Chris Ballard was clearly unhappy with the production of his defensive line last fall. DeForest Buckner is the team’s de facto first-round pick. Sheldon Day started next to Buckner in the Super Bowl and will be joining him in Indianapolis. And on day three of the NFL draft, Ballard brought Penn State’s Robert Windsor aboard. Windsor is an undersized defensive tackle who is not quite fast enough to survive as a defensive end, either. However, he has a relentless playing style that makes up for his physical limitations. Can he break through what is now a crowded position group for playing time in 2020?

Effort

Aside from, say, Aaron Donald or the Bosa brothers, most defensive linemen do not win immediately after the snap. Handfighting, block destruction, and counter moves are the name of the game in the trenches. Windsor has received excellent coaching at Penn State, which allows him to defeat blocks on his second or third attempt, resulting in tackles at the line or coverage sacks. Whether he succeeds in the NFL remains to be seen, but if he fails, it will not be due to poor effort.

Athletic Concerns

At 6’4″, Windsor will need to play with better leverage to become a reliable contributor in the NFL. When watching him change directions, he resembles an 18-wheeler: it’ll happen when it happens, but it could take some time. He doesn’t carry much bad weight, and he may be able to add more muscle in a professional weight room. Bulking up and holding down as an anchor is going to help him stick on the Colts’ roster. Unfortunately, he lacks the quick twitch agility of Buckner and other elite pass-rushing tackles.

Next Steps

Ballard traded down from slot 182 to acquire New England’s back-to-back compensatory picks at 212 and 213. Those are potentially the Colts’ final two picks this weekend. Never assume Ballard is done wheeling and dealing, though. He has handled needs at receiver, quarterback, defensive back, and both lines. Any remaining selections will face long odds at making the final roster, yet a tight end or another receiver could push for snaps in the fall.

– Jesse Pierson is the Managing Editor of FPC Colts. He covers the Indianapolis Colts and the National Football League. Like and follow on Twitter @jessetpierson Follow @FPC_Colts and Facebook.

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