Colts Draft Analysis, Part Two

Jerry Langton continues his analysis of the Colts' draft class of 2005, focusing on the final five picks from last weekend.

5/148: Jonathan Welsh, DE/ Wisconsin

2004 stats: 15 TK, 12 AT, 4.5-26 TFL, 2-22 SK
Workout numbers: 6032/244, 19 reps, 4.63/4.66 forty, 40.5 VJ, 10'10 BJ, 4.22 shut, 7.83 cone (ran 4.51/4.52 at workout)
Who is he: On any other team, Welsh would be projected as a linebacker, but on the Colts he's a situational end/special-teamer. Don't let his injury-plagued senior season scare you, he had 11.5 stuffs and 8 sacks as a junior and knows how to penetrate as much as any prospect, He's so quick off the snap, it was actually funny to watch him matched up against some big, immobile college tackle. Welsh knows how to play low and is surprisingly hard to knock off the line for a man his size. 

Where he fits: It's interesting that the Colts would select Welsh after having already grabbed a very similar player in Burns. But Polian has said that he can never have enough pass-rushers and it's very likely Welsh has a spot as a special-teamer and spot player.

5/165: Robert Hunt, C/North Dakota State

Workout numbers: 6036/301, 31 reps, 5.01/5.07 forty, 34.5 VJ, 9'0 BJ, 4.45 shut, 7.49 cone (ran 5.00/5.03 at workout) 

Who is he:
He's a find. The only pick that didn't surprise me at all, Hunt is everything you'd want in a lineman. He has a big frame — although he could stand to add more muscle — long, strong arms, quick feet and a technician's mind. Despite the fact he went to a very small school, Hunt is a polished prospect who may well develop quicker than many prospects drafted higher. To give you an idea of how well Hunt does his job, keep in mind he's the only center I have ever seen voted team MVP at any level. 

Where he fits:
As good a prospect as he is, Hunt may have a hard time finding a spot. With Jeff Saturday, Scott, Lilja, Trevor Hutton and now Gandy ahead of him, he'll have to be very impressive to earn any playing time. He does, however, have the highest upside of any of them.

5/173: Tyjuan Hagler, LB/Cincinnati

2004 stats: 49 TK, 33 AT, 8-24 TFL, 1-2 SK, 2 PBU, 1-0-0 FR, 1 FF, 1-19-0 PR 

Workout numbers:
5115/236, 35 reps, 4.64/4.67 forty, 35.5 VJ, 10'4 BJ, 4.07 shut, 7.21 cone 

Who is he:
He's a star college player who did everything you expect from a linebacker prospect. He can penetrate and pursue and is an effective, wrap-up tackler. What I like most about Hagler though, is that in pass coverage, he works hard to keep the action in front of him and delivers lasting hits. He was always around the ball in college and I never saw him fooled. 

Where he fits: Hagler will learn how to play middle linebacker and will also be expected to earn his pay on special teams. Hagler's production and instincts can't be denied, but he was downgraded because of his serious lack of height. People had the same complaints about Sanders when he was drafted, but, when he eventually got on the field, he proved them wrong. Hagler is not a difference-maker of Sanders' quality, but I think the analogy applies. Although he could emerge as a rookie starter, I wouldn't bet a lot on it.

6/202: Dave Rayner, K/Michigan

2004 stats: 22/31 FG, 39/39 XP, 5-172 PUNT, 1-(-5)-0 RUSH, 2 TK, 1 AT 

Workout numbers: Who cares, he's a kicker 

Who is he: He's a big leg. Rayner put kickoffs through opposing end zones with such regularity that it almost became boring, but he made every field-goal attempt —especially the clutch ones — a thrilling adventure. 

Where he fits: Like David Kimball before him, Rayner was drafted to kick off. His leg strength is not in question, but his mental/emotional makeup is. Watch him closely in preseason to see how he adapts to NFL conditions and a different ball. He's a weapon or an early cut.  

7/243: Anthony Davis, RB/Wisconsin

2004 stats: 201-973-11 RUSH, 13-96-0 REC 

Workout numbers: 5065/200, 19 reps, 4.54 forty, 38 VJ, 10'1 BJ, 4.18 shut, 7.39 cone (ran 4.45/4.46 at workout) 

Who is he: An extremely productive back in college, Davis runs hard and has those small undefinables (vision, balance, instinct, first step, small-area quickness, agility) that separate mere athletes from bona fide football players. Though vastly undersized for the NFL, he always seemed to be able to make the big plays in college and is as determined and willing a player as you'll ever see. As small as he was, most observers agreed he'd be a first day pick if it weren't for his run-ins with the law and his nagging injuries over the past three years. 

Where he fits: At this point, the Colts' running back situation is in flux. It looks like James and Dominic Rhodes are clearly 1 and 2, but James Mungro and Ran Carthon aren't guaranteed anything. Although Davis doesn't have much experience in the kick return department, he has the skills to be a game breaker there. 

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