Earlier this year, ColtPower reported that Syracuse DE Ryan LaCasse had visited the Colts as one of their 30 pre-draft visitors. LaCasse had developed a good reputation as a pass rusher with the Orangemen, just like Syracuse alums Dwight Freeney and Josh Thomas. When we saw early Saturday afternoon that the Ravens, who had selected LaCasse in the NFL Draft, were going to release him in today's cuts, we mentioned in our ColtPower Insiders Forum that the Colts should show some interest in signing him.
The Colts didn't waste anytime -- and obviously didn't want to risk losing him a second time by allowing him to go out onto the waiver wire. They completed a trade with the Ravens for an undisclosed draft pick so they could add the talented lineman to their roster today.
LaCasse had 16.5 career sacks at Syracuse, including nine during his senior year, placing him 10th all-time in the school's record books. He also had 118 tackles, 73 solo, 23.5 tackles for losses, 17 pressures, eight FR, one FF, one interception and two passes defensed during his career.
The Colts undoubtedly were going to go after the 6-foot-2, 257-pound lineman as an undrafted free agent earlier this year, just as they had done with Josh Thomas back in 2004. But they were foiled by the Ravens when they used a seventh-round pick on him during the draft. The Ravens tried to convert LaCasse to a linebacker after he signed with them, but he should get a shot at his natural position with the Colts as he's roughly 20 to 25 pounds heavier than the typical Colts linebacker.
ColtPower Insiders can click here to see Scout.com draft expert Tony Pauline's analysis of Ryan LaCasse.