Indianapolis Colts: Biggest reach Indy made in 2021 NFL Draft

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - OCTOBER 21: Indianapolis Colts general manager Chris Ballard (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - OCTOBER 21: Indianapolis Colts general manager Chris Ballard (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images) /

The Indianapolis Colts have been one of the better drafting teams in the league over the last few seasons, but their class in 2021 earned some mixed reviews.

Chris Ballard started off the draft hot by taking Michigan pass rusher Kwity Paye, but he started to lose his touch as the draft went on.

In addition to neglecting key positions like the offensive line and wide receiver until very late, the Colts made one of the riskier picks in the draft when they picked a second pass rusher in Vanderbilt’s Dayo Odeyingbo in the second round.

While a promising athlete, the former Commodore came into the draft with plenty of question marks around him.

Odeyingbo not only represents a double-dip at a position that wasn’t necessarily their biggest issue, but he is coming off of a torn Achilles. For a player with his size and speed, that could be a major question mark that he needs to overcome.

In a draft where the Colts only had two picks in the first 100 selections, Odeyingbo stands out as the unequivocal biggest reach that Indianapolis has in this class. The star potential is real, but so is the bust potential.

Dayo Odeyingbo was the biggest risk for the Indianapolis Colts.

Odeyingbo was at Vanderbilt for four seasons, but his production underwhelmed. He recorded 5.5 sacks last season, but his four years in Nashville helped him tally just 122 tackles and eight sacks. While solid, this isn’t production that screams “Top 60 pick.” The injury makes his selection even more puzzling.

The Colts have tried this strategy before, as they have used premium picks on toolsy edge rushers like Kemoko Turay, Ben Banogu, and Tyquan Lewis. None of those picks have planned out in the fashion that Indianapolis hoped, and that should’ve been the wake-up call that Ballard needed.

Instead, Ballard has indeed made the same mistake again, as Odeyingbo likely won’t see the field much of all as a rookie (no matter what he says). With the Colts in prime position to add yet another edge rusher at some point in free agency next year, there is a very good chance that Odeyingbo spends most of his rookie contract wasting away on the bench.

Odeyingbo is the type of player that a team like Indy should’ve taken a risk on early on Day 3 of the draft. By picking him this early, they need to give him snaps as soon as he’s healthy in order to avoid watching him turn into another Banogu, Turay, or Lewis. One more of those flops and Ballard’s strategy has to be called into question.