Colts Draft: Going Deep

The Colts have a few offseason holes to fill; but don't worry, recent history has shown they'll have no problem filling them with second-day draft picks and undrafted free agents.

No team does better on the second day of the draft than the Colts. At least, since team president Bill Polian arrived. Among the second-day picks and undrafted free agents he's found include Gary Brackett, Dominic Rhodes, Cato June, Robert Mathis, Antoine Bethea, Raheem Brock, Ben Utecht, Ryan Lilja, Jeff Saturday, Jason David, Nick Harper, Jake Scott, David Thornton, Ryan Diem, Darrell Reid, Terrence Wilkins, Rick DeMulling and Brad Scioli. You might even say they've done better on the second (and third, if you want to call it that) day than the first.

Because of that, you may want to take a look at some of the prospects who are likely be around on the second day, but suit the Colts' needs and requirements.

QB: The Colts like to audition intelligent guys with big, accurate arms, whether or not they've had a great deal of college success. The prevailing wisdom in Indy is that footwork and release problems can be coached away and that character, grit and intellect are important building blocks. How about: Matt Gutierrez, Idaho State.

RB: Even with Joseph Addai and Rhodes, Polian publicly bemoaned the lack of a big back, one who could power through the tackles and be something of a sure-thing on third-and-long. Of course, any back who would like to play for the Colts must be adept at pass blocking and should have natural receiving skills. They have enough skittery scatbacks on the roster with Dede Dorsey and Kenton Keith, they need a hard runner with real leg drive and and grit. How about: Kolby Smith, Louisville.

WR: The Colts' offense works best when there's an effective player in the slot. The best one they had last year was Dallas Clark, but he's much better off at tight end. The job requirements are simple: have good hands, be able to make yards after the catch and, most important, have the courage to run through the linebackers and outrun the safeties. Return skills are a plus, too. How about: Ryne Robinson, Miami of Ohio.

TE: The Colts are always looking for athletic tight ends who can catch. They don't have to have an impressive forty, but they should have enough speed to split safeties. More important is a good understanding of zone and positioning. How about: Dante Rosario, Oregon.

T: As much luck at they've had with second-day picks, I don't think the Colts would trust left tackle to any but the most talented player — at least as long as Peyton Manning's in town. Right tackle, on the other hand, they'll take more of a chance on. The Colts look for intelligent players with some athleticism (especially from small schools) who can be coached up. How about: Elliot Vallejo, Cal-Davis.

G/C: The Colts make little distinction between guards and centers and expect their prospects to be able to play both positions. Fat guys need not apply, the Colts are looking for smart players, hard workers with athleticism. How about: Corey Davis, James Madison.

DE: While it may appear the Colts have lots of depth at end but could use more bulk there, Polian never met a skinny pass-rusher he didn't like. He tends to lean towards quick first step guys who can run like gazelles, no matter how light they are. Strong tackling skills are a real plus, as is toughness. What about: Jacob Ford, Central Arkansas.

DT: Forget a big blocker-eater. Not only do the Colts normally eschew them, but the premium at this position is so high that any big DT left on the second day is usually a slug. Keep your eye out instead for quick one-gappers, guys many teams might consider end prospects. While size isn't necessarily that important, strong tackling and a high-revving motor are. How about: Brent Curvey, Iowa.

OLB: You know the story: If you want to play linebacker for Indy, you have to have speed. While they aren't against players with size, they'll take a smaller guy if he can run. Other attributes they look for are strong open-field tackling, an ability to cause fumbles and an understanding of zone coverage. How about: Quincy Black, New Mexico.

ILB: At this position, the Colts are looking for productive players who will run through a brick wall to make the play. As with many positions, size is far less important that intangibles. How about: Desmond Bishop, Cal-Berkeley.

CB: Any team that prizes both Jason David and Marlin Jackson clearly isn't looking at a size/speed prototype at the position. Instead they look for boldness, an ability to hit, a willingness to fill and tackle in run support and an understanding of zones. Deep speed is nice, but not essential. How about: Duane Coleman, Clemson.

S: The Colts safeties need to be able to cover the deep half, but should also be able to fill in and support the run. Big-time hitters are preferred, especially if they can jar the ball loose. How about: Gerald Alexander, Boise State.


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