Taven Bryan ‘super motivated’ to compete in Colts defense

The Indianapolis Colts added some depth to the defensive tackle position when they signed free-agent Taven Bryan to a prove-it deal earlier in the week.

A former first-round pick, Bryan hasn’t lived up to the billing of that draft capital, but he started to show signs during the 2022 season when he was given a bigger role with the Cleveland Browns.

Getting another prove-it deal, Bryan is motivated to continue his progression.

“I’m super motivated. Excited to be here, excited to meet the team, get to know everybody. Everybody in the facility is pretty nice. I’m excited and ready to go – help get some wins,” Bryan told reporters Friday.

The Florida product has just 8.0 sacks in his career across 79 games and 33 starts. Those aren’t exciting numbers for a former first-round pick whose game is modeled to get after the quarterback.

Whether it was a lack of development or a lack of opportunities, Bryan hasn’t produced like a typical player with his draft capital.

Still, he’s expected to compete for a role along the defensive line, specifically as a three-technique behind starter DeForest Buckner. His elite athleticism is what is intriguing, and he’s most comfortable rushing from the B-gap.

“Personally, I’ve played a little bit of everything. I like the 3-technique better. It fits my play style. I definitely have more experience at that. I’ve played a little bit of nose there too, not a big problem,” Bryan said.

The Colts want to have an emphasis on rotating the defensive line so it’s likely Bryan will be in a timeshare with Dayo Odeyingbo and Tyquan Lewis as well.

It’s a part of the game he expects should benefit the entire unit when done properly.

“I think there is always a good happy middle ground because usually it takes players a couple plays to get going. So if you get pulled out too quickly, you tend to not get a good flow of the game or kind of get a feel. Every team you watch on film is not going to be exactly how they look. Like a lot of times they change stuff up,” Bryan said. “So, being out there a little bit but not too long when it’s a 17-play drive, you’re tired, you kind of exhaust yourself. You come out there fresh, you can always give 100 percent and put some stress on the o-line and the offense.”

We’ll see if the Colts make any more additions to the interior defensive line, but Bryan should be competing for a rotational role behind Buckner at the three-technique.

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Story originally appeared on Colts Wire