INDIANAPOLIS – One of Chris Ballard’s favorite areas got some attention on the final day of the draft.
With the 216th overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, the Colts took Cincinnati defensive tackle Curtis Brooks in Round Six .
Here are 3 takeaways on Brooks:
Very Productive Interior Rusher
It’s pretty impressive when a Day 3 pick at defensive tackle put up 7.5 sacks for one of college football’s best defenses. That’s what Curtis Brooks did last year at Cincinnati. At 6-2 and 287, Brooks is a bit undersized for an every down defensive tackle. Brooks is 24 years old, as the Colts have drafted several older prospects this year. Brooks redshirted in 2016 and played 5 years at Cincy due to an extra COVID year. Brooks had 23 tackles for loss in his final 3 seasons playing for Luke Fickell. Brooks was one of the better interior rushers in college football last season, his first year of getting consistent playing time.
New Defensive Line Focus
We mentioned it when the Colts took DL-Eric Johnson in Round 5, but it’s worth repeating that Gus Bradley has brought a new emphasis to the defensive line room. The Colts defensive line is all about getting up field right off the snap, compared to more of a read and react approach under Matt Eberflus. So that’s where a player like Brooks, with a noticeable first step, comes into play. The goal for the DL now is to create some chaos and let those guys behind them clean things up. That appears to fit the undersized, yet quick, Brooks.
Battling For Depth Spots
On the defensive line, Grover Stewart and DeForest Buckner are the locked in starters. On passing downs, Buckner isn’t coming off the field and either Dayo Odeyingbo or Tyquan Lewis are coming onto the field. But for a DL that lost a nice reserve in Taylor Stallworth this offseason (along with Antwaun Woods), the Colts have some questions about the depth at DT. With Eric Johnson in Round 5 and now Brooks in Round 6, the Colts are flipping that page in the trench depth. Again, Ballard wants to rotate around 8 defensive linemen, so some answers along the DL were needed.