Colt Scout: Safety Donte Nicholson

The Colts worked out former Bucs safety Donte Nicholson this week. Jerry Langton shares his insight on Nicholson and what you could expect to see if the Colts end up offering him a contract.

Donte Nicholson
S, Oklahoma

6'1 (6014) / 209 pounds / 4.56 forty-speed

2006 preseason stats: 4 tackles, 4 assists, 1 special-teams tackle with Tampa Bay

2005 stats: 5 special-teams tackles with Tampa Bay

The player: Nicholson is the kind of guy would-be draft experts love. He's big for his position, fast enough, played for a major program with the Sooners and has some nice stats, including six sacks in his junior season alone. But if you look at the film, you see a different player altogether. Even in college, he was easy prey in pass coverage. Aware of his limitations, Nicholson has a tendency to take much deeper drops than necessary and doesn't really have the catch-up speed to compensate. On the plus side, he's a punishing hitter with good tackling technique, isn't afraid to fill running lanes and is, for his position, an outstanding blitzer. But even these qualities are tempered by the fact that he's easily fooled by play-action, counters, traps and reverses, taking himself out of those plays.

How he fits: The Buccaneers, a pretty astute team that happens to run an almost identical defense as the Colts, cut Nicholson after a rookie season that saw his action limited to special teams. If acquired by the Colts, Nicholson would probably be limited to similar duty - if he were activated. There's an outside chance that the Colts could give him an audition at weakside linebacker, but his instincts would have to improve for it to take.

Reminds me of: Greg Blue, the Vikings fifth-round pick out of Georgia, who also looks like he'd be better off as a linebacker.

Photo: Getty Images/Jeff Gross

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