Since he was drafted in the second round 2017, cornerback Quincy Wilson never lived up to that draft position. He flashed at times and was a healthy scratch for weeks on end. Chris Ballard ended the Wilson experiment today, trading him to the New York Jets for the 211st pick in the 2020 draft. With pick 211, Ballard and the Colts selected Isaiah Rodgers, a smallish corner from the University of Massachusetts who has additional value in the return game. Who better to introduce Rodgers than the man himself?
For The Name On The Front And Back Of This Jersey 🎥 pic.twitter.com/9114md6Nri
— IsaiahRodgers (@rodgers_isaiah) September 16, 2019
As a Cornerback
Rodgers is a meager 5’10” 170, which is significantly smaller than most NFL players. To his credit, though, he is a stat sheet stuffer. At UMass, Rodgers appeared in 43 games, where he intercepted 11 passes and deflected 34 more. He also forced four fumbles, recovered four fumbles, and scored three touchdowns on interception returns. His physical traits will presumably limit him to a rotational role at best in the pros. However, he can make a living as a tenacious slot defender who mirrors his game after new teammate Kenny Moore. Ballard is all about depth and competition at every position group. Surely, this was the motivation behind drafting Rodgers.
As a Returner
Beyond depth in the secondary, Rodgers could see a significant role on kicking teams. He is UMass’ all-time career leader in kick return yardage, after all. Although he only scored one special teams touchdown in college (on a punt last season), he could rotate with Parris Campbell and Nyheim Hines with the Colts. Those two are likely going to serve as the primary returners this year, but they will also figure prominently in the offensive passing attack. Should they need rest, Rodgers can step in as needed. The more a player can do, the higher chance he gives himself of making a roster.
The Colts were busy in the sixth round, making three consecutive selections from 211-213, starting with this one. Rodgers thrived at a bottom-of-the-barrel FBS program, but his versatility at least gives him a shot at latching on in Indianapolis. Backing up Moore, Campbell, and Hines across three separate units may just be his ticket.