Colts Select Temple Cornerback Nate Hairston with 158th Pick in 5th Round
The Indianapolis Colts selected Temple cornerback Nate Hairston with the 158th pick of the 5th round–keeping the theme of ‘defense’ alive as the first 5 of new general manager Chris Ballard‘s 7 selections have been on defense (and counting).
The 6’0″, 196 pound cornerback recorded 27 tackles, 3.0 tackles for loss, 3 pass breakups, and 2 interceptions in 14 games–helping the Owls win the Atlantic American Conference Championship.
It’s worth noting that Hairston initially began collegiate career as a wide receiver before transitioning to cornerback during his redshirt junior season.
Here’s his NFL.com Draft Profile:
"Dec 3, 2016; Annapolis, MD, USA; Temple Owls defensive back Nate Hairston (15) breaks up a pass intended for Navy Midshipmen wide receiver Jamir Tillman (4) during the third quarter at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. Temple Owls defeated Navy Midshipmen 34-10. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY SportsDRAFT PROJECTIONRound 5-6BOTTOM LINERaw but very moldable prospect. Hairston shows good awareness from zone and his physical style and willingness to come tackle make him an immediate fit for primarily zone cover teams. However he may have the tools to eventually become a solid bump-and-run cornerback as he becomes more experienced at the position. Hairston is a projection-based talent who should become a much better player in two years than he is today."
While the Colts took Florida’s Quincy Wilson in the 2nd round of this year’s NFL Draft, there was still a clear need for cornerback depth which Hairston figures to provide.
Right now, along with Wilson and Hairston, the team has Vontae Davis, Rashaan Melvin, and potentially Darius Butler (who may transition more to safety) and some other remaining 53-man roster hopefuls.
Next: Colts Select Albany St. Defensive Lineman Grover Stewart with 144th Pick in 4th Round
It sounds like Hairston is a developmental cornerback, but possesses some solid physical measurables, as well as tools for the position.
If nothing else, he should be able to contribute immediately on special teams and bolster the Colts cornerback depth going forward until he potentially develops into something more.