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Colts sign 3rd round pick S Julian Blackmon; All 2020 draft picks are now signed

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 02 Utah at Washington Photo by Jeff Halstead/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

With a little over a month before the expected date to begin training camp at West 56th street, the ink is set on all nine of the Colts’ 2020 draft selections. Safety Julian Blackmon was the last to sign, and did so yesterday.

Selected in the third round with pick 85, the 6’0” 187lb safety out of Utah is a player the Colts are pretty excited about as a versatile defensive back who can play in the nickel, on the outside, and back in coverage. A smaller player, he’ll need to prove he can be durable and learn quickly at the next level if he wants to carve out a role for himself.

In his last season at Utah, Blackmon started 12 games and finished with 60 tackles, 4 tackles for loss, 8 passes defended, 4 interceptions with one for a touchdown, and 2 forced fumbles. With a stat line like that, it isn’t hard to see what piqued Chris Ballard’s interest. The Colts are looking for players who can take the ball away and be an impact player, and Blackmon certainly did that as a part of a very talented secondary.

While he is a smaller player, Blackmon put plenty of instances on tape where he was more than willing to come downhill hard to stop runners at the edge, and his good instincts and quick trigger made that possible. In this safety class, Blackmon was, in my opinion, the best tackler of the bunch. His size could be an issue, but Kenny Moore is undersized as well and consistently one of the biggest playmakers on the field for the Colts.

Blackmon is a player to watch very carefully, with the Colts having passed on picking up Malik Hooker’s 5th year option. If we get a standout year from Blackmon, and a so-so performance from Hooker, we may be seeing the last of him.

Now that the team has all their picks signed, they can begin the process of integrating their players into the system and preparing for camp. Philip Rivers has apparently taken the lead on scheduling some players-only workouts that will be a sort of jumping off point with COVID-19 keeping the team somewhat restricted.

As painful and long as the wait is, we are creeping ever-so-slowly toward football.