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Zaire Franklin Bringing Leadership Qualities To Middle Of Colts Defense

With their final draft pick in 2018, the Colts took Syracuse linebacker Zaire Franklin. The Colts are getting a definite leader with Franklin.

Brett Carlsen | Getty Images

INDIANAPOLIS – The Colts are searching for a quarterback of their new defense.

After 11 draft picks in 2018, there’s no obvious choice as to if they found that QB in the middle of their linebacker group.

Second-round pick Darius Leonard will play inside at the WILL position, but it’s anyone’s guess as to who the MIKE-backer will be going forward.

Zaire Franklin, the team’s final draft pick (235 overall) in 2018, will get his shot at showing what those in upstate New York absolutely loved for the past few years.

At Syracuse, Franklin started the final 39 games of his career and was the first three-time captain of the Orange since the year 1896 (yes, more than 120 years ago).

This is a leader, who also manned the MIKE-linebacker position for the Orange, piling up 311 career tackles.

Franklin also possess some athletic traits that the Colts now really covet at linebacker (Franklin put up these pro day numbers: 4.58 40-yard dash and 38 inches in the vertical jump).

Colts area scout Mike Derice even points out that Franklin caught 4th round pick Nyheim Hines (4.38 40-yard dash) from behind in a game between Syracuse and North Carolina State last season.

With how the Colts currently look at linebacker (not great), Franklin knows being drafted into this situation offers a terrific chance to make the team and even push for playing time right away.

Normally, 7th round picks have barely even a coin flip shot at appearing on the Week 1 roster.

But those odds should be a bit higher for both Matthew Adams and Zaire Franklin.


Meet the Colts 2018 Draft Picks

-Round 1, 6th overall: OG-Quenton Nelson (Notre Dame)

-Round 2, 36th overall: LB-Darius Leonard (South Carolina State)

-Round 2, 37th overall: OG-Braden Smith (Auburn)

-Round 2, 52nd overall: DE-Kemoko Turay (Rutgers)

-Round 2, 64th overall: DE-Tyquan Lewis (Ohio State)

-Round 4, 104th overall: RB-Nyheim Hines (North Carolina State)

-Round 5, 159th overall: WR-Daurice Fountain (Northern Iowa)

-Round 6, 169th overall: RB-Jordan Wilkins (Mississippi)

-Round 6, 185th overall: WR-Deon Cain (Clemson)

With the Colts targeting Clayton Geathers’ return to game action soon, his arrival will be a welcomed arrival to a defense needing an upgrade in talent.
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