Colts: This UDFA signing has most potential of 2021 class

PASADENA, CALIFORNIA - DECEMBER 12: Tyler Vaughns #21 of the USC Trojans (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
PASADENA, CALIFORNIA - DECEMBER 12: Tyler Vaughns #21 of the USC Trojans (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /

The Indianapolis Colts put a button on the 2021 NFL Draft by attacking positions like the defensive line early in the draft and fine-tuning the offense in the later rounds. The Colts kept doing work in the undrafted free agent market, opting for quality over quantity by adding five players that didn’t hear their name called.

The two big names that Indianapolis added were a pair of big-name wide receivers in USC veteran Tyler Vaughns and former Michigan and Texas possession target Tarik Black.

Duke running back Deon Jackson, Liberty linebacker Anthony Butler, and BYU linebacker Isaiah Kaufusi rounded out the rest of the group.

With so much of this league being composed of undrafted free agent players, there is almost a 100% chance that one of these guys either makes the roster or contributes to the AFC South favorites in a very meaningful way.

If one of these players ends up making the active roster, it’ll be Vaughns.

Considering what a tremendous career he has had in Los Angeles and his profile as a player, he looks like the most natural fit in this offense, provided that Carson Wentz ends up looking his way frequently enough over the summer.

USC RB Tyler Vaughns could make the Indianapolis Colts.

Vaughns slipped out of the draft thanks to an awful pro day that saw the already-thin receiver at 184 pounds run a 4.69 40-yard dash. Without great speed, a smaller receiver like Vaughns looked doomed to failure. Luckily, he has some traits worth developing for an offense like Indianapolis’, even though he is already 24 years old.

Vaughns was a master route-runner in college, as his ability to get open and make tough catches were invaluable traits in an Air Raid offense like USC’s. With tremendous yards-after-catch ability and four years of sustained quality production as a complementary target behind Pittman and Amon-Ra St. Brown, Vaughns could wiggle onto the roster.

Marcus Brady is taking over from Nick Sirianni, but there is almost a 100% chance that he will run a very similar Frank Reich-tinged offense that values getting the ball out of the QB’s hands quickly. Players like Vaughns typically end up being more productive in this offense than players like Black, which bodes well for his ability to make the roster.

Pittman might’ve shown he’s a better receiver than Vaughns over the last few years, and Black has the higher ceiling, but Vaughns has the potential to hit the ground in Indianapolis. Not keeping him around on the 53-man roster, especially after neglecting that position until the seventh round, would be egregious.