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Best player from the rookie class


CR91

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We're gonna get a lot of different answers with this one. Rock was getting better and better through the season, Campbell showed flashes of great talent, Bobby was important to our passing game. Imo, Willis was not only a steal, but the best pick of the draft so far. Willis's play brought a physically to the defense and a hitman mentially. He is what Geathers was supposed to be and I think he is the perfect compliment to Hooker. 

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16 minutes ago, CR91 said:

We're gonna get a lot of different answers with this one. Rock was getting better and better through the season, Campbell showed flashes of great talent, Bobby was important to our passing game. Imo, Willis was not only a steal, but the best pick of the draft so far. Willis's play brought a physically to the defense and a hitman mentially. He is what Geathers was supposed to be and I think he is the perfect compliment to Hooker. 

Okereke IMO. He dominated in the time he played. I think he could steal some time away from Walker next year. Willis, Tell, and Rock were also pretty good. If you include Banogu as having upside, we got a lot of defensive contributers in last years class.

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1. Rock - was baptized by fire from the start. Yes he had the penalty game and made rookie mistakes, but he has the speed and physicality to be a well rounded corner. His mistakes were mostly rook mistakes adjusting to scheme, etc.. I could see him "clicking" in year two.

 

2. Campbell - still a bit of an enigma due to all the injuries, but he did flash at times, and has a high ceiling. If he can keep healthy, I think he can be potentially the #1 on this list. 

 

3. Willis - Great in the box for the most part, but struggled vs the pass. Called on to do a lot with injury. While I think he'll be a great depth player for many years to come, not sure he'll ever be great vs the pass. I could see him ending up a 2 down S prioritized against the run.

 

4. Okereke - He did some really good things, but he's a very situational player. I don't see him ever being a 3 down MIKE due to his struggles vs the run, but I love that we're using him in the middle on passing downs while also using him on the outside at SAM. IMO, his best fit will continue to be on the outside in space.

 

5. Banogu - While I knew he'd take time to develop, I'm a little disappointed he didn't have a bigger impact at least on passing downs, and especially later in the year. Only time will tell, but he needs to have a stronger year 2. If not, he might be one of those "project" guys that never really find their place.

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This post highlights the potential with this defensive class coming into their second year. Bulk up the d-line this offseason and the defense could be high caliber. 

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I think Willis was the most surprising. He played absolutely solid. Rock was decent. Okereke was good. Campbell was below average. Tell showed flashes.

 

1.) Willis

2.) Okereke

3.) Rock

4.) Tell

5.) Campbell

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1 hour ago, Mr.NotSoCreative said:

We all want Campbell to be a stud so badly. Hope it happens. Willis in this one, Oke a close second.

 

  Never understood the Campbell pick.  He was a pretty much a one-trick

  pony at OSU. But Reich banged the table for him  and Ballard went

 

  along with it.

 

  Anyone with any foresight saw how stellar this draft's WR class was likely 

  to be.  Why take a shot on a raw kid like Campbell when you can shore up 

  another spot and then grab a very good, all-around WR in 2020 ?

 

  Campbell has a chance to eventually be a really good role player (poor 

  man's Percy Harvin type WR). But he'll never be a WR-1 caliber guy and 

  is a long way from being a even a solid, well rounded WR. 

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I would say you could put the same tagline against all of them:

 

"Promising start, but jury is still out".

 

I think they all had flashes of what they could be, but didn't see it consistently from any of them.  As with all rookies, the 2nd year will be big for them, but especially Parris after a hellish year full of injuries.

 

Certainly no write-offs as of yet.

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1 hour ago, bravo4460 said:

I think Willis was the most surprising. He played absolutely solid. Rock was decent. Okereke was good. Campbell was below average. Tell showed flashes.

 

1.) Willis

2.) Okereke

3.) Rock

4.) Tell

5.) Campbell

I agree with this list. Lots of promise with this group. I’d also say Banogu looked mostly lost and ineffective. Probably wishful thinking to say he will amount to much. Hope I’m wrong. 

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1&2. Rock/Willis (Rock and Willis both did admirably, basically a toss-up imo)

3. Okereke

4. McLaughlin

5. Banogu

6. Campbell

7. Tell

8. Speed

9+ Green, Patterson, Dulin

Etc: Barton now has a SB ring coming

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As long as Campbell stays healthy he will be just like Deebo Samual. It’s going to be fun to watch him next year. He can rush on sweeps  and play in the slot. You can do so much with him. Go back to the Steelers game and that is what we have to look forward to.

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49 minutes ago, Hoose said:

I agree with this list. Lots of promise with this group. I’d also say Banogu looked mostly lost and ineffective. Probably wishful thinking to say he will amount to much. Hope I’m wrong. 

Banogu actually had really good pressure rating. He just want used enough.  I think a off season with Mathis and he will make that second year leap like Turay started showing. BTW Turay looks ahead of schedule and is already using a regular treadmill and working out.

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4 minutes ago, Chloe6124 said:

As long as Campbell stays healthy he will be just like Deebo Samual. It’s going to be fun to watch him next year. He can rush on her seeets and play in the slot. You can do so much with him. 

 

Don't think he plays with anything close to the physicality that Deebo does.

But I'd love to see him prove me wrong.

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1 hour ago, Chloe6124 said:

Banogu actually had really good pressure rating. He just want used enough.  I think a off season with Mathis and he will make that second year leap like Turay started showing. BTW Turay looks ahead of schedule and is already using a regular treadmill and working out.

Well I’m certainly rooting for the guy. But I’m skeptical. No better mentor and teacher than Mathis so I guess there is always hope. 

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2 hours ago, Chloe6124 said:

As long as Campbell stays healthy he will be just like Deebo Samual. It’s going to be fun to watch him next year. He can rush on sweeps  and play in the slot. You can do so much with him. Go back to the Steelers game and that is what we have to look forward to.

I dont think Campbell is that physical nor do i think that he would hold up health-wise, to being in a role like that.  Just my opinion.

 

Deebo was one of the WR i actually thought would fit in well here, before the draft/before Luck retired.

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4 hours ago, DaveA1102 said:

I would say you could put the same tagline against all of them:

 

"Promising start, but jury is still out".

 

I think they all had flashes of what they could be, but didn't see it consistently from any of them.  As with all rookies, the 2nd year will be big for them, but especially Parris after a hellish year full of injuries.

 

Certainly no write-offs as of yet.

 

This. . . no one stood out for overtly sucking but no one stood out for stellar play.  They all had some good moments too.  

 

I'm not seeing any yearly pro-bowlers here but while pro-bowlers are nice, sometimes it's imortant to just bring in good role-players and increase your depth.  It seems like there is a good chance Ballard did at least that. 

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1 minute ago, Steamboat_Shaun said:

Okereke & Ya-Sin made PFFs all-rookie team this year, & I have to think Willis would've too but beating out Thornhill & Savage is a lot to ask.

 

https://www.pff.com/news/nfl-pff-2019-all-rookie-team

Good stuff. Not surprised about Okereke, Rock did very well there. May of been due to playing time, but I know Ballard loved him and would of selected him at 26 if the Redskins didn't trade up with us.

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5 hours ago, indykmj said:

 

  Never understood the Campbell pick.  He was a pretty much a one-trick

  pony at OSU. But Reich banged the table for him  and Ballard went

 

  along with it.

 

  Anyone with any foresight saw how stellar this draft's WR class was likely 

  to be.  Why take a shot on a raw kid like Campbell when you can shore up 

  another spot and then grab a very good, all-around WR in 2020 ?

 

  Campbell has a chance to eventually be a really good role player (poor 

  man's Percy Harvin type WR). But he'll never be a WR-1 caliber guy and 

  is a long way from being a even a solid, well rounded WR. 

 

To the bolded, I'll just remind you that TY was a late third round pick, was mocked by most later (4th and 5th), and was thought to be somewhat of a one trick pony (deep) that was going to be good short and intermediate.

 

Here's NFL.com's blurb on weakness for TY

Quote

 

WEAKNESSES

 Hilton is undersized and it shows when blocking in the run game. He has a tough time breaking down and getting hands on a DB and using strength to hold on thereafter. He is a deep threat and has production there but is not a reliable short-to-intermediate throwing option.

 

 

Not saying Campbell will be a TY or a #1, but TY had a very similar type of draft review. Campbell had a roller coaster ride of freak injuries this year, so hard to judge,,,,, but I would not be shocked if he stayed healthy, eventually moved to Z, and competed for the #1.

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15 minutes ago, Steamboat_Shaun said:

Okereke & Ya-Sin made PFFs all-rookie team this year, & I have to think Willis would've too but beating out Thornhill & Savage is a lot to ask.

 

https://www.pff.com/news/nfl-pff-2019-all-rookie-team

I loved both Thornhill and Chauncey Gardner-Johnson. I liked Savage, but not as much as Thornhill and CGJ.  He (CGJ) ended up lasting until the 4th, and played both S positions as well as Nickel for the Saints this year. He's going to be a stud. 

 

On Rock, I know most think of the penalty game, but they need to erase that from their minds and think of how he performed from  week 10 on.

Quote

 

CB ROCK YA-SIN, INDIANAPOLIS COLTS

Looking at the season from start to finish, Ya-Sin hasn’t had a smooth ride to a spot on the All-Rookie Team. A 55.0 coverage grade through the first nine weeks of the season set him back, but we saw improvement from the Temple product as the campaign wore on. From Week 10 through the end of the season, Ya-Sin picked up a 76.1 coverage grade while allowing just a 67.7 passer rating into his coverage. That’s the kind of performance the Colts expected when drafting him in the second round, and it’s what they’ll look for next season.

 

 

I've said all year long it would take a little time to get used to the scheme change, but he'd click at some point. I think he clicked in the second half of the season, but will click even more going into year 2.

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 By seasons end it was clear Okereke and Rock were a cut above the others.
  Sorry but Willis has speed limitations that will make him a target in the passing game.
Banogu is a little undersized and not the most flexible athlete. lol

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6 hours ago, indykmj said:

 

  Never understood the Campbell pick.  He was a pretty much a one-trick

  pony at OSU. But Reich banged the table for him  and Ballard went

 

  along with it.

 

  Anyone with any foresight saw how stellar this draft's WR class was likely 

  to be.  Why take a shot on a raw kid like Campbell when you can shore up 

  another spot and then grab a very good, all-around WR in 2020 ?

 

  Campbell has a chance to eventually be a really good role player (poor 

  man's Percy Harvin type WR). But he'll never be a WR-1 caliber guy and 

  is a long way from being a even a solid, well rounded WR. 

Agree to a point, in that I understand the pick from this perception: 

 

We just signed Funchess, who was clearly going to be the outside physical presence to offset TY.  We needed a slot WR, so Campbell being a one trick slot pony was not relevant.

 

Despite what they say, teams draft for need.  Yes, they don't want to reach, they try to get value, and may even move around for value, but what happens in FA...even on a one year contract....influences how they form their draft board.

 

IMO, I was preferring Deebo instead of Rock with our early 2.  But I perceive the fact that we signed Funchess meant that the need for a more all around potential WR became less immediately important than before we signed Funchess, and that decline in value of Deebo raised the value of Rock similarly.  Basically, we just upgraded the outside starting WR in FA, so we went Corner.

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8 hours ago, Lef said:

This post highlights the potential with this defensive class coming into their second year. Bulk up the d-line this offseason and the defense could be high caliber. 

 

Yes... we had a very weak pass rush last year, which only exacerbates the difficulty of a rookie DB to exceed (Willis, Tell, and Rock all did well, IMO, but with a better pass rush and less time in coverage, they should improve by rule of thumb... if they all get better watching film, understanding the NFL, progressing physically, etc. in year 2 coupled with an improved pass rush, they'll be that much better).  Getting a man-eater in the middle of the DL will also play huge benefits to Okerere and Speed as it should free them up -- sure Okerere was much better against pass than rush last year, but he played very well for where he was taken in the draft and having a better DL should free him up more to improve against the run.

 

7 hours ago, indykmj said:

 

  Never understood the Campbell pick.  He was a pretty much a one-trick

  pony at OSU. But Reich banged the table for him  and Ballard went

 

  along with it.

 

  Anyone with any foresight saw how stellar this draft's WR class was likely 

  to be.  Why take a shot on a raw kid like Campbell when you can shore up 

  another spot and then grab a very good, all-around WR in 2020 ?

 

  Campbell has a chance to eventually be a really good role player (poor 

  man's Percy Harvin type WR). But he'll never be a WR-1 caliber guy and 

  is a long way from being a even a solid, well rounded WR. 

 

I don't think we know this... as @EastStreet pointed out, TY didn't have great ratings coming out of college either.

 

Campbell was used to OSU's system when he was there, and he thrived.  He's obviously got very big play making ability.  Keep in mind, at the time of the draft last year, we didn't know Luck wasn't going to be our QB, we didn't expect Funchess or TY to get hurt and outside of them we had an average Chester Rogers on our team and a bunch of unproven young guys.  It made very logical sense to add a WR in last year's draft.

 

I can't agree that Campbell's a 'one-trick pony.'  Aside from thriving in his offensive role at OSU, he was also a very dangerous return guy and he did OK in the opportunities he got in the NFL at returning kicks.  

 

It has been a very long time since Indy has had a serious threat in the return game.  So, hypothetically, even if Campbell was brought in as a project WR, I believe Ballard/Reich were expecting that he could contribute right away on STs even if he had to spend some developing as a WR.  However, if you listen to Reich after the combine, he was raving about how good of a route runner Campbell was and a lot of scouts, former coaches, Reich, Ballard, etc. all raved about his character and intelligence -- so I don't even believe that Reich or Ballard thought he was entirely a project player and they obviously think he's more than just a one-trick pony.

 

Also, keep in mind, Reich typically schemes his offenses to fit his players strengths and is not a stranger to having versatile guys who create situational match-up problems.

 

https://www.colts.com/news/parris-campbell-breakout-candidate-2020-bleacher-report

 

In the above report, which came out today, Bleacher Report suggests Parris is our #1 threat to break out in year 2.  

 

Here's an excerpt from the article, where Ballard points out his versatility against Pittsburgh and  when he burned Logan Ryan (who many consider a quality DB in this league)... and then Patullo, our WR coach, suggesting he was impressed by Campbell's ability to play all 3 WR positions in our offense: 

 

"

"You know, we really like Parris Campbell. And every time we'd get him right, something would happen: groin, broken hand, foot," Ballard said recently. "You know, the Tennessee game he has the over route where he has the touchdown where he runs away from Logan Ryan (who) can't cover him in man coverage; against Pittsburgh we were able to get him the ball (and) he had over 100 yards of offense just on fly sweeps and screens. But his body's gotta get right, and he's gotta get healthy where he can stay healthy for a 16-game season."

The flashes of playmaking ability were obvious, especially in the Colts' Week 9 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers in which Campbell had 142 yards from scrimmage on a combination of 10 receptions, carries and kickoff returns.

In all, Campbell finished his debut season with 18 receptions (24 targets) for 127 yards (7.1 avg.) and one touchdown, four carries for 34 yards (8.5 avg.) and seven kickoff returns for 175 yards (25.0 avg.).

Not only showing off his abilities on the field, Campbell made a solid impression on wide receivers coach Kevin Patullo in his ability to handle certain things that are uncommon for rookies.

"As far as Parris, really his football intelligence is impressive. The other day in the game we had all those injuries and he was able to play all three spots, which for a rookie that's really difficult to do," Patullo said midseason. "So that was really impressive to see him do that – to step in there, know all three spots and execute. That's really hard to do, especially because he missed some time, so that was big. That's really been the surprise for me – a really good positive thing.""

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18 hours ago, Jared Cisneros said:

Okereke IMO. He dominated in the time he played. I think he could steal some time away from Walker next year. Willis, Tell, and Rock were also pretty good. If you include Banogu as having upside, we got a lot of defensive contributers in last years class.

Okereke was good in space, lost in traffic. Willis did it all, super impressed with him, looks to me like a 10+ year pro.  Okereke has a lot of sizzle because everyone sees the plays he makes in space but don't recognize when he gives up a 6 yard run that should have been a 2 yard run. Okereke has to be able to run detect and fill holes better.  Willis is a starter now.

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1 hour ago, Rally5 said:

Okereke was good in space, lost in traffic. Willis did it all, super impressed with him, looks to me like a 10+ year pro.  Okereke has a lot of sizzle because everyone sees the plays he makes in space but don't recognize when he gives up a 6 yard run that should have been a 2 yard run. Okereke has to be able to run detect and fill holes better.  Willis is a starter now.

While I agree with you 100% on Oke, I'd say that Willis struggled vs the pass a lot at times. In the box, I love what he does, but he's got holes in his game too.

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The thing that impressed me most about Rock was, over the last part of the season, his run support tackling.  In that respect he was a stud.  He just has to get over his handsy grabbing and learn to turn around as the ball approaches. 
 

I definitely view him as an arrow up prospect. 

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21 hours ago, rockywoj said:

The thing that impressed me most about Rock was, over the last part of the season, his run support tackling.  In that respect he was a stud.  He just has to get over his handsy grabbing and learn to turn around as the ball approaches. 
 

I definitely view him as an arrow up prospect. 

 

I think with Rock, he needs to learn that the things he got away with college, he can't do in the NFL. He'll learn. There's a lot of potential there. 

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22 hours ago, rockywoj said:

The thing that impressed me most about Rock was, over the last part of the season, his run support tackling.  In that respect he was a stud.  He just has to get over his handsy grabbing and learn to turn around as the ball approaches. 
 

I definitely view him as an arrow up prospect. 

Rock graded out 70+ from game 10 on. 

He's fast and physical. It'll all come together IMO.

 

The only other one of our rooks with near his potential/ceiling is PC IMO, and I can see both being leaders on the team in a few years.

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On 2/5/2020 at 8:08 AM, DaveA1102 said:

I would say you could put the same tagline against all of them:

 

"Promising start, but jury is still out".

 

I think they all had flashes of what they could be, but didn't see it consistently from any of them.  As with all rookies, the 2nd year will be big for them, but especially Parris after a hellish year full of injuries.

 

Certainly no write-offs as of yet.

i agree, there are no game changers among them, just average guys

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On 2/5/2020 at 7:18 AM, bravo4460 said:

I think Willis was the most surprising. He played absolutely solid. Rock was decent. Okereke was good. Campbell was below average. Tell showed flashes.

 

1.) Willis

2.) Okereke

3.) Rock

4.) Tell

5.) Campbell

This is my order as well. 1-2 could easily flip flop. You just can’t judge Campbell because of the injuries. He wasn’t injury prone in school iirc so hopefully all his bad luck is well behind him. I want to see Banagu make some noise those season though or he may become our version of Jerry Hughes II. Sent packing and then gets a chance elsewhere and they get to unwrap his potential perhaps. 

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The 2019 draft was another solid one for Ballard, Dodds, et all.....

 

1st......the best player as a Rookie would likely be Willis - the SS nobody knew about that they traded UP for in the 4th Round. He was a stabilizing force in the back end of the defense with a few rookie gaffs.

 

2nd - Rock......as the season went on he grew from his rookie gaffs and posted solid numbers the second half of the year.

 

3rd - Okereke......played well in Leonards absence and played well enough down the stretch to force the team into playing 3 linebackers and played the nickel backer in place of Walker.

 

4th - Banogu......hit his stride a bit when Turay went down for about a 7-8 game stretch but it felt like he hit the rookie wall the last few weeks. 

 

5th - Tell......played well when given the opportunity (especially learning corner on the fly) and I believe he showed enough to potentially be a starter on the outside this year or next. 

 

6th - Campbell.....wow is he explosive with the ball in his hands......fluke injuries limited both his growth AND production but he will likely break out in 2020.

 

7th - Speed.....he looks like Tarzan and when he was on the field he kinda looked like Leonard and Okereke out there. My guess is eventually he will supplant Walker - meaning Leonard-Okereke-Speed as your 3 backers.

 

8th - Green.....likely will only ever be a special teamer....if he sticks at all

 

Patterson was injured all year and on the IR

 

Barton found a 53-Man spit and won a SB with the Chiefs....

 

In the future I think Speed will turn into a Marcus Washington type edge setter/pass rusher.

 

Rock, Tell and Moore will form quite the trio at corner with Hooker and Willis forming a no fly zone type of secondary. Plus the speed, instincts and long arms of Leonard and Okereke will make it difficult on the passing lanes.

 

The Banogu and Turay will grow into 10 sack a year ends.....

 

Campbell will show out this year, making the 2nd year jump - also because he will be properly utilized out of the slot with either JB or a rookie checking down to him a lot.

 

All we need for the passing lanes to be closed down is consistent push from the middle and collapsing at least one side of the line......enter the 2020 draft and hopefully a Kinlaw or Gallimore type of DT.....and one could wish upon a Clowney/Yannick/Armstead type of signing in free agency to accompany said stud DT draft pick.....

 

Just my two cents.....

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I feel it was Okereke followed by Willis. The Colts did Willis a disservice by not naming him the starter over Geathers because he thoroughly outplayed him for the entire season. Who knows how good his rookie year really could’ve been. He was always in the backfield.

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10 hours ago, Defjamz26 said:

I feel it was Okereke followed by Willis. The Colts did Willis a disservice by not naming him the starter over Geathers because he thoroughly outplayed him for the entire season. Who knows how good his rookie year really could’ve been. He was always in the backfield.

They're both limited though. IMO will be best as situational/rotational.

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7 minutes ago, EastStreet said:

They're both limited though. IMO will be best as situational/rotational.

Well Okereke was actually named the starter at SAM. He’ll probably be playing some MIKE when Walker needs to come out too.

 

I disagree that they’re both limited. I think they’re both just young with areas they need to improve in. I’m sure for Willlis they’ll draft someone for competition/depth too while he does. Oke just needs more reps.

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1 hour ago, Defjamz26 said:

Well Okereke was actually named the starter at SAM. He’ll probably be playing some MIKE when Walker needs to come out too.

 

I disagree that they’re both limited. I think they’re both just young with areas they need to improve in. I’m sure for Willlis they’ll draft someone for competition/depth too while he does. Oke just needs more reps.

We don't use SAM a lot (less than 30% of the time IIRC), so it's not our base D (so it's situational). Oke plays passing downs only at MIKE, so again, situational. I love that they are double dipping him to get the most use out of him, but it's all very situational. They are keeping him in pass coverage, and in space where he's good at (he's bad in traffic against the run). Even when they added SAM to his duties, he still played less on average than 50% of snaps on D.

 

Willis was pressed into action a lot because of injury to both Hooker and Geathers. When both were healthy, he played a lot less, and also played more 3 S packages. He's best in the box, and struggled vs the pass (27 catches on 31 targets). He's awesome tackling, just not good in coverage, especially zone coverage. While he has a great nose for the ball and is a beast tackling, I don't see him having the speed/twitch to ever be well rounded vs the pass outside of the box. He's a true box safety, which IMO is situational.

 

 

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I saw one report in the past couple of days that said this rookie class graded out as the best this season in terms of production.  Personally I thought Willis had the best year of the group.  I think Rock or Okereke will end up being the best player from it.

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On 2/12/2020 at 1:49 PM, stitches said:

Damn, that's a lot of work you put into those QB. Props for it. I agree with a lot of your evaluations with the main difference being in degree of the strength/weakness(example "Love can't throw left" - I think I pointed out that he does have trouble with his footwork and throwing off his back foot on some throws to the left in another thread, but I don't think it's as dire of a situation as you are describing) and the level of emphasis on some of them which probably leads to different draft range evaluations but overall I think you've done a great job capturing the essence of most of those QBs.

 

My biggest disagreement is about Fromm's arm strength. I don't think it's above average and I think you know it, which is why you put it as a weakness. If it was above average it wouldn't be a weakness IMO. If you start listing NfL starting QBs by arm strength I think you will quickly realize that there is no chance in hell his arm strength would rank anywhere close to the top ...20 even I would say, let alone top 15.

 

Anyways very good write up and thanks for your effort. I enjoyed reading it.

The arm strength aspect is waaaaay overrated in the nfl. I mean, wasn’t the big knock on Manning coming into the league just an above avg arm strength and not elite like Leafs? He did ok. I’ll take the trait of smart and field awareness over elite strength. It’s cool to watch guys flick the wrist and the ball travel 70 yards on a rope but give me a guy who knows where everyone is going to be and how to read the defense I’ve that arm guy. 10 yards at a time until you get to the end zone is all we need. Whether that takes 15 plays or 3, I’ll take a guy who just knows and plays football, who cares about all those elite single traits. 

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