Hassan Ridgeway Bolsters the Colts' Interior Defensive Line
With his teammate, defensive tackle Malcom Brown, impressing in his rookie campaign for the New England Patriots, it isn't surprising to hear that Hassan Ridgeway is also on the path for NFL success.
As a big man (6'3", 303 pounds) with pass rush skills, the defensive tackle from Texas offers the Indianapolis Colts a rare compilation of talent that all teams covet.
Given the depth of the defensive tackle position in this year's draft, Ridgeway slid to pick 116, in the fourth round, but his talent is undeniable.
Ridgeway in College
At Texas, Ridgeway proceeded to build an impressive resume, starting his sophomore year.
Starting the final 10 games, Ridgeway went on to rack up 43 tackles, 11 tackles for a loss, and 6 sacks alongside Brown. His junior year hit a few speed bumps with injuries piling up, limiting him to 36 tackles, 6.5 tackles for a loss, and 3.5 sacks despite only starting in eight of the 11 games he played in.
Deciding to leave a year early for the NFL Draft was met with lukewarm criticism, with some scouts saying he could have benefited from one more year in college.
Ridgeway at the Combine
In terms of how he performed at the NFL Combine, in no one area did Ridgeway excel, but when you put his numbers in context, you see how impressive an athlete he is.
Ridgeway ran a 5.02-second 40-yard dash, racked up 24 reps of 225 pounds on the bench, and had a 32" vertical, a 9'5" broad jump, a 8.28 second 3-cone drill, and a 4.82-second short shuttle. Some of those numbers were comparable to wide receivers (the 32" vertical), tight ends (5.02-second 40-yard dash), and defensive backs (9'5" broad jump).
Even more impressive is that he improved upon his short shuttle (4.69) and three-cone drill (7.33) at his pro day.
With the right system and team around him, Ridgeway could easily outperform the standards set by Thornton and Bromley before him.
Ridgeway's NFL Potential
An NFL general manager talking to NFL.com, "He's more talented than Malcom Brown was coming out but his conditioning and injuries worry you."
If Ridgeway can stay healthy and get into every-down shape, he could be a considerable force to be reckoned with. Now paired with another interior force in Henry Anderson, the two could wreak havoc on offensive lines.
The Colts got a high-upside steal in the fourth-round who, with conditioning and some further development, will provide a nice complement to Anderson, a stellar defensive tackle.