On Thursday, the Indianapolis Colts announced that they signed five undrafted free agents.
Those five players match our 2021 NFL Draft Indianapolis Colts Undrafted Free Agent Tracker released after the draft:
- Duke running back Deon Jackson
- Texas wide receiver Tarik Black
- USC wide receiver Tyler Vaughns
- Liberty linebacker Anthony Butler
- BYU linebacker Isaiah Kaufusi
In a corresponding move, the Colts also waived cornerback Will Sunderland.
After four years at Duke, including the last three as their starting running back, Jackson (5'11", 218) carried the ball 526 times for 2,267 yards (4.3 avg.) and 18 touchdowns as well as 61 receptions for 534 yards (8.8 avg.) and four touchdowns. He also returned 28 kickoffs for 611 yards (21.8 avg.).
Jackson joins Darius Anderson and Benny LeMay behind Jonathan Taylor, Nyheim Hines, Marlon Mack, and Jordan Wilkins on the running back depth chart.
Black is arguably the Colts' most interesting undrafted signing as a terrific athlete who has yet to put it all together. At 6'3", 213, he checks off the "big," "strong," and "fast" boxes but he underwhelmed in his time at Michigan (2017-19) and Texas (2020) where he moved as a graduate transfer. In 50 career games, he totaled 50 receptions for 747 yards (14.9 avg.) and 3 touchdowns.
Vaughns (6'2", 184) was quite a productive player for the Trojans over the last four years as a starter, ultimately earning Second-Team All-Pac-12 honors in 2020. The former teammate of second-year Colts receiver Michael Pittman Jr., Vaughns caught 222 passes for 2,801 yards (12.6 avg.) and 20 touchdowns. He also returned 30 punts for 267 yards (8.9 avg.) and 1 touchdown.
Black and Vaughns will likely compete against Dezmon Patmon, Ashton Dulin, DeMichael Harris, J.J. Nelson, Mike Strachan, Quartney Davis, Gary Jennings for the Colts' final wide receiver spots on the roster.
Butler (6'1", 222) is a very experienced collegiate player who spent four years with Charlotte (2016-19) before transferring to Liberty in his final season. He's totaled 213 tackles (14.5 for loss), 4.5 sacks, 2 interceptions, and 8 pass breakups.
A three-year starter for BYU, Kaufusi's (6'2", 221) stats ascended each season, totaling 204 tackles (14.0 for loss), 4.0 sacks, 4 forced fumbles, 4 fumbles recovered, 5 interceptions (1 touchdown), and 10 pass breakups over four years.
Butler and Kaufusi seem like long shots for the roster against a solid Colts linebacker corps (even the depth), but they will push for roster spots against depth linebackers Zaire Franklin, E.J. Speed, Jordan Glasgow, Matthew Adams, Malik Jefferson, and Skai Moore.
What do you think of the Colts' undrafted free agent signings? Drop your thoughts below in the comment section!