Undrafted Free Agent Players To Watch

By Sam Sinclair |
Undrafted Free Agent Players To Watch

The Colts have, for the most part, been very good at identifying undrafted free agents (UDFAs). And, have had at least one UDFA make their initial 53-man roster for the last 20-straight seasons, the longest active streak in the NFL.

Notable Colts Jack Doyle, Chester Rogers, Rigoberto Sanchez, and Matthias Farley entered the League as UDFAs. Last year, it was Skai Moore and George Odum making the active roster in 2018. So if this trend continues and the Colts keep at least one UDFA on their roster in 2019, who could it be? 

I will highlight three UDFA who the Colts could keep on their 53-man roster. If they don't make the initial roster, I still believe these players will be on the practice squad and appear in games for the Colts in the 2019 season.

 

Penny Hart, WR, Georgia State

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The biggest name of all the official UDFAs who the Colts have signed (which you can get up-to-the-minute updates here).

Hart, in four years at Georgia St., had two seasons of over 1,000 receiving yards and eight touchdowns. He's an explosive play-maker at the receiver spot and averaged 15 yards per catch in his four years in college. 

Hart's calling card is his short-area quickness. At 5'8 and 180 pounds, he is built a lot like Nyheim Hines. Both are small, but very quick and dynamic in the open field. Another strength of his game that is overlooked is he's a good, willing run blocker. 

A weakness in Hart's game is his catch radius. Of course with his rather smaller frame, you aren't expecting him to go up and win the 50-50 balls, but he does struggle when diving or reaching out to make a catch. 

With the signing of Devin Funchess and the drafting of Parris Campbell, this will be one of the toughest years to earn a roster spot with the Colts at the wide receiver position. If Hart can show his explosiveness in pre-season and training camp, I can see him sneaking into that final 53.

 

Shakial "Shak" Taylor, CB, Kansas

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Taylor played two seasons as a defensive back for the Kansas Jayhawks. Yes, they actually have a football team.

Taylor was a starter in his final season with the Jayhawks. Taylor is the typical cornerback size at 6' and around 180 pounds with a 74.7-inch wingspan.

Our own Nick Melillo was very lucky to interview Taylor and you can read the interview here.

His senior season, Taylor had 29 tackles, 3 interceptions and 2 forced fumbles. With the Jayhawks not being known for their football program, Taylor has flown under the radar throughout this whole off-season process.

At his pro day, Taylor wanted to show off his athletic ability and he did that. He ran a 4.39 40-yard dash, and had a 37" vertical jump.

Cornerback is another position that will have a lot of battles in training camp and preseason. Taylor is a kid who could dominate against the 3rd team and play well against other teams' second-string players.

If he plays hard, he could be one of the last few on the 53 man roster.

 

Sterling Shippy, IDL, Alcorn State

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Shippy is a big-bodied defensive tackle at 6'1" and over 300 pounds. He spent his first three years at Alcorn St. where he played in 30 total games. 

During Shippy's final season at Alcorn St., he had 28 tackles, which was 6th on the team. He also had six sacks in nine games, which was good for second best on the team.

Shippy has good quickness for his size and has produced at a high level for the Braves in his collegiate career. But the knock on him is he has not played great competition and he is no more than a dart throw to be a good depth option.

Shippy gives the Colts a big body up front, something they really don't have. Grover Stewart is the only player on the defensive line who weighs over 300 pounds. Shippy could enter into that list with a strong training camp and an even better preseason.

One of Sam's good friends, Lawrence Owen, the creator of the ColtsLaw podcast, sat down with Shippy for a short interview. You can listen to it here, or on Apple iTunes.


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