INDIANAPOLIS — If you're one of the top cornerback prospects in this year's NFL Draft, chances are by now you've already been linked to the Indianapolis Colts by various draft experts and pundits.
And for good reason — the Colts are in serious need of some help at the position, and there seems to be plenty of quality corners coming out of college for teams to choose from this year.
The latest corner linked to Indianapolis and its 15th-overall pick in the first round is Chudobe Awuzie, who was part of a talented secondary at Colorado.
Awuzie was the Colts' pick in NFL.com's Bucky Brooks' latest mock draft, which you can find in its entirety by clicking here. Here's the little blurb Brooks wrote about the Awuzie pick for Indy:
"The Colts need a young, athletic corner to play opposite Vontae Davis."
Short and sweet — but it certainly makes sense.
Last year, the Colts signed Patrick Robinson — who was coming off a career year with the San Diego Chargers — to be the team's No. 2 cornerback, opposite of Vontae Davis, who has been one of the better shutdown corners in the league the past few seasons.
But Robinson would endure a frustrating season in what turned out to be his only year in Indianapolis; he fought through several different injuries, as well as some ineffective play, and by Dec. 13, he was placed on Injured Reserve.
On March 10, the Colts released Robinson, leaving a huge void at cornerback.
Could Awuzie be the type of player to come in and immediately remedy that problem for the Indianapolis secondary?
He was an All-Pac 12 pick at Colorado, where he was especially effective at the nickel spot, and would compile 265 tackles — 25 for a loss — with an impressive nine sacks, three interceptions, 25 passes defensed, six forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries in four seasons with the Buffaloes.
Talk about a stat-sheet stuffer.
In Awuzie's NFL.com Draft Profile, writer Lance Zierlein compares the 6-foot, 202-pound cornerback to Prince Amukamara.
"Sticky man-cover corner who possesses the reactive athleticism and foot quickness to maintain coverage responsibilities around the field," Zierlein wrote. "Awuzie's combination of size and speed pairs well with his instincts providing him what he needs to compete downfield."
Awuzie was also able to put up some impressive numbers at this month's NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, where he not only ran the 40-yard dash in 4.43 seconds and showed a 34.5-inch vertical, but his 132-inch broad jump was second among all cornerbacks in the entire event.
Should the Colts decide to select Awuzie, he'd be among many players currently on the roster who could get consideration for the team's second cornerback job. Also fighting for playing time will be Charles James II, Rashaan Melvin, Christopher Milton, Tevin Mitchel, Darryl Morris, Larry Scott and Frankie Williams.
Indianapolis also just re-signed veteran defensive back Darius Butler, though his future appears to be more at safety than at cornerback.
Also, as previously mentioned, Awuzie is just the latest cornerback prospect to be linked to the Colts as a possible first-round target. Other corners/defensive backs listed in mock drafts include Sidney Jones (though he suffered a ruptured Achilles tendon during his pro day), Desmond King, Marshon Lattimore and Quincy Wilson.
The analysis from those producing content on Colts.com does not necessarily represent the thoughts of the Indianapolis Colts organization. Any conjecture, analysis or opinions formed by Colts.com content creators is not based on inside knowledge gained from team officials, players or staff.