AFC Notes: Colts, Raiders, Texans

     

Colts

The Colts have invested significant draft resources in bolstering the defensive line in recent seasons, taking DE Kemoko Turay and DL Tyquan Lewis in the second round in 2018 and adding DE Ben Banogu in the second round last year. Of the three, Turay seemed most primed for a breakout before an ankle injury sent him to injured reserve in Week 5. 

“Losing Kemoko Turay was a big hit,” Colts GM Chris Ballard said via 1075TheFan.com’s Kevin Bowen. “You saw it against the Chargers. I think you saw it against Kansas City. Neither one of those teams could block him. He was a fastball that we needed. I thought he really took another step. You always see a pretty big step between Year 1 and Year 2. Sometimes it takes a little longer with pass rushers. He took the step in the right direction and he’s worked his butt off to get healthy.”

As for Lewis, an injury also derailed the high expectations the team had for him. While he was able to return later in the season, he wasn’t the same and ended up being inactive for a few games despite the Colts’ need for interior pass rush. Ballard said he had a long talk with Lewis and both sides understand 2020 needs to be a big year for him. 

“We’re going to expect him to come in and really show what we think his talent level is,” he said. “Where we end up playing him, we see him as a guy who can play both at end and inside, and he’s got to be able to give that to us.”

The same can be said for Banogu, who had a typical rookie season with flashes of potential mixed with bouts of inconsistency. With the biggest jump for many NFL players coming between their first and second seasons, expectations for Banogu in 2020 are also high. 

“Flashes from Ben, but need more,” Ballard said. “I think he’ll continue to develop. He has some of the same stuff Kemoko has. It’ll be fun to watch those two (ends) continue to develop.”

Raiders

  • According to Vincent Bonsignore of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the Raiders would be interested in former Ravens S Tony Jefferson, as he fits their scheme, however, they will want to clear him medically. 

Texans

  • John McClain of the Houston Chronicle writes that the Texans are better off with Laremy Tunsil than had they not made the trade for the left tackle and still had the No. 26 overall pick.
  • While there are some decent offensive tackle prospects in this year’s draft class, the belief is that the top offensive tackle prospects will be off the board by the time the Texans are on the clock.
  • McClain says that Houston’s investment in the offensive line last year leaves the Texans’ focus on the defensive side of the ball.
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