The NFL Scouting Combine workouts kick off tomorrow afternoon, but teams have been setting up shop, prepping for prospect interviews over the past several days. These five prospects could make an impression on the Indianapolis Colts.
Trey Palmer - Wide Receiver, Nebraska
General manger Chris Ballard certainly has a type at receiver. Over 6’0” tall, 200+ pounds with elite explosion. Trey Palmer is listed at 6’1”, 190 pounds, but his speed and explosion could force Ballard’s hand. Palmer operates heavily from the slot and would be an ideal replacement for Parris Campbell. Along with his top end speed, he’s a smooth route runner who is a killer in the intermediate game. Nebraska gave Palmer touches at any given opportunity. With end arounds, screens, and first-reads, Palmer was the Cornhusker’s go-to guy. Head coach Shane Steichen would have a blast scheming Palmer touches.
John Michael Schmitz - Center, Minnesota
The Colts could be moving on from center Ryan Kelly and his replacement could be in Indy this weekend. John Michael Schmitz certainly fits the bill of the Indianapolis Colts interior offensive line. He’s athletic and agile enough to fit in a wide-zone blocking scheme and easily reach the second level. But he is an absolute bully at the line of scrimmage. Michael Schmitz may not be a top tier athlete, but he should meet Ballard’s standards.
Mazi Smith - Defensive Tackle, Michigan
Pound-for-pound, Mazi Smith is arguably the most athletic player at the combine. The number one freak on Bruce Feldman’s 2022 Freaks List, Smith is a 6’3”, 330 pound mammoth of a man. He reportedly has a 33 inch vertical along with a 9’4” broad jump. Smith has a chance to be the top defensive tackle in the shuttle and three-cone, two drills that translate heavily to success in the NFL. While Smith is more of a nose tackle, three-technique hybrid, but will fill in well next to Grover Stewart and Deforest Buckner.
Julius Brents - Cornerback, Kansas State
If Ballard were to build a cornerback in a lab, Kansas State’s Julius Brents would be the result. Brents is reportedly 6’3”, 205 pounds with 34” arms. Brents is extremely physical at both the line of scrimmage and the catch point. He is a twitchy athlete whose long strides should help him perform well in the 40. He can be a bit grabby but that is nothing some good coaching can’t fix. And sitting behind All-Pro Stephon Gilmore certainly won’t hurt either.
Anthony Richardson - Quarterback, Florida
And now the no-brainer. Anthony Richardson is the talk of the town in Indianapolis, combine aside. Many analysts are pairing Richardson and the Colts due to Steichen’s work with Jalen Hurts in Philadelphia. Richardson could potentially run in the 4.4s and will give everyone a front row seat at his howitzer of his arm. But most importantly, the interview process will be key. Richardson’s first conversation with Ballard, Steichen, and Irsay could be the trigger for the Colts trading to the first overall draft pick.