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Can CB Rock Ya-Sin take that next step for the Colts this season?

Indianapolis Colts v Tennessee Titans Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images

The Colts have an established No. 1 cornerback in veteran Xavier Rhodes. Rhodes, though, is 31-years-old and is only on a one-year deal with Indy. With Rhodes on the back half of his playing career, the Colts are going to need their younger corners to step up in a big way for them moving forward.

Additionally, the team’s second cornerback spot, as reported earlier this offseason, appears to be up for grabs going into the 2021 season. Although Ya-Sin is only going into his third season, given the uncertainty and inexperience of the Colts’ cornerback situation, it’s likely the team will look to the former Temple standout to take that next step for them.

Last season, Ya-Sin had one interception, one forced fumbled and seven passes defended as well. Where the young corner seemed to struggle most in 2020, though, is with penalties. According to footballdatabase.com, Ya-Sin had a total of six penalties, including three pass interferences and a holding call.

While the number of penalties may not seem like much as a whole, some of Ya-Sin’s errors ended up being somewhat costly in the short term for the team last season. For example, the pass interference penalty against Green Bay put the Packers in prime scoring position and allowed them to go up 28-14 at the half, rather than by just seven.

Similarly, Ya-Sin’s pass interference penalty against the Tennessee Titans just one game before also allowed the Titans to take a 17-10 lead late in the second quarter. While yes, the Colts ended up coming out as the winner in both of these matchups, committing those kinds of fouls in key situations could lead to a much different outcome in games in the future.

The traits and overall skillset is there for the lengthy cornerback. If Ya-Sin can clean up some of the unnecessary penalties and play at a more consistent level, I see no reason why he can’t take a big step in the right direction this season, and possibly win the Colts’ No. 1 corner job in the future.