Colts Rookie Observations From Spring Offseason Program

Colts Rookie Observations From Spring Offseason Program

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Colts Rookie Observations From Spring Offseason Program

Let’s take a look at how the Colts’ rookies progressed through the offseason program and their outlook heading into Training Camp.

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INDIANAPOLIS – It’s a rookie class that will undoubtedly greatly shape the future of the Indianapolis Colts.

The Colts drafted 11 players this past April, the most picks in franchise history.

How are the rookies progressing so far?

Here’s a look at the team’s 11 draft picks (and even a couple of undrafted free agents) in what they showed this spring:

OG-Quenton Nelson (Notre Dame): Nelson looks the part. To be honest, it’s hard to judge interior linemen when the full pads aren’t being worn until Training Camp. But Nelson was the team’s starting left guard the entire spring and will be there come Week One. Frank Reich had this to say about Nelson at the end of the team’s offseason program: You can see the instincts. One of the things on tape everybody said, ‘This guy is the best pulling guard, ever.’ You can see that. It just shows up all over the tape…Even though he’s a great prospect and we’re really excited about him, he doesn’t have all the answers yet and there is a process of learning. I think he’s probably had one or two aha moments. I remember seeing him on a double team, I forget who he was working with, I don’t know if it was Grover (Stewart) or Al Woods. They’re trying to move him and he wasn’t moving. I said to myself, ‘I bet he’s not used to feeling that.’ He used to, when he gets down on a double team, of moving somebody and now there’s (very strong) guys in this league. It’s just another step up competition wise.”

 

LB-Darius Leonard (South Carolina State): With college graduation and an injured hamstring, Leonard was sidelined for the 8 open practices that the Colts had in front of the media this spring. That’s not ideal. Leonard has some ground to make up in Training Camp if he wants to earn what was thought to be a definite starting spot at the WILL position.

 

OG-Braden Smith (Auburn): With full pads not on yet, Smith was the team’s second string right guard throughout the spring. Even though Smith played behind veteran Matt Slauson this spring, Jim Irsay said last week that the Colts are ‘hoping’ Smith wins the right guard job in camp.

 

DE-Kemoko Turay (Rutgers): Turay had some nice flashes early in spring, before being sidelined for a couple of weeks. The starting defensive ends right now are Jabaal Sheard and Tarell Basham, so Turay will have to push those two for playing time, which he could find come passing downs.

 

DL-Tyquan Lewis (Ohio State): Lewis also was an observer for a decent amount of spring. The Colts have stated that Lewis is a guy who will be moved around their defensive line, which should make him a valuable player when game days rolls around.

 

RB-Nyheim Hines (North Carolina State): Hines might have been the headliner of the spring, with his versatility and intelligence striking quite the chord with the coaching staff. Even if Hines isn’t a starter in 2018, he should play a good amount. Hines got banged up during last week’s minicamp.

 

WR-Reece Fountain (Northern Iowa): Physically, Fountain stands at 6-2 and 210 pounds. Fountain had some nice moments late in May, although didn’t flash as much as the other wideout in his draft class (see below).

 

RB-Jordan Wilkins (Mississippi): With Marlon Mack sidelined this spring, Wilkins snuck in a decent amount of starting reps among this rotation. When Hines also was out during the team’s minicamp, Wilkins rotated with Robert Turbin and Christine Michael. Wilkins is probably around 4th on the running back depth chart right now with Turbin, Mack and Hines ahead of him.

 

WR-Deon Cain (Syracuse): Like Hines, Cain stood out this spring. The Colts love the separation that Cain creates and Frank Reich even pointed out the consistency from the Clemson wide receiver. Could Cain push the top 3 wideouts (T.Y. Hilton, Ryan Grant and Chester Rogers) for serious playing time come camp?

 

LB-Matthew Adams (Houston): Even though the linebacker positions remain pretty wide open, Adams’ No. 49 wasn’t really spotted too much in the starting units.

 

LB-Zaire Franklin (Syracuse): We actually saw a couple of late spring sightings of Franklin getting some starting run.

 

Undrafted Guys: Two undrafted defenders made some strong impressions this past spring for the Colts. Skai Moore (South Carolina) received occasional starting reps at the MIKE linebacker position. Safety George Odum (Central Arkansas) took advantage of a banged up safety unit to push into the second team.

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