The Colts activated rookie DB Julian Blackmon from the active/non-football injury list.
In a string of roster moves on Monday, the Indianapolis Colts announced that they released fullback Roosevelt Nix and activated rookie Julian Blackmon from the active/non-football injury list.
This allows Blackmon, who was selected in the third round back in April, to practice with the team for the first time since undergoing surgery to repair a torn ACL he suffered in his final college game with Utah back in December.
Though it’s widely expected that Indianapolis will ease the 22-year-old in following such a major operation, his return adds another level of dynamism and versatility to the defense as he played both safety and cornerback at an elite level in college.
Blackmon was voted a second-team AP All-American as a senior in 2019, registering 60 tackles, four interceptions (which led the Pac-12), four passes defensed, two forced fumbles, and 1.5 sacks across 12 starts. He compiled an impressive four INTs in his sophomore season (his first as a starter), and led Utah with 10 passes defensed as a junior.
It’s likely that Blackmon would have been taken higher in April if not for his untimely knee injury, but general manager Chris Ballard’s scouting report on the former Ute was more than enough to convince the team that Blackmon was worthy of a third-round selection.
To nobody’s surprise, Colts defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus is eager to get to work with the young stud.
"“Typically what we’ll do is we’ll get him solidified in a spot so he feels comfortable and then, as we do, we’ll look at his abilities, one-on-one, his range, blitzing ability,” Eberflus told reporters. “We’ll kind of get a feel for that as we go.”“His movement skills are exactly what we thought, functional intelligence is super high, has character through the roof, as well. He has everything we look for here with the Colts.”"
While we shouldn’t expect Blackmon on the field until October as he works himself back into football shape, fans in Indianapolis should expect him to be lining up all over the secondary once he’s cleared for regular-season action.
It’s clear the Colts view the rookie DB as a Swiss Army knife, and those don’t come around too often on the defensive side of the ball.