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Colts Select Vanderbilt Edge Dayo Odeyingbo with the 54th Overall Pick in 2021 NFL Draft

East Tennessee State v Vanderbilt Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images

In a surprising turn of events, the Indianapolis Colts selected another edge, this time Vanderbilt defensive end Dayo Odeyingbo with the 54th overall pick of the 2021 NFL Draft:

The 6’5”, 276 pound defensive end (with long 35 1/4” arms) recorded 32 tackles (15 solo), 8.0 tackles for loss, 5.5 sacks, and a pass defensed during 8 starts—earning First-Team All-SEC honors for the Commodores.

Unfortunately, Odeyingbo suffered a torn Achilles ahead of the Senior Bowl while preparing for the 2021 NFL Draft—which could limit his pro football activity until the fall:

That being said, the Colts saw firsthand the power of rehabilitation, willpower, and modern medicine/science, when rookie safety Julian Blackmon debuted in Week 2 of last season—despite suffering a torn ACL the prior December collegiately.

While it shouldn’t be expected, it’s possible that Odeyingbo could make a rookie impact earlier than anticipated—although a September/October return timetable isn’t all that late anyways.

Here’s his scouting report from

“Odeyingbo is a versatile defensive lineman who sets the edge when he lines up on the outside and is strong enough to compete at defensive tackle when he keeps his pads down. He has the length, quickness, power and motor to develop into an effective interior pass-rusher. Odeyingbo tore his Achilles days before the Senior Bowl in January. — Steve Muench”

Here’s what else they’re saying:

To me, Odeyingbo looks like he’s similar to the Denico Autry mold as a power defensive end, who can kick inside on obvious passing downs. He has valuable defensive line versatility.

It looks like if not for the serious injury, he may have been a first round pick and not even available for the Colts in the second round. However, he still has to make a full recovery from an injury that can sometimes be explosion sapping for football players long-term.

That being said, the Colts clearly felt the risk was worth the reward here and are making major moves to shore up their previously depleted edge group with some major young ‘dudes’—regarding both first rounder Kwity Paye and now Odeyingbo.

The pick was surprising because there had been little to no noise on Odeyingbo given his injury and because the Colts had just taken an edge in Paye.

Digging further though, it’s easy to see that this was a First-Team All-SEC caliber defensive lineman, and the Colts are taking advantage of his unfortunate injury draft stock-wise—believing that he can fully regain his prior form in time (i.e., their medical staff must be comfortable too).

Given that all of the ‘Tier 2’ offensive tackles were already off the board, and the Colts were going to have to shift gears regardless on another position—Odeyingbo makes sense.

It just happened to be on another talented defensive line prospect because Colts general manager Chris Ballard loves reinforcing those trenches whenever he can.