest “freaks” and athletes in college football. Many of these players that land on his list end up either having break out seasons or end up being high draft picks in the following draft.
In today’s article, we will be looking at a few of the players on the 2019 Freaks list as well as looking back on some Colts players who have landed on this list in the past few years.
2019 “Freaks List”
I typically don’t like releasing other author’s work, especially if they have their work behind a paywall, but we will discuss the top three players on his list this season and why Colts’ fans should watch these players in this upcoming season. If you want to see the full list released this season, here is the link for your reading pleasure. Be sure to subscribe to The Athletic to be able to view the entire 2019 Freaks List.
1.) Tristan Wirfs, OT Iowa
Wirfs is an elite athlete who was a breakout player for Iowa in 2018. He is an impressive 6-5 320 pound right tackle who has the power clean record at Iowa with four reps at 450 pounds. He also jumped 35 inches for his vertical this offseason and set a “personal record in the broad jump, going 9-5 feet.” Wirfs could be a potential first round target for the Colts in the 2020 draft if Anthony Castonzo does leave the team after this upcoming season.
2.) Neville Gallimore, DT Oklahoma
Gallimore was a player that Dane Brugler and I highlighted in one of my Scouting Notebooks last season. He can “bench press 500 pounds and squat 800” according to Feldman. He also reportedly clocks 4.76 40 yard dash time which would be on of the fastest times for a 300+ pound player in the history of the combine. Gallimore could be a great fit in the Colts’ defense in the 2020 draft if Margus Hunt or Denico Autry struggle at all this next season.
3.) James Smith-Williams, DL N.C State
Smith-Williams is an elite athlete who can be very versatile up front. At 265 pounds, he benches 420 pounds and can do up to 27 reps at 225. He also can squat 620 pounds and clean 374 according to Feldman. He has also reportedly jumped up to 40 inches with his vertical and a high of 4.43 in the 40 yard dash. His versatility and athleticism could make him a target for the Colts in the 2020 draft.
Colts Players on Past “Freaks Lists”
It is no secret that Chris Ballard loves himself some elite athletes. In the few years that he has been a part of the Colts, he has turned one of the older and slower rosters in the league to one filled with speed and youth. How many “freaks” has he prioritized getting on the roster though? Let’s look at some past lists.
Parris Campbell, WR Ohio State (#21 on the 2018 Freaks List)
The Colts selected Parris Campbell with the 59th pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. The team hopes that he can bring his big play ability and speed to the offense and really open things up. On the 2018 Freaks List, Campbell just missed the top 20. He measured in Spring with a 40 inch vertical, broad jump of 11.3 feet, and a 100 meter dash of 10.4 seconds. Feldman also said that his sub-4.4 40 time “might not even do him justice.”
Campbell went on to put up even better numbers at the NFL Combine a year later and found his way into the second round. Hopefully the Colts can unlock that elite athleticism in this upcoming NFL season.
This is must-see television. Parris Campbell with the super impressive 40-yard dash time, compared to other notable star WRspic.twitter.com/lazrzZMAG3— PFF (@PFF) March 2, 2019
Matthew Adams, LB Houston (#31 on the 2017 Freaks List)
The Colts drafted linebacker Matthew Adams with the 221st pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. The Colts were obviously taking a shot on upside with this pick as Adams was a workout warrior in college. In college, he benched 405 pounds, squatted 605, and cleaned 375 according to Feldman. He also had a vertical jump of 36 inches going into his Senior season.
Adams ended up being a fine player for the Colts as a rookie, as he filled in late as a Sam backer for the team. He is a bit undersized but with his elite strength and solid athleticism, he was able to hold the strong side of the line at the point of attack very well. If he can continue to develop going into year two, the Colts could have a gem of a linebacker with his strength and athleticism.
Braden Smith, OT Auburn (#12 on the 2017 Freaks List)
The Colts drafted Braden Smith with the 37th pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. He was originally drafted to play guard for the team but was able to make the transition to tackle due to his elite athleticism and work ethic. Smith benched 495 yards while also clocking a 4.95 second 40 yard dash, jumping 33 inches vertically, and 9.95 feet in the broad jump according to Feldman. His Oline coach Herb Hand also said “I’ve never had one like him. He’s a most deserved FREAK.”
Smith ended up being a gem for the Colts as he locked down the right side of the line late last season. Facing players such as DeMarcus Lawrence, JJ Watt, and Dee Ford, Smith went through the gauntlet last year and will be much better as a result. He currently looks to be the right tackle of the future for the team.
Braden Smith of Olathe South benching 515 x 3 five yrs ago in high school. One of the strongest KS players ever, also state throwing champ. This weekend, the former Auburn All American is starting for the Colts as a Rookie OL in the AFC Divisional Playoffs against Kansas City pic.twitter.com/HvYD6faKzt— Sports in Kansas (@sportsinkansas) January 8, 2019
Kemoko Turay, DE Rutgers (#17 on the 2015 Freaks List)
The Colts selected Kemoko Turay with the 52nd pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. Years before being drafted by the Colts, Turay was a hot name in college football. He exploded as a Freshman at Rutgers, as he tallied 7.5 sacks and blocked three kicks. Going into 2016, he had a vertical of 40 inches, ran in the 4.6 range, and gained over 30 pounds while doing this according to Feldman.
Turay was solid last season for the Colts as a rookie as he exploded early for four sacks and a forced fumble in the first eight games. His production slipped late last year as other players could play the run more efficiently but he still has a ton of potential. While learning from players such as Jabaal Sheard and Justin Houston as well as learning from retired superstar Robert Mathis, Turay has all the potential in the world to succeed in this league.
Bruce Feldman’s Freaks List is must read material every offseason to see who the best workout warriors are in college football. The Colts may not have a ton of these players on the roster but they have dipped their toes into that talent pool a little bit in the past.
Braden Smith was able to show off his work ethic and athleticism last year as he made the difficult transition to tackle last year from guard. Matthew Adams and Kemoko Turay put together good rookie seasons and have the athleticism to be very good. Parris Campbell is the most recent addition to the team from a Freaks List and expectations are sky high. These four players should be fun to watch for the Colts in 2019. Be sure to keep an eye on the rest of the 2019 Freaks List this upcoming college football season.