Grade: Colts Select Dynamic Pass Rusher Laiatu Latu Round 1, Pick 15

After months of scouting, the Indianapolis Colts have selected Laiatu Latu with their first-round pick.
Apr 25, 2024; Detroit, MI, USA; UCLA Bruins defensive lineman Laiatu Latu greets NFL commissioner
Apr 25, 2024; Detroit, MI, USA; UCLA Bruins defensive lineman Laiatu Latu greets NFL commissioner / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
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The Indianapolis Colts used their first-round selection (15th overall) in the 2024 NFL Draft to select defensive end Laiatu Latu from UCLA

Few expected the Colts to use their 15th overall selection for a pass-rusher, but even less a defender with an injury history. However, the Colts now possess one of the most talented defenders in the 2024 draft class in Latu, who has battled through adversity to shine on high levels.

While he suffered a briefly career-ending neck injury in 2020, Latu returned with a vengeance for the UCLA Bruins in 2022 and 2023 after transferring away from the University of Washington. 

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Through those two seasons, Latu dominated by grabbing 85 tackles, 23.5 sacks, and 34 tackles for loss. If one can ignore the injury for a moment, Latu is one of the top players in this year’s draft, regardless of positional designation. If the Colts feel Latu is warranted of a 15th overall pick, fans should relax. 

While the Colts still need to address receiver and cornerback, every defense can always use more pass-rushers. Despite having names like Samson Ebukam, Dayo Odeyingbo, and Kwity Paye on the edge, adding Latu only amplifies how much pressure Indy’s front can bring to opposing passers. With last season showing a need for more aggressiveness on the defensive front, this addition works well with new defensive line coach Charlie Partridge.

If Latu’s health matches up with his game tape, Indy is getting a beast for their defense. 

Final Grade: A-

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Jake Arthur


Jake Arthur has covered the NFL and the Indianapolis Colts for a decade. He is a member of the Professional Football Writers of America (PFWA) and FantasyPros' expert panel. He has also contributed to multiple NFL Draft guides.