Colts to sign DE Samson Ebukam: Instant analysis

The Indianapolis Colts made another move Tuesday night, reaching an agreement on a three-year deal with free-agent edge rusher Samson Ebukam.

With Yannick Ngakoue set to hit the market and likely outside of the Colts’ price range, they bring in an option to supplant the former’s production with the potential to grow into his game more.

Ebukam is the second outside free agent the Colts have agreed to terms with, following the news of adding kicker Matt Gay.

Keep up to date with the latest news, signings and rumors through our free agency tracker for the Colts.

Here’s our instant analysis of the Colts signing Ebukam:

How he fits in the depth chart

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Ebakum profiles perfectly as a LEO pass rusher in Gus Bradley’s scheme. He’s extremely athletic and brings a high motor, which bodes well for his role as a pure pass rusher.

This is the kind of move where Kwity Paye and Dayo Odeyingbo can take the majority of edge snaps while the Colts can still get solid production in sub packages and on pure passing downs.

Here’s a look at the projected depth chart with Ebukam now on board:




Big End

Samson Ebakum

DeForest Buckner

Grover Stewart

Kwity Paye

Rashod Berry

Dayo Odeyingbo

Eric Johnson II

Tyquan Lewis

McTelvin Agim

Kameron Cline

How this impacts the draft

AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith

The Colts are always going to be looking for pass rushers so it would be unwise to believe a free-agency signing will keep them from using a draft pick on an edge rusher. But with the development of Kwity Paye and Dayo Odeyingbo making strides and the arrival of Ebukam, the Colts might be able to focus elsewhere on their other needs earlier in the draft. They still need some depth behind Ebukam, but they might be able to wait until Day 3 to take an uber-athletic project-type of prospect.

How this impacts free agency

Harry How/Getty Images

While the Colts might still look to draft an edge rusher at the end of April, this signing probably keeps them from making any more splashes in free agency at the position. They certainly should still look to add some depth like Rasheem Green or Efe Obada at the three-technique and even some extra help for Ebukam at the right price, but we can probably rule out the bigger names on the market at defensive end.

Contract details

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We don’t have the full details of the contract as of this writing, but we do have the surface numbers. The deal reportedly is for three years worth up to $27 million and includes $11 million during the first season. That’s a solid contract for a rotational pass rusher and likely comes with the chance for the Colts to get out of it after the first year without too much trouble.

Instant grade

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This signing won’t give the Colts a pass rush like the Eagles boasted in 2022, but it does add some nice depth to the LEO position while giving Indy a bit more of a presence in sub packages. Ebukam can play a rotational role (40-50% snap share) while Kwity Paye and Dayo Odeyingbo continue to make progress in their development.

In a word? Solid.

Grade: B

Story originally appeared on Colts Wire

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