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Colts Preseason Week 1: Last 5 in Youth Kemoko Turay Jersey , first 5 out The Indianapolis Colts preseason is finally under way. There’s nothing wrong with being excited about the preseason. And what casual fans don’t understand, is that watching the meat of the roster for depth chart movement and the bottom of the roster players to see who will round out the roster is what it’s all about.The other day I went through (here) who I felt were — for a lack of better words — virtual locks for the roster, and discussed those who were on the roster bubble. By my count it left 5 spots on the roster with special teams already accounted for.Now, some of those current 48 ‘spoken for’ roster spots may be opened back up for interpretation, or they could look even more concrete. Then we need to go through the process of filling the open roster spots after each game. So, that’s what we’ll do.Today, our first evaluation, to fill the roster, is finally here. Now we have to consider that Deon Cain will not be on the roster after the news of his season-ending ACL injury. Thus, I added the next receiver on my personal list to the roster. At the moment, that receiver is Kasen Williams making the “last 5 in” technically 6 now.We’ll also list 5 bubble players who are just on the outside looking in. Naturally, this is sort of a take on Joe Lunardi’s bracketology process, but I thought it could be fun. Let’s dig in.Last 5 In: Kasen WilliamsThursday night Williams hauled in 3 receptions (4 targets) for 46 yards. Williams still hasn’t put his full potential in view of the fan base, but his 6-foot-2, 220 pound frame offers a possession-style receiver to the corps where there really isn’t one currently.With Deon Cain now on the shelf for the remainder of the 2018 season, Williams brings the most of what the Colts will miss without him. Williams doesn’t have Cain’s speed, but the Colts already have that aspect from others at the position.Hassan RidgewayThere he is! Ridgeway has been one of those players who fans thought would break out within a year or two of his being drafted. He had a nice season last year, but had been very quiet thus far through training camp. Thursday night Ridgeway put 2 sacks and 3 tackles for loss on the board in the second half. Granted, his flash was against the Seahawks’ third and fourth-string offensive linemen, but we’ve seen him flash in the regular season in previous seasons. We know he can do it. Per my roster, this gives the Colts 10 defensive linemen. That’s a lot Kemoko Turay Jersey Stitched , but top talent makes the roster, right?Le’ Raven ClarkClark didn’t get a ton of snaps Thursday night despite the offensive line being low on bodies. J’Marcus Webb has been getting the first-team snaps, but if the Colts want athleticism Clark is by far the best of the rest. Clark still has a long way to go in his trek to being a legitimate NFL starter, but he’s got experience and he’s solid as a run blocker and has the potential to be a much better pass protector if it all can come together.Zach PascalPascal has been a late riser at training camp, but a noticeable one. In Seattle he caught his only target for a big gain (32 yards) via a fade route off the hand of Phillip Walker. Pascal has tuned himself into quite a good route runner, has the speed the offense could use to create mismatches and is right at that 6-foot-2, 220-pound mark that is so common among the team’s depth chart at the position.Pascal has been one who has been constantly been working on fielding punts in practices, and has been getting noticed more often from the team’s quarterbacks as well. Talent and chemistry with the passer is key in the NFL and it appears Pascal has been forming the beginnings of that bond over the past couple weeks.Ronald MartinWith Malik Hooker and Clayton Geathers headed back to the field sooner rather than later, the Colts need another safety who can offer coverage skills, one who isn’t a missed tackle waiting to happen and one who can get physical in the box. Most would probably put T.J. Green in this group simply because of his getting the starter snaps with Hooker and Geathers out, but not I.Martin scooped up a fumble and nearly had an interception off a tipped pass in Seattle, but only notched a single tackle in the Colts preseason opener. With a couple of the UDFA rookie safeties in the group like Chris Cooper and George Odum doing a solid job as well, Martin simply offers the power and aggression the backend of the Colts’ secondary will need in this new scheme. So far, I like Martin to squeak in.Robert JacksonThe early days of Colts training camp didn’t offer much in the way of depth cornerbacks standing out amongst the crowd. However, in the last week or so, Jackson has done a nice job in all aspects of the position. He’s a solid tackler, he has been much better in coverage and has done well breaking on the ball in front of him.Jackson has showed the speed to recover when initially beat deep as well as the willingness to stop the run just as he did Thursday night when he limited Rashaad Penny to a very short gain after crashing the box. With what we currently have on my roster, the Colts have four corners who can play on the boundary, but only two who have nickel abilities. Jackson offers some of that versatility as well.First 5 Out:Antonio MorrisonSimply put, Morrison is always going to be in the mix because of his physicality and aggression — he just is. He didn’t get a ton of reps in Seattle, but it’s very clear what he does Youth Tyquan Lewis Jersey , and doesn’t bring to the conversation. Morrison is a hard worker, he’d literally go head-on into a brick wall if a football was stuck to it and he adds some attitude to a very young and experienced linebacker corps. On the other hand, it’s just as obvious what he doesn’t have: speed, coverage ability and consistency.Unfortunately for Morrison, these are all aspects Chris Ballard and Frank Reich are wanting to become staples from their defensive talent.Darrell DanielsDaniels isn’t the only tight end on the roster bubble by any means. The common assumption is that he and Ross Travis will be battling it out all preseason for the final spot at the position. He caught a touchdown Thursday night in Seattle, and has a real toughness about him that is appreciated by his teammates and coaching staff.Daniels has some physical limitations, namely speed and size in comparison to the rest of those at the position, but he does have the intangibles. This will be one to watch very closely over the next few weeks, but right now, I just don’t see that he offers as much as the others.D.J. WhiteEarlier when talking about Robert Jackson, we touched on the ability to play in the nickel role. White will be in the mix for that reason and a couple others as the preseason continues. He was active in the Colts preseason matchup with the Seahawks, accumulating 2 solo tackles and offering some quality coverage in limited time. White was brought in last season by Ballard specifically to offer quality depth to a developing roster, which I think gives him a bit of leverage, but I just don’t think he’s quite as pliable as a few others. One good preseason game could easily put White on the ‘in’ list, which makes this another fun battle to follow throughout the 53-man cut downs.T.J. GreenSimilar to a few others on the current 90-man roster, Green will always be in the conversation until this roster’s talent level rises to contender status. He is a physical player and is long and fast, which goes a long way when talent isn’t exactly sitting around every corner for the Colts right now.Green’s inability to see what he’s hitting leading to missed tackles, his lack of awareness in coverage and lack of fundamentals are constantly leaving the fan base wanting more from him. I think the Colts have shown the willingness to move off of players when chemistry can be improved without them, yet, traits are a large portion of what Ballard looks for in players and could give Green more time when it’s all said and done.Matthew AdamsSince being drafted in the seventh round, Adams hasn’t been one of the rookie names heavily talked about. Thursday night Tyquan Lewis Jersey Stitched , though, Adams showed that he can be disruptive and physical as a SAM backer for the Colts. Adams is more stout than his measurements would suggest, and I think he has enough speed to move around a bit in sub packages.Adams tipped a pass which nearly led to an interception, and took on all comers in the run game. Adams finished with 2 total tackles in Seattle, and though he technically sits behind Morrison on the depth chart, I think his special teams ability could keep him in the running throughout the preseason.Here’s a look at the roster with the changes:Green = projected roster players | Light Blue = new additionsGreen = projected roster players | Light Blue = new additions Can the talented Hakeem Butler be another weapon for Andrew Luck?\"WhiteFanposts Fanshots Colts StoriesScheduleRosterStatsYahoo Colts NewsYahoo Colts Team PageYahoo Colts ReportYahoo Colts Depth ChartYahoo Colts TransactionsYahoo Colts PhotosShop About Masthead Community Guidelines StubHub ✕NFL DraftRoad to the DraftIndianapolis Colts Draft CentralColts Prospect Film Room: WR Hakeem Butler, Iowa StateNew,88commentsCan the talented Hakeem Butler be another weapon for Andrew Luck?EDTShareTweetShareShareColts Prospect Film Room: WR Hakeem Butler, Iowa StateReese Strickland-USA TODAY SportsWith the primary surge of Free Agency wrapping up, the focus for the Indianapolis Colts turns to the draft, where GM Chris Ballard looks to hit another home run with the 2019 class. Last draft season, Ballard drafted Quenton Nelson and Darius Leonard, who both ended up earning First Team All-Pro honors as rookies. On top of that, he also drafted a handful of contributors in Braden Smith, Tyquan Lewis, Kemoko Turay, Nyheim Hines, and Matthew Adams.This film room series will attempt to highlight certain prospects that may interest the Colts and go through their film to find their strengths and weaknesses. Today’s prospect is Iowa State WR Hakeem Butler. Butler is a player that put together an outstanding Senior year and posted insane numbers at the Combine as well.We will look through the film and see what Butler could potentially bring to the Colts if they end up drafting him. Clips in this piece will be from five games that I watched, all three were on coach’s film. The full list of games watched were against Kansas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State Youth Nyheim Hines Jersey , Texas Tech, and Washington State.BackgroundSize:6’5” 227 pounds with 35.25 inch armsMeasurables: 40 Time: 4.48 / 10-yard split: 1.59 / Bench: 18 reps / Vertical Jump: 36 inches / Broad Jump: 128 inches Career Stats:110 catches for 2,149 yards for 18 touchdowns. Averaged 19.5 yards per catch as well in his three year career.Round Projection:Late Round 1/Early Round 2StrengthsBody Control/ConcentrationAn extremely underrated part of playing receiver in the NFL is the ability to adjust your body in mid-air to make plays. Passes are rarely perfect, especially with how tight the windows are in the NFL, so it is up to receivers to make plays when quarterbacks throw it up for them. Butler does an excellent job of contorting his body to make difficult catches, as well as tracking passes that are tipped or off-target.First play is a perfect example of passes being off-target and receivers having to adjust. Obviously an NFL quarterback can put more air on this pass but still these types of plays happen in the NFL as well. Butler beats his man with a clean double move but the pass is severely underthrown. He comes back to the pass and makes a great catch over the defender’s back. He finishes the play with an excellent stiff arm for the score.This next clip shows off his elite level of concentration as well when the ball is in the air. The pass is again underthrown— his QB at Iowa State was not great, obviously— and thrown into triple coverage this time. As Butler goes up for the pass, it is knocked up in the air by the safety. He does a great job of keeping his balance, though. and locating the ball off of the tip. He is able to find the ball and pull it in for a great catch and a big play for his offense.This next clip may be Butler’s most impressive play of the year. The quarterback rolls out of the pocket and throws a pass near the sideline towards Butler. Knowing he has little room to work with, Butler is able to extend out of bounds to reach the pass. He then shows the ability to contort and control his body by tapping his left foot in the back corner of the end zone for the touchdown. With his body control and concentration, he was a walking highlight reel last season at Iowa State.Length/AthleticismThe biggest asset to Butler’s game is his overall length. Butler possesses 35.25 inch arms and a massive 83.875 inch wingspan. Combined with the fact that he is also a 4.48 athlete at 227 pounds,it’s easy to see how he can make a ton of plays all over the field. His ability to extend and catch passes away from his frame though is quite rare and that wingspan will separate him from a lot other players in this class. This clip may not seem super impressive but his wingspan allows quarterbacks to throw passes further away from defenders than they could with most players. This is just a simple five yard out route but notice how far outside the quarterback is able to throw this pass. The cornerback has no chance to make a play on this ball and Butler is able to simply reach out and catch it with ease. This is just an example of how his wingspan and arm length make things easier for an offense.This next clip is another one of Butler’s best plays of the season. In the bowl game against Washington State, he made this outstanding one handed catch. The Iowa State quarterback gets hit as he throws the ball which causes the ball to sail a bit. Butler, however, is able to go up and make an insane play. This play may be the best example of how his length and athleticism are incredibly rare for a receiver.This last clip shows off how he could be used with his length and athleticism. The Colts have a ton of weapons that have to be accounted for in the red zone. If the Colts added a player like Butler, they could isolate him on one side and utilize his natural gifts to score in tight areas. He makes plays like these routinely in the red zone and could be a valuable asset in that area of the field for the Colts.YAC AbilityFor a pretty massive player, Butler has some ability after the catch. He rarely settles for what is given to him and makes a ton of plays in the open field. He does it in a multitude of ways,from stiff-arming players to quick jukes, to simply outrunning players. He may have a tight end’s body, but he is an exceptional athlete who can (and does!) make plays after the catch.The first way he creates after the catch is just his pure speed. I already mentioned his insane 4.48 speed (for a 227 pound receiver!), but that ability shows on film as well. Here Nyheim Hines Jersey Stitched , he takes a quick post for a big touchdown with his speed. He makes one man miss and then is able to pull away from the rest of the defense with great acceleration and speed.This last clip shows shows all the YAC ability that he offers. Butler catches the ball over the middle and then absorbs the big hit by the safety. He puts a nasty stiff-arm on him and keeps his feet moving downfield after that. He doesn’t stop there either as he sheds two more tackles en route to a huge touchdown. Butler is nearly impossible to tackle in the open field by smaller defensive backs.WeaknessesButler does have some notable weaknesses that could keep him out of the first round. The biggest issue is his drops, as he double-catches a lot of balls and is inconsistent in traffic. His route running is also a concern, he occasionally struggles to separate with crisp routes. Most of his separation comes from his physicality and speed, which doesn’t translate as well as crisp routes do. Finally, the level of competition has to be a concern as well. The defenses in the Big 12 are pretty terrible year in and year out.The drops is certainly an area he has to improve, going to the NFL. He is too inconsistent with his technique and he double-catches a lot of passes. In traffic he either will make an outstanding catch or a costly drop. He must clean up this area of his game going to the NFL.Butler is not the most nuanced route runner at all. He can overpower cornerbacks and win off of the line of scrimmage. Where he struggles is separating down the field. He can win on some double moves and head fakes against Big 12 corners, but in the NFL you have to win with nuanced route running. Butler just isn’t there yet and needs to develop in that area of his game.ConclusionHakeem Butler is an extraordinary talent and could be a great fit for the Colts in this draft. He offers a rare blend of length, ball skills, athleticism, and YAC ability that could make him a superstar in the NFL. The highlight plays are outstanding and if he can put it together at the next level, watch out.There are some inconsistencies in his game, though, that cause some concern. Butler’s drops and his lack of nuance in his routes are flaws and could lead to him busting in the league. The primary reason why I think the Colts would still have interest is that those weaknesses don’t seem to scare Ballard off of receivers. As I pointed out in my Build-A-Ballard series, Ballard seems to like high-upside players who have inconsistencies.Chris Ballard is a smart GM and trusts his coaching staff and their ability to develop players. Look at Devin Funchess for instance: he’s another big, athletic receiver with some inconsistencies in his game. Ballard trusts his coaching staff to figure out how to mitigate the flaws and turn Funchess into the player that he always had the potential to be.Ballard tends to bet on upside with receivers and that is exactly what Hakeem Butler is. I think he is a very real possibility for one of the Colts’ early picks, and would add an intriguing new dimension to the team. Imagine the Colts running 11 personnel with T.Y Hilton and Hakeem Butler on the outside with Devin Funchess in the slot and Eric Ebron at tight end. Who do you cover in that scenario? Endless possibilities with that group of players.
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