Based on multiple experts’ suggestions for the Indianapolis Colts, it’s clear that people outside the team aren’t sold on one of Indy’s young players.
The Indianapolis Colts are a team with a lot of star power and the potential to make a lot of noise next season. Returning seven Pro Bowlers, the most of any team, Indy is also adding former Pro Bowl players Matt Ryan, Yannick Ngakoue, and Stephon Gilmore. This is in addition to several young players that are emerging stars.
With all of this talent, the Colts should be able to contend. However, in order to do so, Indianapolis will need some young players to step up into primary roles for the first time in their careers. Like at the left tackle position, where the starter will either be Matt Pryor or rookie Bernhard Raimann.
There will also be some young and new faces in the secondary. With Khari Willis retiring, rookie Nick Cross is the assumed starter at one of the safety positions. Additionally, Isaiah Rodgers is expected to become the full-time starter at one of the corner positions.
Internally, Rodgers has been impressive. Fans and the team believe that he is ready to step up into a starting role and can be a quality corner. However, not many outside of Indianapolis share that same belief.
Many around the NFL world have been inadvertently expressing their lack of belief in Isaiah Rodgers as a starting corner by urging the Colts to find one more starter opposite Stephon Gilmore.
Isaiah Rodgers will have to prove himself as a starter for Colts
Recently, Ian Wharton from Bleacher Report suggested the Colts trade for Marcus Peters, calling Rodgers and the other corners not named Stephon Gilmore “a gamble.” Now, Josh Edwards from CBS Sports names cornerback the biggest remaining need for Indianapolis.
Edwards argues that addressing the cornerback spot opposite of Gilmore is a bigger need for Indy than adding to the wide receiver room. Edwards concludes by saying “Rock Ya-Sin was traded for Yannick Ngakoue and that forced Isaiah Rodgers into a larger role.” The statement seems as if the belief is that Rodgers isn’t ready and Indy would be better off finding someone more established.
The truth is that Rodgers represents the unknown. Rodgers came from UMass, has been in the NFL for two seasons, and only started one game at cornerback. The concern can’t be that he’s a bad corner, but simply unproven.
However, he will have the chance to prove himself this season. Barring any blockbuster trades, Rodgers is the likely starter opposite of Gilmore and he’ll have the platform to have a breakout season and prove that corner isn’t a need for the Colts.