6 cornerbacks to watch for the Colts at 2023 NFL combine

The 2023 NFL Combine is well underway, and the Indianapolis Colts have some critical decisions to make.

The status of cornerbacks Kenny Moore II and Brandon Facyson is undecided, leaving the door open for the team to draft a potential replacement for either role.

This year’s cornerbacks class is littered with talent, and the front office staff will have their work cut out for them when evaluating.

Here are six cornerbacks that could catch the eye of the Colts during the combine workouts Friday:

Kyu Blu Kelly, Stanford

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General manager Chris Ballard has a knack for drafting Senior Bowl talent, and if the team returns to that sourcing method, Standford’s Kyu Blu Kelly fits the bill. Voted the National Team’s Cornerback Practice Player-of-Week, Kelly was a highly disruptive standout who quickly locked down any opponent.

Kelly would bring a strong, physical presence as a man coverage corner and one with a knack for the football. When asked about what he brings, he said, “Competitively, I want to play man-to-man. I don’t need any help. It’s me against you, and may the best man win.”

Kelee Ringo, Georgia

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Kirby Smart’s defense at Georgia is a pool of incredible talent, including Kelee Ringo, a long, explosive athlete and another man coverage cover who would thrive with the Colts. Ringo has elite speed and tracking abilities, making him sticky in coverage and able to keep up with the best receivers.

Something that could also interest the Colts: he has versatile coverage skills; He’s well-equipped in both man and zone concepts. The key to Ringo will be helping him use these skills to his advantage.

Mekhi Blackmon, USC

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A Colorado transfer, Mekhi Blackmon took his talents to USC and never looked back. Blackmon had career-best numbers in nearly every category. He ended his season with 66 tackles (including 45 solo), 13 passes defended, and three interceptions.

Blackmon grades out as a high-football IQ player with tremendous upside. He can fit multiple schemes and is a natural human highlight reel. If Blackmon can stay healthy and be coachable, he’s a potential sleeper pick.

Jakorian Bennett, Maryland

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Jakorian Bennett is a JUCO transfer who found his home in Maryland. His time there saw him play multiple positions, including safety, something the Colts could lean on given the durability of the team’s group the last few seasons. Additionally, he showed off his ability to cover the field from any angle during the Senior Bowl.

He’s strong against the run and holds up well when matched against receivers. If Bennett can unlock his ability to find the ball as he did in Mobile, he’ll be a solid addition to the secondary.

Garrett Williams, Syracuse

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Shooting up the draft board is Syracuse’s Garrett Williams. The current projection for Williams is a backup who could be a starter. This could work to the team’s advantage if they keep Kenny Moore and let Brandon Facyson walk in free agency.

Williams is a big, physical corner with good balance and smooth transitions. He also has solid instincts, is twitchy, and is an all-around high-character guy who was voted team captain.

Julius Brents, Kansas State

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Another cornerback with rising stock is Kansas State’s Julius Brents, who has already met with all 32 teams. An Indianapolis native, Brents would fit nicely with Lucas Oil Stadium as his stomping grounds.

He has a knack for finding the football and impressive closing speed when he tackles, using his size and explosiveness. Brents makes adjustments well but will need to stay disciplined in his pursuits. However,  he has all the makings of a nifty tool for the Colts.

Story originally appeared on Colts Wire