Hassan Ridgeway Gives Colts Interior Pass Rusher

Intro: In starting off the final day of the 2016 NFL Draft, the Colts found an interior pass rushing option in Texas’ Hassan Ridgeway. What will the Colts be looking for from Ridgeway this season?

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INDIANAPOLIS – The smile on 314-pound Hassan Ridgeway wasn't disappearing.

Nope, it wasn't going anywhere for the big Texas defensive lineman having just reached the National Football League.

This moment was why Ridgeway made the difficult decision to forego his final season of eligibility at Texas to pursue NFL aspirations.

"It's just been a dream to go play in the NFL," Ridgeway said minutes after the Colts selected him No. 116 overall in Saturday's fourth round.

"I'm just happy to be able to play in the NFL."

The Colts will be smiling, too, if Ridgeway can give them the same sort of disruption he caused Big 12 teams the past couple of seasons.

Ridgeway is known for his pass rushing ability from the defensive interior.

In the last two years, Ridgeway had 17.5 tackles for loss and 9.5 sacks.

While preferring to line up opposite the opposing team's offensive guard in a 3-4 scheme, Ridgeway lined up all across the line at Texas.

Originally a defensive end at 250 pounds, Ridgeway redshirted in 2012 before growing into a 300-plus pound lineman.

"I feel like that's my game coming from a defensive end," Ridgeway says. "I've got a little bit more quickness than some of the bigger guys that started playing defensive tackle. That's helped me with my pass rush, and I do feel like that's part of my game."

As the Colts try to manufacture other ways to pressure the quarterback, then just off the edge, Ridgeway could slide his way into those packages on passing downs.

Healthy returns from Arthur Jones and Henry Anderson will let the Colts use Ridgeway in specific, advantageous, situations.

"Hassan is a big, strong guy that can give you push inside," Chuck Pagano says.

"We've got guys that can do that and have done that. They may not have the same sack totals as some of the edge rushers, but they'll effect the quarterback and they'll push the pocket inside and they'll create sacks for those other guys on the outside."

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