When the preseason ends, most may not even know who Caesar Rayford is, but don’t be surprised if the rookie is among the active 53-man roster for Week 1 when the Indianapolis Colts host the Oakland Raiders in Lucas Oil Stadium on Sept. 8.
Rayford is a very strong outside linebacker and brings constant pressure. He could be a gem and make this linebacking corps even deeper. He already has six tackles this preseason and three sacks. He was in my mind for the defensive player of the game against the New York Giants Sunday night as he brought the heat every play and just seemed to always be around the ball.
Rayford is a long 6-foot-7, 267-pound player that honestly looks comparable to Aldon Smith. With his size, quickness and build, he’s tough to block as he’s so quick off the edge. It could be the second undrafted gem the Colts have found in as many years as no one knew who Jerrell Freeman was last year before he made the pick six on the first possession of the game in Week 1 against the Chicago Bears in the 2012 season. Freeman would go on to lead the team in tackles and help the Colts defense make the transition from a 4-3 to a hybrid 3-4.
Rayford has certainly played his way onto this roster and could make an immediate impact on this team. He won’t start, but only adds depth as he has the potential to be a star.
Fans should become familiar with him now. He’s going to make this team.