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[Sando] NFL Execs on the draft: "Despite the depth at OL, the draft lacked pure LTs worthy of early selection. The Colts didn't reach for one"


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https://theathletic.com/2572409/2021/05/07/justin-fields-better-than-zach-wilson-micah-parsons-potential-with-cowboys-execs-unfiltered-on-nfl-draft/

Mike Sando interviewed NFL execs after the draft to see what they think about the draft of other teams and here's what some of them said about the Colts:

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One very high-ranking exec thinks the Colts have put themselves in Super Bowl contention after adding pass-rushers Kwity Paye and Dayo Odeyingbo early in the draft. That very high-ranking exec’s name? Jim Irsay, owner of the Colts. “We’re a completely different football team with these two edge rushers and Carson Wentz at quarterback,” Irsay told reporters after the draft.

 

Early emphasis on the defensive front is not new. Indy has over the past four drafts selected Paye, Odeyingbo, Ben Banogu, Tyquan Lewis and Kemoko Turay in the first four rounds.

 

“In a draft with not a whole lot of defensive linemen, they got two pretty good ones that should be able to set them up for the next several years,” an exec said.

Injuries have limited Banogu, Lewis and Turay to a combined 83 appearances in 128 possible games. They combined to start four games and play 588 snaps last season, collecting five sacks.

 

“That’s a lot of investment in that position and, really, how many of them have panned out?” an exec said. “Dayo can be a really good player if he gets healthy. Long, big, athletic guy, could have been a first-rounder if he didn’t have the Achilles. He might be a guy that needed a year of development anyway.”

 

Emphasizing the defensive front in this latest draft came at the expense of addressing the left tackle position, which has been vacant since Anthony Castonzo retired. Free agency presented unpalatable options there.

 

“The pay-a-lot-of-money-to-cruddy-o-lineman game really sucks,” one exec said.

 

Execs expected the Colts to sign former Chiefs tackle Eric Fisher, who is recovering from injury and might not be ready for the start of the season. There was some thought among evaluators that the 2021 draft, while deep along the offensive line in general, lacked pure left tackles worthy of early selections. There was even debate whether Rashawn Slater, chosen 13th overall by the Chargers, was ideally suited for the position.

 

“Indy covered their * by signing (Sam) Tevi and (Julién) Davenport,” an exec said. “In the draft, they were talking about Darrisaw and went with Kwity Paye, which is really them making character judgments. They probably looked at it as, ‘We covered our * in free agency, we are not going to reach on a tackle and if we have to sign one of these veterans like Fisher after the draft, we can always do that.’ ”

 

 

In the part about the Bills:

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The Bills’ 27-24 victory against Indianapolis in the wild-card round last season helped set the draft order for both teams, which became notable as both Buffalo and Indianapolis targeted defensive linemen in the first two rounds. How did the Bills fare relative to Indy after beating the Colts and winning another playoff game?

 

Gregory Rousseau (30th) and Carlos Basham (61st) were the defensive ends Buffalo selected after the Colts took Kwity Paye (21st) and Dayo Odeyingbo (54th).

 

“Kwity Paye and Dayo are significantly better than Rousseau and ‘Boogie’ Basham,” an exec said. “Rousseau is developmental. Long, lean defensive end who is not particularly physical or violent. I would rather have the Indy guys because they present more of a physical play style.”

 

 

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  • stitches changed the title to [Sando] NFL Execs on the draft: "Despite the depth at OL, the draft lacked pure LTs worthy of early selection. The Colts didn't reach for one"
45 minutes ago, GoColts8818 said:

Soooo Ballard once again told us exactly what he was going to do or not do and why but people ignored it because it’s not what they wanted?

Seriously Ballard is probably one of the most transparent GMs in the league in telling what they're looking to do and why.

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“That’s a lot of investment in that position and, really, how many of them have panned out?” an exec said. “Dayo can be a really good player if he gets healthy. Long, big, athletic guy, could have been a first-rounder if he didn’t have the Achilles. He might be a guy that needed a year of development anyway.”

 

 

We keep hearing this, this time from someone presumably not with the Colts. I admit, I don't see it with Dayo. The tools and physicality, sure. First rounder??? I'm gonna keep watching him for sure. 

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49 minutes ago, Superman said:

 

 

We keep hearing this, this time from someone presumably not with the Colts. I admit, I don't see it with Dayo. The tools and physicality, sure. First rounder??? I'm gonna keep watching him for sure. 

You know I largely agree with you but to play devil's advocate... Have you seen Rousseau? (I didn't see him as 1st rounder either, but...) He got picked in the 1st by the Bills. How different as prospects are Rousseau and Dayo? I can argue Dayo actually has better tools and athleticism than Rousseau and both are raw technically, but play physically and with good motor. Who would you rather have if Dayo had a clean bill of health? 

 

 

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55 minutes ago, Superman said:

 

 

We keep hearing this, this time from someone presumably not with the Colts. I admit, I don't see it with Dayo. The tools and physicality, sure. First rounder??? I'm gonna keep watching him for sure. 

First rounder if he had been healthy.   The last five words are pretty important.  

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7 minutes ago, NewColtsFan said:

First rounder if he had been healthy.   The last five words are pretty important.  

I think he means he's not seeing 1st round tape on Dayo.

 

6 minutes ago, Superman said:

I gotta watch Rousseau carefully to answer that. I've only seen him briefly.

I came away unimpressed. He was at his best inside where he was just more athletic than the IOL. I don't think his college tape translated to success in the NFL.

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3 hours ago, GoColts8818 said:

Soooo Ballard once again told us exactly what he was going to do or not do and why but people ignored it because it’s not what they wanted?

that is exactly what i wanted we have 4 very good to elite offensive line plus great depth at center guard and tackle .  colts biggest weakness was DE by far with houston and autry leaving and only having turray who showed flashes and rochelle who is more of a set the edge type of player who is good at stopping the run .  

 

Now we have two very high level edge guys who will be the new mathis and freeney for a decade .

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32 minutes ago, NewColtsFan said:

First rounder if he had been healthy.   The last five words are pretty important.  

 

For sure. I'm saying I don't see that kind of standout prospect, based on the games I watched. He was good, usually the best player on the field, and he has position versatility, etc. I didn't think he was a first round guy though.

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27 minutes ago, Shive said:

I came away unimpressed. He was at his best inside where he was just more athletic than the IOL. I don't think his college tape translated to success in the NFL.

 

You mean Rousseau, or Dayo?

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Yes, of course that injury a pretty important. But if the Colts are not obsessed with him playing (much) this year but is looking more longterm (which most drafted guys are anyway), it is an intriguing pick. But yeah, we fans wants immediately satisfaction. I really can't be worked up over them picking Dayo when there was no elite LT around that pick anyway.

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1 hour ago, Shive said:

I think he means he's not seeing 1st round tape on Dayo.

 

I came away unimpressed. He was at his best inside where he was just more athletic than the IOL. I don't think his college tape translated to success in the NFL.

 

He's slow, he ran about what a above average DT would run. He's just long, and in college you can get away with a lot of things that you can't in the NFL.

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3 hours ago, Superman said:

 

 

We keep hearing this, this time from someone presumably not with the Colts. I admit, I don't see it with Dayo. The tools and physicality, sure. First rounder??? I'm gonna keep watching him for sure. 

Yeah Leatherwood should not have gone in the first round either, but he did.

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6 hours ago, GoColts8818 said:

Soooo Ballard once again told us exactly what he was going to do or not do and why but people ignored it because it’s not what they wanted?


He absolutely did. I said early this offseason that it was apparent that Ballard would spend resources (whether money in free agency or early in the draft) on defensive end and line in general, wouldn’t force the issue on the quarterback situation and would be diligent in replacing castonzo, and bring in veterans o-line for depth. When Kevin Mawae made his comments in March about not moving Quenton Nelson, I knew that wasn’t an option. They would be confident with the 4 in place and would find a suitable replacement somehow without forcing the issue or overspending. Reich has said that the o-line and d-line don’t need 5 guys. They need 8. We’ve seen it time and time again. We saw it in the super bowl last year. This team under Ballard will always look to improve and invest in the trenches and they did that this year. Left tackle is a concern, but it’s not one that was going to be fixed in the draft apparently. 

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7 hours ago, GoColts8818 said:

Soooo Ballard once again told us exactly what he was going to do or not do and why but people ignored it because it’s not what they wanted?

Yup...   a few of us were saying it as far back as late January, roughly 3 months before the draft.   A very good and deep class for tackles, but most of the tackles were right tackles, not left.

 

And almost nobody wanted to hear it.  

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5 hours ago, WoolMagnet said:

I hope people give them time before making judgements.  I seem to remember it took Freeney  a “minute” to get it together.

I read somewhere (Kevin Bowen) in the last few days that Freeney didn’t start in his rookie season until November.   I suspect most longtime Colts fans don’t even remember that.  

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2 hours ago, NewColtsFan said:

I read somewhere (Kevin Bowen) in the last few days that Freeney didn’t start in his rookie season until November.   I suspect most longtime Colts fans don’t even remember that.  

I remembered it was something like that.  I’m trying to think who we had on the roster at the time.  Chad Bradski?  Haha.  I always felt Mathis was possibly the more productive one, but Freeney got most of the pub. Man, did we have it good with those two.  Imagine them with Buckner.   

 

  Sometimes we fans expect these young kids to step in and be Deacon Jones from day 1. 

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17 hours ago, NewColtsFan said:

I read somewhere (Kevin Bowen) in the last few days that Freeney didn’t start in his rookie season until November.   I suspect most longtime Colts fans don’t even remember that.  


His breakout game came against the Eagles mid way through his rookie season.  Indy was a big underdog that day and killed the Eagles in Philly. 

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