3. Ron Thompson, OLB Syracuse
The 6’3″, 253 pound pass rusher received a $15K signing bonus from the Colts, which was among the top in the class regarding all NFL teams.
Last season for the Orange, Thompson recorded 35 tackles including 9.5 tackles for loss and 7 sacks, earning All-ACC 3rd Team honors.
It’s no secret that the Colts could use help rushing the passer, as the team struggled generating consistent pressure off the edge last season. The Colts finished with 35 total sacks, which was tied for the 22nd worst among all NFL defenses.
The team has aging pass rushers Robert Mathis (35) and Trent Cole (33) with little else at the position. Gone are three of their young (albeit disappointing) pass rushers from last season Bjoern Werner, Jonathan Newsome, and Daniel Adongo, which means that a young pass rusher such as Thompson has ample opportunity to make his mark on the team.
His primary competition figures to be Colts 7th round pick Trevor Bates (Maine) and fellow undrafted free agent pass rusher Curt Maggitt (Tennessee).
However, if Thompson can prove to be an impact rotational pass rusher, he should make the team regardless because this defense could use an infusion of young talent at the position: