The Indianapolis Colts hit the ground running in training camp this week and in doing so, exposed some players to more scrutiny than others.
Rock Ya-Sin, after a promising rookie campaign, took a serious step back in 2020, and it’s safe to say this year could be a make-or-break season for the former second-round pick.
This being said, not everyone can be Darrelle Revis or Champ Bailey in their primes. But is it time to let Ya-Sin hit the open market or package him in a trade for a veteran quarterback now that Carson Wentz will be down for 5-to-12 weeks?
While playing at Presbyterian college in 2018, Ya-Sin defended 12 passes, earning a top 20 ranking in the nation and top 12 in the conference. He also recorded two sacks and 47 tackles, with 36 coming solo. In 2017, Ya-Sin recorded 49 tackles with five interceptions and two more sacks. It’s easy to see why the Colts and Chris Ballard wanted to take him with a high second-round pick.
The Colts currently have six cornerbacks on the roster including Xavier Rhodes, Isaiah Rodgers, T.J. Carrie, and the criminally underrated Kenny Moore. With the Colts roster being thin at offensive tackle and secondary, should Indy look to cut ties with Ya-Sin? Only if Year 3 looks a lot like Year 2.
Here are a few things Ya-Sin needs to improve on this year.
3. Persistent Penalties
The Colts’ major focus has been on hidden yardage and preventing penalties
The first game Rock Ya-Sin played against Denver in 2020 brought about a multitude of penalties. He was called for defensive pass interference two times on the same drive, both on third down, and committed another infraction inside the 5-yard line, giving the Broncos a go-ahead touchdown rather than a field goal.
As more news regarding Pierre Desir‘s injury emerged last season, it became clear that Ya-Sin would be the next guy up for a few weeks.
During the ensuing games and even into the next year, the penalties kept coming, and his aggressive play led to many more defensive holding and defensive pass interference flags, leading to fans requesting for him to be benched.
In 2020 alone, he committed 15 penalties, with only one being declined, for over 400 yards. To put this into perspective, Xavier Rhodes has committed 15 penalties in three years while being the No. 1 cornerback on two teams. Kenny Moore has only committed 12 penalties in his entire career with the Colts.
While aggressive play from the cornerback position is always wanted, Ya-Sin needs to understand better when to be aggressive and when to hold back, lest he be flagged.