Return of CB Dallis Flowers provides Colts secondary with needed consistency

A key contributor to improved play at the cornerback position for the Colts in 2024 will be the return of Dallis Flowers, who appeared in only four games last season after suffering an Achilles injury.

The Colts choosing not to add to the cornerback position until the fifth round of the NFL draft does showcase some confidence in the group they already have on the roster.

When GM Chris Ballard was meeting with the media prior to the draft, he did sound bullish about the cornerback position, specifically the important role experience will play in the growth of players like JuJu Brents and Jaylon Jones, as well as getting Flowers back healthy.

“I think getting Dallis Flowers back will help,” said Ballard. “I think, looking back on it, when I made that statement, the injury part of it played into it, and then we gave him a bunch of rookies. Well now, they’re no longer rookies anymore. Jaylon Jones is no longer a rookie. JuJu (Brents) is no longer a rookie. Dallis Flowers we’re hoping to get back healthy.”

Flowers played 175 snaps as a rookie in 2022 after going undrafted out of Pittsburg State. In 2023, he was one of the Colts’ starting boundary cornerbacks.

In the four games before his injury, he allowed 11 completions on 18 targets and limited big plays, holding opponents to just 10.5 yards per catch. He would also force three pass breakups and had a pass rating when targeted below 100.

“I thought he was really impressive up until that injury,” said defensive coordinator Gus Bradley after the draft. “He did some good things. He’s got that maturity. Very driven. Knows what he wants and is pretty focused on that; you see him in these walkthroughs.”

As is to be expected to some degree when relying on inexperienced players, consistency was an issue for the Colts in the secondary. In short, too many explosive plays were surrendered, and not enough plays on the ball were being made, as the Colts ranked in the bottom half of the NFL in explosive pass plays surrendered and in the bottom third in pass breakups.

The only certainty right now at the cornerback position is that Kenny Moore will be in the slot. Otherwise, the two boundary spots are up for grabs, and consistency, more than anything else, will determine the winners of those starting roles.

“All of these guys are extremely competitive,” added Bradley. “They get along great, but you can tell they all have a sense of, ‘Hey, there’s some opportunities right here, and we’ve got to be on it.’ And the big thing for us is you got to make plays, but the consistency.

“We have a veteran group up front. We have a veteran group at the linebacker spot, and the big thing with them is you’ve got to be able to trust. I love everybody, but you’ve got to be able to trust the guy next to you, and that’s what they need to make sure they possess that trust when they’re on the field.”

Story originally appeared on Colts Wire