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Colts encouraged by first look at Laiatu Latu, Adonai Mitchell, 2024 NFL Draft class during rookie minicamp

The Colts got their first look at their 2024 first-year players over the weekend during rookie minicamp. 

The Colts last weekend saw their 2024 rookie class practice with a horseshoe on their helmet (or, in the case of Laiatu Latu, also on his arm) during rookie minicamp. A few noteworthy observations we heard from assistant general manager Ed Dodds, head coach Shane Steichen and a handful of rookies:

DE Laiatu Latu

Head coach Shane Steichen, on what stands out about the No. 15 overall pick: "His explosiveness coming off the ball. Obviously, he had a lot of production – double-digit sacks, like we talked about after the draft. You can see his physical presence out there with the guys. He's a great addition to our team and fired up to have him."

Assistant GM Ed Dodds, on Latu's motor: "It's always going. It's just something when we watched him, he's just one of those players – whatever it was, the motor, the counters.

"There are certain guys throughout that whole process when we start in February – within the first 10 snaps you're like, 'This is a real dude.' I mean even before that – I'm doing all these other pro guys, some college guys during the year, but Terp (Matt Terpening) has seen kind of the whole landscape. I remember at the Senior Bowl (saying) I'm going to go down – because you only get so many field passes. 'Who do I need to look at?' He highlighted some guys and he's one of them. He said, 'You need to look at him because he's probably going to have a really good practice and he's going to get out of here.' I'm glad I did.

"He's one of those guys – like what I first started talking about, throughout the whole process the whole room was kind of like, 'This is one of the best players in the (NFL) Draft.' We felt that way unified the whole way through."

View photos from the Colts rookies taking part in Day 1 of Rookie Minicamp at the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center.

Dodds, on how Latu developed his arsenal of pass-rushing moves while away from football for two years: "I still think it goes back to having an innate instinct on how to rush the passer. Some people just have it. Some people can work on it all they want and they're still not going to be great at it. They'll get better but not great."

Dodds, on if he was surprised Latu – the first defensive player selected in the 2024 NFL Draft – was still available at No. 15: "Not too crazy surprised but only because of the medical stuff. You knew some teams were going to be different with it, and then the amount of offensive players in this (NFL) Draft. So, I still didn't think he would but I wasn't just shocked that he was. ...

"... We knew some of the quarterbacks were going to go that high, and then when a couple more did and those tackles starting going, we were like 'Okay, we're going to be talking about this.'"

WR Adonai Mitchell

Steichen, on his first impression of the 6-foot-2, 205 pound Mitchell: "Explosive. You can see the size. You can see the speed – hands, great hands. Even watching him in individual (drills) with Reggie (Wayne) just the way he plucks the ball. He's a natural pass catcher. Again, like we talked about after the draft, he can separate at the top (of routes). He ran some good routes here in seven-on-seven. He had some one-on-one winners which was good to see."

Dodds, on what Mitchell can bring to the Colts' offense: "He's really athletic. For a long guy, usually those longer guys have a hard time getting in and out of stuff, you see a little bit of stiffness. He doesn't have that. He can get in and out. Sometimes it doesn't look like he's running really fast, but it's because he's 6-0-2-2, and he is.

"With receivers, the best thing to do is go stand down (there) and have them run towards you because you feel them chewing that ground and getting on top of you. With him, you can feel that. He's going to add another explosive element because of the speed. The length is a huge factor, right, because in this league you're covered most of the time, even when you are open. So, length gives Anthony (Richardson) a bigger target area to get it to him. That's obviously going to help."

View photos from the Colts rookies on Day 2 of Rookie Minicamp at the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center.

Dodds, on why he thinks Mitchell fell to No. 52 in the second round: "Probably just because he didn't have a – his one big year. He played early at Georgia, but just moving schools, you're starting over. I think that probably was the biggest thing, was just – they are always going to ding people on one-year production."

Dodds, on if he likes the reason behind Mitchell's choice of No. 10: "Yeah, absolutely. I mean he's competitive. You love that."

WR Anthony Gould, a fifth-round pick, on what he sees in Mitchell: "He's a great dude. I've been around him – we were at the combine together. It's not the first time we've been around each other. He's a great dude and I'm excited for him. We're both excited to come out here and be able to perform and help this team in any way possible. AD is a great dude and a hell of a player. I know we're both excited to have the U on our helmet and to be able to perform."

T Matt Goncalves & G Tanor Bortolini

Goncalves, on his first practices in the NFL: "Unbelievable. I mean, it's a dream come true. Stepping into that locker room, seeing the logo out here in Indianapolis, I couldn't have asked for anything more. To be able to do this is a dream come true and I'm going to give it all I've got at the end of the day."

Bortolini, on walking into the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center for the first time: "My first time being in the facility, walk in and one of the first guys I bumped into is Quenton Nelson. I'm like, 'Well, he's pretty good at what he does.' It's just crazy to have a guy like that in the O-line room that you're going to be working with every day. To be able to work with a guy as talented and successful as he has been is going to be really awesome. It was just kind of a surreal moment. You watch him on TV growing up to now you're going to be playing with him in the same room."

WR Anthony Gould

Gould, on being in the Colts' wide receiver room with AD Mitchell: "We're both going through the same thing. It's new to both of us. We also have Reggie (Wayne) in there – that's one of the guys that's done it at a high level for a long, long time. He's one of the best to ever play the game, especially at the wideout position. It's nice having another rookie in the class, but when you have a great coach and some older guys in the room who have done it before too and are good at it, it makes things a little easier."

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