According to team owner Jim Irsay on 1070 The Fan’s ‘The Ride with JMV’, the Indianapolis Colts are looking at finding a third impact cornerback—already having at least two currently in the fold (presumably Kenny Moore and Xavier Rhodes here):
“I think Chris (Ballard) has worked hard to give us a chance with the defensive backfield, where we have more than just a chance,” Irsay told JMV on Wednesday.
“I think we have a chance to be actually pretty special if we can really find three corners that are really capable guys. I feel like we have at least two now, and that’s going to make a huge difference.”
That’s not exactly a vote of confidence for soon-to-be third-year cornerback Rock Ya-Sin, a former 2019 second round pick, who had an up-and-down sophomore campaign, but still has plenty of time to turn into a high-end starting caliber NFL cornerback for the Colts.
However, what it could mean is that cornerback is a higher priority than some may anticipate heading into late April’s quickly approaching NFL Draft.
For one, even with the significant team needs at left tackle and edge (which Irsay also firmly acknowledged on Wednesday), someone like Northwestern cornerback Greg Newsome shouldn’t be ruled out with the 21st overall pick—because the Colts will take the best prospect available regardless (if it aligns with any key roster hole).
Newsome could very well be in play there too.
It also could mean that the Colts could look at a cornerback on Day 2—with either their current second round pick or if the team acquires more pick(s) (following a trade down).
For what it’s worth, the Colts were also recently connected to Florida State top cornerback prospect Asante Samuel Jr. as well.
With Colts’ fans so primarily focused on left tackle and edge, it’s easy to forget that top NFL general managers don’t necessarily draft solely based on need. In fact, they don’t at all.
It’s also about compiling the best talent—as Irsay mentioned drafting Reggie Wayne in the first round in 2001 despite a non-glaring need at wide receiver (with Hall of Famer Marvin Harrison firmly entrenched as an NFL superstar at the position).
That means don’t sleep on cornerback early on in the NFL Draft for the Colts—currently biggest need or not for Indianapolis (although yes, ideally the franchise needs to address both left tackle and edge as well among position groups).
It’s worth noting that Irsay also wants to improve at tight end too—to become more dynamic:
“Yes, you’d love to add that ‘Dallas Clark’ tight end that ‘x-factor’ that changes everything offensively, and that’s easier said than done.”