The acquisition of DeForest Buckner may go down as Chris Ballard's best move in his Indianapolis Colts tenure. While the price was a bit hefty, Buckner's play in year one showed why the deal was completely worth it.
In 16 games played (including playoffs), Buckner totaled 32 tackles, 30 hurries, 17 quarterback hits, and 10 sacks (according to Pro Football Focus). Those numbers were good enough to land him a First-Team All-Pro nod in year one with the Colts.
For today's film room, I decided to look back and chart all of Buckner's QB hits and sacks. I charted each rush move on those plays to see what Buckner's most effective pass rush was on the year.
The answer was obviously the swim move, as it has been Buckner's go-to move throughout his career. So today, I rank his top three swim move rushes from last year for you to enjoy.
Ranking Buckner's Best Swim Move Rushes
This ranking was extremely hard because most of these rushes are absurd for a player of Buckner's size. At 6'7" 300 pounds, his ability to combine elite athleticism, bend, and power make this move almost impossible to block.
Nonetheless, I was able to narrow the list down to my three favorites. I charted eight quarterback hits/sacks in total where Buckner used the swim move to success in 2020 (six hits and two sacks).
Coming in at number three is this beautiful swim move against the Las Vegas Raiders in week 14. There was a lot of competition for this final spot but I thought this clip best showcased Buckner's insane speed and power.
The added incentive which pushed this clip into the third spot was the fact that it came against former Colts offensive lineman Denzelle Good. Good was a tackle for the Colts from 2015-2018 and has had a successful transition to guard with the Raiders.
Buckner makes the veteran offensive lineman stumble to the ground on this overpowering swim move. Devastating move by an All-Pro player.
Coming in at number two was this rush in week two against the Minnesota Vikings. After an underwhelming week one for Buckner and the Colts' defense, they stepped up their game against the Vikings.
While this isn't the most memorable rush from this game for Buckner, it is a great clip that shows when he truly arrived in Indianapolis.
The swim is impressive by itself, but the ability to turn the corner and track down the quarterback for the sack is special. Buckner's swim move has to be among the most unblockable pass rush moves in the entire NFL.
Coming in at the top spot is this sack against the Houston Texans in week 13. This was the last game where we saw a 100% healthy Buckner and he didn't disappoint, as he finished the game with three sacks.
This sack encompasses everything that is dominant about Buckner. He puts the guard on skates with a quick initial bull rush. He then strings together a swipe to get the guard on his heels.
Buckner then finishes off the rep with a quick swim move to move past the flailing guard. Deshaun Watson is helpless as the 6'7" defensive tackle closes in.
Here are the other five swim move rushes that didn't make the cut. Watch and enjoy Buckner's dominance on these swim moves:
DeForest Buckner is elite. I obviously didn't have to make this film room to make that statement but it just adds to the overwhelming evidence.
Buckner had an immediate impact in year one with the Colts and that was without any consistent edge rush. If Kwity Paye and Dayo Odeyingbo hit on their potential, we may see even better seasons from Buckner.
Since this is the offseason, I like to get to a lot of charting on the Colts' past season. If you would like to see more of these film rooms on a specific pass rush move for other players, let me know in the comments or at my Twitter handle listed below.
Follow Zach on Twitter @ZachHicks2.