While initial expectations should be tempered, rookie defensive lineman Dayo Odeyingbo is a name to eventually watch.
Somewhat lost in the shuffle of Indianapolis Colts news this week is that All-Pro offensive guard Quenton Nelson, rookie defensive lineman Dayo Odeyingo, and 2nd-year wideout Dezmon Patmon all either returned or debuted in team practice this week:
Quenton Nelson, Dayo Odeyingbo and Dezmon Patmon will return to practice this week.
— Joel A. Erickson (@JoelAErickson) October 20, 2021
In particular, Odeyingbo, the Colts’ 2021 2nd round pick, who has so far been rehabbing from a season-ending torn Achilles suffered with the Vanderbilt Commodores is an intriguing young talent to take notice of—and could eventually become a big addition.
At a listed 6’6”, 276 pounds (with tentacle like 35 1/4” arms), similar to long-armed Colts’ All-Pro defensive tackle DeForest Buckner, the 2020 First-Team All-SEC member could bring ‘juice’ to a Colts defensive line group that so far has lacked it pass rushing collectively:
Just a reminder… I think Dayo Odeyingbo is a beast and would’ve torn up the @seniorbowl & been a 1st round pick.
I don’t know how he’s feeling – but if he’s back to normal… Count me in. Glad to see he’s on the practice field for Indy today https://t.co/uxhOYKJ4ym
— Ben Fennell (@BenFennell_NFL) October 20, 2021
Right now, the Colts have 12 team sacks, which is tied for the 21st fewest in the NFL—and therefore ranks in the bottom half of the league among its 32 franchises.
While Buckner still brings big-time pressure in the interior, the Colts could use someone who can consistently complement him off the edge and help terrorize opposing quarterbacks along the outside—where Odeyingbo could eventually be utilized in a Denico Autry like role in the past:
Brian Baker says the Colts are starting Dayo Odeyingbo out at DE primarily, but eventually they see him as a guy who’ll move inside.
Don’t want to drown him right away
— Joel A. Erickson (@JoelAErickson) October 21, 2021
Even though initial expectations should be tempered, as Odeyingbo is still a rookie recovering from a very serious, oftentimes explosion sapping lower leg injury, his physical package and proven production in the SEC collegiately make him a tantalizing talent to really dream upon:
Colts RB Jonathan Taylor on rookie DE Dayo Odeyingbo, who made his practice debut yesterday: “Guys that big aren’t supposed to move the way he moves.”
— Zak Keefer (@zkeefer) October 21, 2021
Jonathan Taylor on Dayo Odeyingbo: “When you’ve got guys like that, the only thing you can do is just accept he’s special.”
Size, speed, mobility stands out as unique to the second-year RB. #Colts
— George Bremer (@gmbremer) October 21, 2021
Whether his impact comes more immediately in 2021 or as an eventual down the road contributor—with an eye towards 2022, Odeyingbo could ultimately be the defensive line talent to take this group to new heights—although let’s also just pump the breaks a bit and realize that he’s still a rookie, recovering from serious injury.
He’s the wild card of the Colts defensive line room—although the question now is just when will he make his official career pro debut and potentially add a much needed pass rushing presence.