The Colts have made their first defensive selection of the draft, taking Julian Blackmon as a safety out of Utah.
Offense was the name of the game for the first two selections for the Colts, as they took a wide receiver and running back with those two picks. With their third pick, they decided to go defense and they selected safety Julian Blackmon out of Utah.
Blackmon is someone who has fantastic ball skills. He had 9 career interceptions, including 4 in his senior year. He is a ball-hawking safety with similar skills of Malik Hooker. With Hooker’s future in doubt because of injuries, Blackmon will compete with him for a starting spot.
One of the other things Blackmon does well is tackle. He had 60 a year ago which is a lot for a safety in college. While he doesn’t have top-end speed, he takes smart angles to get ball-carriers on the ground. This kid has a lot of potential.
Khari Willis is the other starting safety, and he will just be a second-year player in 2020. If Hooker doesn’t start next year, that will be an extremely young back end of Willis and Blackmon. What most likely will happen is that Blackmon will spell both Hooker and Willis in a rotation.
Blackmon’s ball skills give him the ability to be a starter one day. How the Colts view Hooker’s future with the team will determine how quickly that becomes a reality. Unfortunately, Blackmon also has a history of injuries dating back to high school. How healthy he stays will determine his ceiling as a player in the NFL.
More than likely, Blackmon will need some serious coaching before he can develop into a starter. He projects as a two-year project before he can be a starter, which might be how much longer Hooker stays with the Colts. His ball skills give him a chance though.