Colts Have Moved Rookie Ben Banogu To Defensive End (For Now)

Colts Have Moved Rookie Ben Banogu To Defensive End (For Now)

Blog > Kevin's Corner > Colts Coverage > Colts Have Moved Rookie Ben Banogu To Defensive End (For Now)

Colts Have Moved Rookie Ben Banogu To Defensive End (For Now)

When the Colts drafted Ben Banogu out of TCU they projected him as a SAM linebacker. So why did Banogu play mostly defensive end in the spring?

Joe Robbins | Getty Images 

INDIANAPOLISFor now, the experiment is on hold.


Ben Banogu was drafted with the 49th overall pick back in April with the Colts projecting him as a SAM linebacker in their 4-3 defense.


But Banogu’s run at linebacker this spring, into a new position that the Colts hardly used at all in 2018, didn’t last very long.


After working at linebacker during rookie mini-camp, Banogu lined up at defensive end during OTAs and the mandatory mini-camp, which closed out the offseason program in June.


Why the change in Banogu’s first work on an NFL practice field?


“We thought that moving (Banogu) now to play end is probably the best starting point for him relative to who he is, what he brings to the table and where can he impact our defense the most, the earliest,” defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus says.


“We looked at him a little bit in drill work (at linebacker). We kept looking at him. We put all of our heads together, it was the whole defensive staff. It was Chris (Ballard). It was Frank (Reich). Then we decided, ‘Hey, let’s put him here (at defensive end) and then we can build it from there.’ Can he do different things and put him in different spots? No question he can do that. But let’s get his feet on solid ground at one spot and then kind of develop him from there.”


That spot for Banogu will first be at defensive end, with the Colts using Bruce Irvin’s old role in Seattle as a comparison for the TCU rookie.


At TCU, Banogu played defensive end and finished his two years in the Big 12 with 34.5 tackles for loss and 17 sacks.


But Banogu’s responsibilities as a d-end at TCU, versus what he’s being asked to with the Colts are vastly different.


For one, Banogu plays in a three-point stance with the Colts, whereas he was a stand-up d-end in college, needing to play in more of a read/react role.


“TCU is more of a gap control read defense, so it’s a lot more reading,” the 6-3, 250-pound Banogu says. “This (Colts) defense is more attacking, so it’s kind of cool in the respect that you kind of have free flow. You don’t have to read as much and you don’t have to do a lot of checks.


“This is more attacking. So it’s a little bit different.”


Things are crowded for at the defensive end position, but the Colts believe that Banogu is still an athlete that can impact the game on third down.


Watching Banogu evolve into that role during camp and the preseason will be something to keep an eye on in the coming weeks.


Colts Coverage
With Training Camp about to start for the Colts, are there any remaining contract extensions to get done?
Colts Coverage
When Frank Reich looks at his current 90-man roster, one position sticks out as the toughest to cut down in 2019. What is that position?
Colts Coverage
Our burning questions series is back on What are the major questions about the special teams of the Indianapolis Colts going into the 2019 Training Camp?
Colts Coverage
Bobby Ellis | Getty Images The Peter King Podcast launched today under the new NBC Sports/Football Morning In...
Colts Coverage
Here are comments from Andrew Luck and Nick Siranni on head coach Frank Reich. Plus, what does Reich have on his mind going into his second season as head coach of the Colts.