3 Colts players whose jobs are in danger after the Draft
Khari Willis may be challenged by Nick Cross
After three amazing selections on day two of the Draft, the Colts traded a third-round pick in next year’s Draft to move back into the third and select Nick Cross.
The safety from Maryland has 4.34-speed and utilizes it to fly downhill and make big hits, as well as roaming the secondary to defend the pass.
He will help add depth to a secondary that needs it, but he may also push his way into the starting lineup. If not immediately, surely eventually.
Julian Blackmon is returning from a torn Achilles and should be ready to reclaim his starting role at one of the safety spots in the fall. Opposite Blackmon is Khari Willis, and that’s likely who Cross will start the year behind.
Willis was drafted by the Colts in the fourth round of the 2019 Draft and he found his way into the starting lineup as a rookie. In three years, he has played in 39 games for Indy, starting 33, and has been productive.
However, Willis is entering the final season of his rookie contract and the selection of Cross likely signifies the start of the phasing out process.
Ballard traded up to get Cross and it was clear he’s a player that Indy believes in. If Cross shows up to camp and is comparable to Willis, Indy may not wait for Willis’ contract to expire to make Cross the starter.
While Cross was drafted to eventually replace Willis, Khari will have to be on his game all season to make sure the rookie waits until year two to take over the position.