Will This Quarterback Draw Indy's Interest?

A quarterback who just recently hit the free agent market could be worth a look by the Colts for their third-string/practice squad spot. He's got the field presence and intelligence, but does he have the arm?

The Kansas City Chiefs released their seventh-round pick from 2005, quarterback James Kilian out of Tulsa. Since Kilian was just released, we haven't heard what the level of interest in him -- if any -- the Colts may have. But he could certainly be worth a look based on the Colts current quarterback situation. And he has the physical size and skills that could encourage them to make an inquiry about his interest in Indy.

Colts scouts should be quite familiar with Kilian since they've seen enough film on two of his receivers to bring them to Indianapolis over the past two seasons. Last year, Tulsa wide receiver Montiese Culton was in the Colts camp as an undrafted free agent and has re-signed with the team. And this year, they went after wide receiver/kickoff returner Ashlan Davis who was catching passes from Kilian when Davis was a junior.

Kilian is tall enough (6'3) and durable enough to be a successful pocket passer, but he's also very mobile and has good accuracy on the run. He posted 5,948 total yards during his collegiate career, third-best in Tulsa history and he finished fifth in school history in passing yards (4,865). He has good ability to work the short-passing game, which is essential with the Colts offense, and his intelligence in working through route progressions with his receivers is very sound. But question marks remain about his ability to throw the medium to deep ball accurately enough to be a real threat in that area at the pro level. But with just one training camp under his belt, it's too early to know that decisively.

Kilian wouldn't be an expensive gamble since he's only a second-year player. He just finished working in NFL Europe with the Hamburg Sea Devils, but was buried on their depth chart. He only saw enough action to complete 38 out of 77 passes for 406 yards, 3 touchdowns and 5 interceptions. He would be a bit of a project for the Colts, but that's exactly the kind of guy they need for their practice squad/third-string quarterback unless the believe rookies Josh Betts or David Koral are showing promise for that role. 

But if the Colts are also looking for a young player who has the personal traits that mesh well with their organization, Kilian would be a good match. His head coach at Tulsa, Steve Kragthorpe, was quoted by collegefootballnews.com in 2004 as saying, "One of his greatest characteristics is that he is a tremendous worker. He comes from a rural background where hard work and those things are part of his daily life. I have said it before, I have three sons, but if I had a daughter, I would want him knocking on the door...He is a tremendous person and takes care of his business academically, as well."

The Colts may be set with Betts and Koral battling for the third quarterback position, but it will be interesting to see where James Kilian lands over the next few weeks.


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