INDIANAPOLIS –.It’s been quite the eventful year already for the Colts rookie class.
With the bye week of the Colts season here at Week 10, let’s examine how things have gone for the Colts 2023 rookies.
Here’s a look at how the rookies have performed so far:
1. QB-Anthony RichardsonSource:Getty
QB-Anthony Richardson: After playing in 4 games, logging 173 snaps, the rookie season for Anthony Richardson is over. Right shoulder surgery limited Richardson to play around 15 percent of the total snaps the Colts will have this season. That’s a massive bummer. Richardson is scheduled to be back in Indy with the Colts, rehabbing for the remainder of the season, after he spent the past few weeks starting his rehab in Los Angeles.
2. CB-JuJu BrentsSource:Getty
CB-JuJu Brents: Unfortunately, that injury bug hasn’t gone away for Brents. The 2nd round pick has missed the last 3 games due to a quad injury. This came on the heels of Brents being fully immersed into the ‘baptism by fire’ rookie season at cornerback. That was invaluable. Brents missed more off-season work than any other Colts defender, which led to him being a healthy scratch the first two games of the season. But poor play and injuries ahead of led to Brents getting an opportunity that’s turned into him playing every snap. The early returns of him playing included some nice moments from the Warren Central product. It’s the availability that has been the issue though. One would think Brents is due to return after the bye week.
3. WR-Josh DownsSource:Getty
WR-Josh Downs: As expected, Downs has been an extremely consistent and reliable option in his rookie season. Downs is the Colts slot receiver and has been a popular target, no matter if its Anthony Richardson or Gardner Minshew at quarterback. The Colts have found a nice piece to their offense of the future in Downs. The third-round pick showed even more last week, battling through a knee injury to still play and come up with a critical third-down catch to help seal the win in Germany.
4. OT-Blake FreelandSource:Getty
OT-Blake Freeland: Injuries have led to Freeland getting total starting chances at both left and right tackle so far. That’s included matchups against Aaron Donald and Myles Garrett. What tremendous introductions to the NFL for the 4th round pick out of BYU. It hasn’t been perfect, but Freeland has also not looked too overwhelmed at either tackle spot, too.
5. DL-Adetomiwa AdebaworeSource:Getty
DL-Adetomiwa Adebawore: The 4th round pick out of Northwestern needed until the 4th game of his NFL career to record his first stat. After quiet games against the Rams (15 snaps), Browns (8 snaps) and Saints (10 snaps), Adebawore had a late-sack and 2 tackles against the Panthers (21 snaps), followed by another QB hit vs. the Patriots (17 snaps). Adebawore has been a healthy inactive in several games. With the Grover Stewart suspension lasting for 2 more games, it’ll be interesting if the domino effect of that leads to Adebawore getting any more rotational looks.
6. CB-Darius RushSource:Getty
CB-Darius Rush: The Colts surprisingly cut Rush at the end of the preseason, making him the 2nd highest draft pick Chris Ballard has cut before their rookie campaign (OT-Zach Banner was pick No. 137 in 2017, Rush was No. 138 in 2023). Rush first joined the Chiefs and is now with the Steelers.
7. S-Daniel ScottSource:Getty
S-Daniel Scott: Scott, the 24-year-old rookie, tore his ACL back in the spring offseason program, thus ending his first year in the NFL. It was an obvious bummer for Scott, especially with some other injuries at safety opening up depth spots during training camp. Scott has been rehabbing in Indy and is attending meetings/practices.
8. TE-Will MallorySource:Getty
TE-Will Mallory: It was rough offseason for Mallory in the availability department. When he was on the field though, you saw some reasons why the Colts staff is intrigued by his future. Playing time was always going to be hard for Mallory to find in Year One. He’s played in 5 games (53 offensive snaps) catching 4 balls for 62 yards.
9. RB-Evan HullSource:Getty
RB-Evan Hull: Throughout this offseason, we though Hull had a great chance to earn a Day 1 role. It likely would have been there for him but a torn meniscus in the season opener ended up being a severe enough injury to end Hull’s rookie season.
10. DE-Titus LeoSource:Getty
DE-Titus Leo: As training camp moved along you saw more and more from the Wagner product. Unfortunately, a knee injury sent Leo to injured reserve. Like Jake Witt below, Leo having to miss all game/practice action in his rookie season is less than ideal given the big jump. Like Scott, Leo and Witt are also in Indy rehabbing their respective season-ending injuries.
11. CB-Jaylon JonesSource:Getty
CB-Jaylon Jones: A former 5-star high school recruit, Jones had a really nice offseason, earning an initial spot ahead of JuJu Brents on the cornerback depth chart. For the foreseeable 2023 future, Jones is the 3rd cornerback, playing a needed role in the team’s nickel package. This is obviously great on-task experience for the 7th round cornerback. Jones’ playing time has continued to rise in the last 6 weeks (63%, 75%, 87%, 94%, 99%, 100%).
12. OT-Jake WittSource:n/a
OT-Jake Witt: A hip injury early in training camp ended Witt’s rookie season, with a trip to injured reserve. The bummer for this comes from Witt, a likely 2023 “redshirt” anyways, missing out on a year of practice squad reps. That would have been critical as he transitions from Northern Michigan.
13. DE-Isaiah LandSource:Getty
DE-Isaiah Land: The Colts claimed Land from Dallas at the end of the preseason. Land has played in 3 games (18 defensive snaps) for the Colts, recording two tackles. Land was a 2023 undrafted free agent of the Cowboys, after putting up some very impressive sack numbers at Florida A&M.
14. CB-Ameer SpeedSource:Getty
CB-Ameer Speed: The Colts claimed Speed off waivers (Patriots) a few weeks back, but he’s yet to make his Indy debut on defense (10 special teams snaps). Speed has eye-popping physical characteristics, in length and speed. Speed was a 6th round pick out of Michigan State/Georgia. He played in 5 games for the Patriots (10 defensive snaps, 73 special teams snaps).