CBS Sports Reveals Colts Most Underappreciated Player for 2024

The Indianapolis Colts have a defensive leader being overlooked for the 2024 season.
Indianapolis Colts defensive end Samson Ebukam (52) walks the sidelines Sunday, Dec. 3, 2023, during a game against the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tenn.
Indianapolis Colts defensive end Samson Ebukam (52) walks the sidelines Sunday, Dec. 3, 2023, during a game against the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tenn. / Robert Scheer/IndyStar / USA TODAY
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Last season the Indianapolis Colts acquired then-free agent defensive end Samson Ebukam for three years, $24 million (per Over The Cap). At first glance, this didn't seem like much of a signing for Indianapolis. Before 2023, Ebukam was mostly a rotational defensive end for the Los Angeles Rams and San Francisco 49ers, acquiring 23.5 sacks, 28 tackles for loss, eight fumbles forced, and a defensive touchdown through six seasons. While these numbers aren't earth-shattering, Ebukam had to play alongside elite-level talent throughout his first six years on the West Coast. This relegated him to more of a situational pass-rusher than a solidified starter. But when he was on the field the talent was easy to spot and Indianapolis took notice.

Ebukam used his opportunity with Indianapolis to show he's a better talent than anyone outside the Colts organization thought. Ebukam had a career year, notching 9.5 sacks (led the team), 57 tackles (10 for loss), three forced fumbles, and 48 quarterback pressures, per Pro Football Focus. Others around the NFL world have taken notice of Ebukam, including Tyler Sullivan of CBS Sports. Sullivan believes Ebukam to be the most underappreciated player for the Colts and explains why.

Ebukam proved to be a heck of a find for the Colts last offseason and an ideal replacement for Yannick Ngakoue along Indy's defensive line. The veteran mirrored his sack totals with a team-leading 9.5 in 2023 (a career-high) and also finished the year with 57 tackles, 17 quarterback hits three forced fumbles. In a defense that features DeForest Buckner, Kwity Paye, and first-round rookie Laiatu Latu, don't sleep on Ebukam. 

Tyler Sullivan | CBS Sports

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Ebukam is approaching 30 years old (29 currently) and will be entering his eighth NFL season. But he's shown no signs of regressing and won't back off just because the Colts drafted Laiatu Latu in round one. There's even a possibility that Ebukam thrives further with another potential solid pass-rusher like Latu on the defensive front, especially if Latu develops quickly and adjusts to the NFL level of offensive lines. But it's unavoidable to say that Latu being drafted so high (15th overall; top defender selected in 2024 class) puts every other pass rusher on Indy's roster on notice to step up their game, Ebukam included.

As 2024's opening kickoff gets closer, we'll see how Ebukam adjusts to Latu residing in his position group and a new coach directing things in Charlie Partridge. Ebukam could just be scratching the surface of what he can accomplish with the Colts, it will be exciting to see how the veteran performs in 2024 with a great supporting cast around him.

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Drake Wally


Drake Wally covers the Indianapolis Colts at Horseshoe Huddle and co-hosts the Horseshoe Huddle Podcast.