INDIANAPOLIS – Full pads on the 2015 Colts won't debut for another six weeks, but D'Joun Smith already sees differences in NFL life.
The practices over the past few weeks had a crispness to them, something Smith wasn't quite expecting so early without full contact allowed.
Smith's role rotating in with the first team of the defense lets onlookers know that the Colts view him as a potential contributor in 2015.
It's what Smith, and the rest of the rookie class, has to do these next six weeks that is a stark contrast to what virtually every first-year player is used to in college.
"The most important part right now, is getting that six to seven weeks off where you have the accountability comes," Smith says in explaining the misnomer of the pending "offseason."
"As rookies, this will make you or break you. Just trying to go home, do the right thing, so when I come back I'm in tip top shape."
The Colts rookie class has remained in Indianapolis this week for additional NFL orientation before they head their separate ways until Training Camp in August.
After talking with a majority of the draft class and listening to Chuck Pagano/Ryan Grigson's thoughts on the rookies, here is recap of their first few weeks in the NFL:
Wide Receiver Phillip Dorsett:The lateral speed of Dorsett, coupled with his capacity to absorb the playbook at multiple receiver spots, has the Colts brass feeling more than comfortable with their first-round draft pick. Yes, fans will obviously be enamored with the wheels of Dorsett, but he has proved to be much more than a vertical threat in OTAs and mini-camp. The Colts haven't been afraid to use Dorsett as a return man and give him the football on reverses, too.**
Cornerback D'Joun Smith: Just like with Dorsett, the Colts are moving Smith around. The cornerback has raved about the veteran support amongst the secondary. Smith seems to have truly embraced the defensive back room loaded with starting experience. The former Florida Atlantic cornerback received some first-team run as the offseason program reached June.Defensive End Henry Anderson: For picks like Anderson, Parry and Good, making any firm assumptions about definite 2015 roles would be a bit premature. Anderson has been used as a natural 3-4 defensive end during OTAs and mini-camp with the ability to kick inside in passing situations.Safety Clayton Geathers: With the Colts using different sorts of defensive packages this time of year, Geathers has been a major beneficiary of such combinations. The Colts love his size and athletic ability that allow him to play close to the line of scrimmage, while still being able to roam the secondary. It will be intriguing to see how the Colts use a player that brings a diverse skill set, compared to rest of those in the back end.
Defensive Tackle David Parry: The nose tackle position is where Parry has initially lined up, along with some looks at defensive tackle in sub packages. Both Parry and Anderson talked about how the transition to the Colts 3-4 scheme hasn't been too stressful based off playing in a very similar system during their days together at Stanford.Running Back Josh Robinson: You know Robinson is just itching to get the pads on come Training Camp. He's shown some soft hands out of the backfield, which would serve him well in competing for reps behind Frank Gore. If Vick Ballard isn't full-go at the start of camp, Robinson could see additional reps with the first and second teams.Inside Linebacker Amarlo Herrera: Just like with Robinson, the injury watch at Herrera's position is going to impact his preseason. If newcomer Nate Irving isn't initially cleared, Herrera could see time right behind D'Qwell Jackson and Jerrell Freeman.Offensive Tackle Denzelle Good: **Ask Good about his early thoughts on life in the NFL and the big man doesn't shy away from talking about the step up in competition from his days at Division II Mars Hill. Good has been used as a right tackle so far this offseason and at 340 pounds, the Colts seventh-round pick is ready to put on the pads to show his run blocking ability, a strength in his eyes.
The second and final day of the Colts rookie mini camp.