NFL Draft: LSU's Addai A Hot Prospect

The Patriots could use some youth in their backfield after watching veterans Corey Dillon (31), Kevin Faulk (30) and Patrick Pass (28) all get sidelined by injury. Speedy LSU's Joseph Addai might be that answer, if he weren't already on other team's radar. Ian Greengross, Addai's agent told scout.com's Ed Thomson on Saturday that the versatile running back will be flying to Indianapolis to visit with the Colts among others, but no mention of New England.

After flying into Indianapolis on Monday, LSU running back Joseph Addai will interview with the Colts staff until late in the day on Tuesday before flying to Pittsburgh to meet with the Steelers. He’ll also be making trips to Tennessee and Baltimore this month, with more visits expected as teams wrap up their Pro Day evaluations. Greengross wasn’t surprised by the Colts’ interest in bringing Addai in so early in the month for a visit.

“With the loss of Edgerrin James and them not dipping into the free agency market as we talk today, I would think that they would look to draft in the first round a running back who could be Edgerrin’s successor. Given that Edgerrin was in on every play running, blocking, and catching, and given that Joseph does all three well, I can see a natural fit there,” he said.

Addai is regarded by many as one of the top five running backs in this year’s talented draft class.

“The one thing that all the teams who are interested in Joseph uniformly tell me is that if you look at the top five running backs as they stand today, he’s the most complete of those five guys,” said Greengross.

While some of the other top-five backs are also highly skilled runners, Addai is widely recognized as the best at blocking. He does a good job of squaring off to execute his blocking assignments while also showing good reaction against the blitz. And for a team like the Colts who counted on Edgerrin James to be an active part of their pass-blocking unit, that’s a huge advantage. James left the Colts last month as an unrestricted free agent, signing a huge, multi-year contract with the Arizona Cardinals.

“I had three different running backs coaches while I was at LSU,” Addai said when asked about his success as a blocker. “Each of them showed me something different. But all of them said this was something I needed to be a truly great running back. And I took that seriously.”

Something else that makes Addai stand out amongst the top backs is his experience lining up as a wide receiver. That would give Colts quarterback Peyton Manning and offensive coordinator Tom Moore yet another twist to their already diverse offense. Addai has good vision for finding open spots in zone coverage and runs crisp routes.

Prior to being named the starter in the 2005 season at LSU, Addai was primarily a third-down specialist and role player who was used in a wide variety of positions at LSU. He could easily step in as a rookie and do the same with the Colts. Addai saw action at running back, fullback, wide receiver and as a kickoff returner during his collegiate career.

Sixth-year running back Dominic Rhodes has been slated as the starter for the Colts heading into offseason workouts, but Addai could certainly provide a viable challenge to him as training camp opens and the season progresses. Addai has a balanced set of rushing skills, using his speed to get around the corners while also showing a knack for sliding through tight spaces as an inside runner.

Running back Joseph Addai #10 of the LSU Tigers runs against the defense of the Miami Hurricanes during the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl on December 30, 2005 at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty images)

During his career with the Tigers, Addai averaged 5.3 yards per carry while rushing for 2,577 yards, fifth-best in LSU history. He also caught 66 passes (also fifth-best all-time at LSU) for 641 yards.

Addai was scouted by teams including the Patriots at the Senior Bowl, the NFL Combine and at his pro day. While New England may not have an interview/personal workout set with the LSU back, they have had a number of opportunities to see him up close and in person.

 

Check back on both Monday and Tuesday for an exclusive interview with Joseph Addai, which includes his thoughts on his upcoming visit to Indy and the possibility of playing for the Colts next season.

Ed Thompson is the publisher of ColtPower.com on the Scout.com network. You can find more of Ed's articles here: (Archives).

 

Related: Addai Profile || Top Ranked RBs || More Draft Articles || More Patriots Draft Talk || Mock Draft Muncher


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