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Colts draft Khari Willis, SS, Michigan State


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I highly doubt Ballard traded up because the guy is a great teammate.

I was listening to nfl channel o Sirius.  They said he was the S that all the TEs had the hardest time against.  They loved the pick and how Ballard is building the team. 

From TheDraftNetwork...   "Competitive Toughness - Elite competitor with sterling football character. Work ethic and leadership, both vocal and by example, are off the charts. Physical with

7 minutes ago, BOTT said:

I highly doubt Ballard traded up because the guy is a great teammate.

I'm sorry but is a nonsensical argument to think that Ballard took him because of the great teammate. He's building this team one player at a time. I expect him to see a lot of time this season. I just don't think that gathers will be here long-term

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6 minutes ago, Bluefire4 said:

Yeah I was saying he was a 6th-7th round pick in my opinion watching Michigan State games. He could prove me wrong but I don't see it. Would definitely rather have Hooker or Deionte Thompson.

 

We already have our Hooker. How many do you need?

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Just now, GoColts8818 said:

At this point you aren’t getting Day one starters but you are getting guys who can become starters and that’s what the Colts need at safety with Geathers on a one year deal.  

there were a few starter caliber Ss available.  

surprised we moved up for Willis. He was like the 7th best S still on the board. 

would have loved to have had Hooker or Thompson from Bama or even Johnson or Tell.

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I love having Spartans on the colts so I hope he ends up being great. but I'm bummed the only thing I wanted from this draft was someone to move geathers to the bench this year and I'm not sure he can. would have much rather had Hooker or CGJ

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21 minutes ago, Smonroe said:

 

I was listening to nfl channel o Sirius.  They said he was the S that all the TEs had the hardest time against.  They loved the pick and how Ballard is building the team. 

they experts used the same reason (we need to improve vs TEs) for picking RYS

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From TheDraftNetwork...

 

"Competitive Toughness - Elite competitor with sterling football character. Work ethic and leadership, both vocal and by example, are off the charts. Physical with a hot motor in all phases of the game, often chirping after the play. "

 

Definitely a Ballard type of guy

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1 minute ago, Irish YJ said:

there were a few starter caliber Ss available.  

surprised we moved up for Willis. He was like the 7th best S still on the board. 

would have loved to have had Hooker or Thompson from Bama or even Johnson or Tell.

That’s your opinion.  Kieper had him as the second best player still available today.  At the end of the day it doesn’t matter where anyone had him but Ballard.   Sounds like he was high on their board and he slipped to the point he was worth going to get.  

 

Also, I didn’t say he couldn’t be a starter.  I just said he’s probably not a day one starter as are most people from here on out.  They probably need some development which is fine.  I am also saying the Colts don’t need a day one starter at safety because of Geathers, Hooker, and Farley.

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20 minutes ago, MTC said:

 

This is how a good team is run.  NO ONE expected the Colts to move up this much to get a player (really to move up to get ANY player) so guess what? The # of other teams that might have planned to draft him just got blind sided completely.  

 

A hard nosed box safety... what's not to like? He can take on TE's as well.  High character.  Great pick!  

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With my limited knowledge on this guy, I don't expect him to beat a healthy Geathers out for a starting spot anytime soon; however, I do see him playing a big role in certain situations. If he's as good in coverage vs TEs as claimed, I can see Geathers moving to LB in more situations and bringing this guy into SS.

 

We already saw that a good bit with Farley and Geathers last year. I see all four of our Safeties seeing snaps. Plus, now we have a bit better depth, which with Hooker's and Geathers' injury histories depth is very much needed.

 

Then long-term, hopefully, this guy could be the answer.

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It always confuses me that "pro scouts" say these safeties lack speed, but the best safeties in the league right now all ran similar 40's to what Willis ran. 

I'm not betting against Ballard. Hope the pick turns out to be a future long-term starter.

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8 minutes ago, Irish YJ said:

there were a few starter caliber Ss available.  

surprised we moved up for Willis. He was like the 7th best S still on the board. 

would have loved to have had Hooker or Thompson from Bama or even Johnson or Tell.

7th best according to who? Obviously they were way off the mark.  Kiper (for what it is worth) said he was #2 available on the board at the start of the 4th.  He (contrary to any false belief) does not do all the research on his list of picks.  He has a team working on it.  And they thought highly of this guy.  Frankly by the 4th round, there is little difference between the NFL quality players still remaining beyond their special individual characteristics.  In that area, this guy is an A+ leader and team guy.  THAT is why they went up and got him.  We have a team FULL of character guys.  That will allow us, at some point, to take a chance on a troubled player because a team full of true leaders and high character guys can keep someone like that in line while protecting the locker room from any possible contagion.  Remember when Ballard said we weren't quite ready to take on someone like Bell or Brown? Well, with some of these picks so far this year, that small gap is being closed.  By next year, if a massive FA of need come available (like a pass rusher etc.) we may be ready to handle any personality issues.  

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8 minutes ago, GoColts8818 said:

That’s your opinion.  Kieper had him as the second best player still available today.  At the end of the day it doesn’t matter where anyone had him but Ballard.   Sounds like he was high on their board and he slipped to the point he was worth going to get.  

 

Also, I didn’t say he couldn’t be a starter.  I just said he’s probably not a day one starter as are most people from here on out.  They probably need some development which is fine.  I am also saying the Colts don’t need a day one starter at safety because of Geathers, Hooker, and Farley.

I like him. He was a team leader type at MSU, so he'll be good in the locker room. I just think he's limited as a back up box safety. He'll contribute on STs too, but even there his lack of speed might hold him back from what we'd typically expect from a S playing STs. 

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I liked Hooker better...but the Ss I wanted were long gone. I just hate giving up picks.

 

I forgot about the early 5th rounder though...I like Wren and Willis...and Harmon and Ridley are still ok the board.

 

Edit: Nevermind.

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2 minutes ago, JPFolks said:

7th best according to who? Obviously they were way off the mark.  Kiper (for what it is worth) said he was #2 available on the board at the start of the 4th.  He (contrary to any false belief) does not do all the research on his list of picks.  He has a team working on it.  And they thought highly of this guy.  Frankly by the 4th round, there is little difference between the NFL quality players still remaining beyond their special individual characteristics.  In that area, this guy is an A+ leader and team guy.  THAT is why they went up and got him.  We have a team FULL of character guys.  That will allow us, at some point, to take a chance on a troubled player because a team full of true leaders and high character guys can keep someone like that in line while protecting the locker room from any possible contagion.  Remember when Ballard said we weren't quite ready to take on someone like Bell or Brown? Well, with some of these picks so far this year, that small gap is being closed.  By next year, if a massive FA of need come available (like a pass rusher etc.) we may be ready to handle any personality issues.  

Great Post! I think after 2020's draft and Free Agency we will be the team to beat for sure, Luck will be in a zone by then too. This upcoming season I am not sure we will make the SB but I see us winning 11 games and perhaps making the Title Game. 

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9 minutes ago, Colts_Fan12 said:

I love having Spartans on the colts so I hope he ends up being great. but I'm bummed the only thing I wanted from this draft was someone to move geathers to the bench this year and I'm not sure he can. would have much rather had Hooker or CGJ

  I hope Geathers stays healthy and proves some critics wrong this year. He’s better than some give him credit for. 

  Mathis started on Special Teams and Willis can add to STs while learning the system.

   The thing that hits me is that they traded a pick and moved 20 places to get him. I’d be disappointed if Geathers didn’t  start because he does have an advantage over a rookie because of his experience.

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Don't know why all of the analysts are saying he is good at covering TEs. He shut down Zach Gentry at Michigan who is not good. He would get murdered by any average TE in the NFL.

 

Bottom line for me is that his ceiling is a backup safety who is great on special teams and I think there were options on the board that could actually replace Geathers in the future.

 

And I didn't mean to insinuate that the only reason Ballard picked him was for his character, but I do think that was a major part of the decision. I guarantee him being a team captain and hard worker is the first thing out of Ballard's mouth at the press conference.

 

The only thing I like about the fit is that he is a really good fit in our zone defense and he comes up and tackles well similar to Geathers. He shows no instincts or coverage ability, so unless he improves I'd be scared to have him cover anybody on passing downs.

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Ironically 

We made almost the same trade up to draft Geathers at or near the same spot in the 4th round in 2015

 

edit:  correction.  Drafted same spot 109, but we traded up for Parry in the 5th not Geathers in the 4th.

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47 minutes ago, Valpo2004 said:

Seems like a lot to give up to move up in the 4th.  Must be someone they really believe in.

 

We gave up two 4’s at the bottom of the round to mive up 20-25 spits at the top of the round.   Two picks for one.   The points are close.  

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The Colts surrendered the No. 129 and 135 picks to move up 20 spots. Willis (5’11/213) made 30 starts in the Spartans’ backend, graduating with 6.5 career TFLs, four sacks, and four picks and earning third-team All-Big Ten as a senior. PFF College credited Willis with just a 73.6 passer rating allowed in 2018. Equipped with adequate speed (4.52) and well known for his leadership and character, Willis offers slot corner and deep-safety experience but lacks true man-coverage ability and has shaky ball skills. He’s a probable special teamer and No. 3 safety who could start in a pinch.

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15 minutes ago, ColtsLegacy said:

With my limited knowledge on this guy, I don't expect him to beat a healthy Geathers out for a starting spot anytime soon; however, I do see him playing a big role in certain situations. If he's as good in coverage vs TEs as claimed, I can see Geathers moving to LB in more situations and bringing this guy into SS.

 

We already saw that a good bit with Farley and Geathers last year. I see all four of our Safeties seeing snaps. Plus, now we have a bit better depth, which with Hooker's and Geathers' injury histories depth is very much needed.

 

Then long-term, hopefully, this guy could be the answer.

 

Depth is the key word. If it were the Groucho Marks show , the duck would come down. Your too young to have sen that show. That said can you name the Colts starting SS in the divisional playoff game without looking it up ?

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14 minutes ago, JPFolks said:

7th best according to who? Obviously they were way off the mark.  Kiper (for what it is worth) said he was #2 available on the board at the start of the 4th.  He (contrary to any false belief) does not do all the research on his list of picks.  He has a team working on it.  And they thought highly of this guy.  Frankly by the 4th round, there is little difference between the NFL quality players still remaining beyond their special individual characteristics.  In that area, this guy is an A+ leader and team guy.  THAT is why they went up and got him.  We have a team FULL of character guys.  That will allow us, at some point, to take a chance on a troubled player because a team full of true leaders and high character guys can keep someone like that in line while protecting the locker room from any possible contagion.  Remember when Ballard said we weren't quite ready to take on someone like Bell or Brown? Well, with some of these picks so far this year, that small gap is being closed.  By next year, if a massive FA of need come available (like a pass rusher etc.) we may be ready to handle any personality issues.  

 

Kiper doesn't have a team.   That’s McShay.   Kiper works alone.   Always has.    McShays team is two other guys who played college ball, as did McShay.

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23 minutes ago, Irish YJ said:

there were a few starter caliber Ss available.  

surprised we moved up for Willis. He was like the 7th best S still on the board. 

would have loved to have had Hooker or Thompson from Bama or even Johnson or Tell.

 

 So Ballard took the 7th best safety still on this imaginary board. chuckle
 silliness. And as the GM in your imaginary world, you can have any one of them.
  Interesting that in Kiper's top available players to start the day Willis was #2.

 Seems like what you know about it is well, not much based on the info you gather from your chair.

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