INDIANAPOLIS – It’s again going to be difficult for the streak to continue.
For each of the last 22 years, the Colts have had at least one undrafted free agent make their Week 1 roster. Seeing that continue in 2021 is difficult though.
Who are the Colts undrafted free agents for 2021?
- RB-Deon Jackson (Duke): A team captain at Duke, Jackson finished his 31-start career with 2,267 rushing yards, 18 touchdowns, to go along with 61 catches for 534 yards. Known for his quickness, Jackson (5-10 and 218 pounds) ran a 4.40 40-yard dash at Duke’s pro day. One reason for Jackson’s fall in the draft was 14 fumbles in his three years as a starter. Jackson has a special teams background and any shot at making the team is going to have to come from that. The Colts have a pretty set-in stone top 4 at running back (Jonathan Taylor, Marlon Mack, Nyheim Hines and Jordan Wilkins), although 3 of those are in contract years.
- WR-Tarik Black (Texas): Black was a decorated high school recruit who never produced at that level in college. Black (6-2, 213) played for Michigan for 3 seasons, before transferring to Texas for his final season. For his collegiate career, Black had just 50 catches for 747 yards and 3 touchdowns. Even though Black put up strong athletic testing numbers during the draft process, a lack of production in college, and lingering foot injuries contributed to him going undrafted. Unless injuries occur, it’s difficult to see a wideout cracking the 53-man roster.
- WR-Tyler Vaughns (USC): Whereas Black did put up good testing numbers, Vaughns was the opposite, running 4.64 in the 40-yard dash. Vaughns did catch 222 passes for 2,801 yards and 20 touchdowns in 37 starts at USC. Those are impressive numbers at the Power 5 level. Vaughns, who stands 6-2 and 184 pounds, is known for his route running. Like Black, Vaughns was a highly rated recruit coming out of high school. It’s hard to see either receiver having a serious shot at the 53-man roster, but the practice squad could be an option.
- LB-Anthony Butler (Liberty): At 6-0 and 222 pounds, Butler played at Liberty for one season after transferring from Charlotte. Butler, who ran 4.8 in the 40-yard dash, had 67 tackles and 6 passes defensed in his one season at Liberty. The Colts did lose Anthony Walker this offseason, but they still have several former draft picks on the roster. Any undrafted linebacker making this team will have to be a demon on special teams.
- LB-Isaiah Kaufusi (BYU): Like Butler, Kaufusi didn’t have strong testing numbers at his pro day. Kaufusi had 83 tackles (4.5 for loss) and 4 sacks as a senior. For his career, Kaufusi had 204 total tackles, 15 tackles for loss, 5 sacks and 5 interceptions and 4 forced fumbles. As was mentioned above, Kaufusi making this team is going to come down to the Colts ready to turn the page on their linebackers, getting a rookie contract guy on the 53-man roster to mainly play special teams, instead of more established guys in Matthew Adams and Zaire Franklin.