Draft Rewind: Colts' Best Undrafted Gems in Last 5 Drafts

These are the Colts' five most recent undrafted gems.
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Did you know that a rookie undrafted free agent has made the Indianapolis Colts' opening-day roster for 22 consecutive years, the longest such streak in the NFL?

It shows that no matter how a player enters the league, if they can play then they have a shot with the Colts.

Because of that, we've got a bonus piece for you to conclude our series on the five most recent picks by the Colts in each of the seven rounds.

Today, we take a look at the top five undrafted gems from the last five years.

Nov 22, 2020; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Indianapolis Colts kicker Rodrigo Blankenship (3) celebrates the game winning field goal with teammates in the overtime against the Green Bay Packers at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

K Rodrigo Blankenship

2020

  • Colts Career Stats: 16 games, 32-of-37 field goals (86.5%), 43-of-45 extra points (95.6%), 139 points
  • Pro Bowl: 0
  • All-Pro: 0
  • Colts Tenure: 2020-Present

Late in training camp, the rookie wasn't expected by reporters to win the kicking job against the incumbent Chase McLaughlin, but the Colts made the curious choice to pick Blankenship to be their new kicker and it paid dividends as he finished fifth in the NFL in scoring. He finished the season with the most field goals made by a rookie in Colts franchise history, and he tied the legendary Adam Vinatieri for the fourth-most points in a season in franchise history. Blankenship was named the Week 11 AFC Special Teams Player of the Week after his game-winning overtime field goal against the Green Bay Packers and was named to the PFWA All-Rookie Team at season's end.

Sep 10, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Indianapolis Colts defensive back Chris Milton (28) dives to try to block Los Angeles Rams kicker Greg Zuerlein (4) 44-yard field goal in the third quarter at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

CB/ST Chris Milton

2016

  • Colts Career Stats: Started 1-of-35 games, 28 tackles, 2 fumbles recovered, 2 pass breakups
  • Pro Bowl: 0
  • All-Pro: 0
  • Colts Tenure: 2016-18

Milton was mainly a special teams contributor but there was a stretch of a couple of years where very few NFL players across the league were playing better on special teams than him, particularly on punt coverage. Since departing Indianapolis, Milton has spent time with the Tennessee Titans (2019-20) and now the New York Giants.

For transparency — and so you guys can feel my pain on how difficult the final cut was — Milton earned the final spot over current Colts wide receiver DeMichael Harris and 2017 UDFA quarterback Phillip Walker.

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Dec 8, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; Indianapolis Colts defensive back George Odum (30) forces the fumble of Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Dare Ogunbowale (44) during the first half at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

S/ST George Odum

2018

  • Colts Career Stats: Started 3-of-48 games, 95 tackles (1 for loss), 3 forced fumbles, 1 fumble recovered, 1 interception, 2 pass breakups, 1 quarterback hit
  • Pro Bowl: 0
  • All-Pro: 1
  • Colts Tenure: 2018-Present

Many of us quickly became fond of Odum as a rookie in 2018 while playing safety. Little did we know that two years later he would barely ever play defense but would become a First-Team All-Pro special teamer. Odum was credited with the second-best special teams grade in the NFL by Pro Football Focus with a 90.9, and he led the league with 20 special teams tackles. He became just the seventh player in franchise history to register at least 20 special teams tackles in a single season and tied Derwin Gray and Robert Mathis for the fifth-most special teams tackles by a Colts player in a single season.

Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Chester Rogers (80) returns a punt in the first half of their game at Lucas Oil Stadium on Sunday, Nov. 18, 2018. The Indianapolis Colts Host The Tennessee Titans In Nfl Action. © Matt Kryger/IndyStar

WR/PR Chester Rogers

2016

  • Colts Career Stats: Started 22-of-53 games, 111 receptions (171 targets) for 1,221 yards (11.0 avg.) and 5 touchdowns, 5 carries for 22 yards (4.4 avg.), 60 punt returns for 551 yards (9.2 avg.), 5 kickoff returns for 42 yards (8.4 avg.)
  • Pro Bowl: 0
  • All-Pro: 0
  • Colts Tenure: 2016-19

Rogers caught some flack from fans for his inconsistent hands (career drop rate of 12.4%), but the truth is he was perfectly adequate for what the Colts needed in a slot receiver. He could make the short, quick catches and create yards with the ball in his hands, averaging 4.2 yards after the catch per reception in his time in Indy. He was also a very reliable punt returner capable of taking a long return into the opponent's territory.

Dec 27, 2020; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Indianapolis Colts punter Rigoberto Sanchez (8) punts the ball to the Pittsburgh Steelers during the second quarter at Heinz Field. Pittsburgh won 28-24. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

P Rigoberto Sanchez

2017

  • Colts Career Stats: 62 games, 242 punts for 45.3 avg., 42.2 net avg., 98 inside-20, 13 touchbacks
  • Pro Bowl: 0
  • All-Pro: 0
  • Colts Tenure: 2017-Present

Named to PFWA's All-Rookie Team in 2017, "Rigo" was a stud long before he carved one of the best feel-good stories of the 2020 NFL season. In Week 12, Sanchez learned he was diagnosed with a cancerous tumor that needed to be removed. With that knowledge, he still suited up to kick that week. After his procedure, he'd miss just the next two games before returning to the field. Serving as the Colts' punter, kickoff specialist, and kick holder for four years, he's played at a Pro Bowl level for a while now despite never being named to the team. Although not known as a cannon-legged kicker, there aren't many better than him at placing his punts around the field with precision.

How do you feel about these being the Colts' best undrafted gems from the last five years? Drop your thoughts below in the comment section!



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