With their first pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, the Indianapolis Colts found their quarterback of the future in Anthony Richardson. The Colts are now focused on building out their offense around Richardson.
With their revolving door of quarterbacks, Indianapolis finished last season ranked 27th in total offense, averaging 311.6 yards per game. Richardson’s explosive athleticism should eventually help the Colts’ offense take major strides.
Indy has solid weapons for Richardson to work with. Jonathan Taylor is one of the best running backs in the NFL. Michael Pittman has looked like a star at times. The Colts offense is set up for success with the right QB in place.
However, any good offense needs a strong offensive line. Indianapolis is currently lacking in that department. Which is why, of the 15 undrafted free agents the Colts signed, Alabama’s Emil Ekiyor has the best chance of making the roster.
Ekiyor spent five years with Alabama. He redshirted his first season and was an overall backup for his two two seasons on campus, appearing in 12 games. However, in year three, Ekiyor was moved into the starting lineup. He never looked back.
After making that jump, Ekiyor started 40 games for the Crimson Tide. His junior season saw Ekiyor make 15 starts, the most in a single season with Alabama. He allowed just 1.5 sacks over those appearances. Ekiyor finished his time at Alabama by being named First-team All-SEC in 2022.
The OL – who stands 6’3″, 307 – may be a bit undersized. However, he comes to the Colts loaded with experience. While he made a name for himself at guard, Ekiyor can play anywhere on the interior of the offensive line. His versatility and overall knowledge of the game should help give him a leg up over other UDFAs.
Richardson is known for his ability to make plays with his legs or firing the ball down field with his cannon of an arm. However, in both situations, Richardson will need time in the pocket.
This past season, the Colts gave up 60 sacks – the second most in the NFL. They were one of only two teams to allow 60+ sacks on the year. Indianapolis hasn’t done much to address their OL, although they did take BYU’s Blake Freeland in the fourth-round of the NFL Draft.
Outside of quarterback, offensive line was arguably Indy’s biggest need. As the Colts look to revitalize that OL, Ekiyor will have a strong opportunity to prove why he belongs.
Perfect Colts combination
Of the Colts 15 undrafted free agents, Emil Ekiyor is one of just six players to come from a Power 5 conference. However, it’s more than just where Ekiyor went to college that will get him a shot with the Colts.
Still, playing for Alabama will certainly help. Ekiyor’s rise to starter and longevity playing for the Crimson Tide gives him the experience he needs to transition to the NFL. Playing in the SEC, Ekiyor is facing some of the best defenders in the country. Over his past two seasons, Ekiyor proved he can handle it.
Being an undrafted free agent, it’s unlikely Ekiyor would come in and be an immediate Week 1 starter. But the Colts need answers at offensive line and they need them fast. As they prepare for Richardson’s rise to starting QB, having a strong offensive line in front of him will be paramount.
Ekiyor will have an opportunity to join the rotation of players blocking for Indianapolis’ new star.
The post 1 undrafted free agent who will make Colts’ roster appeared first on ClutchPoints.