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INDIANAPOLIS COLTS


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2009 draft     2008 draft     2007 draft     2006 draft

2005 draft     2004 draft     2003 draft     2002 draft

 

2009 DRAFT PICKS
links go to NFL.com website

Rd Sel# Player Pos. School Jay's ranking Jay's draft value
1 27 Donald Brown RB Connecticut #2 RB Round 1

Player who will have a better NFL career than many drafted higher than him.

I like Donald Brown's NFL potential more than I like Knowshon Moreno's, the top running back in the draft on many draft analysts' boards.  Brown is an instinctive runner who is a top athlete and has good speed and quickness.  While not the top name at running back, it wouldn't surprise me if he isn't the top producer from this draft class over the long run.
2 56 Fili Moala DT Southern Cal #5 DT Round 2

Senior Bowl practice comment

Moala looked very strong with a bull rush.

ONE ON ONE BLOCKING DRILLS SCORED BY JAY GOLDBERG

5 - 3 Green 3-1   Wood 1-1   Johnson 1-1
3 92 Jerraud Powers CB Auburn NR Late Round Value
4 127 Austin Collie WR BYU #22 WR Round 5
4 136 Terrance Taylor DT Michigan NR Late Round Value
6 201 Curtis Painter QB Purdue NR 7th/FA
7 222 Pat McAfee P West Virginia NR 7th/FA
7 236 Jaimie Thomas OG Maryland #4 OG Round 3

East West Shrine Game

The East ran very well and more often than not, a good block by Thomas was part of the reason for the good run.  He played a very, very good game.

Player who will have a better NFL career than many drafted higher than him.

Thomas caught my eye during the East West Shrine Game.   He will be a very good run blocker, especially for a drive-blocking team where he can get out in front of the ball carrier and seal off defenders. 
FA ---- Adrian Grady DT Louisville NR 7th/FA
FA ---- Jacob Lacey CB Oklahoma NR 7th/FA
FA ---- John Matthews WR San Diego State NR 7th/FA
FA ---- Tyrell Sales OLB Penn State NR 7th/FA
FA ---- Michael Tauiliili ILB Duke #11 ILB Round 5

East West Shrine Game

Tauiliili was all over the field.  He made tackles versus the run, he made tackles on special teams, he made tackles against screen passes.  He made plays when run at, he made plays in pursuit.  He played a great game.

Player who will have a better NFL career than many drafted higher than him.

Tauuiliilli was all over the field both on defense and special teams during the East West Shrine Game.  He has great instincts, tremendous hustle, and while not very athletic or fast, has excellent quickness and makes quick, sharp cuts.  He is also short, which is too bad, because his skill set is perfect for a 3-4 defense.  As it is he will be a top special teams player and a solid backup in a 4-3 defense.  If given a chance, he has a similar look and game to Zack Thomas.

 

C+

2009 COLLEGE DRAFT REPORT CARD

by Jay Goldberg

I liked the way the Colts' draft started, and I like the way it ended.  In between, Indianapolis valued players differently than I did.  They had an opportunity, in my eye, to have had a great draft, but missed some boats.  In free agency, they did grab an over-achieving player I like a lot. 

DRAFT PICKS

I had Brown as my second-rated running back in the draft, ahead of Moreno, selected 12th overall by the Broncos.  Of the top backs in the draft, Brown clearly has the best combination of athleticism, speed, quickness and on-field production.  While I like the surprisingly injury-prone Addai, Brown is clearly the better back.  However, that doesn't mean he will get the vast majority of the carries right away.  This is a similar to the Carolina Panther situation when DeAngelo Williams was drafted with DeShaunFoster starting.  Foster was the veteran, and just good enough to keep the more talented Williams in a secondary role for a couple of years.  Hopefully, the Colts' coaching staff won't wait that long to make Brown their primary back.

Moala was a another good get by the Colts.  He will be a solid starter.  Many questioned the kid because at times he looked like a dominate athlete on film but top level results weren't always observed.  However, his workout showed he was not a dominate athlete.  Don't get me wrong, he has a fine set of skills for the position, just not mad skills.  For me, this meant that what you saw on film is what you are going to get.  A solid player who will occasionally make big plays.

The Colts' selection of Powers is the start of where my board and the Colts' board went in different directions.  Powers is an undersized corner with the skills and ability to be effective as backup corner in a cover-two scheme.  However, Keenan Lewis would have been my selection at corner since I strongly believe he will develop into a very good starting cornerback in the NFL.  I even had Ryan Mouton, a player built more similarly to Powers who was selected two spots later, more highly-rated Powers.  In addition, with the depth of talent available at cornerback, I might have added another defensive tackle here in Dorell Scott, or one of two very talented receivers who were still on the board in Iglesias or Mike Thomas.

Collie can catch and has good quickness.  He will fit in nicely in the slot.  However, Dillard would have fit in great in the slot, and Knox would have replace some of Harrison's big play ability.  I would have selected either of those receivers over Collie.

Taylor went higher than where I had him graded, but I understand the pick.  He is a very strong kid.  However, he has the game on the big run-stuffing defensive tackle, but not the size.  If Scott was picked in round three instead of Powers, then the Colts could have grabbed cornerback Macho Harris here, another corner I have more highly rated than Powers.  They also could have drafted offensive tackle Xavier Fulton for depth and waited until round six or seven to draft a corner (Lankster or Mickens, both of whom I also have a higher grade on than Powers).

If the Colts draft went my way, then after Moala they would have drafted: DT Scott, WR Dillard, OT Fulton and now CB Lankster.  I know that would mean that no quarterback would be drafted since, as you will see, I liked the Colts' last two picks.  However, Painter probably would have been available as a college street free agent.  For my money, there were a lot of quarterbacks I liked better here anyway, and all of them went undrafted.  The list includes: Nathan Brown, Brain Hoyer, Jason Boltus and Michael Reilly.

The Colts needed a punter at this spot McAfee was a fine choice.

Thomas was an out an out steal.  He is a good run blocker.  I believe he has the talent to grow into a starter.  He is better on the field than in the workout room, has good short area quickness and is a tough kid.

 COLLEGE STREET FREE AGENTS

Grady is a similar player to Taylor, only not quite as strong and a little quicker.  He is an undersized run-stuffer who I thought might be able to transition to end in a 3-4 defense.

Lacey is a poor man's Powers.  A smaller corner who is a fit for the cover two defense.  He will need to bulk up some to be more effective on special team cover units, but will need a very good camp to make the team.  He is a possibility for the development squad, but far from a sure thing.

Interestingly, this is the third college street free agent and the third player who has similar tools to a drafted player.  Matthews is similar to Collie, but not as quick.  He too will have a hard time sticking.

Sales is an interesting player to watch.  He has a chance to stick because he has the speed the Colts like in their outside linebackers and will be a plus player on special teams.

Tauiliili was my favorite college street free agent signing by the Colts.  Last year I wrote about how much I liked free agent Silva and he made the team as a backup safety.  The year before that was Bullett and he played well in the base defense when called upon last year.  Well, Tauiliili is a similar player to Silva and I look for him to make the team as a backup middle linebacker.  Like Silva, he is not a workout warrior.  However, like Silva, when he is on the field he is always around the ball making tackles.  

For chart below: red indicates workout number in top range at position in draft
ARM-HAND relative to position, for ranges see ranking pages for 2009 draft

LAST NAME
at Combine
FIRST NAME SCHOOL HGT WGT ARM-
HAND
BENCH 40 10 20 SHORT LONG 3 CONE VERT BROAD
Brown Donald Connecticut 5'10.2" 210 M-M - 4.48 1.50 2.55 4.10 11.30 6.93 41.5" 10'5"
Moala Fili USC 6'4" 305 M-L 25 5.07 1.71 2.90 - - - 30.5" 8'4"
Powers Jerraud Auburn 5'9.1" 188 M-L 15 4.43 1.52 2.59 4.08  - 6.91 36.5" 10'3"
Collie Austin BYU 6'1.1" 196 S-M 17 4.53 1.58 2.60 4.07 11.42 6.78 34" 10'0"
Taylor Terrance Michigan 6'0" 306 M-L 37 5.08 1.72 2.88 5.05  - 7.78 30" 9'1"
Painter Curtis Purdue 6'2.7" 225 XL-L - 4.89 1.69 2.87 4.48 - 7.00 29" 8'6"
Thomas Jamie Maryland 6'4" 323 XL-M 26 5.22 1.78 3.00 4.67 - 7.99 28" 8'0"
Grady Adrian Louisville 6'1.3" 298 S-L 31 5.18 1.75 2.96 4.63 - 7.52 33" 8'10"
Lacey Jacob Oklahoma 5'9.7" 177 - 11 4.45 1.49 2.58 4.25 - 7.51 41" 9'11"
Matthews John San Diego 5'11.3" 200 - - 4.52 1.53 2.58 - - - 32" -
Sales Tyrell Penn State 6'2.2" 231 - 22 4.58 1.57 2.62 4.30 - 6.90 33.5" 9'10"
Tauiliili Michael Duke 5'10.1" 234 - 20 4.77 1.62 2.75 4.18 - 6.96 29" 9'2"

2009 NEEDS PRIOR TO DRAFT AND FREE AGENCY
Major need
     Need     Upgrade possible     Depth/possible need     Not a need

QB Manning is as good as it gets at quarterback.  No one will really know about Sorgi until he is tested.  Obviously the Colts' coaching staff likes him.  A development quarterback could be added in the draft.
RB Addai didn't emerge as a top tier back as many expected (including me) this year.  Some of it, but only some was due to injury.  Rhodes is an UFA.  Hart showed flashes before being injured.  Simpson and Ball also looked good in limited playing time.  Look for the Colts to either resign Rhodes or bring another veteran into the mix.
WR Time is finally catching up to Harrison.  Given his fall off he is no longer worth the big salary cap figure that he will carry if he doesn't redo his contract.  Wayne and Gonzalez are excellent receivers but if whether or not Harrison leaves a younger player will be added to the mix.  Hall and Garcon are also on hand, but neither projects to being a full time starter in the Colts' three receiver offense. 
TE Clark is still a very effective tight end.  Robinson was okay in his role as second tight end but it wouldn't be surprising if an upgrade is secured.  Santi and Tamme have potential and Tamme could replace Robinson.  This is not a need area but if a good tight end falls into the Colts' lap they will pull the trigger. 
OL The Colts' line is talented, deep and young.  Saturday is an UFA, however Richard is waiting in the wings.  Outside of a late round flyer on, or signing of a 'b' level tackle for depth, and adding depth inside should Saturday leave, the Colts' offensive line should remain intact.
DL It seems like annually the Colts are looking for defensive tackles who can stuff the run.  This year is no exception.  Dawson and Foster are okay but very replaceable as starters.  At end Freeney and Mathis can get after the quarterback, Brock is solid against the run, and Howard is a player top watch as a future sacker.
LB Even with Hagler an UFA, the Colts have a lot of quality players to choose from at linebacker.  Session has the look of a future star, Keiaho is a solid sideline-to-sideline WILL, and Bracket is steady in the middle.  Wheeler is a good young backup while Davis is okay as a backup MIKE, but is not the future in the middle for the Colts.  A young middle linebacker to apprentice behind Bracket should be added.
DB At corner, Hayden is an UFA and the Colts need to resign him.  Jackson was playing well opposite him until he got hurt.  Jennings stepped in and was fine but is best served as a nickel and backup.  Ratliff is a good player to have on your bench.  At safety, the Colts have the best and deepest unit in the NFL.  Sanders and Bethea are Pro Bowl level starters, backup Bullitt isn't far behind, Giordano has proven to be a very capable fill in, and Silva is a young, heady player I like.  The Colts need to resign Hayden or replace him with a quality free agent or high draft pick.
ST The Colts' kicking and return games are in good hands and could get even better with the return of Rushing from injury.

 

2008 DRAFT PICKS
links go to NFL.com website

Rd Sel# Player Pos. Ht. Wt. School Jay's ranking Jay's draft value
2 59 Mike Pollak C/OG 6'3.4" 301 Arizona St #1 C Round 2

Player who will have a better NFL career than many drafted higher than him.

Pollak was the only player at the Senior Bowl who handled Sedrick Ellis in one-on-one drills to a virtual draw.  He followed that up with a tremendous workout at the Combine.  He also played very well at Arizona State.  Pollak is the best center in this draft but may not be the first center that comes off the board.
3 93 Philip Wheeler ILB/OLB 6'1.7" 248 Georgia Tech #4 ILB Round 3
4 127 Jacob Tamme TE 6'3.4" 236 Kentucky #9 TE Round 4/Round 5
5 161 Marcus Howard DE/OLB 6'0.4" 237 Georgia #8 DE Round 2/Round 3

Player who will have a better NFL career than many drafted higher than him.

Howard is clearly too small to play defensive end in the NFL, although I thought the same thing about the Colts' Robert Mathis.  Howard is ideally suited to play outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense.  He is a top athlete and has great speed for a man his size.  He also has very good pass rushing skills.  Howard will be a long time quality NFL starter.
6 196 Tom Santi TE 6'3.4" 250 Virginia   Late Round Value
6 201 Steve Justice C 6'3.3" 293 Wake Forest #2 C Round 2/Round 3
6 202 Mike Hart RB 5'8.7" 206 Michigan #15 RB Round 4/Round 5
6 205 Pierre Garcon WR 5'11.7" 207 Mt Union #21 WR Round 4/Round 5
7 236 Jamey Richard C/OG 6'4.6" 295 Buffalo #6 C Round 4/Round 5
FA   Rudy Burgess WR/RB/Ret 5'9.7" 188 Arizona St   Late Round Value
FA   Curtis Johnson OLB/DE 6'2.5" 242 Clark   Late Round Value
FA   Jamie Silva SS/FS 5'10.6" 204 Boston College #6 SS Round 4/Round 5

Player who will have a better NFL career than many drafted higher than him.

Silva is not a great athlete, but he has terrific football instincts.  He has a nose for the ball, makes tackles all over the field and is a good punt returner.  Silva is the type of kid who will come into a camp and make it impossible for a coach to cut him.  Three years later, after injuries and disappointing performances, suddenly he has a major role on defense (starter or nickel safety) as well as on special teams. 
FA   Chad Simpson RB 5'8.2" 216 Morgan St   Late Round Value
FA   Adam Trafalis QB 6'1.5" 230 San Jose St   Late Round Value/Free Agent

 

A-

2008 COLLEGE DRAFT REPORT CARD

by Jay Goldberg

The Colts drafted very well, getting value and adding quality depth.  They also grabbed one of my favorite players in college street free agent Jamie Silva.  The Colts and I are on the same page at safety.  Sanders, Condren and free agent signee Bullitt were all on my underrated list, I gave a big thumbs up to Bethea, and even said good things about Giordano.  However, the talent at safety could work against Silva this year.

DRAFT PICKS

Pollak was my top rated center in this draft and has the speed, agility, quickness and athleticism needed to play guard in the Colts' scheme.  He should take over for the departed Scott and not miss a beat.

Wheeler is a good fit for the Colts as well.  He has better size than their current starter Brackett, and possesses the speed, quickness and athleticism needed to play ion the middle in the Tampa Two Defense.   As an added bonus, he has good blitz ability as well.  Long term he should be a starter at MIKE for the Colts.

Tamme is a pass-catching tight end.  However, he will have to add bulk to be anything more than a glorified wide receiver.  He does have very good speed and quickness for the position.  His future is at Dallas Clark's spot, not as the second tight end used with Clark.

In my analysis of Howard I brought up Robert Mathis.  However, Howard is faster, stronger, and more athletic.  Like mathis, I thought Howard would be best served in the NFL as a 3-4 linebacker, but the Colts have been successful using Mathis at end, and Howard will give them a similar player and another pass rushing threat.

Some have compared Santi to Utecht, but not me.  Utecht is a bigger target and was a better receiver.  Santi can catch, but may be a better blockier than Utecht entering the NFL.  Santi is a smart, reliable player who will need to bulk up some and will have his hands full holding off Fletcher and Robinson for playing time.

With Justice, the Colts drafted my top two centers.  Justice, however, does not have the skill set to move out to guard.  He should make the roster as a backup center and has a real shot to be the player to replace Saturday down the line.

Hart is all, well, heart.  He is a tough kid who plays better than he works out and could be a solid move-the-chains, non--home-run-hitting backup.  He is best served as a backup rather than as a change of pace back.

Speed, quickness, athleticism, raw.  That sums up Garcon.  He is an ideal practice squad candidate, one with a chance to develop into a #3 receiver.  Another plus for Garcon is that he is a strong kid which will make him a valuable special teams player as well as backup receiver.

Richard was the third center drafted by the Colts, however this kid has the measureables to play guard, and even add some weight and play tackle.  Down the line Richard can be a valuable backup who can step in anywhere along the line.

COLLEGE STREET FREE AGENTS

Burgess is a kid you love to root for.  He played receiver and running back in college and was even successful when called upon to throw the ball.  He also played corner effectively.  His best shot to make the Colts' (or another teams') roster is as a return man.  He should be fun to watch in early preseason games.

Johnson is somewhat similar to Howard but not quite as good.  If he shows he can rush the passer and play linebacker he could stick as a special teams and specialty player.  My best guess is that he is headed for the practice squad.

Silva is a heady player, who likes to hit, and makes the most of his athletic ability.  Just like Condren and Bullitt (and of course Sanders who I targeted as a star in the making), Silva was on my underrated list.  However, he comes to it from the opposite direction.  Condren and Bullitt are physical wonders who showed skills but relied on their athletic ability in college.  Silva is limited athletically, but is a tough, smart kid who makes plays.  Unfortunately, with the depth at safety for the Colts, Silva may have a hard time sticking.

Simpson is a runner with blazing straight-line speed.  He does not make sharp cuts and is not overly quick.  I call this a kick-return type rather than a punt-return type.   He could be effective covering kickoffs. 

Trafalis is an athletic short quarterback who could move to another position if he doesn't cut it at quarterback.  He caught three passes his senior year.

red indicates workout number in top range at position in draft
(blue college name indicates workout #'s include Pro Day numbers)

COMBINE
YES
FIRST NAME SCHOOL HEIGHT WEIGHT BENCH 40 10 20 SHORT LONG 3 CONE VERT BROAD
Pollak Mike ARIZONA ST 6'3.4" 301 29 4.98 1.73 2.88 4.47 NA 7.49 28" 9'3"
Wheeler Philip GEO TECH 6'1.7" 248 24 4.66 1.55 2.65 4.29 NA 7.11 36.5" 10'2"
Tamme Jacob KENTUCKY 6'3.4" 236 18 4.57 1.56 2.62 4.27 11.51 6.99 30" 9'1"
Howard Marcus GEORGIA 6'0.4" 237 27 4.45 1.47 2.52 NA NA NA 36" 9'11"
Santi Tom VIRGINIA 6'3.4" 250 14 4.76 1.71 2.82 4.27 NA 7.08 36" 10'1"
Justice Steve WAKE FOR 6'3.3" 293 23 5.22 1.78 2.98 4.58 NA 7.33 23" 8'2"
Hart Mike MICHIGAN 5'8.7" 206 23 4.67 1.58 2.69 4.33 NA 6.91 32" 9'2"
Garcon Pierre MT UNION 5'11.7" 207 20 4.44 1.57 2.57 4.19 NA 6.90 36.5" 10'5"
Richard Jamey BUFFALO 6'4.6" 295 27 5.03 1.69 2.89 4.53 NA 7.25 32.5' 9'0"
Burgess Rudy ARIZONA ST 5'9.7" 188 13 4.45 1.56 2.58 NA NA NA 38" 10'1"
Johnson Curtis CLARK 6'2.5" 242 25 4.60 1.54 2.60 4.46 NA 6.78 26" 10'1"
Silva Jamie BOSTON COL 5'10.6" 204 NA 4.78 1.53 2.70 4.50 NA 6.86 32" 9'4"
Simpson Chad MORGAN ST 5'8.2" 216 NA 4.40 1.50 2.50 4.48 NA 7.35 35.5" 10'4"
Trafalis Adam SAN JOSE ST 6'1.5" 230 NA 4.68 1.57 2.68 4.33 NA 7.14 37.5" 9'5"

2008 NEEDS PRIOR TO DRAFT AND FREE AGENCY

IND       Major Need          Need          Upgrade         Depth Need         Not a Need

QB  Manning and Sorgi are a good one-two.  I like Betts coming out of college and he could challenge Sorgi for the top back-up spot in a couple of years.
RB Addai is becoming a top tier back.  Keith showed he can be an effective starter in the league and is an excellent backup.  Lawton can play too.  A player to battle Hairston as the #3 back is all the need I see.
WR  Wayne, Harrison, and Gonzalez are a solid top three.  Roy Hall is an intriguing prospect with a good combination of size and speed.  Aromashodu and Moorehead can play in the league as well.  A very talented and deep group.  However, Harrison-insurance could be added.
TE Clark is an UFA, but is probably not going anywhere.  If he does a tight end will be needed. Utecht and Fletcher are solid backups.  Robinson spent the year on the practice squad and could push for a roster spot next year.
OL This unit had a lot of injuries in 2008.  There is a lot of talent, but their top two guards are free agents and I could see the Colts bringing in some additional bodies to compete for backup spots, particularly at tackle.
DL Freeney and McFarland will be returning from major injuries.  Mathis played hurt and wasn't as effective as in the past.  He remains a very small for a starting defensive end. Johnson was a find a tackle.  Brock is steady, but unspectacular.  The Colts could use a tackle to push to start and an end with a good combination of size and speed.
LB The Colts linebackers are solid, but a playmaker would upgrade the entire unit.  Brackens, Keiaho, Hagler, Morris are all solid players, but lack the big-play ability Cato June showed in prior years.  There is quality depth on hand also.
DB It's rare that a defensive unit would get a rating of "no need", but the Colts secondary is talented and deep.  At corner Jackson and Hayden were better than Super Bowl starters Harper and David.  Jennings and Rushing offer good depth.  Safety is an embarrassment of riches with defensive player of the Sanders (a player on my draft value list the year he came out) and Bethea starting, the super-sub Giordano, and free agent Bullitt (on my value list last year) also on hand.  Youngsters Hughes, Coe and Condren are also waiting in the wings.
ST Good kickers, good return man in Rushing, and great athletes to choose from for cover teams.  

 

2007 DRAFT PICKS
links go to NFL.com website

Rd Sel# Player Pos. Ht. Wt. School Jay's ranking Jay's Draft Value
1 32 Gonzalez, Anthony WR 6-0 195 Ohio State # 6 WR Round 2
2 42 Ugoh, Tony G 6-5 305 Arkansas # 4 OT Round 2
3 95 Hughes, Daymeion CB 5-10 192 California #16 CB Round 4
3 98 Pitcock, Quinn DT 6-3 301 Ohio State #10 DT  Round 4
4 131 Condren, Brannon FS 6-1 208 Troy # 6 SS Round 3
4 136 Session, Clint OLB 5-11 236 Pittsburgh Late Round Value
5 169 Hall, Roy WR 6-2 229 Ohio State Late Round Value
5 173 Coe, Michael CB 6-1 190 Alabama State #17 CB Round 4
7 242 Dawson, Keyunta DE 6-1 272 Texas Tech Late Round Value
FA Archer, Brandon ILB 6-0 236 Kansas State Late Round Value
FA Bullitt, Melvin SS 6-1 201 Texas Tech #5 SS Round 3
FA Dawson, Clifton RB 5-10 214 Harvard Late Round Value
FA Harline, Johnny TE 6-4 245 BYU Off My Board
FA Meekins, Ramel DT 5-11 284 Rutgers Late Round Value
FA Robinson, Gijon TE 6-1 255 Miss Western St Late Round Value

 

B

2007 COLLEGE DRAFT REPORT CARD

by Jay Goldberg

The Colts go some very good football players but did not come away with the linebacker or running back I think they need.  Their only major reach was Session, their biggest steal was Bullitt, a college street free agent who faces tough odds to make the team (Sanders, Bethea, Giordano, Condren have roster spots locked up).

Gonzalez is a player I like a lot.  He is NFL-ready, and will warrant attention from opposing defenses.  He has good speed, excellent quickness, runs good routes, and has very reliable hands.  Teaming him with Harrison, Wayne, and TE Clark, will make it tough to cover all Indy's options.  He will have a big impact his rookie year, but with all those other options, he may not get big numbers.  Down the line he could be the aging (but still very effective) Harrison's replacement.  As much as I like Gonzalez, however, I would have drafted Posluszny at this spot (I like his potential much more than Keiaho's potential as a replacement for June), and grabbed Clowney or Allison as a third wideout later in the draft.  Both were available at Session's spot in round four, and he wouldn't have been needed if Posluszny was taken in round one.  Ugoh played tackle in college but is projected, at least initially, as a guard by the Colts.  The Colts like using smaller, athletic guards as opposed to the 340 pound types.  Ugoh certainly fits that description.  Whether he ends up at guard or tackle, Ugoh has the potential to be a very good NFL player.  Hughes is a player with a lot of good skills, and a lot of questions.  He can cover, he can come up with the big interception, and he is excellent in zone coverage.  However, he has suspect speed and quickness, is not a top athlete, and could be a liability in man-to-man coverage.  I understand the pick, but I liked the potential of Fred Bennett more.  Pitcock is a speedy, hustling, hard-working defensive tackle who makes plays.  He is a bit undersized, and could use some work in the weight room, but he should help the Colts this year.  Condren is a player I like a lot.  The kid is an amazing athlete with speed, quickness and strength.  In college he played great at times and average at times.  This was because he got by on his athleticism.  If he allows himself to get coached up, the Colts will have a hard decision on who to start at safety down the line between Condren and Bethea.  Session landed on the one team where he may have an outside chance to become a starter.  For most teams, Session would be considered a bit too small to start, but the Colts don't mind smaller linebackers as long as they have speed and quickness.  Session has those traits and is also very strong.  However, he is undisciplined and I believe, he will max out as a backup linebacker who will be a special teams terror.  Hall was a #3 receiver in college but playing behind Gonzalez and Ginn Jr. is no crime.  He has good size and strength, is a top athlete, and has both speed and quickness.  In the Colts offense, he could bulk up a bit and play tight end.  He could be a steal.  I had similar grades on Coe and Hughes and at least one should pan out for Indy.  Coe should fit nicely into the cover two defense.  He has better speed than Hughes (even though their forty times weren't that different) and is a better athlete, but lacks some of Hughes instincts at the position.  Dawson, a defensive end,  has strength and speed and showed the ability to rush the passer in college.  He was certainly worth a shot in round seven.

The Colts signed a number of college street free agents worth noting.   Archer was a tackle-hound in college and could develop into a reliable backup, but needs to hit the weight room.  Bullitt was one of the best college street free agents available.  His workout numbers were very impressive, plus the kid is a hard hitter.  If the coaching staff can get Bullitt to play under control, the Colts could have the deepest set of top young safeties in the league.  However, with 4 safety roster spots secured, Bullitt has his work cut out for him to grab a roster spot.  If he sticks he will be a special teams demon.  I had a third round grade on this kid (like Condren) because I believed he could be coached up in the NFL and eventually develop into a fine starting safety.  With the lack of proven depth behind Addai, Dawson will get a look in camp.  He is a smart kid who was productive in college and is more quick than fast. Two players the Colts should have prioritized in free agency were running backs Jackie Battle and D.D. Terry.  Harline is a pass catching tight end who needs to work on his blocking.  However, the Colts use a lot of tight ends so Harline should get a long look in camp.  Meekins is an undersized defensive tackle who I like a lot.  He is the Chris Leak of defensive tackles.  If he was 3 inches taller (and obviously 30 pounds or so heavier) he would have gone on day one.  Instead he falls out of the draft.  The kid is a football player and I wouldn't count him out.  Robinson is a short tight end who projected best as a move tight end or h-back, or even a fullback.  He catches and blocks well.

red indicates workout number in top range at position in draft

COMBINE
YES

 

COLLEGE

POS HGHT WGHT BENCH 40 10 20 SHORT
SHUTTLE
LONG
SHUTTLE
3
 CONE
VERTICAL
JUMP
BROAD
JUMP
GONZALEZ ANTHONY OHIO ST WR 6'0" 193 16 4.44  1.48 2.58  4.08 11.45 6.54 38" 10'3"

PLAYER WHO COULD HAVE A BETTER NFL CAREER THAN PLAYERS SELECTED AHEAD OF HIM in the DRAFT

Gonzalez is flying a bit under the radar right now.  He has reliable hands, runs precise routes, has good speed, excellent quickness, and is a good athlete.  Most rookie receivers do not hit their stride until year three.  Gonzalez will be ready year one.  If he is drafted by a team that can get him on the field right away, he will be the surprise receiver from this draft class in terms of on-field production his rookie year.  Others will catch up later in their careers, but Gonzalez will remain a very good NFL player.

COMBINE
YES

 

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UGOH TONY ARKANSAS OT 6'5.2" 301 32 5.06 1.71 2.90       32.5" 9'9"
Ugoh is an athletic tackle with speed, strength, quickness, and good feet.  In college his play on the field did not always match his ability.  However, he has the base skills to develop into a very good starting tackle in the league.

COMBINE
YES

 

COLLEGE

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HUGHES DAYMEION CAL-BERKELEY CB 5'10.1" 192 16 4.56 1.55 2.65 4.36   7.03 28.5" 9'6"
Hughes has good cover skills and is a ballhawk.  However, he has suspect speed and quickness, and is limited athletically.  He will need to play for a team that uses zone coverages and could be very effective in that defense.  Man to man, he will get beat deep too often, although he will compensate with some big plays.

COMBINE
YES

 

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PITCOCK QUINN OHIO ST DT 6'2.4" 299 23 4.90 1.61 2.84       34" 9'4"
Pitcock plays hard all the time and makes plays.  He has good speed for a defensive tackle but may be off the board for some teams because of his lack of bulk.  Pitcock may never be a star, but he will be a valuable member of a team's rotation at defensive tackle.

COMBINE
NO

 

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CONDREN BRANNON TROY SS/FS 6'0.7" 208 24 4.47 1.49 2.53 4.10   6.94 43" 11'3"

PLAYER WHO COULD HAVE A BETTER NFL CAREER THAN PLAYERS SELECTED AHEAD OF HIM in the DRAFT

Condren has some of the best numbers I've ever seen for a strong safety.  He is strong, fast, quick, and athletic.  Wow, he had a 43" vertical and an 11'3" broad jump.  Condren is an example of a kid who played at a lower level of competition and tried to get by on his tremendous athletic ability alone.  In doing so, he flashed good skills against both the run and the pass, but was inconsistent.  If the kid understands that to make it in the NFL he needs to follow his coaching and improve his technique, the sky is the limit.

COMBINE
NO

 

COLLEGE

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SESSION CLINT PITTSBURGH OLB/ILB 5'11.1" 236 36 4.57 1.56 2.62 4.15     30.5" 9'6"
Session has a nice mix of speed, strength and quickness.  He is an undersized linebacker who may peak as a nickel linebacker and special teams demon.

COMBINE
NO

 

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HALL ROY OHIO ST

WR

6'2" 229 19 4.41 1.50 2.52 4.13   6.65 37.5" 10'3"
Hall is an intriguing prospect. He has good size, speed and quickness, and is a top athlete.  However he was the team's #3 wideout, which is not a crime when the players ahead of you are Gonzalez and Ginn Jr.  Hall could be a sleeper and even has the strength to become an interesting weapon as an h-back.

COMBINE
YES

 

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COE MICHAEL ALABAMA ST CB 6'0.5" 190 17 4.49 1.53 2.59 4.31 11.17 6.78 35" 10'2"
Coe has good size and skills for a cornerback.  Since he doesn't have top speed he may be best served in a cover two or zone scheme rather than a team that plays a lot of man to man defense.

COMBINE
NO

 

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DAWSON KEYUNTA TEXAS TECH DE/OLB 6'1.1" 272 36 4.72           33.5" 9'6"
Dawson is a pass rushing defensive end with good speed, who could move to outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense.  He is also very strong and could bulk up a bit and move inside to tackle.  

COMBINE
NO

 

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ARCHER BRANDON KANSAS ST ILB 6'0.3" 236 18 4.76 1.63 2.74 4.29   6.95 31.5" 9'2"
Archer is a tackle hound with excellent quickness.  He will need to get stronger to play a major role on defense, but could develop into a reliable backup. 

COMBINE
NO

 

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BULLITT MELVIN TEXAS A&M SS/FS 6'1.1" 201 15 4.48 1.50 2.55 3.97   6.90 40.5" 10'5"

PLAYER WHO COULD HAVE A BETTER NFL CAREER THAN PLAYERS SELECTED AHEAD OF HIM in the DRAFT

Bullitt is a tremendous athlete who will be a terror on special teams.  He loves to hit.  In fact, if a team can get him to play more in control rather than going for the big hit, they will have a tremendous football player.  Bullitt is fast, very quick, and a great athlete. Right now he projects as a backup strong safety, but if he gets under control he could start there or even move to free safety because he has the tools to be good in coverage.

COMBINE
NO

 

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DAWSON CLIFTON HARVARD RB 5'9.5" 214 18 4.54 1.54 2.62 4.16   6.98 38" 9'7"
Dawson is a quick back with good strength.  He had a productive college career.  His best fit in the NFL could be with a zone-blocking team.  Worth a look in some team's camp.

COMBINE
YES

 

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HARLINE JONNY BRIGHAM YOUNG TE 6'3.5" 245 17 4.64 1.68 2.71 4.68   7.05 28.5" 8'10"
Harline was a productive receiving tight end at BYU but will need to improve his strength and blocking to be a factor in the NFL.  He does have the speed to run the deep seam route.

COMBINE
NO

 

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MEEKINS RAMEL RUTGERS DT/DE 5'10.7" 284 30 5.07 1.70 2.87 4.60   7.71 26" 8'4"
Meekins played well in the Inta Juice All Star game.  He is a playmaker.  He is an undersized defensive tackle who may have to move to defensive end, or if he has the measureables, to inside linebacker in a 3-4 defense to make an NFL roster.

COMBINE
YES

 

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ROBINSON GIJON MISSOURI WEST ST TE/FB 6'0.6" 255 21 4.71 1.63 2.71 4.43 11.92 7.23 33" 9'8"
Robinson is short for a tight end, so he may be best served as a h-back in the NFL.  He has good speed and good hands and is a willing and effective blocker.

 

2007 TEAM NEEDS PRIOR TO THE DRAFT and FREE AGENCY
major need     need     depth/possible need     not a significant need

QB Manning and Sorgi are set.  A #3 could be added.
RB Rhodes is an UFA.  Can Addai carry the full load?  A backup is needed in any case.
WR Morehead came on as #3 but is an UFA.  Harrison and Wayne are top tier, but depth is needed.
TE Deep and talented position.
OL Time to bring in some good young depth.
DL McFarland gets banged up a lot.  Another run stuffer would help.  Freeney is franchised.  A holdout could follow.
LB June and Moirris are UFA's.  Hagler may be okay, Keiaho  may not.
DB Harper and Doss are UFAs.  Harper would be missed, Doss not so much.
ST Top kickers, but Wilkins is an UFA so a return man will be needed.

2006 DRAFT PICKS
Links go to write-ups at NFL.com

Indianapolis
Rd Sel# Player Pos. Ht. Wt. School Jay's ranking Jay's draft value
1 30 Addai, Joseph RB 5-11 215 Louisiana State # 4 RB Round 1
2 62 Jennings, Tim CB 5-8 186 Georgia # 14 CB Round 3
3 94 Keiaho, Freddie ILB 5-11 227 San Diego State Late Round Value > Round 4
5 162 Toudouze, Michael G 6-6 302 Texas Christian Late Round Value > Round 4
6 199 Johnson, Charlie OT 6-4 304 Oklahoma State Late Round Value > Round 4
6 207 Bethea, Antoine FS 5-11 203 Howard Late Round Value > Round 4
7 238 Rushing, T.J. CB 5-10 175 Stanford Late Round Value > Round 4
  FA Betts, Josh QB 6-2 217 Miami (Ohio) Late Round Value > Round 4
  FA Bimper, Albert C 6-0 296 Colorado State Late Round Value > Round 4
  FA Robinson, Dale ILB 6-0 235 Arizona State Late Round Value > Round 4

 

C-

2006 COLLEGE DRAFT REPORT CARD

by Jay Goldberg

The Colts reached in round two and round three, and had only an average day on day two.

Addai was a solid choice in round one.  He is a good fit for the Colts' offense.  Addai has speed, can run with power, pass block and catch.  However, he is not particularly quick, and has only average cutting ability, so is a one cut and find the hole runner, not a particularly creative runner.  He is also more potential than college production having never run for 1000 yards or caught more than 26 balls at LSU.  Still, he was the best back available at the spot he was drafted, and will be a productive back for the Colts.  Tim Jennings was a reach in round two.  I had a late third, early fourth round grade on him.  He is short with average leaping ability, average athleticism, and with below average quickness.  Keep in mind, short alone doesn't bother me since I loved the Colts' selection of Bob Sanders in the 2004 draft. In fact, in 2004 I wrote, "If he were not short (notice I said short not small), he would have challenged Sean Taylor for the top safety taken in the draft.  Yes, I said it, Sanders has top ten talent!"  Although similar in height, Jennings is nowhere near the talent of Bob Sanders.  Jennings does have excellent speed, good strength, good coverage skills, and is a ballhawk.  When it is all said and done, Jennings' best NFL position is probably free safety.  His lack of quickness makes him questionable as a nickel, and his lack of height/leaping ability make him questionable on the outside against taller receivers.  In round two, the task is to draft a player that can develop into a quality long term starter.  I don't think Jennings will fits that role as a corner, although he could as a free safety.  As corners, I liked Youboty and Pittman better than Jennings at that spot in the draft.  Keiaho was another reach, especially when projected as a SAM and not a MIKE or a WILL.  He is a very smart football player, has exceptional quickness, and is a good tackler.  However, Keiaho lacks the speed to be a top starting middle linebacker in a 4-3 defense, and lacks the strength to be a SAM, the position the Colts drafted him for as a replacement for Thornton.  As a replacement for Thornton, Keiaho will use his smarts, hustle, and quickness to be an adequate replacement, but I thought the Colts needed an upgrade from Thornton and that he is not.  Thornton was excellent as a WILL but struggled at the SAM.  Keiaho, like Thornton, lacks the size and strength to be a long term answer at SAM.  Again, on day one teams should draft players that have the potential to be long term starters.  Keiaho's long term starting potential is in the middle in a 3-4 defense, not on the strong side, or even in the middle in a 4-3.  If I were the Colts I would have taken a shot with Nande at this spot.  Nande has some risk because of a liver condition, but has the speed (4.51 forty), quickness (4.11 short shuttle) and athleticism (39" vertical, 10'4" long jump) required in the Colts' system, and the skills and strength (41 lifts) needed in a SAM.  Toudouze is a work in progress with some potential, but was selected a round too high for a player who belongs on the practice squad because he is not ready for the job of protecting Manning.  I liked Martin and Morris, two undrafted free agents better than Toudouze.  Johnson is another work in progress, but in the sixth round, that's fine.  Johnson is a converted tight end with excellent strength and good athleticism.  He could end up a better tackle than Toudouze.  I like the selection of Bethea very much.  He is a head hunting safety from a small school with excellent speed, quickness, strength, and athleticism.  He will be a very good special teams player and may be more valuable to the Colts long term than Jennings when considering the spot where each was drafted. T. J. Rushing's value is as a return man and special teams player, not as a cornerback.  He has good strength, can cut on a dime, and is a good athlete.  With Rhodes having to play more in the regular offense, and Walters gone, Rushing could make the team as the primary return man.  He was a very good get in the seventh round.

The Colts signed three college street free agents of note.  The first is quarterback Josh Betts, a kid I like a lot.  Betts is a pocket passer with a good arm and a quick release.  He also has good mobility and smarts.  He has a chance to not only develop into a quality backup, but could be a starter down the line as well (although not for the Colts with Manning in his way).  Bimper fits in with the offensive lineman drafted by the Colts.  He has good base skills but needs development.  He could stick on the Colts' practice squad.  Robinson is a football player.  He is strong, makes plays all over the field, and will be a very good special teams player.  He did not get drafted because, as expected, he did not put up good workout numbers.  However, Robinson is the type of kid who will make it tough for a team to cut him because he is productive on the field.

red indicates workout number in top range at position in draft

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Addai LSU 5'11.2", 214 4.40 1.52 2.48 4.48   7.10 18 38.5" 10'5"  
RB
Jay Goldberg, 900FootballLinks.NET - Addai is a multi-dimensional back.  He can catch and block in addition to run.  He is in the group just below the the first-round-four.
Mike Mayock, NFL Network - Addai improved his draft status at the Combine  He is a tough kid who is probably the best pass protection back in the draft and he can catch the ball.
Jay Goldberg, 900FootballLinks.NET - Addai has great potential.  He has good speed, is strong, can pass protect, is athletic, and is a very good receiver.  Before getting too excited, Addai is not particularly quick, and has only average cutting ability.  In addition, the most rushing yards he achieved in a year was 781 yards, and the most receptions he had in a year was 26.  Potential, potential, potential is the label for Addai, but he could be a better back in the NFL than he was in college.
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Jennings, T Georgia 5'8.2", 184 4.32 1.48 2.51  4.34 11.72   17 37.5" 9'9"  
CB/FS
Jay Goldberg, 900FootballLinks.NET - Jennings looked good in coverage at Senior Bowl practices.
Jay Goldberg, 900FootballLinks.NET - Jennings is a short corner with more speed than quickness, but good strength for his size.  In addition to his short stature , Jennings lacks the ability to get up high to impede wide receivers.  On the plus size, Jennings has good coverage skills, and is a playmaker in the secondary.  Jennings skills may translate best to a free safety in the NFL.
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Keiaho San Diego St 5'11.2", 230 4.68     4.12   7.02 15 36" 9'5"  
ILB/OLB
Jay Goldberg, 900FootballLinks.NET - Keiaho was a productive inside linebacker at San Diego State racking up 113 tackles his senior year.  Keiaho has excellent quickness and could be best served as an inside linebacker in a 3-4 defense.  He is also a smart kid which will help in the 3-4.
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Toudouze TCU 6'5.4", 303 5.10 1.84 3.04 4.71   7.45 23 26.5" 8'4"  
OT
Jay Goldberg, 900FootballLinks.NET - Toudouze is a work in progress who is limited athletically, but could develop into a solid backup in the NFL.
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Johnson, C Oklahoma St 6'3.7", 304 5.26     4.77   8.03 28 35" 9'8"  
OT - NOT AT COMBINE
Jay Goldberg, 900FootballLinks.NET - Johnson is a converted tight end with the strength and athleticism to grow into a NFL caliber tackle.
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Bethea Howard 5'11", 203 4.39 1.53 2.54 4.13   6.99 19 36.5" 10'7"  
FS
Jay Goldberg, 900FootballLinks.NET - Bethea is a terrific athlete with speed, quickness, strength and athleticism.  He is also a big time hitter and will be a very good special teams player.  Bethea is making a big jump from Howard to the NFL, but is an intriguing prospect.
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Rushing Stanford 5'9", 186 4.40     4.11   6.59 20 40" 10'0"  
CB/RET - NOT AT COMBINE
Jay Goldberg, 900FootballLinks.NET - Rushing is one of Stanford's top kick returners of all time at Stanford.
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Betts Miami (OH) 6'1.7", 217 4.70     4.21   6.69   33" 9'4" 33
QB - NOT AT COMBINE
Jay Goldberg, 900FootballLinks.NET - Betts played in the Hula Bowl.  He showed a good arm, and ability to move in the pocket.  He was inconsistent, but had his moments.
Jay Goldberg, 900FootballLinks.NET - Betts is a pocket passer with a good arm and a quick release.  He completed 57% of his passes in his senior season, with 27 TDs and 13 interceptions.  Betts is sleeper who could be a pleasant surprise for the team that drafts him.  At worst, Betts can develop into a solid backup.
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Bimper Colorado State 6'0.2", 296 5.08     4.64   7.49 28 31" 8'8"  
C -NOT AT COMBINE
Jay Goldberg, 900FootballLinks.NET - Bimper had his share on injuries but has good skills and could be a nice developmental prospect for a team to select late in the draft.
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Robinson Arizona St 6'0.3", 235 4.76 1.65 2.82 4.33   7.30 26 33" 9'0"  
ILB
Jay Goldberg, 900FootballLinks.NET - Robinson is a football player.  He plays better than he times, has good strength, and makes tackles all over the field.  Robinson will be a good special teams player and could force a team to keep him around with his play on the field even oif he has to win a job as a free agent.

 

2006 TEAM NEEDS
prior to free agency

IND
QB Manning is All Pro.  Sorgi is developing.  A third QB is needed.
RB James, Rhodes, and Mungro are all UFAs, leaving only the untested Chapman.  The Colts will have to address their starter and backup in the offseason.
WR Wayne is an UFA.  The Colts say he is going nowhere.  Harrison is still an All Pro.  Stokely had a disappointing year, but still as an important cog.  The Colts need to bring in an other receiver, either a player for the bench if they do keep Wayne, or a starter if Wayne leaves in free agency.
TE Talented and deep.  Clark, Fletcher, Utetch, Hartsook, enough said.
OL This is a team strength.  The only need is to bring in some players to compete for backup spots.
DL Brock is an underrated player and a key UFA who the Colts can't tag.  If he leaves Reid or Thomas could start, but that is a risk.  Mathis is a RFA who some team may overpay.  If they do, Welsh could serve in his role.  Freeney, Reagor, and Simon return as starters are form a very good unit.  Tripplett played well, but is another UFA.  Depending upon who stays and who leaves, the Colts will need to bring in some more bodies.
LB Thornton is an UFA, Brackett and June RFAs.  Opposing teams could play havoc with the Colts salary cap with all the key RFAs they need to retain.  Look for the Colts to allow Thornton to leave since he is a weak side linebacker playing the strong side.  He could be a terror on another team playing the weak side.  That would mean that the Colts would have to find a new starter for the strong side.  Gilbert and Morris, their two top reserves are not strong side linebackers, but, neither was Thornton, so Gilbert is a possibility.
DB Sanders is a star already, and a "Rodney Harrison" in the making.  Doss is a good compliment.  However, a good number three safety is need because these two hit so hard they get banged up.  Giordano could be that guy, or the Colts could bring someone in.  David and Harper are under-appreciated corners.  Still one could lose his job next year to Jackson.
ST Vanderjagt is an UFA and will be kicking elsewhere next year.  Therefore, a field goal kicker is needed. smith is a good punter.  Rhodes is an UFA and an upgrade at kick returner is needed anyway.  Walters is also an UFA, he was a steady punt returner.


2005 COLLEGE DRAFT

Indianapolis- links below go to NFL.com reports Jaybird Jaybird
Rd Sel# Player Pos. Ht. Wt. School Ranking Value Board
1 29 Jackson, Marlin CB 6-0 196 Michigan # 5 CB Round 1
2 60 Hayden, Kelvin CB 5-10 198 Illinois   > Round 4
3 92 Burns, Vincent DE 6-0 267 Kentucky Late Round Value > Round 4
4 129 Gandy, Dylan G 6-3 300 Texas Tech Late Round Value > Round 4
4 135 Giordano, Matt FS 5-11 194 California   > Round 4
5 148 Welsh, Jonathan DE 6-3 233 Wisconsin # 18 DE Round 4
5 165 Hunt, Robert C 6-4 301 North Dakota State #6 C Round 4
5 173 Hagler, Tyjaun OLB 6-0 236 Cincinnati Late Round Value > Round 4
6 202 Rayner, Dave K 6-2 210 Michigan State   > Round 4
7 243 Davis, Anthony RB 5-7 200 Wisconsin Late Round Value > Round 4
FA   Laskowski, Chris LB/SS 5-9 211 Florida Atlantic Late Round Value > Round 4
FA   Wright, Kerry WR 5-9 180 Middle Tenn St. Late Round Value > Round 4

 

The Colts value board was very different than mine.  I consider Hayden in round two the biggest reach in the draft.  Giordano in round four, and even Burns in round three were also reaches.

While the Colts draft had some good moments, it also had some head-scratching ones.  Jackson was a solid selection in round one.  He has excellent size, something lacking in the Colts' stable of cornerbacks.  Jackson will be a quality starter, soon.  I do not understand the selection of Hayden.  Yes, as a former wide receiver he plays a heady game as a corner, but he will need time to develop, and is not an exceptional athlete.  In fact, his biggest attribute is his quickness which could mean, long term, he will be best suited as a nickel corner.  It my opinion, this was too high for Hayden, too high for s developmental corner, and too high for a future nickel corner.  Now, Colts and Hayden, prove me wrong.  McFadden, Paymah, and Foxworth (all drafted after Hayden) are more polished corners, are better athletes, will be better nickel corners, and all have the potential to be quality NFL starters.  Burns was also a bit of a reach.  However, he has more potential than Hayden.  If I was drafting I would have gone with DE Tuck in round two, and taken ILB McCune or Seward in round three.  Tuck is a much better defensive end prospect than Burns, and both McCune and Seward have the speed the Colts like on defense and are very strong.  Besides, after drafting Jackson, the Colts have good depth at corner with Strickland, Harper, David, and Jefferson all quality players.  Gandy plays better than he works out.  The Colts had a higher grade on him than I did.  Giordano is a hard-hitting safety.  He is a free safety prospect who has strong safety skills.  He should be a very good special teams player, but if the Colts wanted to bring in competition for Doss at free safety, they should have made a big push to sign Junior Rosegreen as an undrafted college free agent. Welsh is a pass rush specialist.  However, he weighs only 230 pounds.  I had him projected to the NFL as an outside linebacker because he is a very good athlete.  Hunt had an excellent workout.  He could be a small school steal.  Hunt will need time to develop, but he has excellent skills to with which to work.  Hagler is the sleeper of the Colts draft, and the reason I did not give them a D+.  He fits their system.  He is a fast, quick, strong, athletic, but smallish strong side linebacker.  He could, eventually, win a starting spot, allowing Thornton to move back to the weak side, and putting June back on the bench.  If this happens, the Colts will upgrade two positions.  Raymer may be competition for Vanderjagt for kickoffs, but don't fool yourself.  He is no threat to explode on the scene so the Colts can let Vandy walk after the season.  Davis is fast and athletic, but is surprisingly has only average quickness.  He could, however, stick as a return-man.

The Colts signed two college street free agents of note.  Chris Laskowski was a college linebacker who has the athletic ability, speed and quickness to move to strong safety.  He reminds me of Cato June.  Kerry Wright is a small receiver with speed, quickness, and strength.  I look for him to make a run at a roster spot as a return man and slot receiver.

RED NUMBERS BELOW - among best at position   
Long shuttle numbers (where available) in blue, top performers to be determined later

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Jackson CB 4.45 1.56 4.04   6.96 23 36" 10'5" 21
Colin Lindsay of GBNReport.com reports: Marlin Jackson of Michigan did not run particularly well at the Combine and may now get a longer look as potential free safety.
Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports:
Currently running a distant third in the cornerback derby.  However, his great production, along with what I expect to be tremendous workout numbers, could put him in the Rolle-Jones category before it's all over.  He could be the best of the lot down the line.
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Hayden CB 4.55 1.56 3.93   6.88 17 34" 9'3" 12
Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports: Hayden is a former wide receiver who is more quick than fast.  He is not a standout athlete, nor does he have great size for a corner.  Hayden is a developmental project, but his upside could be as an extra defensive back.
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Burns DE 4.79 1.71 4.44   7.24 25 35" 10'2" 16
Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports: Burns had a better junior campaign than senior season.  One of the reasons was that he was injured often last year.  As a junior, Burns was an effective pass rusher.  Although, only 6'0", Burns has the bulk and strength to be effective against the run as well as the pass.
Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports:
Burns played both the run and the pass well at the Gridiron Classic game.
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Gandy OG 5.19 1.77 4.51   7.65   29.5" 8'4" 28
Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports: Gandy plays better on the field than he looks in workouts.  He is a steady player who can be beat occasionally by brute strength or quickness, but not by lack of effort.  Gandy is a  journeyman-backup type who will "hold the fort" if needed to start.
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Giordano FS 4.56           33" 10'0" 28
Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports: Giordano is a hard-hitting safety who will be a good special teams player, and has a chance to develop in to a starter down-the-line.  He currently plays the run better than he plays the pass.
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Welsh DE/OLB 4.57 1.70 4.22   7.84 19 40.5" 10'10" 25
Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports: Welsh played defensive end in college, but at about 230 pounds, will have to switch to outside linebacker in the NFL.  He does possess the speed, quickness, and athletic ability to effectively make the switch.
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Hunt C 5.00 1.77 4.50   7.54 31 34.5" 9'0" 25
Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports: Hunt had a great workout!  He could be a real sleeper in this draft.  He will need time coming from North Dakota State, but he has excellent skills with which to work.
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Hagler OLB 4.52 1.56 4.13   7.21 35 35.5" 10'4" 19
Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports: Hagler will be an after-thought or a very productive player depending upon the team that drafts him.  He is a strong, fast, quick, athletic, smallish strong-side linebacker.
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Raymer K                  
Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports: Raymer had a decent workout at the Combine.  He made 10 of his 15 field goals (4 of his 5 misses were from over 40 yards).  He also did well on kickoffs.
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Davis RB 4.45 1.58 4.18 11.35 7.29 18 38" 10'1" 24
NFLFans.com reports: Davis has great speed, he can make people miss and is a threat to go all the way.  Injuries are a concern, so is his size. Disappeared in his final Bowl game, I don't think he can be more than a third down back
Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports:
Davis is a short back who may not have the quickness to be a major factor in the running game at the next level.  His college resume says otherwise, however, and he is a hard player to bet against.
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Laskowski OLB/SS 4.45   4.17 12.57 7.06 23 35" 10'2"  
Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports: Laskowski is a small, but tough, linebacker.  He will have to show the ability to move to safety to be drafted.  He is a kid, however, who could get invited to a camp and prove to be a special teams demon and force his way on a roster.
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Wright WR 4.41   4.12   6.90 18 37" 9'10"  
Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports: A speedy smurf with excellent strength and quickness, Wright could be a late round steal as a slot receiver and return-man.

2005 TEAM NEEDS PRIOR TO FREE AGENCY AND THE DRAFT

Jay Goldberg of 90FootballLinks.NET reports: 
major need         need position         possible need, depth needed    no real need
Key UFA: James RB, Rhodes RB, Diem OT, DeMulling G, Peko G, Morris LB, Harper CB
Bashir S
Key RFA: Mungro RB, Brock DE (7th), Thornton LB (4th), Jefferson CB (4th)
NOTE - RFA COMPENSATION AT MINIMUM TENDER

QB: The Colts hope Manning never gets hurt,  Sorgi is an untested backup.  A third option with some experience couldn't hurt.
RB: James and Rhodes are UFAs.  Mungro  is a RFA.  Carthon has some upside as a backup.  The Colts will need to address this position in the offseason.
WR:
Harrison, Wayne and Stokely.  Enough said.
TE:
Pollard and Clark are as good a one-two as there is in the league.  Hartsock is a young player they like alot.
OL: Three players who started last year as UFAs.  This is another position (RB) that could spell disaster this offseason depending upon who stays and who goes.
DL: Freeney, Brock and Mathis are a solid big three.  Williams, Reagor and Tripplett are not as solid.  A playmaker at tackle would upgrade the whole line making it more difficult to block Freeney and Mathis.
LB: A strong side linebacker is needed badly.  June is not enough of of force.  A strongside linebacker would help two positions because it would allow Thornton to move back to the weak side where he is a top talent, as opposed to staying on the strong side where he is just average.  In the middle, Morris is an UFA and can be improved upon.  Brackett is a good sub.
DB: Harper is an UFA.  david played well as a rookie.  Jefferson has yet to show on the field what he does in practice.  I predict he will display that talent in 2005.  A shut down corner is always a good thing to add if one can be secured.  This is very true for the Colts.  Sanders could be the second coming of Rodney Harrison.  I think he can be that dominating a player.  Bashir is a free agent who the Colts can allow to walk.  Doss and a draft pick can compete for free safety if Bashir leaves. 
ST: The Colts punting and kicking are in very good hands.  They do need to address their return game.  They need a new punt returner, and Rhodes, who is a steady but not explosive kick returner, is an UFA.

 

2004 COLLEGE DRAFT

Indianapolis
Rd Sel# Player Pos. Ht. Wt. School
2 44 Sanders, Bob SS 5-8 204 Iowa
3 68 Hartsock, Ben TE 6-3 264 Ohio State
3 69 Gardner, Gilbert OLB 6-1 229 Purdue
4 107 Pope, Kendyll OLB 6-1 220 Florida State
4 125 David, Jason CB 5-8 168 Washington State
5 141 Scott, Jake OT 6-4 281 Idaho
6 173 Hutchins, Von CB 5-9 179 Mississippi
6 193 Sorgi, Jim QB 6-3 194 Wisconsin
7 229 Kimball, David K 6-1 209 Penn State

 

I have some very mixed thoughts regarding the Colts' draft and college street free agent signings.  There were some good things, and some scratch-your-head things.  The first good thing was the selection of safety Bob Sanders.  In my opinion he is a first round talent.  He may be the best combination of strength, speed, agility and athletic ability in the draft.  He is smart, and can hit.  If he were not short (notice I said short not small), he would have challenged Sean Taylor for the top safety taken in the draft.  Yes, I said it, Sanders has top ten talent!  But he is short so despite one of the best vertical jumps in the draft class, he will have some limitations in coverage.  Hartsock had a late fourth round grade from me.  He, most likely would have been available with one of the Colts selections in round four.  Only one tight end was selected before their first pick (Cooley by Washington, who would not have Hartsock) and  two before their next pick (Euhus by Buffalo, who, most likely would not have taken Hartsock).  Either way, my selection for the Colts first pick in round three would have been CB Joey Thomas or CB Keith Smith.  Gardner was a solid choice.  He has a chance to start in Washington's spot.  Pope provides an alternative should Gardner not work out.  This was a little high for Pope, but the other linebackers I liked here were unique players like Roderick Green, who is moving from end and may be better in a 3-4 defense, or Leon Joe, an excellent athlete who has more potential than Pope, but is further away from being a contributor in a base defense.  So I can't argue the Pope selection.  However, here my head-scratching starts.  David and Hutchins are good corners but both are small (notice, small not short like Sanders).  They do not have the size to be every down corners.  By the way, the Colts did add a quality cover corner as a free agent in Samuels.  His only drawback is that he is ....  you guessed it .....  small.  So in a weekend of the big receiver, the Colts brought on board three talented but tiny corners (head scratch).   Scott was a good pickup in round five. Kiper identified him as a player on the rise as the draft was approaching.  If Sorgi shows anything, the Colts have a spot available for a developmental quarterback  He had some good moments in college so there's a chance he'll stick.  Kimball is a kick-off specialist who could also make the team.  The Colts did have a very successful college street free agent signing period.  Ran Carthon is a typical Colt running back.  The Colts always find running backs that perform better than players drafted higher than them (or just drafted).  Carthon should be the next in that long line.  He is faster than people think, is a good athlete, is smart, is the son of a player/coach (Maurice) and has a fourth round grade.  TE Utecht was also a good grab.  He is an excellent receiver, and a player that I had with a higher grade than Hartsock, whom the Colts drafted in the round three.  However, the Colts may have to place Utecht on the injured reserve list this year.  Carthon and Utecht were like the Colts having two extra picks in round four, but they didn't stop here.  OT Hall has experience and skill and could easily have been a solid day two pick for a team looking for depth at offensive tackle; Hutton has as good measureables as any offensive guard in the draft; DT Save may be the strongest player in the draft class, and he is surprisingly quick; DT Caudill is a good athlete for his position, and has potential; and the aforementioned Samuels has skills, but may have sighed with the wrong team due to them drafting two smurf-like corners already.  The Colts free agent signings were so strong, it moved my grade from a C- to a C+.

PLAYER/ TEAM NEWS PRIOR TO DRAFT

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Sanders SS 5-08.5, 204 4.36 3.91 - 6.70 15 41½" 10-8
Sanders
Iowa

#1 ranked SS  by Jaybird

Geoff Hobson of Bengals.com reports: University of Iowa S Bob Sanders (foot) will not play in Saturday's, Jan. 24, Senior Bowl after re-aggravating a foot injury suffered earlier in the season. Sanders' play had been impressive during practice sessions before the setback.
Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports: Sanders is a very good football player.  He is a short man, but a tremendous hitter with great football smarts.  Sanders will drop in the draft because of his stature, but will make some team very happy.
Len Pasquarelli of ESPN.com reports: For some NFL scouts, the curiosity level surrounding Iowa safety Bob Sanders at the annual predraft combine in Indianapolis had mushroomed into an obsession, with talent evaluators admittedly anxious for another chance to eyeball a superb college performer deemed by many as too small but also regarded as too good to ignore.  Nicknamed the "Hit Man" in college, a testimony to the train wreck mentality Sanders fostered every week as he roamed the Hawkeyes' secondary, there remained more than a few doubters about the NFL viability of a player who measures just over 5-feet-8 and who frame is solid but stocky.  Most of the questions surrounding Sanders, though, were transformed into exclamation points with his combine workout. Because he plays a position that isn't really considered a premium spot, Sanders still isn't likely to be chosen in the first round, even after being clocked at 4.36 seconds in the 40-yard sprint and posting a 41½-inch vertical jump.
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Hartscock 6-4, 263 4.73 1.65 3.98 - 7.10 23 35" 9-9
Hartscock
Ohio State

#9 ranked TE  by Jaybird

Gil Brandt of NFL.com reports: Hartsock did not run again (ran at the combine), but he looked very good in the workouts.
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Gardner O 6-1¼, 229 4.64 - - - - 30¼" 9-1
Gardner
Purdue

#10 ranked OLB  by Jaybird

Mel Kiper of ESPN.com reports: OLB Gilbert Gardner  is a player Kiper identified as an "under the radar" player.
NFLFans.com reports: In 2001 Gardner broke his right leg which kept him out for half a season. This caused him to fall behind schedule in regards to his development. If he can convince scouts that durability is not a concern, he certainly has the physical tools and natural skills needed to become an excellent OLB in the NFL.
Mel Kiper of ESPN.com reports: As the draft day countdown approaches three weeks, Kiper has identified Gardner as a fast riser.
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Pope O 6-0½, 226  4.57 - - - 18 - -
K Pope
Florida State

Jaybird: below 4th round

Gil Brandt of NFL.com reports: Pope ran a 4.57 in the 40 and strained his quad at 35 yards. Did not do jumps or shuttles.
NFLFans.com reports: Pope may be limited by his small frame and limited size. Built more like a safety than a LB and certainly may see that conversion in the NFL unless he can prove he can add the bulk/mass/strength to hold his own at the LB position.
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David CB 5-8, 168 - - - - - - -
David
Wash State

Jaybird: below 4th round


NFLFans.com reports: Jason David is the complete package as a CB except, he is too small, and everything that depends on size, such as run support and jamming a receiver at the line.
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Scott T 6.04.7, 281 5.01 - - - - - -
Scott
Idaho

Jaybird: below 4th round

Mel Kiper of ESPN.com reports: OT Scott  is a player Kiper identified as an "under the radar" player.
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David CB 5-9¼, 185  4.48 4.72 11.41 7.03 11 37" 10-4
Hutchins
Mississippi

Jaybird: below 4th round


NFLFans.com reports: Von Hutchins does not excel in coverage like he does in run support. He has a tendency of losing his man and gets burned too often. Needs to refine his coverage techniques, especially hip turns and back-peddle.
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Carthon 5-11½, 215 4.46 1.55 2.60 4.30 7.05 22 37½" 9-6
Carthon
Florida

#12 ranked RB  by Jaybird

Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.net reports: Carthon is the son of former NFL player Maurice Carthon.  He is a good athlete, a good blocker, but was only a part-time player in college.
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Utecht 6-6, 249 4.84 - - - - - - -
Utecht
Minnesota

#7 ranked TE  by Jaybird

Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.net reports: Utecht is hurt and may miss the coming season.  He is a former wide receiver and one of the better receiving tight ends in the draft class.  He will need work on his blocking.
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Hall T 6-3 5/8, 318 5.55 - 4.70 8.06 27 29" -
A Hall
Kentucky

Jaybird: below 4th round

NFLFans.com reports: Antonio Hall has tremendous experience in a fine program and is actually the most experienced OT in the 2004 draft. He is a true senior with 4 years experience at OT. He has an excellent combination of size and speed and is rated by some services as high as #3 at his draft position behind Gallery and Andrews.  His main flaw is that despite all his great skills and attributes, he seems to have mental lapses where he fails to take care of minor details in technique, which causes him to struggle on a particular play.
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Hutton G 6-1 5/8, 304 4.86 - 4.50 7.40 36 33" 9-0
Hutton
Utah State

Jaybird: below 4th round

Gil Brandt of NFL.com reports: OG Hutton certainly opened some eyes at his workout.
GBNReport reports: Hutton is 6-2, 305, and super strong - he posted 36 reps pressing 225 pounds - as well as being very quick with 4.85 speed.  He is moving up the draft board.
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Caudill DT 6-2 3/4, 318 4.77 - - - 31 30½"  9-1
Caudill
Kentucky

Jaybird: below 4th round

KFFL.com reports: DT Jeremy Caudill's agent, Jeff Chilcoat, has confirmed to KFFL that Caudill  tweaked his hamstring during his pro day workout, which forced him to miss out on doing his pro agility drill and L drill, which he'll complete later in the month during one of his personal workout days.
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Save DT 6-1 1/8, 313 - 1.65 4.56 7.73 44 - -
Save
Colorado State

#18 ranked DT  by Jaybird

Gil Brandt of NFL.com reports: DT Save did 44 strength lifts (most of anyone so far) earlier in the week at the Hawaii workout and did 42 at this workout. Said legs were too tired to run a 40. 
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Samuels CB 5-9 7/8, 187 4.61 4.26 - 7.09 15 38½" 10-1
Samuels
Florida State

Jaybird: below 4th round

NFLFans.com reports: Samuels is a quality cover corner who lacks the size to be considered a top prospect.

 

2003 COLLEGE DRAFT

Indianapolis
Rd Sel# Player Pos. Ht. Wt. School
1 24 Clark, Dallas TE 6-3 257 Iowa
2 58 Doss, Michael SS 5-10 207 Ohio State
3 90 Strickland, Donald CB 5-10 187 Colorado
4 122 Sciullo, Steve OT 6-5 330 Marshall
5 138 Mathis, Robert DE 6-0 231 Alabama A&M
5 162 Whiteside, Keyon ILB 6-0 229 Tennessee
6 198 June, Cato FS 6-0 218 Michigan
6 208 Freitas, Makoa OT 6-4 307 Arizona

C+

2003 COLLEGE DRAFT REPORT CARD

Clark was a reach in round one.  In my opinion he could be a solid tight end but he is no Shockey and no Heap (who was drafted as a last pick in round one).  Doss, however, was good value in round two and should provide leadership, turnovers and skill to the Colts secondary.  Strickland is a player I like.  He should eventually beat out Macklin for a starting job.  He is a smart player.  Sciullo needs to work on technique but still may be to slow to play tackle.  A move to guard may not be out of the question.  Robert Mathis is a very interesting prospect.  He played defensive end in college and was a monster pass rusher.  In the NFL, he will be moved to outside linebacker.  Mathis could be out of the league in a couple of years, or could be a Pro Bowl, sacking linebacker.  A fifth-round draft pick is certainly worth the gamble.  Whiteside adds depth and versatility to the Colts' linebacker corps .  June has an injury history, but also has skills.  Freitas has the demeanor, let's see if the Colts can make him into an NFL-caliber player.
Clark Pat Kirwan of ESPN.com reports, Dallas Clark, the tight end from Iowa, has his weight up to 253 pounds and his 40-time down to 4.53, which has teams talking about him like he is the next Jeremy Shockey. I watched him up close during the Orange Bowl and he is a terrific player. The extra weight will help him improve his inline blocking and the improved speed will make him a vertical threat.
WORKOUT NUMBERS  Gil Brandt of NFL.com reports, Clark measured 6-3 1/4, 255 pounds. He posted identical times of 4.61 on his two 40s and had a 37 1/2-inch vertical jump, a 10-foot-6 1/2 long jump. He threw the bar up 19 times and did the three-cone drill in 6.40 and 6.64.
Doss Pete Prisco for Sportsline.com reports:  Ohio State S Mike Doss, who some have speculated would be a first-round pick, struggled after arriving late for the East-West college all-star game. He is a big hitter, but he isn't going to show well in coverage. He may be dropping on some team's boards. 
Len Pasquarelle of ESPN.com reports: Mike Doss, Ohio State, one of the most celebrated defenders in the college game over the last two years, is drawing some mixed reviews and could slide out of the first round. The former Buckeyes star is a big hitter, and an aggressive and sure tackler, but there are concerns about his coverage abilities.  It doesn't help, either, that Doss is a shade under 5-feet-10, more squat than most secondary coaches want at the position, and may not play well in reverse. There is no questioning his football smarts, and his estimable character and leadership, but Doss seems to be slipping.
WORKOUT NUMBERS
Gil Brandt of NFL.com reports, Mike Doss may be the happiest man in the state of Ohio after running 4.47 and 4.53 at his individual workout. He had a 30-inch vertical jump and and a 10-foot-3 long jump. He showed strong change of direction with a 3.97 short shuttle.
Mathis WORKOUT NUMBERS Gil Brandt of NFL.com reports, Representatives from 16 teams converged on Atlanta to watch the Div. I-AA all-time single season sack leader work out. This player is nicknamed "The Freak," just like Titans DE Jevon Kearse.  Mathis was 6-0 3/8 and 228 pounds -- obviously not the size of an NFL defensive end, but teams think he can play outside linebacker. He did the 40 for times of 4.56 and 4.53 on an indoor turf-type track in a 55-yard gym. Because the gym was so short, he may not have gone at his full speed, because it's pretty tough to slow down in 15 yards after running a 40 at full steam. Mathis added a 32-inch vertical, a 9-foot-6 long jump, a 4.25 short shuttle, a 7.3 three-cone drill and he added 22 benches.
K Whiteside WORKOUT NUMBERS Gil Brandt of NFL.com reports, Keyon ran his 40s in 4.74 and 4.71, had a 33 ½-inch vertical jump, 9-foot-4 ½ long jump, and benched 27.
June John Clayton of ESPN.com reports Cato June of Michigan helped himself at safety by running well Monday at the combine.
WORKOUT NUMBERS
Gil Brandt of NFL.com reports, FS Cato June ran a 4.60 but pulled up with a leg injury so he couldn't run again. He didn't do the vertical or long jump. He ran a 4.09 short shuttle, a 7.14 in the three-cone drill, and benched 23 times.
Freitas Draft2003.com reports, Makoa Freitas, Arizona -- Ran 5.04 in the 40... at 6-foot-4, 305 pounds... did 36 reps of 225 pounds... that combo of size, quickness and strength will move him up the charts... seen as a possible right tackle or offensive guard...
WORKOUT NUMBERS   Gil Brandt of NFL.com reports, Makoa Freitas is 6-4 3/8 and 304 pounds. He didn’t run the 40s, but posted times of 2.60 and 2.56 in the 20-yard dash. He also has a 24½-inch vertical jump and an 8-foot long jump.

 

 2002 COLLEGE DRAFT

GRADE : B+


Did what they had to do.  Improved their defense.  Based just on players this grade might be a B or B-, but based on these players in Dungy's system the grade is B+.  Freeney, with 4.38 speed will be all over the field, including in QB faces.  Tripplett was the best of the rest (after big 4 DTs) and has the size and ability to stuff the run up the middle and keep players off MLB Morris.  Thornton is a good athlete who plays well in space.  I wouldn't be surprised if the Colts move him inside to compete with Morris, especially if the tackles succeed in keeping blockers off the Colts' MLB.  Joseph may have been drafted a little high but he is the type of physical corner that Dungy likes in his system.  DT Pugh is a DT who can rush the passer but is not, currently, a run stiffer.  Still a good player to have.


Links below take you to NFL.com's report on player, position or college team.

Rd Sel# Player Pos. Ht. Wt. School
1 11 Freeney, Dwight DE 6-1 266 Syracuse
2 42 Tripplett, Larry DT 6-2 305 Washington
3 74 Jefferson, Joseph CB 5-11 205 Western Kentucky
4 106 Thornton, David OLB 6-2 236 North Carolina
6 182 Pugh, David DT 6-2 276 Virginia Tech
6 183 Lewis, James SS 5-10 192 Miami (Fla.)
6 204 Allen, Brian RB 5-9 209 Stanford
7 220 Mallard, Joshua DE 6-2 261 Georgia

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