The Colts are at the midpoint of their season. We now can sit back and take a look at some of the best, and worst, performers of the season so far. First up: best rookie.
This rookie class has not been like last year’s rookie class. To be fair, not many in the history of the league have been. That class produced to First Team All-Pros and several key contributors. Anyone expecting that for this year’s class is certifiably insane.
But it is fair to expect a little more than what they’ve gotten so far. There have been a few good rookies, but a lot of them look just like who they are; rookies. They still have a lot to learn about the NFL game and will take some time to grow into their skills.
The best rookie so far though has been Khari Willis. Willis flashed enough in training camp where I thought he could replace Clayton Geathers as the starter. While that hasn’t quite happened yet, he has started a few games and has played well in most of the games he’s appeared in.
To this point in the season, Willis has 33 total tackles with 1 tackle for loss and a pass broken up. He started three games filling in for Malik Hooker while he was hurt. In those games he combined for 14 tackles. That’s pretty good production from a rookie so far.
While he doesn’t have great cover skills at this point and hasn’t forced any turnovers yet, he still has time to gain those skills. For a fourth round pick, he has been a bargain. There’s a solid chance he ends up being the starter next season because Geathers will be moving on.
Willis wasn’t expected to be the best rookie, but has exceeded expectations so far. He should only get better in the second half of the season as well. More snaps means more learning. More learning means better play too.