First Draft Pick Signed

Michigan State kicker Dave Rayner became the first of the Colts draft class of 2005 to sign a contract.

Sixth-round draft pick Dave Rayner has has reportedly signed a 3-year deal with the Colts. His contract includes an undisclosed signing bonus and will pay him the league minimum of $230,000 in his rookie season.

According to some observers, Rayner has looked good so far in his bid to become the Colts kickoff specialist. Last year Penn State rookie David Kimball, the Colts' 7th-round pick, failed in his bid to make the final roster in that capacity.

On draft day, Colts President Bill Polian was adamant that the Colts needed to bolster their kickoff talent.

"We're going to carry a kickoff man," Polian said after the selection of Rayner in April. "We have no conversation about that. That's the way it's going to be. We feel he's capable of doing that. He has, we felt, the biggest leg next to (Ohio State kicker) Mike Nugent in the entire draft."

The Colts open their training camp on July 27th, so expect a flurry of activity between now and next Wednesday. Rookies who are not signed by then can't participate in training camp. The Colts and the draft class face added pressure due to the team's departure on August 3rd to play in the Tokyo Bowl against the Falcons, which will be nationally televised and a great opportunity to showcase their talent in preseason action.

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