Amid a plethora of offensive draft picks last month (8-of-10, to be exact), Colts GM Ryan Grigson still managed to fill a glaring need on the defensive side of the ball with the fifth-round selection of former Alabama NT Josh Chapman. Chapman is coming off a torn ACL in his left knee but is expected to be ready for training camp. His addition means perhaps one position on “D” has been adequately addressed for new head coach Chuck Pagano’s transition to a 3-4 scheme.
Yet, there are question marks littered throughout the rest of the defense, with the cornerback spot opposite Jerraud Powers at or near the top of the list. It would be considered a surprise if the Colts don’t add a veteran corner before the season begins, but the two front-runners to earn a starting job at the moment are Chris Rucker and Kevin Thomas. Both players gained starting experience a season ago, with mixed results.
Rucker, a sixth-round pick last April, is a more physical corner and fared better than Thomas a season ago. One source said that Rucker actually made strides during his rookie season and looks like he could be a player. Meanwhile, Thomas, a third-rounder in 2010 who missed his entire rookie season because of a knee injury, is an intriguing prospect, but he spent most of ’11 treading water while trying to knock the rust off.
The Colts also signed three undrafted rookies — Maryland's Cameron Chism, Wisconsin's Antonio Fenelus and Pittsburgh's Buddy Jackson — to compete with Rucker, Thomas and a few other holdovers for the position.
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