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Colts are making second-round rookie Ben Banogu a full-time defensive end

After finishing the 2018 season as one of the worst pass-rush units in the league, the Indianapolis Colts knew one of their top priorities this offseason was to acquire new talent at the edge position. Fortunately, they were able to find immense value in free agency with the signing of the veteran edge defender Justin Houston after he was cut loose from Kansas City. But Colts GM Chris Ballard knew there was still work to be done in the NFL Draft, even with Houston on the roster. After a couple of draft-day trades, Indianapolis ended up with three second-round picks, and with the second of three, they selected edge defender in Ben Banogu out of TCU.

Rated the 15th-best edge defender and the 102nd overall prospect in this year’s draft class, the Colts’ selection of Banogu at pick No. 49 was risky and a bit of a stretch despite his superb athleticism. Banogu finished the 2018 season with a 74.1 overall grade that ranked 74th among qualifying draft-eligible edge defenders; he recorded just a 68.9 pass-rush grade (tied for 56th), a 15.5% pass-rush win rate (34th) and a 14.1% pressure rate (30th).

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