Will 2019 Draft Answer Colts Long-Term Answer At Pass Rush?
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INDIANAPOLIS – Chris Ballard knows the most realistic place to try and find the answer.
The Colts have an unanswered question with their edge pass rushing need.
Ballard stands by the common thought process in today’s NFL: to find an elite rusher, you are going to have to use a draft pick(s) to find one.
“It’s a coveted position in our league,” Ballard says about finding a pass rusher. “The best way to acquire them is to draft them and develop them internally.
"It’s hard to rush the pass passer as a rookie. It’s always going to be a position we are going to look at. It’s a valued position in our league.”
They’ve tried in each of the past two drafts under Ballard.
2017 third-round pick Tarell Basham did not work out.
2018 second-round pick Kemoko Turay had 4 sacks as a rookie, but further development is a must for him to entrench himself annually.
Even prior Colts picks in Bojern Werner (2013 1st round) and Jonathan Newsome (2014 5th round) never sniffed a second contract with the Colts.
Well, again in 2019, the Colts have some nice draft capital in a year where the defensive front depth has been praised endlessly.
And the Colts still have a long-term need to find the future off the edge.
Justin Houston should address things right now, but the 30-year-old inked a two-year deal with the Colts and hasn’t had a double-digit sack campaign since 2014.
As noted above, Turay still has growth to make before he is any definite answer to the question every NFL teams wishes to solve.
When taking a look at next week’s draft, it’s difficult to find many Mock Drafts slotting an edge rusher to the Colts at pick No. 26 or even No. 34 (the second round pick the Colts have from the Jets).
In general, the value on edge rushers this year does not appear to be too frequent in that mid-20s to mid-30s range.
Does that mean the Colts will/should wait until some of their later picks to grab another edge rusher?
Or will they splurge early on to make sure their biggest need has major resources going into it?
Ballard reiterates the Colts want to get pressure with their front four, meaning those individual players have to be disruptive enough to get things done on their own.
For that to happen, some early draft attention would be wise, especially when thinking about the look of the defensive front a couple of years down the road.