Aaron Colvin is the newest addition to the Redskins roster, and despite having been on the ‘Skins roster for most of last season, may not be very familiar to fans.
Here are snap count summaries and PFF grades for his 6-year career.
All of the data in this article is from Pro Football Focus
He played from 2014 to 2017 in Jacksonville, who selected him in the 4th round of the 2014 draft.
Colvin played in Weeks 12-17 of his rookie season. Of his 277 total snaps, 240 came in the slot defender position. He received the best season-long grades of his career from PFF in 2014:
- Overall defense 73.2
- Run defense 76.3
- Tackling 73.7
- Pass Rush 90.5
- Coverage 68.3
Colvin payed the entire season, and rarely left the field as a defender, accumulating 1,076 defensive snaps. 568 of them (52.7%) came in the slot. The majority of his remaining snaps saw him line up at boundary corner (271 snaps) or in the box (137). His season-long grades from PFF were more consistent across the board than they had been in his rookie year:
- Overall defense 63.3
- Run defense 65.5
- Tackling 60.3
- Pass Rush 66.9
- Coverage 61.1
Colvin began 2016 with a 4-game suspension for violation of the NFL’s PED policy, and ended the season on IR with an ankle injury. He played in Weeks 6 through 15, but saw only part-time duty, registering 292 defensive snaps, of which 232 came in the slot. This was the season that Gus Bradley was fired and Doug Marrone was named interim head coach. Colvin’s grades were better in some categories and worse in others, which is often typical when a player has a lower snap count:
- Overall defense 68.6
- Run defense 51.0
- Tackling 82.6
- Pass Rush 57.9
- Coverage 71.2
Colvin played in all 16 games in 2017, and was on the field for 833 defensive snaps. He lined up at slot corner 683 times, and 88 times out wide. The Jags made the playoffs in ‘17 and went all the way to the conference championship game before being eliminated. Colvin was on the field for 66 snaps in the Divisional Playoff Round, and 50 snaps in the Conference Championship, meaning that he was a significant component of the Jags defense.
- Overall defense 69.8
- Run defense 47.7
- Tackling 65.0
- Pass Rush 54.7
- Coverage 74.4
Following the completion of his rookie contract, Colvin was signed to a 4-year, $34m contract with $18m in guarantees by the Houston Texans. He began the season as the team’s “starting” nickel back, but an ankle injury in Week 4 interrupted his season, as he missed Weeks 5-11 entirely, and played only sparingly except for 69 snaps in Week 16. He did not play in Week 17. He played 317 total snaps, 199 (63%) coming in the slot. His PFF grades deteriorated significantly from where they had been when he played in Jacksonville:
- Overall defense 52.2
- Run defense 47.6
- Tackling 64.3
- Pass Rush 52.3
- Coverage 53.3
Colvin played only one game for the Texans in 2019 — the Monday Night Football game in which he was spotlighted as the player who gave up the play(s) that lost the game to the Saints. He was cut by the Texans immediately after. He had played 51 or his 57 defensive snaps lined up as the slot corner. His PFF grades for that game were pretty abysmal:
- Overall defense 27.4
- Run defense 29.6
- Tackling 55.9
- Pass Rush 56.8
- Coverage 28.4
The Redskins signed Colvin soon after he was released, but he didn’t see the field until Week 11, and then only played 9 snaps. His only significant action for Washington came in two ugly losses against the Giants and Cowboys to close out an ugly 3-13 season. Colvin, interestingly, was used primarily as a boundary cornerback by the Redskins, getting 136 of his 223 total snaps for the season (61%) lined up wide.
He graded out very well in the 41-35 loss against the Giants in Week 16, with an overall grade of 71.5 and a coverage grade of 69.4. His run defense and tackling grades were 74.1 and 78.1 respectively.
In the final game against Dallas. an uninspired effort by the Redskins that they lost 47-16, Colvin did not grade out well, with a 41.4 overall grade and a 40.3 coverage grade.
His overall grades for his four appearances with the Redskins, in which he played 136 snaps at boundary corner and 71 snaps in the slot were 57.0 overall, with 55.5 in coverage. His run defense grade was 61.8, and his tackling grade was an unusual (for him) 48.8, though that was due entirely to a 28.7 rating in the Dallas game, as he graded 75.4 and 78.1 in his two other games with tackling grades.
The picture I get of Colvin is a guy who had a promising start to his career in 2014 & 2015, when he earned a significant role in Jacksonville. Despite being temporarily derailed by a suspension and injury in 2016, he was an important part of a successful playoff team in 2017, and parlayed that into a pretty good free agent contract with Houston.
Another ankle injury in 2017 meant that he didn’t have a great start with his new ball club, and the opening week prime time meltdown in 2018 (I remember watching that game, and he was under the spotlight in a bad way all night) spelled the end of his career as a Texan.
The Redskins, who were looking for healthy bodies all season long, gave Colvin a chance, and he played decently when he was on the field, despite playing mostly on the boundary instead of as a slot corner. He didn’t distinguish himself in the season-ending game against Dallas, but then, nobody on the team did, really. I remember shots of a fully healthy Josh Norman being shown repeatedly standing on the sidelines as a group of street free agents and rookies got abused by the Dallas offense.
Colvin’s PFF scores across a six-year career indicate that he is sure tackler and a decent cover guy, but not really strong against the run. While primarily a nickel corner, he is capable of playing out wide. He appears to be in competition for the backup job behind Kendall Fuller on the roster.