- The Colts have signed third-round defensive end Tarell Basham, the 80th overall pick, meaning all eight members of their draft class are now under contract. Basham starred the previous four years at Ohio, where he amassed 38.5 tackles and 27 sacks, and could help upgrade a Colts pass rush that finished a mediocre 19th in sacks last season.
- The Colts have announced the signing of fourth-round defensive tackle Grover Stewart. Formerly with Albany State, Stewart went to Indianapolis with pick No. 144. He has the makings of a developmental project, according to Zierlein.
The Colts have signed first-round pick Malik Hooker. As dictated by his slot, he’ll get a four-year, $12.6MM deal with a $7.304MM signing bonus.
Hooker did not participate in the Colts‘ rookie minicamp earlier this month and will likely be held out until training camp. The No. 15 overall pick underwent surgeries in January to repair a torn labrum and address a hernia issue, so the Colts will be taking the safe approach with him.
Heading into the draft, Hooker was viewed as a potential top ten pick despite the health concerns. In his final year at Ohio State, Hooker racked up 74 total tackles, 5.5 tackles for a loss, and an eye-popping seven interceptions. Some talent evaluators preferred Hooker to LSU safety Jamal Adams who went nine picks earlier to the Jets.
Hooker wasn’t the fastest defensive back in this year’s class, but his natural instincts propelled him to the top of many draft boards. Some have knocked his lack of starting experience – 2016 was his only year as a full-year starter – but his potential is evident.
“[He’s] still so raw and you see him making all of those plays. He’s a player who will come in and look bad his first year and then be an all-pro by his third year. I think that’s his arc. No short-cut for experience,” one AFC personnel director told Lance Zierlein of NFL.com.
- The Colts announced that they’ve signed fourth-round running back Marlon Mack. After three years at South Florida, Mack could have an easy ascendance to Indianapolis’ No. 2 running back role behind starter Frank Gore, as his only competition is Robert Turbin and Josh Ferguson. At the very least, Mack should see playing time as a pass-catching back in the Colts’ offense.
The Gerald Hodges free agency tour continues. After meeting with the Jets last week, Hodges visited the Colts on Tuesday, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. Next up is a visit with the Patriots on Wednesday and the Jaguars on Thursday.
Hodges spent 2016 with the 49ers and quietly had a strong season. The 26-year-old amassed 80 total tackles, three sacks, and two picks in 15 games (12 starts) with San Francisco. He also ranked 21st among Pro Football Focus’ 87 qualified linebackers.
The Colts have already gone to great lengths this offseason to revamp the defense. At linebacker alone, the Colts have made seven major additions, including free agents John Simon, Sean Spence, Jabaal Sheard, Barkevious Mingo, and Jonathan Bostic. The team also added two ‘backers in the draft in third rounder Tarell Basham and fifth round pick Anthony Walker Jr.
In addition to the aforementioned Jets visit, Hodges met with the Chiefs and Seahawks in March. He left both meetings without a deal, however, and we haven’t heard any buzz about a deal with KC or Seattle.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.
Here are today’s draft pick signings, with teams continuing to work on their Day 3 additions.
- The Bengals added five draft choices on Monday — including five of their final six picks in an 11-selection draft. Cincinnati reached agreements with fourth-round defensive tackle Ryan Glasgow (Michigan), fifth-round kicker Jake Elliott (Memphis), sixth-round linebacker Jordan Evans (Oklahoma), sixth-round safety Brandon Wilson (Houston) and seventh-round tight end Mason Schreck (Buffalo). This large draft contingent will bring about heavy roster competition, with 11 roster spots likely unavailable. Elliott was one of three kickers taken in the draft, but the other two came off the board in the seventh round. He and Randy Bullock figure to battle for a job.
- Fourth-round safety Eddie Jackson signed his Bears deal. The Alabama product will step into a safety corps that includes recently signed Quintin Demps and two-year starter Adrian Amos.
- Continuing the string of fourth-round signings, the Colts and tackle Zach Banner (USC) agreed to terms. Banner could provide depth or possibly compete for a starting spot on the right side of Indianapolis’ offensive line, which is less settled than the left side. The Colts did not use another pick on a blocker after having four offensive linemen from their 2016 draft class on the roster.
Teams are doing lots of spring cleaning today, so we’ll split the moves into two separate posts for each conference. First up, the AFC:
- The Raiders announced the signing of safety Marcus McWilson. A Kentucky product, McWilson played in 13 games for the Wildcats in 2016, racking up 108 tackles (4.5 for loss) and one interception, which he returned for a touchdown.
- Following suit on a busy transaction day for fringe roster cogs, the Ravens added four UDFAs to their offseason roster. Baltimore added linebacker Randy Allen (South Alabama), wide receiver Aaron Bailey (Northern Iowa), defensive back Jaylen Hill (Jacksonville State) and tackle Roubbens Joseph (Buffalo), Jamison Hensley of ESPN.com reports.
- The Browns signed defensive backs Donte Carey and Najee Murray. Both players participated in the team’s rookie minicamp on a tryout basis. To make room, the team waived offensive lineman Josh Boutte.
- The Titans signed defensive lineman Jimmy Staten, a fifth-round draft pick by Seattle in 2014. In addition to Staten, they inked defensive lineman Cameron Robbins (Northwestern), linebacker Johnny Ragin (Oregon), cornerback Trevon Hartfield (Southwestern Oklahoma State), and kicker Jordan Gay (Centre). Staten, Robbins, Ragin and Hartfield all took part in the team’s rookie minicamp. To make space, the Titans waived defensive lineman Roderick Henderson and linebacker Reshard Cliett.
- The Jets announced the signing of linebacker Jevaris Jones and released fellow linebacker Austin Calitro.
- The Colts signed free agent guard Blake Muir and four undrafted free agents: cornerback Dante Blackmon, safety Tyson Graham, wide receiver Al-Damion Riles, and offensive tackle Andrew Wylie. To make room for the new players, the team parted ways with center/guard Austin Blythe (a 2016 seventh-round pick) and cornerback Frankie Williams. The Colts also waived three 2017 UDFAs: wide receiver Jerome Lane, cornerback Chris Lyles, and guard Chris Muller.
- The Bills have signed linebackers Abner Logan and Anthony Harrell while waiving safety Jeremy Tyler and linebacker Junior Sylvestre.
Here are today’s minor moves.
- A day after being waived by the Bills, cornerback Marcus Roberson landed with the Texans via waiver claim, Field Yates of ESPN.com reports (Twitter link, per ESPN.com’s Mike Rodak). Roberson represents another member of the Bills’ cornerback contingent to be added elsewhere, joining Stephon Gilmore and Nickell Robey-Coleman.
- The Ravens now have all the players to whom they extended an RFA or ERFA tender to signed. ERFA inside linebacker Lamar Louis signed his tender today, Jeff Zreibec of the Baltimore Sun tweets.
- After giving rookie UDFA Colin Buchanan a $10K signing bonus, the Saints waived him with a “left squad” designation, Nick Underhill of The Advocate reports (on Twitter). The Saints also guaranteed $10K of the Miami (Ohio) product’s rookie salary, per Underhill (on Twitter).
- The Colts signed free agent DT Josh Boyd and waived OLB Curt Maggitt with an injury settlement.