INDIANAPOLIS – For a second consecutive draft, the Colts selected a defender on Day Two with questions about his availability as a rookie.
With the 54th overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, the Colts took Vanderbilt defensive lineman Dayo Odeyingbo in Round Two.
Here are 3 takeaways on Odeyingbo:
1. Double-Dipping On The D-Line
In the Chris Ballard era, he has not shied away from giving serious draft attention to the defensive line. That continued on Friday night, with the Colts taking Vanderbilt defensive lineman Dayo Odeyingbo (6-5, 276). In Odeyingbo, there’s a health question (see more below), and where exactly he’ll fit on the Colts defensive line. At Vanderbilt, Odeyingbo was a 3-4 defensive end who finished his career with 12 sacks and 31 tackles for loss in 44 games played (29 starts). Odeyingbo brings a massive frame and wingspan to the Indy defensive line room, similar to DeForest Buckner. As you’d expect, Odeyingbo was a team captain at Vanderbilt. Odeyingbo, who played all over the Vandy d-line, said he had some contact with the Colts during the draft process but was surprised to hear his name called by them.
2. Redshirt Season
Testing numbers aren’t there for Odeyingbo due to him tearing his Achilles back in January in preparation for the Senior Bowl. While Julian Blackmon defied the odds in returning from a torn ACL to play in September of his rookie season, it should be noted that an Achilles tear is a lengthier rehab than an ACL, especially when it occurs a month and a half later, and for a guy who weighs 285 pounds. So it’s difficult to project just how much the Colts will be able to rely on Odeyingbo in Year One. If Odeyingbo is healthy, he’s probably a rotational body as a rookie, with the ability to be an interior rusher on passing downs. The Colts do not have a lot of definite answers on their defensive line moving forward though, outside of Buckner and Grover Stewart. This move, similar to Kwity Paye, is a step to addressing that, while also serving as a wake-up call to the likes of Tyquan Lewis, Kemoko Turay and Ben Banogu. Looking ahead, Paye should be viewed as a guy more so on the edge, with Odeyingbo more so on the interior.
3. What About Left Tackle?
Is the new left tackle of the Colts already on the team’s roster? Two picks down in the 2021 NFL Draft (and with no other selection coming until No. 127 overall in Round 4), the Colts elected to bypass on the deep offensive tackle group. Now on Friday, we did see a run on tackles just prior to the Colts’ selection at No. 54 overall, and Chris Ballard was restricted a bit with the ability to try and trade up. Still, it is head scratching to see the Colts through the bulk of roster building this offseason and the team having yet to find a young tackle to try and develop, if not have compete to start. Is the Week 1 starter at left tackle going to be Quenton Nelson? Braden Smith? Will Holden? Sam Tevi? Julie’n Davenport? A free agent yet to be named? No matter the answer, while the depth of the offensive line in Indy has improved this offseason, the starting group will be taking a step back in 2021, and the long-term answer remains a major question entering Day 3 of the 2021 NFL Draft.