The Colts have made it a priority to improve their pass defense in 2017, and they’re working in some new faces during training camp.
Indianapolis’ pass defense ranked 26th in the NFL last season, and new general manager Chris Ballard has been aggressive in improving their defensive personnel.
Fifth-round rookie Nate Hairston started at cornerback opposite of Vontae Davis in the Colts’ first preseason game on Sunday, and he has reportedly been running ahead of second-round rookie CB Quincy Wilson.
Wilson didn’t do himself any favors this weekend as he struggled mightily against Lions wide receiver Kenny Golladay.
Hairston was a wide receiver for his first two seasons at Temple, but he transitioned to cornerback for his final two years as an Owl. He is still a raw prospect, but all signs point to him being ahead of Quincy Wilson on the depth chart.
The Colts are testing another option at cornerback as safety T.J. Green has reportedly been getting some snaps at CB. Green did not look good last season as a rookie safety, but he flashed some potential in this weekend’s preseason game.
Green has all the physical tools to become a standout corner. He came out of college at 6′ 2″ 209 pounds, and ran a blazing 4.34-second 40-yard-dash at the Combine. However, a transition to corner could be a setback for his development.
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The Colts’ entire secondary has been in flux this offseason. They’ll be breaking in a new starter at safety in Malik Hooker; Darius Butler will be counted on as Clayton Geathers‘ replacement; and the number-two cornerback position remains a question mark.
A heated position battle is brewing at cornerback, and it will be one to keep an eye on for the remainder of the preseason.