Colts should target this player if they trade back into second round

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON - NOVEMBER 02: Joe Tryon #9 of the Washington Huskies (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)
SEATTLE, WASHINGTON - NOVEMBER 02: Joe Tryon #9 of the Washington Huskies (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images) /

The Indianapolis Colts could go in a few different directions in the 2021 NFL Draft, but edge rusher might be an area they could hit hard after swapping out Justin Houston for Isaac Rochell.

Players like Miami’s Jaelan Phillips, Georgia’s Azeez Ojulari, and Washington’s Joe Tryon could potentially end up in blue and white next season.

Despite sitting out all of last season, a year in which he recorded eight sacks as an integral member of Jimmy Lake’s defense, Tryon is getting Day 2 hype on the back of his unique blend of athletic ability and pass rush skill.

The Colts could nab an edge rusher at pick No. 21, but their recent trade for Carson Wentz and Ballard’s history moving around the draft order would suggest that giving up on picking in the first round altogether might be the best way for Ballard to conduct this draft.

That way, as is his wont, he could load up on picks and still take an impact starter.

Tryon looks like the best of the Day 2 rushers, and the Colts would be wise to secure his services by convincing a needy team to move up into the first round.

A unique athlete, Tryon could give a declining pass rush some extra juice.

The Indianapolis Colts should take a look at Joe Tryon.

Tryon’s best trait is speed, which is backed up by some terrific testing numbers. Tryon is able to beat tackles off the snap, use a wide array of pass rush moves that some other Day 2 rushers have not developed yet, and show enough power in his hands to reset tackles and move them out of the way to pressure the quarterback.

Very rarely is that type of athletic profile mixed with solid production in a conference like the Pac-12 available on Day 2.

Run defense can be a prickly issue for some young pass rushers, but that is actually one of Tryon’s best areas, as his physical and mental sharpness help him set the edge and pursue backs. Tryon has dropped into coverage several times with great success, which could get Matt Eberflus excited about all the ways he could use him on passing downs.

The issues with Tryon could start to stem from his fit in Indianapolis’ defense. While explosive, he might not be big enough to put his hand in the dirt at the NFL level. Issues with disengaging from blocks against bigger linemen showed up on film, though that might not be a dealbreaker for the Colts.

Tryon could improve on Indy’s already tough defense, all the while offering a much higher ceiling than most players who end up going on Day 2 of the draft. If Ballard values quantity over quality in terms of his picks per usual, don’t be surprised if Indianapolis trades out of No. 21 and adds players like Tryon later in the draft.