Micah McFadden, LB, Indiana
The Indianapolis Colts deploy five defensive backs frequently, and that isn’t likely to change even after a new defensive coordinator (Gus Bradley) was brought in following Matt Eberflus’ departure. Due to this, a majority of linebacker reps are taken by two players — Darius Leonard and Bobby Okereke. They are two of the best at the position in the NFL, but Leonard has yet to play a full season as a starter and Okereke did for the first time in 2021. The talent isn’t in question, but the durability concerns are valid.
Indiana’s own Micah McFadden is one of the most slept on linebackers in the 2022 NFL Draft. He is unlikely to ever grow into a full-time starter, but adding McFadden to Zaire Franklin gives the team extremely reliable backups. McFadden’s high IQ and willingness to engage ball carriers is his biggest selling point, along with being a leader for the Hoosier locker room over the course of his college career. He’s a hard worker and would be welcomed by the locker room with open arms.
Eric Johnson, DT, Missouri State
Eric Johnson is a player that I was late on, but he played at Missouri State so can you blame me? The school has only produced six draft picks in its history, with all of them being on the offensive side of the ball. The most recent being offensive tackle David Arkin, who was selected by the Dallas Cowboys in the fourth-round of the 2011 NFL Draft.
History may not be on Johnson’s side, but the football gods sure seem to be. He recorded a sack during the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl in January, and parlayed it into an invite to the Senior Bowl. There, Johnson continued to show that he belonged with the best while improving his draft stock. Just a couple short months ago, it looked like Johnson was destined to pave a path as an undrafted free agent, but this is no longer the case.
The Indianapolis Colts are pretty set on the defensive line, but you can never have too much support in the trenches. With Grover Stewart approaching age 30, it makes sense to add some youth to the position. Johnson, along with Tyquan Lewis and Dayo Odeyingbo, gives the Colts a trio of versatile players on the line.