3 reasons the 2023 Draft class can immediately make Colts competitive
2. Colts have depth on defense
Chris Ballard and the Indianapolis Colts attacked the defense in the 2023 NFL Draft as well spending half their picks on that side of the ball. The highlight was the three corners they selected. Heading into the draft the Colts were thin at corner so they didn't hesitate to pull the trigger on a few guys that fit the scheme defensive coordinator Gus Bradley wants to run.
Julius Brents, hometown kid, from Kansas State was the first corner to come to Indy with their first pick in the second round. He brings with him explosive athleticism in a 6-foot-3 frame. Indianapolis then waited and was able to snag Darius Rush in the fifth round. With this pick the Colts took another elite athlete that has great speed. Rush ran a 4.36 at the combine which left him tied for fifth out of all cornerbacks. Then with their penultimate pick, Indy selected Jaylon Jones from Texas A&M. There was a trend here as Jones has also been described as having great athleticism and speed.
Having this young blood in the cornerback room will present a challenge for Kenny Moore II and Isaiah Rodgers Sr. that will push them to be better. Injuries are a thing in sports as we all know so the development of these young corners is going to be key for the Colts being competitive this season. If an injury were to hampen Moore or Rodgers someone will need to step up and fill their shoes. Ideally one of these guys starts out the gate with Moore playing primarily in the slot.
Out of the other three defensive picks, the highlight was Adetomiwa Adebawore falling to the Colts in the fourth round. Yes, I say falling because he should have gone off the board a lot sooner. This was a luxury pick for Indianapolis who is now able to solidify their already young defensive line with a potential diamond in the rough.
He recorded double-digit solo tackles since his sophomore season at Northwestern. Solo tackles, not total tackles where he also averaged over 10 in those seasons, capping out at 38 in his senior season. In those three seasons, he also had six, 8.5, and nine tackles for loss respectively. He was able to attack the quarterback in his final two seasons recording 4.5 and five sacks respectively.
His ability to spell DeForest Buckner or Grover Stewart at times will be crucial for the teams success next season. Adebawore shouldn't be counted on for a lot of work out the gate because honestly it's not needed with the way our defensive line is. Instead, focus him on a few positional assignments and let him blossom into the defensive threat he is primed to be. Depth is never a bad thing especially when you are hoping to be a competitive team.