The Colts have just come out of the 2018 NFL Draft with an influx of new talent, 11 picks. Chris Ballard has decided to use the draft as his main source of talent to build this Colts roster. FPC takes a look at talent already on the roster, whether drafted by Ballard or not, that could have a breakout year.
Hassan Ridgeway – Defensive Tackle
Ridgeway was a fourth-round draft pick from 2016 out of Texas.
Someone needs to take the three-tech defensive tackle position and run away with it, Ridgeway is the best candidate to do so. He was asked to two-gap in the old 3-4 defense which really didn’t play to his strengths. Letting Ridgeway play more freely will let him use his power and athleticism to affect the play on all three downs like he did so often in college.
Quincy Wilson – Cornerback
Wilson was a second-round draft pick from 2017 out of Florida.
Plain and simple, Wilson is cornerback one and needs his play to show this. Promising rookie year cut short by knee injury and coaching idiocy. Wilson was the first cornerback drafted by Chris Ballard and you can tell why, he has a rare blend of size, length and balls skills which makes him perfect for what Matt Eberflus is looking for in his new defense. The Colts will really heavily on Wilson and needs to display the play that warranted Ballard drafting him in the second round last year.
Anthony Walker Jr – Linebacker
Walker was a fifth-round draft pick from 2017 out of Northwestern.
Walker has the football IQ and leadership qualities to man the MIKE LB position for the foreseeable future. However, Walker needs to cut down to his junior year of college weight to help improve his movement skills. The ability to be able to able to run an cover is huge in the Colts new defense, with the weight drop Walker will be able to do this more effectively.
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Marlon Mack – Running Back
Mack was a fourth-round draft pick from 2017 out of South Florida.
The opportunity is here for Mack to be the lead back in the Colts’ running back by committee approach. He showed explosion and dynamic running style his rookie year but also should his rookie mental lapses. Doesn’t need a break out year as such just more of a consistent year. Mack will, however, be coming off offseason shoulder surgery which could hinder his progression, definitely something to watch.
Denzelle Good/ Joe Haeg – Right Tackle
Good was a seventh-round pick in 2015 out of Mars Hill.
Haeg was a fifth-round pick in 2016 out of North Dakota State.
Someone needs to grab the right tackle spot by the horns and own it. Whether it’s Good or Haeg it doesn’t matter. Both have their strengths and weaknesses. Good has shown good play when asked to man the right tackle spot, he is a very big human being and can really manhandle his defender. He shows power and strength in the run game and if he gets his hands on his defender on pass protection it’s usually the end of that. The main struggle for Good is quicker defenders who use agility and speed to beat him around the edge. Haeg is no small man either, standing at 6’6. However, where Good has a weakness in this area, Haeg shines with his athleticism. Haeg has starter level agility and positioning but still needs to remain consistent. Both Good and Haeg have the added value of versatility, with both having spent time at guard and tackle. This will likely be a training camp battle to watch out for.
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