Tuesday, Indianapolis held tryouts for rookie defensive tackle Joe Bradley (LA-Lafayette) and rookie wide receiver Matt Trannon (Michigan State).
Bradley was not invited to the Scouting Combine and saw the seven rounds of the 2007 NFL Draft go by without hearing his name called. He signed as an undrafted free agent with the Minnesota Vikings in May. He lasted through training camp before he was released in the cutdown to 80 players at the end of August.
It was no surprise Bradley wasn't drafted, considering that he played against a lower level of competition in college and is vastly undersized to play the defensive tackle at 6 feet, 4 inches, 265 pounds. While he possesses a good initial burst, he does not have the kind of quickness that the Colts look for in a player his size.
It's true that the Colts have gone to smaller fronts in known passing situations, but they are probably better off with Raheem Brock or Ed Johnson in the game, possibly even sliding Robert Mathis or Josh Thomas into the the tackle position. At this point, Bradley is simply too small to hold up at the point of attack and not quick or explosive enough to blow by a guard or center, especially at the NFL level.
The fact that he was cut early in the process by the Vikings and not signed to their practice squad — or anyone else's practice squad — is troubling, but even more troubling is the fact that the Colts brought Bradley in at all.
Since no one but the Colts know the extent of Raheem Brock's injury, it may be more severe than anyone is letting on. Then again, when they were thin at running back in the early part of the season and unsure about Joseph Addai's status, they held tryouts for running backs Shaud Williams and Quincy Wilson. Though Williams and Wilson had considerably more accomplished NFL resumes than Bradley, they were not signed.
AP Photo/Duane Burleson
Trannon attended the Scouting Combine in February, but also went undrafted. He was signed as a free agent by the Arizona Cardinals shortly after the draft after he received a recommendation from his cousin, Lonnie Young, who is a scout for the Cardinals.
Because of his size — 6 feet, 6 inches, 235 pounds — a number of teams considered him at tight end, particularly since he also played basketball at Michigan State.
The knock on Trannon has always been that he is not strong or aggressive enough to properly take advantage of his size.
As a receiver, Trannon lacks the ability to use his body to box the defender out and the deep speed to challenge defenses vertically. He surprised scouts by running a 4.57 at the Combine, but many feel that he runs slower than his stopwatch speed.
He would also be a poor fit for Indianapolis, as they prefer smaller, faster receivers that are more polished, run better routes, and are not afraid to go over the middle and fight for the ball.
Simply put, he seems to be a player with athletic upside, but no position, similar to the Broncos' Teyo Johnson, who struggled to make the switch to tight end after being drafted by Oakland in 2003.
Also Tuesday, the Arizona Cardinals signed wide receiver Jemalle Corneilius, formerly of the Colts' practice squad, to their practice squad.