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Colts Practice Patience, Select Rangy Safety T.J. Green

Intro: To start off Day Two of the NFL Draft, the Colts took a sideline-to-sideline safety that flourished the last time he was inside of Lucas Oil Stadium.


INDIANAPOLIS – The Colts were on the clock in Round Two on Friday night and there were anxious time inside the team's war room.

T.J. Green had a few in the room ready to send that pick right to Chicago.

With the phone ringing though, the Colts saw an opportunity to acquire the gold they had sought so much coming into this draft.

Six picks in 2016 for the Colts were about to be turned into eight.

And Green?

He was still going to be a Colt, after a little patience.

Trading back nine spots in Round Two on Friday night, to No. 57 overall, the Colts still got their guy---a raw and rangy safety from last year's national runner-up.

"There were a lot of guys fired up, up and down the halls, coaches, staff guys, secondary guys, coordinators on defense, guys that scout the area," Chuck Pagano said on Friday night, not completely admitting if he was standing on a table for Green coming to Indy. "(They) love the kid and we still got him."

"It was a brilliant move."

The last time Green was inside his new home of Lucas Oil Stadium, he made heads turn at the NFL Combine.

  • A 4.34 40-yard dash? The best the Combine has seen for a safety in 11 years.
  • A 129-inch broad jump. The second longest at the Combine since 2013.
  • And this is a safety (converted wide receiver) who stands 6-3 and 205 pounds.

New Colts defensive backs coach Greg Williams also led Green through some of his positional work back in February.

In Green, the Colts now have a piece of clay ready to mold for the back end of their defense.

"You don't find athletic guys like this that can move around and cover the ground that he can cover in the deep parts of the back end," Pagano, a former defensive backs coach said on Friday. "And the ball skills are really off the charts."

Pagano watched Green first hand at the Clemson Pro Day back in March.

The Colts then brought Green to Indianapolis for one of their top-30 visits, sitting down the rangy safety for an explanation of how such distinctive traits could be used in their new defense.

In starting just one season for arguably college football's top defense, Green piled up 130 stops (third most on Clemson) including 16- and 13-tackle games in the College Football Playoffs.

Green will arrive to Indianapolis possessing the necessary traits to be a four-core special teamer from Day One.

His true defensive impact might not be seen in a starting capacity for another season (two-time Pro Bowler Mike Adams is 35 years old and in the final season of his contract, with Clayton Geathers occupying the other starting safety spot).

When Green does get on the field, the Colts will have a sideline-to-sideline safety allowing defenses to be creative in front of a true centerfielder.

"In today's game, it's becoming more and more of a passing league and you have match up nightmares," Pagano said. "So a guy like this, who's got length, size, over 210 pounds, runs a 4.34, he's going to be able to match up.

"He played in the slot and he has covered guys in the slot. They talk about having the skill set to play corner, he can go out and match up with longer, rangier guys – the big, athletic mismatch tight ends that we are seeing week in and week out. To get a guy with this guy's skill set and cover ability, it handles those problems because week in and week out and you are saying, 'Okay, who's going to take care of (Rob Gronkowski) Gronk this week and who's going to take care of this guy and the guys in our division?' This guy gives you a ton of position flexibility, not only playing first and second down stopping the run and cover tight ends and all that, but third down. Match up the way that he can match up, that's a bonus."

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