INDIANAPOLIS – When you look at the Colts 2021 rookie class, the early impacts could come from several different avenues.
Remember, the Colts had 7 draft picks back in April, but signed just a handful of undrafted free agents.
What have we seen from the rookies after a week of camp?
- Round 1: DE-Kwity Paye: After a slow-ish start to camp, Paye has really come on since. The truer evaluation is here with more and more full-padded practices. And Paye is getting plenty of opportunity to show off his ability. He’s been the starting right defensive end for every single practice of camp. Paye has shown more and more of those athletic traits, often wrecking Sam Tevi. It’s been a nice first week for the 21st overall pick.
- Round 2: DL-Dayo Odeyingbo: Odeyingbo remains on the physically unable to perform list. For what it’s worth, we haven’t seen much of Odeyingbo watching practice, or doing rehab work during this time, something Eric Fisher has done occasionally. For Odeyingbo not to remain on PUP to start the season, he’s likely going to have to start practicing fairly soon.
- Round 4: TE-Kylen Granson: This is a guy who is going to play in 2021. Granson has taken his fair share of first-team reps, showing a different skillset than Jack Doyle and Mo Alie-Cox. Granson brings a different pace to the tight end position and the Colts are going to use that in some capacity this year.
- Round 5: S-Shawn Davis: A bit of the forgotten man from this draft class, Davis has yet to practice at camp due to a hamstring injury. It’s been all mental reps for the Florida safety observing things from the sideline. Davis needs to get on the field to lock in his spot on the 53-man roster.
- Round 6: QB-Sam Ehlinger: As Marcus Brady said at the start of camp, Carson Wentz and Jacob Eason will be getting the heavy amount of 11-on-11 reps. Of course with the injury to Wentz, Ehlinger has taken advantage of some extra reps. He’s turning some heads a week into camp. Will that translate to more opportunities, potentially with the starters, at some point? As of now, it still feel likes for Ehlinger to make this team, it’s going to have to be in a specialty role as a 3rd QB or for COVID roster reasons. But he’s turning some heads early on.
- Round 7: WR-Mike Strachan: The sheer size of Strachan (6-5, 224) immediately stands out. We’ve seen Strachan have a couple of catches in various 11-on-11 sessions. Strachan hasn’t flashed with any crazy highlights, but he’s been steady. His unquestioned presence on the 53-man roster is still likely going to have to come from some presence on special teams. But this level doesn’t look too big for him at all.
- Round 7: OL-Will Fries: For the most part, Fries has been running with the third-team offensive line in camp. Fries, who started at four different positions during his collegiate days at Penn State, is playing in the interior. Given how much attention the Colts gave to the OL depth this offseason, seeing Fries with the third stringers isn’t a surprise. Injuries to guys much higher than him on the depth chart has opened up some second-team reps, with looks at right guard.
The Colts only have 4 undrafted free agents in RB-Deon Jackosn, WR-Tarik Black, WR-Tyler Vaughns and LB-Isaiah Kaufusi. So far, none have made any notable impressions. The streak of 21 straight years of the Colts having an undrafted free agent on their Week 1 roster is in jeopardy.