The Indianapolis Colts have a total of 19 undrafted free agents to go along with the five selections they made in the 2014 NFL Draft for a total of 24 rookies attending training camp this offseason.
Former University of Delaware nose tackle Zach Kerr is one of the rookies that will be on the Colts’ watch list for good reason.
Kerr comes into camp as an undrafted rookie free agent who has experience playing in a 3-4 style defense at Delaware, the same defensive scheme the Colts run.
At 6-foot-2 and weighing 310 pounds Kerr may be a little slimmer than most nose tackles, but he sure doesn’t play like it. When I watch the film on Kerr, he plays with a lot of speed for a nose tackle and has great block shedding skills at the point of attack. He provides a lot of athleticism that could really come in handy for a Colts defense that ranked 26th in total rush defense in the NFL last season.
The nose tackle position requires players to become big at the position and to bring double teams so holes open up for linebackers to pursue the football. Kerr has taken his fair share of double teams at Delaware and has handled them well.
At 6-feet and weighing 341 pounds, nose tackle Josh Chapman is the only other player listed at that position on the Colts’ roster so the opportunity for Kerr to earn a spot on the team is very high. While there are other defensive tackles on the Colts’ roster that could be rotated into the mix, having Kerr, who has years of experience in a 3-4 scheme, rotate with Chapman throughout the course of a season could be only a positive for the Colts defense.
The loss of outside linebacker Robert Mathis to suspension for four games will affect the Colts in their matchups they will be without him. He provided a lot of speed on the outside when he rushed the quarterback as he led the NFL in sacks this past season. Most likely last year’s first round selection Bjoern Werner will be asked to fill his spot while Mathis serves his time, which will be big shoes to fill.
Even though Kerr won’t be playing that same position, his speed and power he brings on the defensive front from the inside could be exactly what the Colts need to survive the early weeks without Mathis. Look for Kerr to earn his spot on the roster as he can be the answer the Colts have been looking for to help stop the run.