With the 85th overall pick in the 3rd round (via a trade down with the Detroit Lions), the Indianapolis Colts have selected Utah safety Julian Blackmon.
The 6’0”, 187 pound senior safety recorded 60 tackles, 4.0 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, 4 passes defensed, and 4 interceptions (one returned for a touchdown) in 12 starts this past season—earning First-Team All-Pac 12 and 2nd-Team All-American honors.
The former Utes standout had 9 interceptions over his last three seasons—as he was also a 2x 2nd-Team All-Pac 12 member at cornerback as a sophomore and junior.
Blackmon did not participate in the NFL Combine because he suffered a torn ACL in the Pac-12 Championship Game.
However, the former Utes’ cornerback transitioned to free safety last season—demonstrating his versatility to match up anywhere in the defensive secondary, including covering tight ends in the slot.
He has shown impressive length, instincts, athleticism, and ball skills for the safety position—and he’s a strong tackler.
Blackmon is still a bit raw developmentally at the safety position and will need to continue to improve his technique, spacing, and pursuit angles to the football. He can lose track of receivers at times. He’ll also need to hope that his knee injury is fully behind him next year (as he’s four months out of surgery).
That being said, the Colts could use another reliable safety—even a developmental one for depth, and Blackmon has the versatility to contribute right away in nickel subpackages.
If nothing else, he should be an immediate special teams contributor.
There’s a reason Julian Blackmon is the highest-grades Utah defender.— Cam Mellor (@CamMellor) December 7, 2019
And a PFF First-Team All-American! pic.twitter.com/dsCk49HeDM
Comes charging downhill showing his physicality and aggressiveness in run support pic.twitter.com/iQO2ToFJd9— Tommy (@tmacdraft24) April 6, 2020
QB extends the play and Blackmon gets caught watching him in the backfield and drifting forward before doing a great job turning to track not only the ball but also the WR. Then makes exceptional athletic play on the ball. This is so far from an easy play pic.twitter.com/u65RL9uQc2— Tommy (@tmacdraft24) April 6, 2020
Julian Blackmon (23) is heading to Mobile for the Senior Bowl. He was a two-time All Pac12 cornerback, but moved to safety this year. 205-pound ball hawk that typically plays off in coverage, but here he shows you his closing speed as a blitzer. pic.twitter.com/NRLuJiDpgm— Travis Wingfield (@WingfieldNFL) November 17, 2019