Good news, Indianapolis Colts fans. Rookie cornerback Rock Ya-Sin doesn’t just have one of the best names in the NFL; he’s probably an even more intriguing player than you previously thought, too.
According to Pro Football Focus, the Temple University product allowed just 8.3 yards per catch when in coverage last season, the second-lowest mark among all cornerbacks in the 2019 draft class.
Colts CB Rock Ya-Sin allowed just 8.3 yards per reception last year – the 2nd-best figure among all CBs in the 2019 draft pic.twitter.com/6y8bqJQNnh
— PFF (@PFF) May 17, 2019
Level of competition obviously factors in here. Playing in the American Athletic Conference, Ya-Sin wasn’t lined up against premier receiving talent on a weekly basis like Georgia’s DeAndre Baker and Washington’s Byron Murphy, the only two cornerbacks taken ahead of him on April 25th. Yards per catch allowed isn’t always the best indicator of an individual defender’s performance, either, failing to take into account factors like where the ball was caught on the field and what type of coverage was being played.
Still, this impressive statistic is just another reason for the Colts to be excited about Ya-Sin. The 34th overall pick of the draft, he had 47 tackles, two interceptions and 12 passes defensed during his only season with the Owls after transferring from Presbyterian, an FCS school. Considering his wildly successful acclimation to a higher level of football last year, there’s reason to believe his transition to the NFL could be similarly seamless, albeit to a less immediately effective degree.
Should that prove the case, Ya-Sin will be just the latest infusion of young talent on the defensive side of the ball for Indianapolis, which came out of where last season to rank as the league’s tenth-best scoring defense.