Next Level Scouting broke the news that according to Pearson's agent, he was going to sign with Indianapolis after receiving an offer following the conclusion of the NFL Supplemental Draft on Thursday.
In preparation for the Supplemental Draft, Pearson held a personal workout where he was clocked at 4.51 and 4.53 in the 40, 2.71/2.72 in 20-yard splits, 4.16/4.24 in the short shuttle, 6.88 three-cone, and posted a 10'2" broad jump and 37" vertical leap. He had scored a 16 on the Wonderlic in the spring, which is average for running backs. The average NFL player scores a 21 on the test, same as an average worker in the general workforce.
Pearson weighed 205 pounds at his workout and measures an even 6'0 in height. He started seven games for Mississippi in 2004, leading the team with 807 yards rushing on 158 carries (5.1 yds. per carry) with three touchdowns. Not a huge receiving threat, he pulled in just 7 passes during the year (20 during his 3-year career). In his two previous seasons, he started just two games out of 23 appearances, rushed for 634 yards and nine touchdowns. Over the course of his career, he averaged 4.4 yards per carry.
But Pearson's overall numbers weren't too shabby considering he was part of an offense that ranked 103rd in the country in 2004 and that averaged less than 20 points per game.
But on June 8th, the news broke that the NCAA had declared Pearson academically ineligible for his senior season.
"Vashon did not meet NCAA eligibility requirements and will not play his senior season for the Ole Miss Rebels," Mississippi head coach Ed Orgeron said. "He is no longer on the team."
Pearson's agent, John Holmes worked the phones with NFL teams to bring them up to speed on his client with the Supplemental Draft and training camps quickly approaching. And despite the Colts' usual aversion to players with academic problems, they may have seen an otherwise hard-working, good kid who could play an important role heading into the 2005 season as a short-yardage specialist.
"I think there is a big upside for Vashon," Holmes said. "He's a good kid and he'll work really hard. He has a lot of what is takes to be a part of the NFL already."
ColtPower's Take: Pearson is a straight-ahead runner who works well between the tackles. After another season of being denied in short-yardage and goal-line situations, the Colts may be looking to Pearson to solve that problem.
He explodes out of his stance and loves running straight ahead, allowing him to power his way through the interior. And if the hole just isn't there, he can opt to use his excellent leaping ability (measured as high as 40" in the vertical leap) to get that tough yard or inches.
Pearson doesn't make much sense in any other capacity. He doesn't have great moves in the open field and is only average as a receiver. Compared to the other running backs on the Colts roster, he doesn't add great value in those areas. If he doesn't show that he can be the go-to guy in short-yardage situations during the preseason, he may not last long. But he has the work ethic and the initial power burst to grab that role and contribute on special teams. He has some limited experience as a kickoff returner.
Agent Says Pearson Joining Colts
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