The Indianapolis Colts have been on the lookout for high-end pass rush help for quite some time now, but the tricky science behind it is that teams often have to draft and develop players to get it.
The Colts still have hope that they've found a player who fits that bill in defensive end Kemoko Turay, but they're not alone.
Recently, Bleacher Report listed a breakout candidate for each of the 32 NFL teams, and Turay made the list for the Colts:
The Indianapolis Colts have been patient with 2018 second-round pick Kemoko Turay. Everyone within the organization sees his immense potential, but the edge-defender must find a way to stay on the field.
"Maybe this is the year Kemoko can stay healthy and have a breakout year," head coach Frank Reich said on SiriusXM NFL Radio (h/t the Indianapolis Star's Jim Ayello). "He certainly has the talent for that."
Turay has an explosive first step plus the length and flexibility to consistently beat offensive tackles. However, over the last two seasons, the 25-year-old has played only 11 games. He registered 2.5 quarterback sacks and eight quarterback hits during that span.
With Justin Houston a free agent and Denico Autry having signed with the Titans, Turay can be the pass-rusher the Colts need.Turay is someone that people want to believe in, as he's been listed as a breakout candidate in 2019 and 2020 after his rookie season.
The reason people are still awaiting a breakout from Turay is that his career was interrupted by a serious ankle injury in 2019 which caused him to miss the final 11 games of the season and the first nine of 2020.
When Turay suffered the injury, he was Pro Football Focus' best-graded edge rusher in the entire NFL with a grade of 91.3.
In 25 career games (3 starts), Turay has totaled 24 tackles (2 for loss), 6.5 sacks, and 2 forced fumbles.
According to PFF, he has 66 quarterback pressures, including 45 hurries and 13 hits.
When Turay returned last season, it was more about getting his feet back under him than being a big impact player. He totaled 4 tackles (1 for loss) and 1.0 sack in seven games.
The Colts finished tied for 12th in the NFL in sacks with 40, but they need serious pass rush help now after losing starting defensive end Denico Autry in free agency as fellow starter Justin Houston is also a 32-year-old free agent.
Now another year past his injury, and with the work ethic, explosion, and athleticism to be an impact pass rusher, perhaps 2021 is a big season for Turay.
Is Kemoko Turay on his way to breaking out in 2021? Drop your thoughts below in the comment section!