Colts Take Linebacker Zaire Franklin With 235th Pick

SYRACUSE, NY - SEPTEMBER 19: Parris Bennett
SYRACUSE, NY - SEPTEMBER 19: Parris Bennett /

The Colts have doubled down on 7th round linebackers. The Colts have taken linebacker Zaire Franklin with the 235th overall pick.

The Colts are drafting more linebackers to help with the depth issues at that position. After they drafted Matthew Adams out of Houston, they have now taken Zaire Franklin out of Syracuse. He is another player taken to help with some depth and maybe make the roster with special teams.

Franklin was a solid contributor for Syracuse. He is a tackling machine, having tallied at least 80 tackles in three out of his four years, including recording 101 tackles his junior year. He doesn’t miss many tackles either.

In terms of pass rushing, he doesn’t offer too much. Franklin only had 8.5 sacks in his collegiate career. But his value comes in stopping the run up the middle. He also is a solid special teams contributor, and that could be where he can show his value.

If Franklin makes the roster, it will be because he brings good value on special teams. He was a good player on special teams in college, so he could do the same in Indy. His defensive skills are good, but he needs time to develop and get a little stronger.

The Colts are hoping Franklin could turn into a Gary Brackett type linebacker, someone who is shorter and can be a tackling machine and be around the ball a lot. They would be getting fantastic value if that is the case.

Next: Colts Select Linebacker Matthew Adams With Pick 221

The Colts probably aren’t expecting too much from Franklin. If he can make the roster and make any kind of contribution, then that is gravy. Franklin could be a good project that if coached well and if he works hard, could be a decent player in Indianapolis.