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These Colts Teammates Could Sweep Rookie of the Year Awards

There's a chance that Indianapolis Colts teammates Laiatu Latu and Adonai Mitchell will sweep the 2024 NFL Rookie of the Year Awards.
Laiatu Latu Adonai Mitchell

Laiatu Latu and Adonai Mitchell were the Indianapolis Colts’ first two picks in the 2024 NFL Draft. While Latu could win the Defensive Rookie of the Year Award, Mitchell can earn Offensive Rookie of the Year honors.

The Colts selected nine players in this year’s draft. Any of those newcomers could have impressive rookie years. Fifth-round pick Anthony Gould might be fun to watch as a return specialist. Even seventh-rounder Jonah Laulu could overachieve. But Latu, the defensive end out of UCLA, and Mitchell, the former Texas wide receiver, are expected to be the cream of the crop.

These Colts Teammates Could Sweep Rookie of the Year Awards

Teammates Who’ve Swept Rookie of the Year Honors

If Latu and Mitchell sweep the Rookie of the Year awards, they won’t be the first teammates to do so. Four pairs of teammates in NFL history have accomplished the feat.

Running back Mel Farr and cornerback Lem Barney (1967 Detroit Lions) were the first duo to win the awards. That season, Farr led Detroit in rushing with 860 yards and added 317 receiving yards. Meanwhile, Barney led the league with ten interceptions.

It took 50 years for the next Rookie of the Year teammates to come along. Alvin Kamara and CB Marshon Lattimore of the New Orleans Saints swept the awards in 2017. WR Garrett Wilson and CB Sauce Gardner (New York Jets) won in 2022. Then, last season, the Houston Texans’ combo of QB C.J. Stroud and DE Will Anderson Jr. received the honors.

Can Laiatu Latu and Adonai Mitchell Get the Job Done?

The Colts selected Laiatu Latu with the 15th overall pick. He was the first defensive player taken in the draft. The Sacramento native isn’t expected to start right away. He’ll likely play behind starting defensive ends Samson Ebukam and Kwity Paye. However, it won’t be surprising if he quickly earns a starting spot.

Latu, the 6-foot-5, 259-pounder who posted a ridiculous 4.64 40-yard dash, is a star in the making. He possesses a combination of size and speed that allows him to keep a leg up on opposing offensive linemen. Latu had 13 sacks last season and is known as a polished pass-rusher. He certainly has what it takes to land Defensive Rookie of the Year honors.

The Colts drafted Adonai Mitchell in the second round (52nd overall pick) of this year’s draft. Although he was a second-round pick, he has first-round talent. He’s a freak athlete who showcases speed and leaping ability. He’s also a great route-runner.

Colts head coach Shane Steichen spoke about Mitchell during rookie minicamp:

“Explosive. You can see the size. You can see the speed – hands, great hands. Even watching him in individual (drills) with Reggie (Wayne) just the way he plucks the ball. He’s a natural pass catcher.”

Michael Pittman Jr. and Josh Downs are considered Indy’s two best receivers. Mitchell will battle holdover Alec Pierce for the team’s No. 3 WR spot. Ultimately, the former Longhorn could emerge as the No. 1 guy and grab the Offensive Rookie of the Year award. Perhaps guys like Caleb Williams and Jayden Daniels have the best shot at winning the award. But don’t sleep on Mitchell.

Main Image: Kirby Lee – USA Today Sports


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