With an exciting Day 2 of the 2019 NFL Draft in the books, (detailed by my buddy Sam here) Day 3 was going to face a very tough act to follow. Even so, Chris Ballard and the Colts managed some fantastic moves in the later rounds.
The key aspect above all else for all Colts draft picks this weekend, in my opinion, was character. A big accolade of many new Colts include team captains, leaders, and vocal motivators on and off the field. These qualities, along with strong Senior Bowl performances, speed, and a passion for the game above all else are becoming the noticeable trend under Colts General Manager Chris Ballard. A trend I very much support. With that, I would like to take a look here at each individual Day 3 selection by Indianapolis, and explain why I'm excited to have them on board.
Measurables: 5'11", 213 Pounds, 31" Arms and 9 1/2" Hands
At the NFL Scouting Combine Willis recorded a 4.52 40-yard dash, and 23 reps on the bench press. He also recorded a 34.5 inch vertical jump and a 118 inch broad jump.
Willis must have been very high on Ballard's board, as he gave up both of the Colts 4th round picks to move up 20 spots to select him (129th, and 135th). The more you read about Khari the more there is to like about this kid. Team Captain, vocal leader, 2x All-Big Ten honors, and a great work ethic. In his junior season he posted impressive stats including, 71 tackles, 5.5 for loss, 4 sacks, 2 INTs, and 3 passes broken up. His senior season he managed to build on those numbers, posting 84 tackles, 2 INTs, and 10 passes broken up. A fun fact about Willis, he was the 2018 Big Ten Luncheon Keynote Speaker, and gave, in my opinion, a fantastic speech. I'm very excited for what Khari can bring to this secondary in 2019. The leadership, motor, effort, and mentality he shows are great traits for any rookie, most of all on a young team like the Colts. I project him to begin as a back-up at SS, and a big part of the special teams unit, with a potential to earn a role much greater in a evolving secondary.
Measurables: 6'2", 198 Pounds, 33 1/8" Arms and 9 3/4" Hands
At the NFL Scouting Combine, Marvell put up a 42 inch vertical jump and a 136 inch broad jump. He also recorded a 6.63 second 3-cone drill, and a 4.01 second 20 yard shuttle.
Marvell Tell mostly played free safety at USC, with two games played at strong safety as a true freshman. The Colts, however, view his lengthy frame and coverage ability as a great fit for the mainly zone scheme they deploy. While the transition may take time, Tell has real talent in coverage, earning First Team All-Pac-10 honors in his junior year, and All-Pac-12 honorable mention as a senior. He started all 14 games as a junior at free safety, recorded 85 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, 3 INTs one returned for a touchdown, and 2 passes broken up. Tell started 10 games in 2018 as a senior, posting 57 tackles, an INT, and 5 passes broken up. Tell offers great size at corner back, but a thinner frame and a broken collarbone as a freshman bring questions about his health and durability in a physical fast paced Colts defense. I see his upside, but project him to compete for a depth role outside in Indianapolis, with a focus on contributing on special teams as well.
Measurables: 6'3", 227 Pounds, 33 1/4" Arms and 9 3/4" Hands
Pro Day numbers included a 4.6 second 40-yard dash, 24 bench press reps, 34" vertical jump, 10' broad jump, 6.9 second 3-cone drill, and a 4.39 second 20 yard shuttle.
I will be honest, this pick came out of nowhere. Myself as well as many Colts fans were hard pressed for info on Speed. After a fun few hours of research, its easy to see what the Colts see in E.J. from a purely athletic standpoint. He did have some off the field issues, regarding criminal charges that were later dropped, but these charges seem to not worry the Colts organization when it comes to Speed's character. He's played multiple positions including QB, LB, and worked out as a wide out at his pro day. He brings great physical size and speed to the linebacker group, with Ballard stating a desire to use him at the Will position first, likely as a back up to All-Pro Darius Leonard. And, I think he could have some potential to surprise many as another small school LB on a loaded Colts defense. In his career at Tarleton State, (2013-2018) Speed recorded 215 tackles, 36 tackles for loss, 11.5 sacks, 3 INTs, 8 forced fumbles and 5 recoveries. E.J. also had 7 passes broken up, 4 blocked kicks, and 20 QB hits.
Measurables: 6'4", 252 Pounds, 33" Arms and 10" Hands
At the NFL Scouting Combine, Green posted a 4.63 second 40 yard dash, 24 reps on the bench press, and a 35 inch vertical jump. Also at the Combine, Gerri had a 114 inch broad jump, a 7.27 second 3-cone drill, and a 4.42 seconds 20 yard shuttle. Green worked with the DL group, despite experience at linebacker.
Green had a bit of a down year in 2018, playing mostly DE as opposed to a more stand-up EDGE or Rush Linebacker type role he played his junior year. He showed inconsistency at setting the edge in the run game, something the Colts will need to help him improve on to become the 4-3 DE Ballard thinks he can be. Strong athletic ability, length, and talent are there. He may just need time to grow into the Colts system, and add strength and better leverage when playing against the run. In 2018, Green's senior season, he accumulated 31 tackles, 6.5 of them for a loss, and 3.5 sacks. His junior year in 2017 as a LB, he posted 38 tackles, 11 for a loss, 5 sacks, 3 passes broken up, and an interception he took to the house for a TD. He started all 13 games his final two seasons. earned SEC All-Freshman honors in 2015, and starting in the Belk Bowl that season. I see Green battling for a depth and special teams role come training camp.
Measurables: 6'7", 310 Pounds, 34" Arms, and 9 1/4" Hands
At the NFL Scouting Combine, Barton posted a 5.18 second unofficial 40-yard dash, as well as 25 reps on the bench press and a 27 inch vertical jump. He also had a 109 inch broad jump, 7.85 second 3-cone drill, and a 4.66 second 20 yard shuttle.
Barton, the first of two late offensive picks in the 7th round, brings needed young depth to the tackle position. He has good arm length and solid college experience playing left tackle. Solid run blocker who could see time at the right tackle position as well in the off-season. Started all 14 games his senior season in 2018 at left tackle, and all 13 games in 2017 at the same spot. Earned All-Pac-12 honors in 2018, his senior season. I see him battling for a depth spot at the tackle position.
Measurables: 6'3", 307 Pounds, 32 1/2" Arms, 9" Hands
At the NFL Scouting Combine, Javon posted a 5.13 second unofficial 40-yard dash, as well as 27 reps on the bench press and a 27.5 inch vertical jump. Patterson also recorded 98 inches on the broad jump, a 7.72 second 3-cone drill, and a 4.78 second 20 yard shuttle.
Patterson, the Colts 10th and final selection in the 2019 NFL Draft, was only the third on the offensive side of the ball, a surprise to me. Patterson has extensive experience at all three interior offensive spots from his time at Ole Miss. That versatility will go a long way to helping Javon secure a depth spot behind the Colts solid starting group. He started at left guard, right guard, and center during his college career, starting all 24 games from 2017-2018 at left guard. I project him to be a key rotational lineman who will have to fight to earn his snaps, a team wide competition that Colts GM Chris Ballard has brought to many different positions on the roster with yet another solid draft class.
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