The Colts rounded out their 2018 draft with two linebackers taken in the seventh round. Both players saw a decent amount of action this season. First we look at the guy taken from Syracuse.
Zaire Franklin saw a decent amount of the football field in his rookie season, which is unusual for a seventh round pick. But he showed enough in training camp and the preseason to warrant that playing time. It was surprising how much Franklin gave the Colts.
Franklin played in every game this season, though he was stat-less for seven of them. He finished the season with 29 total tackles. He wasn’t much of a pass rusher though, as he did not record a single sack all year long. Franklin did have one pass defended though.
For a seventh round pick, that is pretty decent production. Many seventh round picks don’t make it out of training camp, let alone appear in every game. Franklin is still extremely raw though and needs a lot of work to be a decent NFL contributor.
Because he was so available this season, expect Franklin to get a chance to get that work in. He should be sticking around on the roster. If he wants to see the field with any sort of consistency though, he has to get some pass rusher moves and be a threat to sack the quarterback.
Overall, I would quantify Franklin’s rookie year as a success. He got on the field a decent amount for a seventh round pick, and impacted a few games. He had 11 tackles against the Patriots and 6 against the Giants. Those are pretty decent numbers as a late round pick.
Expect Franklin to continue to see the field next season. He still won’t be a regular starter, but he has the potential to make a few impact plays here and there. If he puts in the work necessary, he can be a good player in this league.