Indianapolis Colts Offseason Spotlight: Isaiah Land

Indianapolis Colts defensive end Isaiah Land flashed in limited playing time as a rookie. Can he take the next step in year two?
Indianapolis Colts linebacker Isaiah Land (55) and Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Josh Downs (1) make their way to the field Sunday, Dec. 24, 2023, before a game against the Atlanta Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.
Indianapolis Colts linebacker Isaiah Land (55) and Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Josh Downs (1) make their way to the field Sunday, Dec. 24, 2023, before a game against the Atlanta Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. / Robert Scheer/IndyStar / USA TODAY
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The Indianapolis Colts claimed defensive end Isaiah Land off of waivers from the Dallas Cowboys after the preseason last year. Land, 24, appeared in just 31 defensive snaps for the Colts despite remaining on the roster for the entirety of the season.

Land went undrafted in the 2023 NFL Draft after touting an outstanding collegiate resume. He led all of college football in both tackles for a loss (25.5) and in sacks (19.0) back in 2021 with Florida A&M. For his career, Land finished with 42.5 tackles for a loss and 29.0 sacks at the college level.

Land was seen as a project player coming into the league, and the Cowboys seemed like a good fit for the productive edge rusher. He was a surprise cut coming out of camp, and the Colts were fortunate enough to scoop up this intriguing athlete.

The opportunities for Land may not be there in year two with the addition of Laiatu Latu in the draft, but can this young pass rusher still make a name for himself in training camp?

Intriguing Upside

Land was a productive college player who boasts strong athletic traits. He posted an elite 126-inch broad jump in last year's pre-draft process and also posted strong numbers in the forty-yard dash (4.62 seconds).

His lack of bend and his shorter arms are a bit concerning, but he has found ways to mitigate those concerns in his career with excellent play strength and explosion. Again, he only saw the field for 31 defensive snaps last season, but he made his few snaps count when he was on the field.

Land finished last season with 1.0 sack, two QB hurries, and three total tackles for the Colts. Similarly to Adetomiwa Adebawore, he saw a majority of his playing time in reserve during the Colts' middle of the season stretch against the Carolina Panthers, the New England Patriots, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Land showcased good burst and fluidity on his pass rushing snaps, and his lone run stop came on a fantastic rep against All-Pro left tackle Tristan Wirfs. It's easy to see the intrigue in this young player on these few highlights.

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The Next Step in Development

Ultimately, the most important aspect for Land this offseason is playing time. He needs more reps in actual game situations to showcase what he can do and gain experience from playing. That may not happen in Indy this upcoming season, but he can at least take advantage of the preseason by dominating against second and third string offensive linemen in the meantime.

Land's play strength and explosion are already NFL-ready, he just needs to continue to refine his overall technique. He doesn't appear to have a go-to pass rush move at the moment, and he struggles to finsh off of the edge once he wins his initial step. If he can add that extra element to his game heading into training camp, he should have no issues against the Colts' depth offensive tackles in practice.

The Bottom Line

The Colts' roster crunch at defensive end is going to be tough to crack this offseason, but young pass rusher Isaiah Land showed some promise as a rookie in 2023. If he is able to build off of his rookie campaign and come into Colts' camp more refined and ready to go, the Colts will have a tough time letting this intriguing athlete go at the end of the offseason.

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Zach Hicks


Zach Hicks is the Lead Analyst for Zach has been on the NFL beat since 2017. His works have appeared on, the Locked On Podcast Network,,, &