Keeping our 2017 series going, the next award is the Best Defensive Player for the Colts. The Colts were bad defensively, but one player played great all year: Rashaan Melvin.
The Colts were not great on defense this year. They allowed too many big plays and a ton of points. But one player played great in every game he played in, and he deserves to be recognized for it. That player is Rashaan Melvin.
Melvin was a breakout player this year. He only appeared in 10 games this season because of a hand injury, but he started every one of them. He was able to secure 3 interceptions and had a team high 13 passes defended.
While the defense failed to generate a consistent pass rush, Melvin was able to mitigate some of the damage that caused. He was the definition of a shut-down corner. He was especially valuable after the Colts cut Vontae Davis after he was ineffective this season. Teams were forced to throw away from Melvin.
Because Melvin was so good, one side of the field was pretty much off-limits for opposing quarterbacks. He forced teams to go after other Colts corners. Once Melvin was placed on IR, the entire defense suffered mightily in his absence.
Melvin is an upcoming free agent this season, and he certainly has earned a pay raise. He will be one of the top free agents in the upcoming market, and it will be interesting to see if the Colts try to re-sign him.