Kavell Conner: 6’0”, 242lbs — OLB, Clemson University
Conner was a very productive linebacker in the ACC, racking up 236 tackles over his final two years at Clemson. He’s a bit undersized (just the way the Colts like their linebackers), but he ran an impressive 4.36 40-yard dash at the combine, and is said to play bigger than his 242 pounds would indicate. There’s plenty of upside there, but fans at Lucas Oil Stadium may never see him in a starting role due to his questionable instincts and awareness. They will see him on special teams though, and his combination of size, speed, and thirst for contact could make him the star of that unit.
What the scouts said (from Scouts Inc at ESPN.com):
“Appears lost in terms of alignment at times. Keeps head up and reads keys but is a split second late locating the ball…Plays with an edge and not afraid to meet ball carriers in the hole but can get engulfed by offensive linemen…Flashes the ability to deliver the big hit. Strong upper body and can wrestle ball carriers to the ground once he gets his hands around them. On the flipside, doesn’t always wrap up and not nearly as sound a tackler as statistics would suggest…Is at his best when uncovered and flowing freely to the football…”
Ricardo Mathews: 6’2″, 295lbs — DT, University of Cincinnati
There’s not much to get excited about with Mathews. He was a one-year starter for Cincinnati, totaling 44 tackles, 3.5 sacks, and 12.5 tackles for a loss his senior season. It was good enough to earn him a Second-Team All-Big East selection, but most scouts felt he wasn’t a draftable commodity. Essentially he’s a long term project who the Indianapolis Colts hope can add some depth to their defensive line, not unlike Terrance Taylor, who the Colts took in the fourth round last year, only to cut him in training camp.
Ray Fisher: 5’10”, 211lbs – DB/KR/PR, Indiana University
Move over Ray Buchanan, there’s a new “Big Play Ray” coming to downtown Indianapolis. Fisher, who spent his college career 45-minutes south of Indy in Bloomington, Indiana, was a wide receiver for the Hoosiers during his first three seasons, but was switched to cornerback before his senior year. As a wideout, the diminutive speedster caught 118 passes for 1,070 yards and nine touchdowns, and as a corner he recorded 49 tackles, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery in six starts.
As impressive as he was in both roles, it’s his ability to return both kickoffs and punts at a high level that interests the Colts the most. While in college he led the nation and set a Big Ten single-season record by averaging 36.1 yards per kickoff return. He also returned two kicks for touchdowns. Bill Polian said he likes to keep a developmental cornerback as his fifth DB, and if Fisher electrifies on special teams like everyone hopes, he’ll find himself a roster spot.
|Ray Fisher talks about making the switch to cornerback|