In Round Three of the 2017 NFL Draft, the Colts selected edge rusher Tarell Basham at No. 80 overall.
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They were encouraged about what they saw. That, along with the length and quick reaction at the snap, has the Colts intrigued about the pass rushing Basham will try to bring to professional football.
Ballard does believe that Basham can be more than just a pass rusher. The 42.5 tackles for loss from Basham backs up that belief.
From his talks at the Combine and observations of the Colts after three defenders in three draft picks, Basham knows he is part of something big in Indianapolis.
When looking at potential pass rushers each year in the NFL Draft, one of the most important questions a general manager asks himself is, “Is this guy a flash in the pan, or has he shown consistent improvement that can continue at the next level?”
And while there are countless examples of teams across the league falling in love with players who might’ve exploded their final year in college, only to see them become completely overmatched and rendered useless in the NFL colts jersey cheap , it appears Tarell Basham’s story could be much different.
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A young pass rusher was an absolute must for the Colts in this draft. Basham had 29.5 sacks and 42.5 tackles for loss in his four seasons at Ohio University. At 6-4 and 249 pounds, Basham will likely move to outside linebacker in the 3-4 defense for the Colts. He was a 4-3 defensive end at Ohio. The Colts have tried unsuccessfully to groom the franchise’s next top pass rusher. Basham, the 2016 MAC Defensive Player of the Year, is the next try at that.
Cornerback was easily the most obvious need for the Colts going into the 2017 NFL Draft. In the previous five drafts for the Colts, D’Joun Smith was the lone cornerback chosen by Indianapolis. Wilson’s name often appeared in the first round of Mock Drafts throughout the draft process. He ended up being the third cornerback taken in Friday’s second round. Per Pro Football Focus, Wilson’s quarterback rating allowed last season was 29.9, the lowest for any SEC cornerback.
A capable third cornerback is vital for a defense to survive in the NFL this decade. Is that D’Joun Smith’s role in his second NFL season? The Colts remain optimistic on Smith after some “buzzard luck” shelved him for all but four games of his rookie campaign. A name missing from that trio is 2015 third-round pick D’Joun Smith, the highest draft selection of the guys mentioned above.
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For the first time under Ryan Grigson, the Colts traded down in the NFL Draft. With the No. 65 overall pick, they selected D’Joun Smith, a cornerback from Florida Atlantic. After trading back to the No. 65 pick (the top of the third round), the Colts took Florida Atlantic cornerback D’Joun Smith with their second selection of 2015.
The team elected to waive/injure D’Joun Smith, after knee and ankle injuries limited the second-year corner to just one preseason game (15 snaps) in 2016.
Confidence is a necessity when being on an island at the cornerback position and D’Joun Smith spoke like one on Friday night. Known as an “instinctive” player, Smith was a two-time Conference USA selection highlighted by seven interceptions as a junior. Smith said he “hit it off” with the Colts during a Combine interview and Chuck Pagano was present at the Florida Atlantic Pro Day to watch Smith.
The Colts now have nine cornerbacks remaining on their 74-man roster. Injuries will still play a role in who rounds out that corner group this weekend. Saturday at 4:00 p.m. ET is the deadline for the Colts to cut their roster down to 53.