Blocking TE the Choice in Round Five

The Colts have a great pass-catching tight end in Dallas Clark, but they are still searching for another to line up and seal the edge in the running game. The Colts added Oklahoma's Brody Eldridge to an already crowded depth chart at TE in the NFL Draft's fifth round.

Eldridge clearly wasn't selected for his pass-catching ability — he caught just two passes in 2009 and had just 13 for his career — but rather for his versatility and offensive lineman-like mindset.

Eldridge started at both center and guard last season at Oklahoma, and also played some fullback during his Sooner career, in addition to tight end. There is a chance the team could take him on as an offensive line project — at 6-feet-5, 265 pounds, he may have the frame to add 30-40 pounds and move inside to tackle or guard.

If he does stay at tight end, then current backups at the second tight end/H-back position had to have sat up and taken notice of the selection. Gijon Robinson is the starter there, but his play at the position has left a lot to be desired — and while Eldridge wasn't drafted to catch the ball, it wouldn't take much to be a better alternative in the passing game.

Third-year players Tom Santi and Jacob Tamme have both shown flashes of potential, but neither has been able to carve out a role in their two seasons on the team. Santi is a prototypical, in-line tight end, while Tamme is the better receiving option.

Eldridge appears to be a very technically sound run-blocker. How the Colts plan to use him is still a bit of a mystery, however.


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