INDIANAPOLIS — In the weeks (and months) leading up to the 2017 NFL Draft, many pundits agreed that the Indianapolis Colts would pursue a cornerback — they just couldn't seem to come to a consensus about which prospect would land in Indy.
And who could blame them? By the end of the second round Friday night, 19 defensive backs had been selected — a common draft era record, and it's not even close.
So with so much talent on the board at an obvious position of need, the Colts landed on Florida cornerback Quincy Wilson, whom they selected 46th overall.
Wilson, who proved to be oozing of confidence when talking to reporters after his selection, feels he can step in right away and start at the No. 2 spot opposite Vontae Davis. It's not necessarily a bold statement for a second-round pick to believe he can start right away, but that doesn't mean Wilson doesn't have his work cut out for him.
As mentioned, however, several cornerbacks were linked to the Colts in the weeks leading up to the draft, and back in January, WalterFootball.com's Charlie Campbell actually had Indy selecting Wilson with their first-round (15th-overall) pick in one of his first mock drafts.
At 6 foot 1 and 211 pounds, Campbell wrote, sources believed Wilson "could end up being one of the top cornerback prospects" in this draft, due in large part to his size, speed, his press-coverage skills and his "above-average feel and awareness."
Those were all aspects missing at times in the Colts' secondary last season, which found itself affected week after week with injuries and ineffective play.
For NFL Media's Bucky Brooks, Wilson could very well be the guy that can step in and play right away. After giving the Colts an "A" for their first-round selection of Ohio State safety Malik Hooker, Brooks assigned the team a "B" for their pick of Wilson.
"This is a solid player," Brooks said. "A guy who has size, he has intelligence, he has outstanding movement skills, and he's a really polished technician. In this defense, they need better players on the outside — someone that can play opposite Vontae Davis. Quincy Wilson has the opportunity to come in and be an immediate starter."
But why a "B" this time around? NFL Media's Lance Zierlein explains.
"I thought there were times as a press cover corner he had some problems transitioning out — hips got a little tight at times, a little bulky, gave up some separation," he said.
While those are all issues that could certainly be shored up at the professional level, Zierlein did speak to one AFC executive who said Wilson's competitiveness, and confidence, has led to him being a more attractive prospect than Florida teammate Teez Tabor.
Sometimes in football, attitude and approach can be quite the make-goods for any perceived lack in certain skills.
"He may not be that clean with his coverage but I would rather go to war with him over (Teez) Tabor any day," the executive said, via NFL.com. "He's big and he's tough. Tabor has more talent but Wilson just has to find the right spot because he's got the mindset to be a pro player."
The Colts and first-year general manager Chris Ballard — who has an impressive track record scouting and drafting players in the secondary in his previous stops in Chicago and Kansas City — are betting on Indy indeed being that right spot for Wilson.
"Wilson is a good fit for what we want to do," Ballard said. "Any defense I've ever been (with) – he'd of been a good fit in Chicago, he'd be a good fit in Kansas City. Big, athletic corners don't fall off trees. He's got a unique skillset. He's a big corner with long arms and good ball skills. He needs work, he knows it. He's confident, but he knows he's got to go to work to hit his ceiling."
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