In the finale of the With The Next Pick series, after the Day 1 draft picks were made, General Manager Chris Ballard discussed with his staff, the coaches, and Owner Jim Irsay what they need to address on Day 2. He discussed addressing wide receiver, tight end, the offensive line unit, safety, and cornerback. On Day 2, he addressed every one of those positions except cornerback. Which begs the question: Who will they add at cornerback now?
The Colts have already added Stephon Gilmore and Brandon Facyson in free agency. They also drafted Rodney Thomas II on Day 3. However, they have lost TJ Carrie, Rock Ya-Sin, and Xavier Rhodes. I would say that Rodney Thomas II will probably be on the practice squad for this upcoming season.
Chris Ballard upgraded his number 1 cornerback with the addition of Stephon Gilmore, who will replace Rock Ya-Sin. In addition, Brandon Facyson is a good depth addition to the team, and he will provide the Colts great competition against Isaiah Rodgers for the 2nd starting spot on the boundary. However, I think the Colts could still use another outside corner with the versatility to cover in the slot for depth reasons. Last year, that corner for the Colts was TJ Carrie.
With that being said, it’s time to examine some potential cornerback options for the Indianapolis Colts.
Option #1: A.J. Bouye (Formerly of CAR)
A.J. Bouye on Hopkins. Fantastic coverage. pic.twitter.com/q1OkHsFE98
— Demetrius Harvey (@Demetrius82) November 9, 2019
A player who fits exceptionally well in Gus Bradley’s scheme, the Las Vegas Raiders hosted him for a visit last year when he was a free agent. Gus Bradley and his staff apparently liked what he could do in their defense. However, he ended up in Carolina last season with new Colts CB Stephon Gilmore, and I think re-uniting the two makes a lot of sense. A.J. Bouye is a player who has the versatility to play in the slot and on the outside, has lots of starting experience in the NFL, and fits what Gus Bradley and Chris Ballard look for in a corner.
He is a very physical corner and a great tackler. He is also a good athlete, which we know Chris Ballard has to like a lot. He was suspended for PED use in 2020 and has faced some injuries throughout his career, so the Colts will want to do their homework to determine if he fits the locker room and do extensive work on the medicals for him. If they think there is no reason to be concerned, I would be all-in on bringing the talented corner to Indianapolis, and I wouldn’t be shocked if the Colts were all-in, too.
2021 key stats (via Pro Football Reference): 10 games played, 7 games started, 3 pass deflections, 1 forced fumble, 28 combined tackles (23 solo)
Option #2: Desmond Trufant (Formerly of LV)
Desmond Trufant (bottom of the screen), I think its starting to click for him.
From a pedal, patient feet at the sticks. Outside leverage means deny out breaking routes. pic.twitter.com/oT6HZVJJZb
— BD Williams (@BDWilliams18) November 27, 2021
Desmond Trufant had a solid year last year in Las Vegas as an outside corner, and I think he makes a lot of sense as a guy the Colts could bring in. Trufant and Facyson would be able to communicate what Gus Bradley wants in his scheme to their teammates, which is a huge plus when you have a new coaching staff on the defensive side of the ball.
He is not as versatile as A.J. Bouye, but he would be great depth behind Stephon Gilmore. Furthermore, with Stephon Gilmore’s injury history, having a capable boundary corner behind him would be a great luxury. I don’t think he would cost a lot, and I love what he could bring to Indy. It is worth noting that he has played under Dan Quinn in Atlanta, who is a Gus Bradley disciple. Having a key depth player in a familiar scheme with familiar coaches is worth adding, and I think Desmond Trufant fits the bill. If I’m Chris Ballard, I’m all over this if I can’t acquire Bouye.
2021 key stats (via Pro Football Reference): 10 games played, 1 game started, 6 pass deflections, 17 combined tackles (14 solo)
Option #3: Fabian Moreau (Formerly of ATL)
New #Redskins CB Fabian Moreau posted the 2nd highest #RAS for any CB since 1999, tied with Darrelle Revis. #NFLDraft pic.twitter.com/zvFqc7Krwr
— Kent Lee Platte (@MathBomb) April 29, 2017
Talk about an elite athlete as a depth player; Fabian Moreau would be an excellent fit in Indianapolis to backup Stephon Gilmore and Isaiah Rodgers/Brandon Facyson. A battle-tested veteran, I think he is a fine depth piece and has the athletic traits that the Colts look for in their defensive backs. Last season in Atlanta, Moreau came at a very reasonable price and started nearly every game for Atlanta. He primarily played on the outside last season, and that’s where I’d expect him to play in Indianapolis if they needed him to play. Also, compared to the other names I’ve brought up, he’s younger, which is also a plus. I would be more than fine adding Fabian Moreau in Indy next season as a backup to Stephon Gilmore.
Thought this was an underrated rep by Fabian Moreau, good job recovering after Smith cuts his face to reach in and break it up pic.twitter.com/ByLwD3azJG
— Hunter Thompson (@hthompsonNFL) September 15, 2021
2021 key stats (via Pro Football Reference): 16 games played, 16 games started, 11 pass breakups, 61 combined tackles (44 solo)
Option #4: T.J. Carrie (Formerly of IND)
I really like the idea of bringing T.J. Carrie back to the Colts. He is a versatile player who knows the city, knows his role, and has built relationships with many players in the locker room. Carrie would continue to be a great veteran presence for Indy, and I really like him as a backup for Kenny Moore II. Carrie is a good run defender and a savvy veteran player who can contribute on special teams.
THE DEFENSE DID IT AGAIN ‼️@tj_carrie takes it to the house.
📺 CBS | #NYJvsIND pic.twitter.com/iOwevEY14z
— Indianapolis Colts (@Colts) September 27, 2020
The nice thing about possibly bringing Carrie back is you could also grab another player like Desmond Trufant or Fabian Moreau and have several veteran players in the CB room. I don’t think he would cost a lot, and I believe Indianapolis should definitely look into bringing him back. He has been a fine depth player in his time here, and I would be pleased if they brought him back.
2021 key stats: 11 games played, 1 game started, 1 pass breakup, 23 combined tackles (21 solo)
Option #5: Donte Deayon (Formerly of LA Rams)
𝗧𝗵𝗮𝘁'𝘀 𝘽𝙍𝙊𝙉𝘾𝙊 𝗼𝗻 𝘽𝙍𝙊𝙉𝘾𝙊 𝗰𝗿𝗶𝗺𝗲!
Donte Deayon is going to have to send Jeremy McNichols an apology note…#BOOM💥 pic.twitter.com/ZGKwHiopBR
— Jay Tust (@KTVBSportsGuy) November 8, 2021
A LA Rams fan-favorite, Donte Deayon has been an extremely valuable depth player for the LA Rams. He has flashed a willingness to get after it in the run game in the games he’s played and loves to make plays on the ball. He is a little undersized but seems to be a savvy player. He doesn’t fit the profile of what Ballard would usually draft, but neither did Kenny Moore, and look at how that worked out. Not saying he can be the next Kenny Moore, but I do think there is a place for him in the NFL, and I like what he can provide for a team.
If you search his name on Twitter, you can see how infectious his energy is to the players of the Rams. There are countless videos of him and tweets discussing how classy a guy he is and how well-liked he is by his teammates, coaches, and fans. He is an active member of his community and a great guy from all accounts. I think he is definitely worth looking into as CB 5/6. Similar to T.J. Carrie, I think you can add a Desmond Trufant or a Fabian Moreau to the CB Room with a guy like Deayon and have really good depth at the CB position. Not to mention, he is a Super Bowl champion, so he has experienced winning at the highest levels, and that is never a bad thing to add to your locker room.
2021 key stats (via Pro Football Reference): 10 games played, 1 game started, 2 pass breakups, 29 combined tackles (24 solo)
I think the Colts are in a great spot to add a veteran corner or two to bolster their CB Depth. This team is one move away from having one of the better cornerback rooms in the NFL, and I think with the Undrafted Free Agent haul they’ve had, they are in a prime position to both develop players and have a room that can win a lot of football games this upcoming season.