Southern Illinois RB Justin Strong an intriguing tryout candidate for Colts

Participating in Colts’ rookie minicamp this past weekend were 36 players in for a tryout. Of that group, Southern Illinois running back Justin Strong was one of the more intriguing participants.

Listed at just under 6-0 and weighing 206 pounds, Strong is an excellent athlete. During the pre-draft process, he recorded a Relative Athletic Score of 9.94, which included a 4.5-second 40 and overall elite testing across the board.


In four years at Southern Illinois, Strong carried the ball just 288 times and never more than 84 times in a single season. For his career, he averaged 4.8 yards per rush with 12 touchdowns.

Strong was moved around the formation, lining up in the slot as well as out wide, and was fairly active in the passing game, catching 81 percent of his 97 total targets at 8.0 yards per reception with eight more scores.

“My film shows that I am a dynamic player,” said Strong via NFL Draft Diamonds. “I can be used in the run game, pass game for blocks, run routes, and can make play on special teams.”

Overall, in terms of touches, Strong is a bit inexperienced, but at the running back position, that could be a good thing. Not to mention that his athletic profile alone may be enough to justify adding him to the 91-man roster.

This summer, there will be a competition taking place for the backup running back role behind Jonathan Taylor, headlined by Trey Sermon and Evan Hull.

“We got some young guys that came in, and Trey (Sermon) did a really good job when he came in and played for us last year,” said GM Chris Ballard. “So we got some guys on the roster that we like. We get (Evan) Hull back. Hull’s healthy, we get him back, so we get to see what he can do and he showed us some good signs last year.”

Along with Sermon and Hull are Tyler Goodson, Zavier Scott, and Trent Pennix, who is a former college tight end that the Colts just recently signed as an undrafted rookie.

As of now, there hasn’t been any news that the Colts are going to sign Strong after rookie minicamp. But if they are going to make any sort of addition, a corresponding cut would have to be made since the roster is at full capacity.

Story originally appeared on Colts Wire