The defensive line for the Indianapolis Colts has seen an impressive start to 2023 and a big thanks goes to third-year man out of Vanderbilt, Dayo Odeyingbo. Amidst a heartbreaking loss to the Los Angeles Rams in Week 4, one in which superstar defensive tackle DeForest Buckner was on a snap count due to injury, Odeyingbo's presence was evident.
Odeyingbo spent the majority of his rookie season in 2021 recovering from an Achilles tear, something general manager Chris Ballard knew was required when he used a second-round draft pick on him back in the 2021 NFL draft. Ever since, though, Odeyingbo has slowly but surely come into his own.
Dayo Odeyingbo is starting to make an impact for the Colts
In his sophomore campaign in the NFL, Odeyingbo notched five sacks while playing more than 60% of defensive snaps in just five of the Colts’ 17 games in 2022. His rookie season was the NFL's version of a redshirt. Even with Odeyingbo appearing in half of the team's games, he never saw 50% of the defensive snaps in a single outing.
Fast forward to 2023, Odeyingbo is making his presence felt. Against the Rams, he had a team-high seven tackles and two sacks to add to his one forced fumble, one tackle for loss, one batted ball, and six total pressures.
My friend over at Sports Illustrated, Rashaad McGinnis, has connections within the Rams organization and they had some high praise after Odeyingbo's performance on Sunday, saying, "54? He wrecked us today, had no idea he played that violent... heck of a player." Without much else said, it's clear that Odeyingbo is quickly putting the league on notice.
His presence has been felt, but his versatility is what makes him the special player that he is. Odeyingbo mostly came off the edge for Indy in 2022, primarily from the left edge. Now, he is playing all over the line, and with a banged up DeForest Buckner in the mix, Odeyingbo could see more playing time come his way, deservingly so.