The NFL combine is under way and the first afternoon of workouts is officially complete. The defensive linemen and linebackers took to the field at Lucas Oil Stadium to showcase their athleticism to NFL teams and fans alike. But who stood out and who could the Indianpolis Colts be considering following their workout?
Yaya Diaby - Edge Rusher, Louisville
An under the radar prospect, YaYa Diaby opened some scouts eyes with a dominant combine. At 6’3”, 263 pounds, Diaby perfectly fits Ballard’s defensive end size thresholds. The former Cardinal posted a 4.56 40-yard dash with ridiculously quick 1.56 10-yard split. But Ballard and company value explosion at every position, and Diaby jumped the fourth-highest defensive end vertical at 37”. And paired that with 10’ broad jump.
Diaby is an explosive, speedy edge rusher who is projected to be a late-round pick. But after nine sacks in 2022 and a top rated combine performance, his stock could be on the rise. He could be the perfect fit behind Kwity Paye and Dayo Odeyingbo as a rotational pass rusher and special teamer.
Isaiah Foskey - Edge Rusher, Notre Dame
Notre Dame’s Isaiah Foskey is projected to be a late first, early second round pick and his athleticism certainly confirms what we see on tape. Foskey is a twitchy, juiced-up pass rusher who can hold his own in the run game. Foskey ran a 4.58 40-yard dash, with a 1.66 10-yard split. Foskey is not quite as explosive as the Colts usually prefer with a 34” vertical and 10’5” broad jump.
Foskey has an opportunity to be a quality starter in the league. His 11 sacks and 45 total tackles in 2022 makes him one of the most productive edge rushers in the 2023 draft class. If the Colts believe they need a starting edge over a rotational piece, Foskey could be there guy with the 35th overall pick.
Byron Young - Edge Rusher, Tennessee
When you talk about explosion as an edge rusher, Tennessee’s Byron Young instantly comes to mind. Young posted the second fastest 40-time so far in Indy with a 4.43 40-yard dash. He proved he is equally explosive with a 38” vertical and 11’ broad jump. Young is slightly undersized for what the Colts usually prefer at 6’2”, 250 pounds, but he would not be the smallest edge that Ballard has drafted during his tenure in Indianapolis.
Young tallied 12.5 sacks over the past two season in Knoxville and is considered a day-two prospect in the upcoming draft. Ballard has always loved speed and explosion off the edge, and Young certainly fits the mold.
Jalen Redmond - Defensive Tackle, Oklahoma
Jalen Redmond’s combine came as quite a shock as his tape sometimes lacked top-end athleticism. But the 6’2”, 291 pound defensive tackle ran a 4.81 40-yard dash, jumped 34.5” in the vertical and a 9’8” broad jump.
Redmond’s athleticism may have been underutilized at Oklahoma and his best ball could be in front of him. The Colts have struggled to find depth at defensive tackle, and Redmond could be their answer. If Ballard thinks defensive coordinator Gus Bradley could develop Redmond into a rotational depth piece with upside to be a spot starter, they may look to take him in the mid-to-late rounds in April.
Gervon Dexter Sr. - Defensive Tackle, Florida
Bigger, faster, stronger. Three terms the Colts front office always tries to find in their prospects. Well, Gervon Dexter Sr. fits all of those to a T. The 6’6” 310 pound mammoth of a human, ran a 4.81 40-yard dash. Going sub-five seconds at 300+ pounds is one of the most impressive athletic feats at the Combine thus far. The Colts prefer at least a 31” vertical and a nine-foot broad jump, and Dexter nearly hit those numbers on the nose.
The former Gator is a bit raw as a pass-rusher and in the run game, but learning behind Grover Stewart and DeForest Buckner would help develop his game as he eventually replaces one of the two.
DeMarvion Overshown - Linebacker, Texas
The Colts could be out two linebackers if EJ Speed and Bobby Okereke walk in free agency, so I’m sure they had their eye on this linebacker corps. Ballard has always looked for high-end athleticism in his linebackers, even if they are a bit raw. DeMarvion Overshown split time as a safety and then an off-ball linebacker while at Texas, but he explosion popped on the tape. With a 4.56 40-yard dash and a 10’4” broad, Overshown would be the most athletic backer on the Colts’ roster.
While he is still learning the position, Overshown’s safety background will serve him well in the NFL as he will be tasked with covering running backs and tight ends. Overshown’s upside may be too hard to pass up in the third round for Indy.