Colts Will Seek Out Secondary Help In Draft
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INDIANAPOLIS – Even though the Colts return their entire starting secondary in 2019, the defensive backfield remains an area that will receive some attention in next week’s draft.
And Chris Ballard likes what he sees in the cornerback and safety groups in 2019.
“We think there’s some really good depth,” Ballard says of the secondary draft depth this year.
In re-signing CB-Pierre Desir and S-Clayton Geathers, the Colts have certainly lessoned the need to address the secondary during the draft.
But there are still some longer-term (and depth) concerns at both positions.
At safety, Geathers was brought back on just a one-year deal, so his starting position in Indy could be open next offseason.
In Malik Hooker and Geathers, both are finally healthy entering an offseason program, but their injury history cannot be ignored.
Last year, the Colts relied on in-season signings Mike Mitchell and J.J. Wilcox to start games for them.
Going down the same path again is something this team would like to avoid, while also potentially improving the long-term quality of the position.
Draft pundits in 2019 wildly agree that around double-digit safeties have earned first or second round grades.
With how many sub packages are used in today’s NFL, taking a safety early, even with Hooker and Geathers returning, would still lead to a guy seeing some action in 2019.
And safety is an important position in Matt Eberflus’ defense.
“Because of the way we play and the 8-man front, we ask our safeties to do a lot,” Ballard says. “They have to drop in the box and be able to play the run in an 8-man front. They have to be able to play in a half field. We are going to ask them to play man-to-man sometimes and on a tight end. We put a lot on the safety position.”
At corner, Ballard likes the draft depth at this position group, especially in the latter rounds.
Currently, the Colts actually have some young corners who they still believe have significant room for growth. The likes of Quincy Wilson, Nate Hairston and Jalen Collins would be the guys just behind starters Kenny Moore and Pierre Desir.
Still, with how many corners are needed each season, the Colts could use one coming through the draft.
In 2018, the Colts did not take a corner or safety with any of their 11 draft picks.
Another empty haul in the defensive backfield should not be expected here in 2019.