Indianapolis Colts rookie cornerback Julius Brents will have the chance to compete immediately for a starting spot on the boundary of Gus Bradley’s defense.
While that is partly due to the lack of starting talent the Colts had in the cornerback room going into the 2023 NFL draft, it mostly has to do with the fact that Brents is an ideal fit for Bradley’s zone-heavy scheme.
The marriage between Brents’ profile and Bradley’s scheme landed the rookie cornerback on Doug Farrar’s list of “the best NFL player/scheme fits” from the second round of the draft.
Here’s what Farrar had to say about Brents’ fit with the Colts over at Touchdown Wire:
Like the Steelers, the Colts and general manager Chris Ballard clearly wanted a new group of massive cornerbacks with the ability to press and envelop receivers off the line of scrimmage. There was the 6-foot-3, 198-pound Brents, taken with the 44th overall pick in the second round, South Carolina’s Darius Rush in the fifth round, and Texas A&M’s Jaylon Jones in the seventh round. All three of them should be able to excel in defensive coordinator Gus Bradley’s single-high island-based coverages. Indy’s top personnel man was particularly impressed by Brents’ physical profile.
“There are not a lot of guys 6-foot-3 playing corner in the league, but he is a really good athlete,” Ballard said of Brents. “He’s a really good fit for what we want to do because he’s a press corner. We do want to play a little more press coverage. We think he’s going to be really good at it. He’s got some unique traits. He’s a really good athlete and for a tall kid he can really change direction. We’re excited about it. We think he’s a really good fit for the defense.”
Last season for the Wildcats, Brents allowed just 24 catches on 52 targets for 374 yards, 123 yards after the catch, three touchdowns, four interceptions, three pas breakups, and an opponent passer rating of 57.7. On 15 snaps in press coverage in 2022, Brents gave up just six receptions for 33 yards — the longest catch he allowed in press was 15 yards, and there were more catches that went absolutely nowhere than those that did.
This two-yard loss against Texas A&M was one example of how well Brents can close down any quick-game stuff from press, which is mandatory in today’s NFL.
This is the two-yard loss play Farrar referenced above:
Brents’ physical profile was enough to intrigue the Colts. He’s a near-perfect fit for…