INDIANAPOLIS – We are inching closer and closer to the 2021 NFL football season.
It’s time to pick back up our ‘burning questions’ series on 1075TheFan.com.
Here are our burning questions in the secondary heading into the 2021 Training Camp:
1. Who Wins The Third Cornerback Spot?
In today’s NFL, a third cornerback should be viewed as a starter.
And the Colts aren’t 100 percent sure who that third corner will be this season.
T.J. Carrie was that guy to end last season, taking over for a struggling Rock Ya-Sin. When Carrie returned on a one-year deal this spring, he maintained that spot in the spring.
So if Ya-Sin, a 2019 second-round pick, wants consistent playing time, he’s going to have to go win that job.
We should note that players like Marvell Tell and Isaiah Rodgers could factor into things, too.
Still, this is a key battle to watch. It’s important for not only this season, obviously, but also looking down the road at the future of Ya-Sin.
STAT TO NOTE: After playing the most defensive snaps for the Colts as a rookie in 2019, Rock Ya-Sin fell to 13th on the defensive playing time list in 2020.
2. Do We See An Emergence From Marvell Tell Or Isaiah Rodgers?
These former Day 3 picks haven’t played much in the NFL (Tell-252 snaps; Rodgers-51 snaps), but there’s been a flash or two.
For Tell, his return comes after opting out last season.
Rodgers showed during his rookie campaign that he can be more than just an effective kick returner.
When projecting these two into the defensive picture in 2021, it’s hard to see their exact fit.
Assuming that either Carrie or Ya-Sin claim that 3rd corner spot, the other is likely to be the 4th CB (which hardly ever plays).
So that leaves Tell and Rodgers on the outside.
Of course, injuries occur and development should be there for these two young corners.
There impact in 2021 isn’t clear, but if these guys can progress, they could be important pieces moving forward.
STAT TO NOTE: In the secondary, the Colts have 7 draft picks from the last 3 classes: Rock Ya-Sin-2019, Khari Willis-2019, Marvell Tell-2019, Julian Blackmon-2020, Isiah Rodgers-2020, Shawn Davis-2021.
3. Will The Colts Bring More Dime Looks In 2021?
This is a personnel grouping we hardly saw at all from the Colts in 2021.
While some teams want to get 6 defensive backs on the field to match-up with pass-happy offenses, the Colts have a different line of thinking.
They love their rangy linebackers Darius Leonard and Bobby Okereke on the field, and want to maintain a four-man defensive front from a rushing standpoint.
The Colts have said they want to involve some more dime packages in 2021 though.
Does that mean a 3rd safety on the field?
If so, that’s potentially great news for (free agent signee) Sean Davis, (draft pick) Shawn Davis and George Odum.
It could also be helpful to a player like Tell, who has an extensive safety background.
STAT TO NOTE: The Colts return their top 6 defensive backs from last season in terms of playing time.
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