Height: 6’ 5”
With the 52nd overall pick in the 2018 NFL draft, the Indianapolis Colts have selected Kemoko Turay out of Rutgers.
The Colts trade back three spots and pick up an extra 5th round pick to allow the Eagles to jump up. For their efforts, the Colts finally select a pass rusher.
Turay is an explosive pass rusher whose speed and pursuit abilities are clearly going to be priorities in the Colts defense. He rarely has broken or missed tackles and has the lateral quickness to be a disruption on the defensive line.
The issue is that he’s a raw talent, which isn’t really ideal for a second round pick. Turay, born in Africa, only placed two years of football in high school. But his senior year, his only varsity year, he led the state with 18.5 sacks.
After going to Rutgers, he battled injuries after his great freshman year that resulted in being named an All-American in 2014. In 2017, Turay had four sacks and 58 tackles.
The bonus is that many are saying that he has all of the “coachable traits” that NFL teams want. But he’ll need to develop a go-to pass rushing move. Like, say, a killer spin move. (Calling coach Robert Mathis.)
But for now, he’s not a starter. He’s more of a situational pass rusher. Depending on how the Colts wind up using Jabaal Sheard and John Simon with the new 4-3 defense (either at DE or LB), having someone learn behind them and only come in on obvious passing downs may be fine for this year.
Turay joins Tarell Basham as a cross-your-fingers, hope-he-develops pass rusher of the future. It’s hard to get too excited about this pick knowing the pass rushers the Colts passed on in favor of two offensive guards, but people seem to like what Turay offers as long as he stays healthy and has good coaching.
I’m not alone when I say I have the feeling this draft is not a “we’re going to win a lot this year” draft. If Luck is healthy, sure, the Colts can and should still win games. But these are development choices from Chris Ballard.
Colts draft picks:
Round 1, Pick 6 – G Quenton Nelson
Round 2, Pick 36 – LB Darius Leonard
Round 2, Pick 37 – G Braden Smith
Round 2, Pick 52 – DE Kemoko Turay
Round 3, Pick 67
Round 4, Pick 104
Round 5, Pick 140
Round 5, Pick 169
Round 6, Pick 178
Round 7, Pick 221