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INDIANAPOLIS – It’s a rookie class that saw their first 3 draft picks start 35 games in Year One.

The Colts also relied on an undrafted kicker to fill the shoes of the greatest kicker in NFL history.

How do we evaluate the 2020 rookie class of the Colts?

  • WR-Michael Pittman (13 games, 8 starts): Perhaps the best attribute to what Michael Pittman showed in his rookie season was his ability to make things happen after the catch. Pittman finished with 40 catches for 503 yards and averaged 7.3 yards per catch, which didn’t include a big YAC day in the playoff loss to Buffalo. After suffering a compartment leg syndrome in Week Three, which sidelined Pittman for a month, he had a great month of November and was easily one of the individual highlights from the Wild Card loss. There are things for Pittman to clean up (few too many penalties and occasional miscommunication/drops), but he had a nice close to his rookie campaign, with the Colts believing that there’s No. 1 wideout potential.

 

  • RB-Jonathan Taylor (15 games, 13 starts): What an end to the first NFL season for Jonathan Taylor. He finished the year with 7 straight games of at least 74 rushing yards. That’s some very rare NFL run game consistency achieved in today’s NFL. Despite being moved down the depth chart on two separate occasions in his rookie season, Taylor finished the year 3rd in the NFL with 1,169 rushing yards (5.0 yards per carry). It was the growth seen in Taylor’s running style that led to his flurry to end the season. Taylor did have 2 big drops in the playoffs, but he did show a pretty good amount of consistency in the receiving department.

 

  • S-Julian Blackmon (15 games, 14 starts): To me, the biggest individual surprise from the 2020 Colts was how much (and how effective) Julian Blackmon played in his rookie season. He returned from a torn ACL in some 10 months and was thrust into starting duty. Blackmon provided immediate free safety production that they rarely experienced with Malik Hooker back there. It was timely playmaking at every level of the defense that truly stood out about Blackmon. Sure, the rookie tapered off a bit to close out the season, but he still looks to be a definite building piece moving forward.

 

  • QB-Jacob Eason (0 games): As expected, Eason was a healthy scratch in every game this season. What really hurt Eason was the 2020 offseason with scaled back on-field work and no preseason games. Eason ran the scout team at a handful of practices late in the season.

 

  • OL-Danny Pinter (13 games, 1 start): If the Colts want to move Quenton Nelson over to left tackle, Pinter has to be viewed as the favorite to start at left guard. Pinter started one game as a rookie, at center for Ryan Kelly, and had a pretty nice debut. The Colts remain very high on Pinter.

 

  • DT-Rob Windsor (2 games, 0 starts): The Penn State product spent the vast majority of his first NFL season on the practice squad. Windsor played just 9 defensive snaps, making two solo tackles. He will once again be competing for a rotational spot at DT.

 

  • CB-Isaiah Rodgers (13 games): We knew Rodgers most likely position to impact in 2020 would be as a kick returner. He did that by averaging 28.8 yards per return (24 total returns). But he also showed a little bit as a cornerback, playing both inside and outside. With the future at cornerback up in the air (sans Kenny Moore), Rodgers is a guy the staff likes and someone who could have an expanded role in 2021.

 

  • WR-Dezmon Patmon (1 game): The guess was Patmon’s rookie season would be a redshirt year. He ended up dressing for only one game (the regular season finale) and playing two total snaps (both on offense).

 

  • LB-Jordan Glasgow (13 games): It was expected Glasgow would strictly be a special teams guy for the Colts. And that happened with him playing 268 snaps on special teams, as a core guy on that unit. Glasgow had 9 total tackles on special teams. This is his likely role in the NFL.

 

  • K-Rodrigo Blankenship (16 games): For an undrafted free agent filling the shoes of Adam Vinatieri, it was a very solid rookie season for Hot Rod. He made 32-of-37 (86.5 percent) field goals and 43-of-45 extra points (95.6 percent). Yes, he went just 1-of-4 from past 45 yards, and missed a couple of shorties in the first and last game of the season (both losses). The Colts would be wise to add some competition for Blankenship this offseason.

 

  • WR-DeMichael Harris (7 games): After catching 7 balls in games against Cincinnati and Baltimore, Harris only caught 3 passes the rest of the season and saw his role decrease. Harris, an undrafted free agent in 2020, is a shifty receiver and deserves more looks this upcoming offseason.

 

  • TE-Noah Togiai (4 games): A knee injury contributed to Togiai not playing a single snap in the final two months of the season. The Colts like Togiai and see a future for him. Togiai, an undrafted rookie out of Oregon State, was claimed by the Colts at the end of the preseason.

 

  • TE-Farrod Green (1 game): Green played 5 offensive snaps in his lone game dressing (Week 2 against Minnesota). Green was an undrafted free agent by the Colts out of Mississippi State.

 

  • DT-Kameron Cline (1 game): When the Colts had COVID issues in Week 12, it was Cline getting the practice squad call-up, playing 12 defensive snaps (2 tackles).