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Since USC’s official pro day is today, I have compiled a list of their players with whom the Colts may have interest in drafting or signing as a potential undrafted free agent. These players vary in position and are chosen for who I think could realistically be targeted by Ballard and Co. I did not put Drake London on this list because he will presumably be unavailable by the time the Colts draft in the second round at 42. 

 

Having the privilege and the opportunity to attend USC’s pro day this year will give me a first-hand look at the prospects as they participate in drills and try their best to increase their draft stock for every NFL team watching. I will be taking notes on the players below as they participate in the pro day and evaluate the possibility of Ballard drafting any of them. 

 

OL: Liam Jimmons and Jalen McKenzie

  • Both Jimmons and McKenzie were stalwarts on the USC offensive line in 2021, as Jimmons started in all 12 games at right guard (even though he is an offensive tackle). Jimmons originally came in as a defensive lineman and played the position for two seasons before switching to the offensive line. McKenzie played on the offensive line and special teams in all 12 games this season while starting in five contests. USC’s offensive line surrendered 18 sacks in 2021 while simultaneously helping block for USC’s running back by committee. USC rushed for 4.4 yards per carrying, 1747 yards, and 16 rushing touchdowns as a team. Jimmons and McKenzie have an opportunity to improve their draft stock to hopefully become a day three selection. Still, I think they will be priority undrafted free agents for Ballard to look at for depth on the offensive line. 

LB: Drake Jackson 

  • Jackson is a 6’3” and 254-pound hybrid edge rusher and outside linebacker. Johnson has played in 11 games and started in nine of them. While Johnson does not have typical edge rush size, his athleticism and frame allowed him to be an impact player in both USC’s pass defense and run defense. In each of his last two seasons, Jackson tailed an interception and recorded 5 sacks and 37 tackles with 8 tackles for loss, one fumble forced, and one fumble recovery. Jackson is a projected day two pick and could easily be looked at by the Colts as a situational depth piece to sit behind Paye, Odeyingbo, and Ngakoue.

DB: Isaac Taylor-Stuart, Chris Steele, and Isaiah Pola-Mao

  • The Colts are looking to add/replace the space left by Rock Ya-Sin after he was traded to the Las Vegas Raiders for Yannick Ngakoue. Both Taylor-Stuart and Steele were starters in 2021 as they played alongside each other. Both cornerbacks are of similar size and stature, and both players recorded at least 30 tackles and 3 passes deflected in 2021. Taylor-Stuart and Steele are closely ranked in prospect rankings, and I suspect both players were drafted on day three as developmental cornerbacks/special teamers. 
  • Isaiah Pola-Mao is a 6’4” 205 safety for USC who started in nine games in 2021 and appeared in 11 games. He recorded 57 tackles (which was 3rd on USC’s defense in 2021. Pola-Mao was a co-captain of the 2021 team and a captain of the 2020 team. In 2020, Pao-Mao was named a member of 2020 All-Pac-12 honorable mentions, AP All-Pac-12 second team, and Pro Football Focus All-Pac-12 third team. With Palo-Mao’s consistently solid play at the safety position for USC, he is definitely on the radar for a potential signing as a projected undrafted free agent. Ballard is looking for a 3rd depth safety who will mostly play special teams. After the departure of George Odum, Ballard must address this need for depth (especially with recent injuries).

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