INDIANAPOLIS – It’s a rookie class that has contributed more than many thought it would at this point of the season.
With the bye week here for the Indianapolis Colts, it’s time to take a look at the 2020 rookie class.
How have the rookies performed?
- WR-Michael Pittman (3 games, 1 start): Following the bye week, Pittman is eligible to return to the active roster after going on IR in Week Four due to suffering a compartment syndrome leg injury. He has 9 grabs for 73 yards in his three games played. The numbers don’t tell the full story of Pittman being a guy that Philip Rivers targeted a good amount on third down and even in the red zone. The Colts really need Pittman to return and become a consistent and impactful receiver the rest of the way. Pittman’s long catch this season is 16 yards.
- RB-Jonathan Taylor (6 games, 5 starts): The present and future at the Colts running back position is here with Taylor thrown into starting duty after Marlon Mack’s season ending Achilles injury. Taylor is averaging 4.1 yards per carry (30th in the NFL), with 89 carries producing 367 yards. A note that caught my eye: Taylor has caught 16 of 17 targets for 162 yards. The yards per carry number for Taylor is starting to increase, but the Colts still need more pop from him in the run game. Getting Taylor in the open field more is a must as the Colts try to grow a run game that has had more disappointment than expected this season.
- S-Julian Blackmon (5 games, 4 starts): It’s still remarkable that Blackmon is playing this much barely 10 months removed from tearing his ACL. Outside of a brief groin injury that took him off the field for a couple drives in Week 5, Blackmon has played every snap the last three weeks. His ball production has been outstanding in taking over for Malik Hooker. Blackmon already has 6 passes defensed (2 interceptions) and has shown sound tackling in the open field. Blackmon has been the most impressive rookie so far, which is something I definitely didn’t expect to say 6 games into the 2020 season.
- QB-Jacob Eason (0 games): As expected, Eason has been a healthy scratch in every game this season. Unless this season falls off the rails, it’s not expected Eason will play a single snap during his rookie campaign. This 2020 redshirt season is all about learning and internal development for the rookie.
- OL-Danny Pinter (4 games, 0 starts): The jumbo package we saw involving Pinter earlier this season has largely evaporated. He’s played 1 offensive snap in the last three games, and isn’t involved on special teams either. The Colts used Pinter as the team’s 6th offensive lineman in 20 snaps in the first three games. We’ve yet to see an injury to the interior of the offensive line, so Pinter hasn’t been needed there either. The bigger packages involving Pinter earlier this season didn’t offer much success, so it’s not surprising to see his play time dwindle.
- DT-Rob Windsor (0 games): The 6th round pick out of Penn State has been on the practice squad the entire year.
- CB-Isaiah Rodgers (6 games): While the defensive role for Rodgers has decreased with the Colts returning to full health at cornerback, he’s taken over as the team’s kick returner. Rodgers took over at kick returner in Week Four, with the highlight coming against the Browns as he took a 101-yard kick return back for a score. Rodgers has played 36 total defensive snaps (none since Week Four) and remains the team’s 4th cornerback.
- WR-Dezmon Patmon (0 games): Even when Patmon originally made the 53-man roster, it was still not expected he would see any early playing time. Despite several injuries and inconsistency at wideout. Patmon has remained a healthy scratch every week. Remember, Patmon played in a Mike Leach offense at Washington State so his immediate NFL impact wasn’t thought to be there. The Colts continue to want him protected on the 53-man roster though.
- LB-Jordan Glasgow (6 games): The exclusive special teams role has been there for the final pick of the 2020 Draft. Glasgow has played the third most special teams snaps (115, behind Zaire Franklin and George Odum). Glasgow has 4 special teams tackles and a blocked punt. He’s yet to play a snap on defense.
- K-Rodrigo Blankenship (6 games): Sound and solid kicking has been provided by the undrafted rookie. Blankenship is 16-of-18 on field goals and a perfect 15-of-15 on extra points. Both of Blankenship’s misses have come off the uprights. While the Colts have yet to be in a situation where Blankenship is needed in the final minutes or from far out (his long kick is 44 yards), he’s making the kicks that the Colts were not last season, and that’s been especially key with the red-zone struggles.
- TE-Noah Togiai (3 games): With Trey Burton’s injury, the Colts made the move to get another tight end before the start of the 2020 season. Togiai, an undrafted free agent who was originally with the Eagles, has yet to be targeted in playing a total of 56 snaps. He’s played just 4 snaps since Week Three, with the Colts getting healthier at tight end.
- DE-Ron’Dell Carter (0 games): Carter has been a healthy scratch since the Colts signed him off the Cowboys practice squad in Week Four.
- TE-Farrad Green (1 game): After playing in Week 2 against the Vikings (no targets), Green has moved back to the practice squad.
- WR-DeMichael Harris (1 game): Against the Bengals, the Colts received a nice spark from the undrafted free agent out of Southern Miss. Harris was a running back and wide receiver in college and you see the spark he can bring out of the slot as a quick twitch speed option. The Colts are searching for something in that mold and Harris provided a bit of it against the Bengals, catching 3 passes for 29 yards in 12 offensive snaps. He’s a curious option to see in the offense moving forward.