Colts select linebacker Denzel Perryman in 2015 re-draft
The Indianapolis Colts selected Miami wide receiver Phillip Dorsett with the 29th pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, but would they make the same move again?
While most of the NFL stories you’ll read right now focus on predicting the first round of the 2016 Draft, some have decided to go back and look at what team’s would have done differently last season. The Colts had the 29th pick and took Phillip Dorsett who, while he might show promise, was injured for most of the year and didn’t really fill a clear team need.
Sports Illustrated’s Chris Burke has re-picked the first round of the 2015 draft, and has the Colts taking a different path. He has the Colts selecting Miami linebacker Denzel Perryman with the 29th pick (Burke clearly realized the Colts scouts were only in Florida and the Bay Area last year). Here are his thoughts on the pick:
"If he wasn’t a mismatch for their 3–4 scheme, Kwon Alexander would have been the choice here—the Bucs’ rookie racked up 93 tackles, 3.0 sacks and two INTs out of a 4–3 alignment. For the Colts’ purposes Perryman is a better fit. He gave the Chargers 73 tackles last season and is a stud against the run, meaning he would have meshed well with Jerrell Freeman, who is at his best in pass coverage. Freeman’s impending free agency would have made Perryman all the more valuable."
This assumes that the Colts would be willing to part ways with D’Qwell Jackson, a player they seem to be in absolute love with for some reason. Pro Football Focus gave Perryman a 72 overall grade (out of 100), which placed him 25th among all linebackers in the NFL as a rookie. For comparison, Jackson had an overall grade of 55.9 and was ranked 62nd.
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Perryman was taken by the Charges in the middle of the second round last year. At the time, he wasn’t considered a value pick rather than filling a need, but he turned out to be the team’s best linebacker in 2015.
Perryman would have been an outstanding fit next to Jerrell Freeman, as the two would offset each other’s weaknesses. Jackson was supposed to be the run stopping linebacker, but he struggled to do his job and Perryman would have been an upgrade in this regard.
What could have been for the Colts. Now they have concerns at linebacker with Jackson getting older (and not playing well) and Freeman potentially heading to free agency.