Indianapolis Colts Rookies Forecast

By Charlie Campbell – @draftcampbell

Solid Starter

Rock Ya-Sin, CB, Temple – Round 2
In my final 2019 NFL Mock Draft, I had the Colts taking Ya-Sin with their first-round pick, and it was a fit that made a lot of sense. Indianapolis needed more cornerback talent, and Ya-Sin looks like he could compete quickly. He could compete as a nickel or outside corner who turns into a solid starter early in his pro career.

Ya-Sin projects to being a capable press-man corner who can jam and battle receivers while running with them downfield. He is strong and has loose hips for a corner that has obviously done work in the weight room to give himself a pro build. Ya-Sin shows some ability to re-direct and stay with receivers. Ya-Sin is calm when the ball is thrown his direction and doesn’t panic. He does a nice job of playing the ball rather than the receiver when he see the pass coming his direction.

The physical style of play extends to the ground game, where Ya-Sin is a willing run defender and won’t hesitate to tackle. He does a nice job of closing on ball-carriers and sticking his nose into the play.

With Pierre Desir and Kenny Moore, I think Ya-Sin will be a quality corner for the Colts and a solid starter.

2018: Braden Smith, G
2017: Quincy Wilson, CB
2016: Ryan Kelly, C
2015: Henry Anderson, DE
2014: Andrew Jackson, LB
2013: Hugh Thornton, G

Most Likely To Bust

Bobby Okereke, OLB, Stanford – Round 3
There is no doubt that the Colts’ drafting has been superb under Chris Ballard and director of college scouting Morocco Brown. Over the past three drafts, it has been very difficult to select an early-rounder with real bust potential compared to past years when it was easy to see former general manager Ryan Grigson making poor decisions with draft picks. The astute picks were proven true with a breakout season last year when the Colts went from picking third overall to dominating the Texans in the playoffs and proving that the Colts are one of the best young teams in the NFL. Of Indianapolis’ early-round picks, only Okereke sticks out to me as having some danger of not working out.

The Colts made a brilliant pick with Darius Leonard in the 2018 NFL Draft, and he took the NFL by storm as a rookie. Indianapolis was still in the market to upgrade its linebacker talent around Leonard though. Anthony Walker could remain the Colts’ starting inside linebacker, and considering defenses play 70 percent of their snaps in nickel, that leaves Okereke on the bench. At Stanford, Okereke was a solid defender, but not special. He recorded 96 tackles with 7.5 tackles for a loss, 3.5 sacks, five passes batted and two forced fumbles in 2018. As a junior, he totaled 96 tackles with four sacks with one pass batted and one interception. Thus, Okereke never had a season with 100 tackles or big production in college.

While he may not be a star, I think Okereke should at least be a quality backup and special teams contributor in the NFL. Of the Colts’ early-round picks in the 2019 NFL Draft, Okereke seems to be the most in danger of not working out.

2018: Kemoko Turay, LB
2017: Tarell Basham, DL
2016: Hassan Ridgeway, DT
2015: Clayton Geathers, S
2014: Jack Mewhort, G
2013: Khaled Holmes, C

Potential Boom Pick

Parris Campbell, WR, Ohio State – Round 2
The Colts traded out of the first round, but were able to come away with three players who should help them immediately from the second round. The final second-round pick was Ohio State wide receiver Parris Campbell, who was a steal for Indianapolis late in the second round. Campbell could have gone late in the first round, and nobody would have thought it was a reach. The ultra-fast Campbell should combine with T.Y. Hilton and veteran Devin Funchess to provide Andrew Luck with more mismatch ability in 2019.

As a senior with Dwayne Haskins at quarterback, Campbell had a huge leap in production, hauling in 90 receptions for 1,063 yards and 12 touchdowns in 2018. He produced some big, clutch plays for the Buckeyes and really improved his overall technique as a wide receiver. Similar to Curtis Samuel or Percy Harvin, Campbell is a fast, explosive play-maker who was a hybrid wide receiver for Urban Meyer. With the ball in his hands, Campbell is a play-maker. He is very fast and a threat to score on any touch. He has moves in the open field to juke defenders or weave around them with excellent cutting ability. While he isn’t tall and doesn’t have length, Campbell (5-11, 205) is put together well with a thick build.

Purely as a receiver, Campbell will be good to line up on the outside and challenge defenses vertically. He can get quick separation with his speed and explosiveness and has dangerous run-after-the-catch skills. Campbell is the kind of receiver who can take a quick slant to the end zone from any place on the field.

In the long run, Campbell could end up becoming a No. 1 wide receiver for the Colts because Funchess only signed a 1-year contract and has been inconsistent in his career. Hilton turns 30 during the 2019 season and is in the final two seasons of his contract. Given his size and some injuries in his career, Hilton could slow down before too long. That could lead to the Colts looking at Campbell as their No. 1 receiver of the future if he plays well, so he probably will get plenty of opportunities and targets from Luck. Indianapolis is one of the best young teams in the NFL, and Campbell could be a centerpiece of the future.

2018: Quenton Nelson, G
2017: Malik Hooker, S
2016: Le’Raven Clark, OT
2015: Philip Dorsett, WR
2014: Donte Moncrief, WR
2013: Bjoern Werner, DE

Future Depth Player

Khari Willis, S, Michigan State – Round 4
Willis was a solid safety for the Spartans for the past few years and continues a string of steady defensive backs produced by Michigan State for the NFL. In 2018, Willis totaled 84 tackles with 10 passes broken up and two interceptions. He had two picks as a junior along with 71 tackles and three breakups. In the NFL, Willis may be short of the speed and athleticism to be a starter, but I think he could be a good backup safety who rotates into the game and also is a good contributor on special teams.

2018: Nyheim Hines, RB
2017: Marlon Mack, RB
2016: Antonio Morrison, LB
2015: David Parry, DT
2014: John Ulrick, OT
2013: Montori Hughes, DT

Walt’s 2019 NFL Draft Grades:

34. Rock Ya-Sin, CB, Temple A Grade
Make that two “A” grades to kick off the second round. Rock Ya-Sin is a prospect who could’ve been chosen as high as No. 20 overall to the Steelers, and I think that was Pittsburgh’s plan prior to trading up for Devin Bush. Ya-Sin is a steal here. He is a tough cornerback who will fill a huge need for the Colts, who have had trouble stopping the pass for quite some time.

49. Ben Banogu, DE/OLB, TCU C Grade
This mirrors the Seattle pick a bit earlier, though I don’t think Ben Banogu is as much of a reach as Marquise Blair was. Banogu was a fringe third-fourth-round prospect, but the Colts moved down for him, so I think it’s acceptable. Indianapolis needed an edge rusher, and Banogu should be able to help if he can live up to his great athleticism and develop into a quality player.

59. Parris Campbell, WR, Ohio State A+ Grade
Wow, what a steal. Parris Campbell could have been chosen late in the first round without any sort of criticism. Campbell didn’t produce much early at Ohio State because of quarterbacking problems, but he was excellent this past season. Campbell is extremely explosive and talented, and he’ll be a nice No. 2 receiver for the Colts. Also, Campbell is a high-character prospect as a team captain, so this is an excellent choice all around.

89. Bobby Okereke, LB, Stanford B+ Grade
This is a solid pick for the Colts, who needed another linebacker to go along with Darius Leonard. Bobby Okereke is a better athlete than expected, and he’s also a smart, instinctive linebacker. He’s a nice, new piece to Indianapolis’ improving defense who fits the range in the middle of the third round.

109. Khari Willis, S, Michigan State B- Grade
Finally, a non-A grade in the fourth round. I don’t think this is a bad pick, however. Khari Willis is a bit small and slow, so I thought he would be chosen around in the fifth or sixth round. However, he’s a sound tackler who happens to be a high-character guy who will give Indianapolis 110 percent.

144. Marvell Tell, S, USC A- Grade
Marvell Tell has great size (6-2, 198) and athleticism. He was a 3-year starter at USC, but needs to get stronger for the NFL. If he works hard, he has the potential to emerge as a starting safety for the Colts, filling a big need for the team.

164. E.J. Speed, LB, Tarleton State D- Grade
WHO THE FOOK IS THAT GUY!? I’ve never heard of E.J. Speed. I never once considered putting him into the top 500 database. I looked around quickly, and none of the other scouting services have him ranked either. I’m not even convinced he’s a real person. Why didn’t the Colts just sign him as a UDFA?

199. Gerri Green, DE/OLB, Mississippi State C Grade
Gerri Green was recruited highly out of high school, but never developed into a consistent player. He was a team leader for Mississippi State, so he drew some starts, but I’m not sure he can put it together and become an NFL player who sticks around. I had Green pegged as a UDFA target.

240. Jackson Barton, OT, Utah B Grade
Jackson Barton is a project. His run blocking is well ahead of his pass protection, but he tested well enough athletically to make me believe in his upside. Barton could develop into a capable swing tackle for Indianapolis.

246. Javon Patterson, C/G, Ole Miss B Grade
Javon Patterson was highly recruited out of high school, but never developed into a stud offensive lineman. However, he is definitely versatile, having started at both guard and center positions throughout the past four years. Patterson is quick for an interior blocker, so there’s still some potential for him to become a late bloomer. I had him pegged as a seventh-round pick, so he makes sense for Indianapolis.

2019 NFL Draft Team Grade: A . Follow Walter @walterfootball for updates.

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