Scouting Safety Jets Adrian Colbert


The Jets recently added safety Adrian Colbert to their active roster after signing him with the practice squad earlier this month. He started the last two games after Lamarcus Joyner was injured in the first week. Today, we detail Colbert.

Colbert, 27, is 6’2 “and 205 pounds and was a seventh-round pick in Miami in 2017. He started 21 games in five seasons, racking up 106 tackles, eight defenses and two forced fumbles.


Colbert was a four-star high school rookie who traveled to Texas in 2012 and wore a red shirt his first season.

Over the next three years with the Longhorns, Colbert was primarily in a reserve role and recorded just 30 tackles and one interception. He started four games.

For his senior season in the red shirt, he transferred to Miami and started three games in seven appearances. He had 22 tackles, three defenses and one interception.

Initially seen as a long shot to write, Colbert turned heads in his professional day training and was drafted by the 49ers in the seventh round.

During his rookie year, Colbert started in a reserve role, but contributed early and eventually started six games. He finished with 37 tackles and five assists defended.

In 2018, Colbert started the year as a free starting safety, but struggled a lot as he was beaten by four touchdowns and missed six tackles in the first seven games. He then suffered a late season injury and was released in the final cup by the 49ers in 2019.

After a brief stint on the Seahawks’ practice squad and the active roster in which Colbert was unable to play, he was poached by the Dolphins and made five starts for them at the end of the season and made 22 tackles. He resigned with them after the season, but was later released in the preseason.

After spending the rest of the preseason with the Chiefs, he was released in the Finals and claimed by the Giants for whom he made six appearances including two starts but ended up in the injured reserve.

He signed with New England in May but was released again in the final cups and the Jets first signed him to their practice squad before they had to elevate him to the active roster in each of the first three games.

After Joyner got injured, Sheldrick Redwine first replaced him, but his mistake on Robby Anderson’s touchdown saw Colbert replace him and he’s been the starter ever since. He did, however, split reps with Jarrod Wilson on Sunday.

Now let’s see what Colbert brings to the table, broken down into categories.

Measurables / Athletics

Colbert, who is the right size and length, created some buzz on Miami Pro Day in 2017 when he was clocked at 4.25 by several scouts. While the official time has finally been clocked at around 4.4, it covers the ground impressively in center field.

Other than his 40-yard dash, however, the rest of his numbers were below average across the board.


Colbert was a security guard in high school and for most of his time with the Longhorns, but he mostly played as an outside cornerback with the Hurricanes.

Since joining the NFL, he’s mostly played as a deep safety, only getting into the box or lining up in the slot on rare occasions.

Coverage skills

As a unique security, Colbert’s best attribute is its range of blanket backing. He can cover a lot of ground to recover and prevent downhill passes like this.

He’s not used as often in the men’s cover, but in this game he handles his task well to break that pass.

As noted, in his second season with the 49ers Colbert was exploited a lot in cover and his numbers were poor. However, his numbers are much better over the rest of his career, perhaps suggesting he’s better in a rotating role rather than full-time.

Ball skills

Colbert has yet to intercept an NFL-level pass and has had just two interceptions in college. However, he intercepted that pass in the preseason.

In his career so far, Colbert has been credited with eight assists, including five during his rookie year. Most of them came on punches at the right time to release the ball rather than making a play on the ball.

He’s lost a few interceptions during his career, including that easy game against Jacksonville.


Colbert has terrific closing speed and timing with his former teammate Reuben Foster describing him as a “heat seeking missile” due to his hitting ability on games like this.

Unsurprisingly, this can cause him to miss a lot of tackles. In a game between the Giants and the Dolphins in 2019, he had four bad missed tackles, including one that led to a Golden Tate touchdown and that play.

So far, with the Jets, he’s missed a few tackles already, including a bad one on Damien Harris’s touchdown in week two.


Colbert’s reputation as a heavy hitter is well known, but he suffered two unnecessary roughness penalties in a 2020 game and was ejected in preseason in 2019 (and later fined) for it. suddenly, it must therefore be cleaner.

From his college film, you can see that Colbert tended to have the habit of leading with his helmet, but he mostly stamped out that habit at the NFL level.

He doesn’t have much experience in media coverage at the NFL level, being more employed in depth or off the ball.

Running defense

Colbert doesn’t play in the box very often, but when he does he is able to play against the run.

Even when playing deep, he has the opportunity to get into the box and contribute to racing games.


Colbert never recorded a sack in the NFL or college because he hardly ever did a blitz. He suffered only a few pressures at the NFL level, but registered two quarterback hits in college.

With his speed and burst, he could be quite effective if used that way with the Jets.

Special teams

Colbert has a lot of experience playing in all major special teams teams and recorded 12 special teams tackles in his first four years, although he also missed several tackles.

He saw the action from the shooter position and showed good ability to go down the field and make tackles or punters near the goal line.

He’s only suffered one special teams penalty in his NFL career, for going over the limits on a punt.

Instincts / Intelligence

While Colbert is quick to pop the ball when the games go past him, he has always been a player who can be susceptible to forgings, steering errors, or the quarterback using his eye to manipulate his position.

On this play, he blows his angle completely and lets the receiver get behind him for a 75-yard touchdown.

This game cleverly exploited its lack of exposure to male cover missions, as it failed to anticipate the scuff road on the third try.


Colbert was able to stay out of trouble when he was young, although he grew up in a difficult area. He plays with a chip on the shoulder and is extremely vocal with a lot of chatter.

Patriots reporters noted his work ethic, saying he was generally the first player on the field every day.

Despite the penalties mentioned above, his discipline on the pitch has actually been very good. Those two harshness penalties in last year’s Dallas game were the only two defensive penalties in his career so far.


Colbert has suffered various injuries during his career, landing on the injured list with a high ankle sprain in 2018 and a shoulder injury in 2020.

In college, he missed several games with injuries in his senior year, including a knee injury.

Schema adjustment

Colbert has a lot of connections to the current Jets squad, but the most obvious is that Robert Saleh was his defensive coordinator when he was drafted by the 49ers. Saleh admitted Colbert’s second season was a disappointment after a promising rookie year and hoped he would bounce back in 2019. However, he failed to make the roster.

In college, Colbert was a teammate of current teammates Braxton Berrios and Sheldrick Redwine. At the NFL level, he has been a teammate with Ronald Blair in San Francisco, Tim Ward in Kansas City and George Fant and Elijah Nkansah in Seattle.

His role here is clear from the way he has been employed since Joyner’s injury. He’s the depth keeper and Marcus Maye has stayed in the box. Although Maye is now injured, Colbert will likely stay in the deep role.


Colbert has done quite well in recent weeks with few mistakes. With Ashtyn Davis and Sharrod Neasman both returning to training this week and Wilson already picking up some of his reps on Sunday, it looked like he might not start any longer, but now Maye’s injury is changing that.

Colbert, a player Saleh knows well, has proven to be a reliable option to replace him, so they can keep him in the roster or the practice squad for the rest of the year and consider taking him. bring back next year also.

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