Indianapolis Colts defensive end Denico Autry was named AFC Defensive Player of the week after an impressive performance Sunday versus the Houston Texans.
The Indianapolis Colts have struck gold in the past two years, acquiring names like Darius Leonard, Quenton Nelson, Marlon Mack, and Malik Hooker. But here is a name that is just starting to break out at the perfect time: Denico Autry.
Autry, an undrafted free agent out of Mississippi State, has just earned his first AFC Defensive Player of the Week award after two straight dominant weeks. In the Colts’ 24-21 victory over the Houston Texans last weekend, Autry racked up 4 solo tackles, 2 sacks, 2 tackles for loss, and 2 more quarterback hurries. The prior week in Jacksonville, Autry recorded 7 solo tackles, 3 sacks (career high), 3 TFL’s, 4 quarterback hurries, and 2 forced fumbles. Talk about stuffing the stat sheet. Not bad for an undrafted free agent.
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General manager Chris Ballard deserves all the credit for finding diamonds in the rough like Denico Autry and Darius Leonard. He has absolutely nailed the past few drafts and signed key free agents like Eric Ebron and Jabaal Sheard for pennies. In fact, the Colts are doing so well in terms of cap space, the team is projected to have the highest salary cap space in the league, with just under $125 million to spend on a loaded free agency class this off season.
At a time where the Indianapolis Colts need everyone to step up and play like it is the playoffs, guys like Denico Autry are peaking at the perfect time; because at this point in the season, it is basically the playoffs. If this team lays an egg, like they did in Jacksonville two weeks ago, they’re out and their season is over.
But I like the Colts chances.