Undersized LB Could Be A Fit For Colts

The Colts recently held a workout for a prospect that has had great workout numbers, but is seemingly without an NFL position. Brad Keller analyzes what this player could bring to the table and where he could fit in at the NFL level.

Indianapolis held a workout for Portland State linebacker Jordan Senn on Wednesday, March 19th.  Senn has impressed in previous workouts with a 4.53 second 40-yard dash, a 4.11 second short shuttle, and a 36 1/2 inch vertical jump.

But, at 5 feet, 11 inches and 225 pounds, he's probably too small to play linebacker in the NFL, even for a team such as the Colts that likes to use smaller, faster players in their front seven.

Logically, then, someone with his combination of speed and bulk would play strong safety or free safety at the next level.

However, all of his experience has been at the linebacker position and, although he did intercept three passes during his college career, he does not possess the coverage skills necessary to play in the secondary.  As a result, he is a man without a position.


Senn could be valuable for the Colts on special teams
AP Photo/Benjamin Sklar

While that is bad news for Senn and his draft position, it could be very good news for the Colts, as Senn will most likely go undrafted.

With the three-headed monster of coming from a small school, being undersized, and lacking a true position for an NFL team, his stellar workout numbers probably will not help his cause enough to hear his name called on April 27th.

At that point, he would become a priority free agent for Indianapolis. 

With no real use for Senn as a linebacker prospect and a full compliment of talented defensive backs already on the roster — as well as a number of higher-rated safety and cornerback prospects that played the position in college that the Colts already talked to — Senn's true value would be on special teams, particularly early in his career.

As ColtPower.com has mentioned previously, both the return and coverage teams were lacking for Indianapolis in 2007, both could stand to improve in 2008, and Senn is certainly a prospect that could step in and immediately help both sides of the kicking game with his athleticism and youthful enthusiasm.

In addition, if the Colts draft a safety prospect during the course of the draft, Senn would be able to push that man during OTAs, mini-camps, training camp, and in the preseason.

While it's true that the most he can probably hope for is a spot on special teams or the practice squad on a team as loaded at the safety position as Indianapolis, he could be extremely important in such a role, biding time and learning until Antoine Bethea or Matt Giordano part company with the Colts.

He's not ready yet, but he certainly has the talent and potential to emerge as a contributor on kickoffs and punts at the least and a starter for the long term in the best-case scenario.

One other factor to consider is that Senn's coach in 2007 was former NFL sideline boss and television analyst Jerry Glanville.

Upon taking the head job at Portland State, Glanville installed a pro-style defense — he was also the defensive coordinator under June Jones in Hawaii for a number of years — and Senn was forced to learn that defense during the offseason.

With all the changes, Senn was still productive and was named the Big Sky Defensive Player of the Week last September, which means that he learns quickly and can be productive in a professional system.

As an undrafted free agent, he provides an awful lot of potential reward at a very low risk.


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