Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Your 2008 Indianapolis Colts

Here is my best and most optimistic guess of how the Colts roster will look on opening day, with a thought or two on each player. I'm projecting several veteran and undrafted rookie free agent signings.

Peyton Manning- The man, the myth, the legend, best QB in the NFL, The Colts wouldn't be what they are without #18.

Jim Sorgi-Hate him or feel somewhat confidant he's qualified to hold a clipboard all season, Sorgi looks to be the Colts backup for at the least one more season.

Joseph Addai- The lead head of what I hope will be a three headed Colts run game. Addai has his strengths in all the things that matter most for a Colts RB and his weaknesses in those that matter least.

Dominic Rhodes- Rhodes has never been a great runner, but he catches the ball, blocks and doesn't fumble. The definition of a solid backup.

Mike Hart- The rookie with the potential to be great. In college he was a hugely productive runner, never fumbled, pass blocked with effort and without fear and caught the ball well on screens and short routes. The not fumbling is a sure thing to translate to the pros. The others not as much. His size raises questions in his running and blocking ability and he will asked to do more in the receiving game in Indy. Whether he can stay productive will decide whether he's a draft steal or another great college player whose game doesn't work at the highest level.

Dallas Clark- Clark has wide receiver quickness and route running with tight end size and hands. The Colts gave him a long term extension that insures that he will frustrate opposing defenses and occasionally Colts fans for a long time.

Tom Santi- a.k.a. Ben Utecht 2.0, did they fix the fumble bug in the previous model? As long as they kept the blocking and catching up to the old levels he'll do fine.

Jacob Tamme- Compared to Clark constantly, with him the Colts give up some blocking in exchange for better hands.

Marvin Harrison- If the best receiver in NFL history not named Jerry Rice is healthy then the Colts are a much better team. He's nearing the end of the road, but if the knee heals he could still stick around for a long time.

Reggie Wayne-Wayne has stepped out of Marvin's shadow and if he hasn't overtaken him already he will soon. Wayne is a top 5 WR in the league as shown by his huge production without Marvin on the other side of him.

Anthony Gonzalez- Gonzo stepped up huge last year and will excel this season in the 3rd WR role he was drafted to play.

Roy Hall- Should be recovered from a nasty special teams collision that ended his season and unfortunately the other players career. Hall will be a special teams beast, putting his freakish athleticism to work while he continue learning the Colts offense.

Pierre Garcon- Garcon will compete with TJ Rushing for return duties and for the last receiver spot with Devin Aromashodu and several undrafted WRs. By the sixth round every D1 player remaining is a guy who has been outplayed and overmatched by some opposing players. He wasn't the best at his level so why would he be better at a higher level. Garcon demolished his competition at the DIII level. He'll be making a huge leap, but there's something to be said for a player who you have never seen outplayed.

LT Tony Ugoh- A force in the running game, Ugoh can blow up a D-end and take on a linebacker or safety before Addai catches up. He needs to improve his pass protection, but he wasn't bad as a rookie and showed improvement throughout the year.

LG Ryan Lilja- Another recently resigned Colt. Lilja is a good starter and young. He will be around playing well for a while.

OC Jeff Saturday- The oldest, but best man on the line. He's still the top center in the game. The Colts seem to have a succession plan in place, but Saturday should be kept in Indy beyond the year left on his contract. Center, like QB, requires intellegence, experience and technique more than physical ability, so Saturday's decline should be slow.

RG Dylan Gandy-Gandy has spent two years backing up the entire middle of the Colts line. He's now ready to step into the starting lineup, then likely cash in elsewhere when his one year RFA tender expires.

RT Ryan Diem- Diem is strong in run blocking and usually good at stopping the pass rush. He'll get beaten by the ocassional speed rush, but he's a right tackle, that happens. Diem is still very good, but a replacement should be on the front offices mind in the coming years as Diem ages.

OT Dan Federkiel- Last season Federkiel got injured and landed on IR just as he was finally needed. He never got a chance to show what he can do. He may not be a capable left tackle, but we do know the other backup tackle on the roster isn't.

OT/OG Charlie Johnson- I don't understand Johnson's struggles with speed rushers. Usually tackles can't handle the outside rush because they lack the athleticism to move with a speedy DE. Johnson started his college career as a tight end and has the 5 catches for 57 yards and two rushing yards to prove it. The Colts even used him as a tackle eligible at the goal line his rookie season and threw him a pass in the endzone (he dropped it).

OG/OC-Mike Pollak- The second round pick from ASU has a shot at the starting RG spot, but Gandy has three years in the Colts system and has been blocked in by estabilished starters the last two. Pollak will move into the starting lineup soon enough and provide quality depth in the meantime.

OG/OC David Justice- Justice will have to wait longer to find his spot in the lineup. He may be the heir to the Colts center position, but it's a bit early to count on that since he hasn't even put on a Colts jersey yet.

OL- Jamie Richards- I've heard talk he could play anywhere on the line. That kind of versatility would be a huge factor in him making the roster.

RE- Dwight Freeney Freeney is constantly criticized for his run defense, so much so that I think he's become the opposite of the overrated, underrated guy. The guy that's been called underrated so much that everyone thinks he underrated, but is still called underrated until he becomes overrated. Freeney is the opposite of that guy. You mention Freeney to any casual to hardcore NFL fan and they'll tell you, "great pass rusher, bad run D." They might even call him overrated. It's been drilled into everyones head so well that it goes beyond the level that's correct. He's not a great run stopper, but the Colts don't foucs on stopping the run and Freeney does do a good job of holding up at the point of attack when he's asked to stay there, instead of rushing upfield. When he does shoot around the outside he not only applies pressure and draws blocks like few DEs in the game he completely shuts down outside runs to his side. OT struggle to keep Freeney out of the pocket, they aren't going to be able to come and get him on the outside. Freeney's been called overrated so many times that he's not overrated anymore. He is appropriately rated at worst and I feel his pretty strongly underrated to the NFL fan.

NT-Ed Johnson Solid is the word for Johnson. The Colts can be very good will him, but his starting position is the one that the Colts could find an upgrade the easiest. Johnson doesn't penetrate as well as the Tampa-2 design would hope.

UT-Raheem Brock Brock was really growing into the undertackle spot in the defense before his injury. He's bulked up and lost the speed to be a pass rushing DE, but retained the quickness to be disruptive in the middle.

LE-Robert Mathis Mathis was a great pass rush specialist and is a effective starter. With the influx of pass rushers behind him Mathis could move to more of a part time role that combines the value of using him in more than obvious passing downs, but keeps him from being gassed in the 4th quarter when he's needed the most.

DE-Marcus Howard The undersized speed rusher we all fell in loved with before the draft. Howard will spell Mathis and Freeney and help keep up the pressure.

DE-Rosevelt Colvin I have a confession to make. Not only would I welcome former patriot Rosevelt Colvin with open arms, I have rooted for a player while he was still a member of New England's NFL franchise. Tim Dwight the only graduate of my high school and one of only two players from my hometown currently in the NFL, was a member of the pats for a year. I rooted for him while he was. I have hoped on several occasions that Tom Brady threw a TD pass (only to Dwight. As soon as he left the game I hoped for a pick).

DE-Josh Thomas- The big run stopping DE, Thomas was extended for another year of backup work. He'll be phased out by the youth movement on the DL, but he's a useful player for now.

DT-Quinn Pitcock- Another solid nosetackle. He'll continue as Ed Johnson's backup holding down the middle as the big DT.

DL-Kenunta Dawson- Dawson has been great as a versatile lineman, subbing in all along the line. Hopefully his pass rushing moves continue to improve. He's one of the few linemen on the roster last year with the athletic ability to be a pass rusher threat.

DL-Darrel Reid- Special team ace, D-line depth. I think the Titans drafted Chris Johnson because they couldn't scrape last years 1st round RB Chris Henry off the RCA Dome turf.

DL-Rudolph Hardie
Unsigned last time I checked. Hardie could be Josh Thomas with pass rushing ability, with an outside shot at being the future at LE.

WLB-Freddy Keiaho Brokeout huge last year, now it's time for two seasons of awesome LB play before he goes somewhere else to get paid.

MLB-Gary Brackett Brackett raised his game last season and deserved a pro bowl selection for it. He's the perfect fit in the middle of the Tampa-2 and will be leading the Colts defense for years to come.

SLB-Tyjuan Hagler The Colts extended Hagler's contract for a year and laid down 1.4 million to do it. That's a pretty strong vote of confidence coming from the Colts front office. Hagler will have a year to prove he deserves to get paid, it may not be by the Colts though.

LB-Clint Sessions Sessions stepped in as a rookie and made plays. Sessions is likely the future at one of the LB spots with Hagler in a contract year, Keiaho with two remaining and Brackett one of the oldest on the defense.

LB-Phillip Wheeler Wheeler could be moved to DE, but linebacker is a thinner position and where he's played in college. Plays very fast, despite what his combine numbers suggest. He'll spend a year or two on special teams while he refines his play recognition and zone coverage skills.

LB-Ramon Guzman A solid special teamer and depth to fill out the LB position. Guzman absolutely destroying a punt returner who made the wrong choice of whether to fair catch in preseason still sticks in my memory.

DPOY-Bob Sanders Sanders is the man. I love him. He finally stayed healthy last season and the result was him being rightly recognized as the best defender in the league.

SS-Antoine Bethea A sixth rounder who became a pro bowler. Where did we hear that all draft long? But did Tom Brady win the starting job as a rookie in training camp? Bethea>Brady.

CB-Marlin Jackson It really says something when one of the worst 1st round picks the Colts have made under Polian is the #1 CB on one of the leagues top defenses.

CB-Kelvin Hayden Big, Physical corners are awesome. Hayden brings the big hit just like all the Colts DBs. His INT return the the superbowl was the most exciting moment I've ever had watching football.

NB-Dante Hughes Hughes looked ready to overtake Jennings as the nickelback late last year before injury sidelined him. Hopefully he'll win the spot before the opener.

CB-Tim Jennings The fast Colts CB, but out of position so much it doesn't matter. If I could ask Tony Dungy one question it would be why he was one-on-one with Randy Moss most of the pats game. He has the potential to be a great all around corner, but he'll need to show serious improvement.

CB-Micheal Coe
Another talented CB who fell to the Colts because he isn't a world class sprinter. He's good depth and will contribute in the future.

CB-TJ Rushing Very good on punt returns, ok taking back kickoffs, useful as a 4th CB. A wise use of a 7th round pick.

S-Matt Giordano Despite what Madden tries to tell you Giordano is blazing fast. The Madden creators giving Giordano below average speed is the most blatant racism I've ever seen in a video game.

S-Jamie Silva Can he play special teams well? Ok he's on the roster.

Adam Vinatieri The rumor was he was hurt most of last year. I hope it was true and that his playoff performance is the Vinitieri the Colts will be paying the big bucks for.

Hunter Smith Hunter the punter got on the fans bad side, but I still blame the coverage unit and coach more than him.

LS-Justin Snow I forgot him the first time through but that's how it is with a good longsnapper. If he does his job right nobody notices him.

Practice squad

FB Luke Lawton The Colts don't have a true fullback but most other teams do, which is why they keep one on the practice squad.

HB Kenton Keith Keith ran the ball extremely well last season, so another team should be quick to pick him up if he's cut but there's a lot of things other teams should do, but don't.

WR Devin Aromashado Not the kind of player you want on the field for large chunks of a playoff game, but he's not Aaron Moorehead either.

QB Josh Betts I got the idea into my head somehow that Betts isn't eligible for the practice squad anymore (there's a several year time limit.) I can't find anything to confirm this, so he may be back, but if not some undrafted rookie will begin his tenure as the Colts practice QB.

LB Brandon Acher LB is thin on the roster so they need to keep a few guys in the system in case of injury.

S Brandon Condren solid player, but never saw the field much as a rookie.

OT Micheal Toudouze He was the second best left tackle on the Colts roster last year, but we all know that two good quarters does not a good tackle make.

Stay in shape and by the phone-

TE Bryan Fletcher The odd man out with the addition of the two rookies. Fletcher's been in the system a while. If they do cut him they'll keep tabs on him.

DB Melvin Bullit played well in the few spots I saw him. He outjumped Randy Moss in the endzone, something very few players can say.

DE Jeff Charlston decent against the run, didn't really generate a pass rush.

HB Clifton Dawson didn't impress last season, but he was an undrafted rookie. If Keith is snatched up as soon as he's cut, Dawson is the natural replacement on the practice squad.

OL Mike Elgin Because Polian loves centers and I love Hawkeyes

LB Victor Worsley he's been on the roster and practice squad. If injuries happen he'll be moving up.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Undrafted Free Agents

Jeff Saturday, Gary Brackett, Ed Johnson, the Colts always find quality football players that weren't considered good enough to draft. Here's my favorites of the guys who were passed over.

Rudolph Hardie DE, Howard
A productive pass rusher with great size. He dropped because he played against lesser competition at Howard.

Titus Brown DE, Miss St
A productive rusher who is undersized and from a non-big name school

Erin Henderson, OLB, Virgina

Serious concerns about Henderson's history of knee injuries scared teams away, despite great talent and production

Ali Highsmith, OLB LSU
Horrible 40 at the combine marked the start of his fall. He plays fast and would be a fit for the Colts.

Bernard Morris QB, Marshall
A QB project. The Colts visited the Marshall pro day.

Wesley Woodyard OLB Kentucky
Another small quick LB that could excel in the cover 2

Dantrell Savage, RB Oklahoma State
Very undersized, but explosive back.

Robert Felton, OG, Arkansas
A powerful run blocker, who helped clear the way for #4 pick Darren McFadden and played alongside Tony Ugoh

Jonathan Hefney, S, Tennessee-Joey Dunbar LB, Boston College
A pair of special teams aces with the skills to play in the cover 2

Joey Haynos TE, Maryland
A big blocking TE, with the hands and route running to be a short to mid range target.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

IM me

Questions, Comments, Cool links to share? Hit me up if you do and see me an AIM. Shake1n1baken. Look forward to hearing from you.

Draft Day thoughts

1. The sole goal Polian-Dungy Colts is to be the most boring, great team of all-time.
The Mike Pollak pick is another perfect example. He's the top center prospect in the draft and can play guard. Guard is a current need and Center is a future one. Pollak is likely to be a great player for a very long time. During that long span of likely future greatness he will go mostly unnoticed and Polian and Dungy will sit back and laugh knowing that they are one step closer to their goal.

2. The Titans picked Chris Johnson because they wanted me to hate them.
My feelings towards the Titans have ranged between several degrees of apathy in my NFL watching life. Before today I would describe my feelings towards them as being like those for an annoying and slightly incompetent co-worker. You don't like being around them, you have to clean up their mess sometimes, but at least they make you look good in comparison.
Now they picked my favorite Colts target when he doesn't fit their needs at all. There is no other reason for this pick, other than to provoke feelings of hatred that would make them a legitimate rival to the Colts. They can't be a threat to the Colts AFC South dominance, so they'll up the Titans-Colts rivalry by making the Colts fans hate them.

3. Brian Brohm will be a better QB the Matt Ryan
Matt Ryan is the product of the ESPN hype machine being so eager to crown the next super-amazing-clutch-star-QB that they can't even wait for the guy to play in the NFL before anointing him. They took Matt Ryan, solid draft prospect with a good arm solid experience decent college production and way too many stupid picks, into "Matty Ice" Crunch Time SuperStar. Ryan threw nearly as many picks last season as Brohm did in 3 years as a starter. Brohm changed offenses as a senior and kept his stellar numbers. Completion % predicts QB success better than any other measure. Ryan is totally mediocre. Brohm is the best of this below average class.

Since that pick was as unsexy as it gets

Tim Tebow's girlfriend:

Friday, April 25, 2008

Some awesome Colts pics

NES 7 round mock draft with analysis on every pick

Impressive piece of work. Only one pick that I hate, I think this guy is pretty good.

59. Indianapolis Colts-Chris Johnson-RB-ECU
In a year where they don’t have a first round pick, the Colts can succeed in a big way if they land a return specialist like Chris Johnson here. Johnson is electric enough to come off the board much earlier, and Indianapolis would get the type of game-changer on special teams
that they have been craving.

Yeeeeeaaaah I love it.

93. Indianapolis Colts-Philip Wheeler-LB-Georgia Tech
The Colts have what appears to be a big mess at linebacker, and if luxury player like Chris
Johnson is the pick in round two, then the Colts definitely need to get a linebacker here in the third. Wheeler can be utilized as an effective blitzer from his linebacker position, and would give the Colts a nice situational guy who should develop into a starter in a couple years.

Booooooooo, WTF are you talking about. The Colts had some injuries but are bringing back all three guys that started most of the season and a backup would was very good as a rookie. They lost Rob Morris who was a veteran stopgap and would have lost his starting job before the end of the year if he hadn't gotten hurt first. Boiman was the other loss at LB and he's a career special teams/backup. They need to add a little depth, but they have consistently found solid LBs in the late rounds.
The Colts don't blitz, the send more than 4 rushers less than any team in the NFL. The Tampa-2 is all about 4 rushing, 7 in coverage. They sent 6+ rushers once every 40 plays in 2006. Unless they're converting Wheeler to a 3rd down end his pass rushing skills will be completely wasted.
Cliff Avril should go in this spot. He's a smaller speed rushing end to backup/spell Freeney and Mathis who wear down against teams that are pass heavy (The Patriots).

127. Indianapolis Colts-Frank Okam-DT-Texas
A bit of an enigma due to his massive size and strength, Frank Okam’s stock has dropped somewhere around this area in the mid to late fourth round. Okam has the potential to be dominant with some time, so the Colts could reap major rewards on this investment over time.

The Colts have solid depth at DT, but if he pans out his quickness could make him a big improvement over Ed Johnson.
I'd rather have John Greco in this spot to prevent Charlie Johnson from being the backup at both tackle spots.

161. Indianapolis Colts-Andrew Crummey-OG-Maryland
The Colts can’t get enough people to protect franchise quarterback Peyton Manning, so another guard here in the sixth round is always a good idea. Crummey looks the part of an NFL backup at the very least, so he should stick around in the league and find a role soon enough.

OL depth is a need, but if Jack Williams drops that far the Colts have to jump on him. He's a perfect tampa two corner and a good special teams player.

196. Indianapolis Colts-Brad Cottam-TE-Tennessee
At this point in the draft, it’s not a bad idea for the Colts to look for a little bit of insurance at tight end in the likely scenario that Dallas Clark has to miss some time. Cottam has great hands and could play a similar role to Clark if he can work his way up the depth chart.

I like it. Cottam has the size and blocking ability to replace Utecht as the Colts blocking/short route TE.

201. Indianapolis Colts-Marcus Henry-WR-Kansas
Even with a short national spotlight, Kansas’ Marcus Henry really hasn’t gotten a fair shake this year heading up to the draft. Henry is a big target who is relatively unproven, but could end up being a surprise for the Colts if they hang on to him.

202. Indianapolis Colts-Jacob Hester-FB-LSU
The tough-nosed Hester would fit well in a Peyton Manning led offense, and the Colts are set to take a fullback at least at some point here in the draft. Hester isn’t the best athlete you’ll find at his position, but his heart and love of the game should fit right in with the Colts.

The Colts could use depth at WR, but FB is a bigger need since they get HB/WR Chris Johnson instead of HB/FB Matt Forte. The empty spot is used for my favorite late round player Rudolph Hardie.

205. Indianapolis Colts-Ricky Santos-QB-New Hampshire
Not that Peyton Manning is being replaced or anything, but the Colts can stand to add another backup passer with this pick. New Hampshire’s Ricky Santos is an extremely intriguing prospect, and he should at the very least benefit from working with a superstar like Peyton Manning for a few years.

I'm not a Sorgi fan, but I'd rather continue to improve the Colts awful special teams with a guy like Corey Lynch.

236. Indianapolis Colts-Kennard Cox-CB-Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh’s forgotten cornerback is decent value for a team like the Colts who are looking to add depth in their secondary here in the draft’s final round.

Polian loves drafting DBs even when they don't really need them, but If they pick up Jack Williams and Corey Lynch before this pick they are set. Kory Lichtensteiger could be the Colts center of the future and depth across the interior.

My draft from the guys available. (picks I completely agree with the posted draft in bold)
2. Chris Johnson
3. Cliff Avril
4. John Greco
5. Jack Williams
6a. Brad Cottam
6b. Rudolph Hardie
6c. Jacob Hester
6d. Corey Lynch
7. Kory Lichtenstegier

Thursday, April 24, 2008

2nd Round Mock (I can't feel my face)

32. MIA-Brian Brohm
33. STL-Dan Conner
34. ATL-Chad Henne
35. KC-Sam Baker
36. NYJ-Quinton Groves
37. ATL-Justin King
38. BAL-Charles Godfrey
39. SF-Duane Brown
40. NO-Kentwaan Balmer
41. BUF-Brandon Flowers
42. DEN-Earl Bennet
43. CAR-Joe Flacco
44. CHI-Malcom Kelley
45. DET-Ray Rice
46. CIN-Pat Sims
47. MIN-Tyrell Johnson
48. ATL-Tracy Porter
49. PHI-Dre Moore
50. ARI-Antonie Cason
51. WAS-Early Doucet
52. TB-Andre Caldwell
53. PIT-Chilo Rachal
54. TEN-Cliff Avril
55. SEA-Chris Johnson
56. GB-Reggie Smith
57. MIA-Shawn Crable
58. JAX-Chirs Ellis
59. IND-Matt Forte
60. GB-Anthony Collins
61. DAL-Donnie Avery
62. NE-Taravis Gooden
63. NYG-Xavier Adibi

I can't feel my face (warning explicit rap music)

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

My Mock (1st round + Full Colts)

I've waited as long as possible to get the latest info to make this mock, but tonight is the last night before the draft where my judgment won't be clouded by sedatives and painkillers (they're ripping a few unnecessary teeth out of my head tomorrow). Here it goes.

1. MIA-Jake Long
2. STL-Chris Long
3. ATL-Glenn Dorsey
4. OAK-Sedrick Ellis
5. KC- Vernon Gholston
6. NYJ-Darren McFadden
7. NE- Brandon Albert
8. BAL-Matt Ryan
9. CIN-Keith Rivers
10. NO-Mike Jenkins
11. BUF-Devin Thomas
12. DEN-Chris Williams
13. CAR-Derrick Harvey
14. CHI-Ryan Clady
15. DET-Rashard Mendenhall
16. ARI-Leodis McKelvin
17. KC-Jeff Otah
18. HOU-Jonathan Stewart
19. PHI-Limas Sweed
20. TB- James Hardy
21. WAS- Philip Merling
22. DAL-Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie
23. PIT-Calais Campbell
24. TEN-DeSean Jackson
25. SEA-Martellus Bennet
26. JAX-Lawrence Jackson
27. SD-Gosder Cherilus
28. DAL-Felix Jones
29. SF-Jerod Mayo
30. GB-Fred Davis
31. NYG-Kenny Phillips

For the Colts
2. Matt Forte, RB, Tulane
3. Marcus Howard, DE, Georgia
4. Robert Felton, OG, Arkansas
5. Carlton Powell , DT, Virgina Tech
6a. Rudolph Hardie, DE, Howard
6b. Arman Shields, WR, Richmond
6c. Doug Legurski, OC, Marshall
6d. Corey Lynch, S, App. State
7. Bernard Morris, QB Marshall

So there's your winning entries into the Stampede Blue and New Era Scouting mock draft contests.

Todd McShay's 7 round mock

2. DT-Trevor Laws
3. OG-Chilo Rachal
4. TE-Jermicheal Finley
5. RB-Justin Forsett
6a. WR-Dorien Bryant
6b. LB-Alvin Bowin
6c. DE-Wallace Gilberry
6d. S-Jonathan Hefney
7. DT-Barry Booker
full mock
With Chris Johnson gone before #59 Trevor Laws is my next favorite, so I like that.

3rd round pick on guard is too early for a position where they just need depth. Dylan Gandy has played very well while backing up the entire interior line for the Colts the last two years and Charlie Johnson is competing with him for the spot opened up by Jake Scott going to the Titans. Between the two of them they definitely have a starting quality RG. They just need depth, that is easy found and coached up to NFL caliber by Howard Mudd in the later rounds, especially on the inside.

In the third they miss on Forte, Avril and Greco, three guys I'd love to have in the third and the first two I'd take in the second if Laws was gone. Jack Williams is a perfect fit for a two two corner and could step in soon as the nickelback and replace Hayden if he isn't resigned after the season.

TE isn't a bad pick in the fourth, but they have the chance to both fill their O-line depth need and grab a successor for Jeff Saturday with Kory Lichtensteiger. Mike Hart is also there if they want a replacement for the stone handed Kenton "I don't have to listen to police since I'm a NFL player" Keith.
Marcus Howard falls further than I've ever seen and would be my choice here and maybe even in the third round since I've rarely seen him last this long in a mock.

If the Colts don't go RB earlier, Forsett is a decent pickup in the 5th, but he isn't a great Colts fit. Kellen Davis could fill the Ben Utecht, blocking and dumpoff pass TE role well.

In the sixth, I'd take Robert Felton over Dorien Bryant, Arman Shields instead of Wallace Gilberry and Marshall center Doug Legurski if they don't get Lichtensteiger.

Rudolph Hardie, one of my favorite late round players goes undrafted. I would take him in the sixth if not earlier.

My picks from who McShay has available
2. DT Trevor Laws
3. CB Jack Williams
4. RB Mike Hart (the NES guys have me a bit down on Howard and if the Colts don't get Johnson or Forte, there are many good fits left for them at RB)
5. TE Kellen Davis (Marucs Howard if he was there like in the mock, but he won't be)
6a. OG Robert Felton
6b. WR Arman Shields
6c. DE Rudolph Hardie
6d. OC Doug Legurski
7. DE Titus Brown

Friday, April 18, 2008

Continued Draft Board

After an impassioned speech by Bill Polian in protest of the rising value of rookie contracts and their franchise crippling effects, the 32 NFL GMs agree to allow time to expire on every pick of the first day of the draft, eliminating all of the picks in the first two rounds. As the draft's first day nears it's end and the Colts come onto the clock for the first time at #59. Polian leaps from his seat, laughing manicically with an index card in hand he reaches NFL commissioner Rodger Goodell at the Podium and hands him the card, as all the other GMs look on in stunned silence. "With the 1st pick in the NFL draft the Indianapolis Colts select..."

Who's name is on the card? Here are my best guesses;
1. Glenn Dorsey (reasoning for first five picks here)
2. Sedrick Ellis
3. Chris Long
4. Vernon Gholston
5. Jake Long

6. Keith Rivers, Phenomenal athlete with great football intelligence and size. Can cover, run stop and showed blitzing ability in limited attempts. Fast enough to run step for step with any TE. Needs a little polish in zone coverage, but has all the tools and solid ability already. Not a big hitter, but rarely misses tackles. Main concern is that he will never be an elite player, just very good for a long time. Keiaho shifts to SLB and Hagler is benched/not resigned once Rivers is ready.

7. Darren McFadden, Fumble and character concerns have me a little down on him. He's best suited for a tandem attack which he will be in with the Colts. Explosive runner with breakway speed to contrast Addai's consistent "low risk, medium reward" run style. McFadden is a receiving threat and solid blocker. His throwing ability makes gadget plays an option, but those aren't a common sight in the Colts offense. Just make sure someone remembers to leave some condoms in his locker.

8. Derrick Harvey, a top speed rusher with ok size, Harvey is compared to Dwight Freeney. He uses speed around the edge to get to the QB with regularity. He gets overpowered too much in the run game, but is improving. Pursues and tackles well. As close to cloning Freeney and sticking him on the left side as you'll find this year.

9. Jonathan Stewart, the top power back of the draft, Stewart is a massive 5'11" 235. Runs through defenders and has no fear of (actually seems to enjoy) contact. No fumble concerns. He showed soft hands on screens, but wasn't used often as a receiver otherwise. Has the tools to be a elite pass blocker, but was rarely asked to block so his ability is mostly unknown. A bit of a risk since his skills in two of the most important Colts RB traits are uncertain. He will

10. Rashard Mendenhall, a power runner with good athleticism. Mendenhall has great hands and is a experienced pass blocker, although he needs to continue improving technique in that area. The history of Big-Ten vs Pac-Ten backs broke the virtual tie. A piece I can't find now that I think was at Pro-Football-Reference.com makes a convincing case that Big Ten RBs are often overrated compared to Pac-10 backs, likely by the conferences opposite pas-run leanings (less pronounced now than traditionally, but still present). This gives the Big Ten runners large yardage totals that wrongly take precedence over running efficiently. (They also make the case for Big Ten QBs and WRs over those of the Pac 10 on the same line of reasoning).

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Full Draft Board

There is a good chance the Colts don't get Chris Johnson, so I'm going to rank some more
players the Colts won't be able to get, but would love to draft. I'm going full on into fantasy land and starting at the top. If I was running the Colt's draft (and you can be happy that they have someone much, much better) here's what my draft board would look like.

1. Glenn Dorsey
Dorsey would be a dominating nose-tackle in the Tampa-2, Matt Miller even compares him to the original dominant Tampa-2 nose-tackle Warren Sapp. Great size with an amazing first step.
Could Be As Good As:Warren Sapp
Exceptional quickness and great short quicks. Dominates in 10-yard and under sprints.
Dorsey would not just replace the pass rushing nose-tackle they lost when McFarland blew out his knee, he would be an improvement. The best DT of the Dungy era by far. The quickness of that line would be unmatched. All four would be in the backfield before the QB could even look up.
Injuries are the only major concern for Dorsey, but he appears to be well healed from the leg injury that hampered up last season.

2. Sedrick Ellis
A little less athletic and disruptive in the passing game than Dorsey, but still an amazing player who will do all the same things, just not quite as good.

3. Chris Long
Bigger than both Freeney and Raheem Brock, and much bigger than Robert Mathis, Long could play both left end and the under tackle spot (in passing situations). He isn't an elite speed rusher, but gets to the QB just fine anyway. Drafting Long would move Robert Mathis back into a backup/3rd down rusher role, which I think is a waste, but some people like.

4. Vernon Gholston
An elite speed rusher with a variety of other moves Gholston rushes the passer better than anyone in the draft. Run defense and consistent focus are his weaknesses. Gholston would initially backup both end spots but if he improves in run defense his size would give up an advantage over Robert Mathis for a starting spot.

5. Jake Long
The likely #1 overall pick falls because tackle is not a pressing need for the Colts. His talent is too great for him to fall any lower. The main knock on him is questions of whether he can handle the left tackle spot in the pros. With Tony Ugoh locked in as the Colts franchise LT, Long can settle into a spot he is sure to dominate at right tackle. Ryan Diem is a good starter, a powerful run blocker and only struggles against the best of the speed rushers, but Long is a class above him. A dominating run blocker with great athleticism (he's a possible Pro LT). He'll seal off Peyton's front side even vs the fastest left ends. Long may start at guard temporarily if he can't immediately unseat Diem. Diem started his career at guard and moved back there when his mobility was limited by injury. No matter who's the guard and who's the tackle a right side of Diem and Long, along with Ugoh, Lilja and Saturday rounding out the line, would be the best in the league.

More Later

I will never forgive TheSportsGuru

Stealing Chris Johnson from me in the Mocking The Draft fan draft is unforgivable.

Cool Time Killer

For the football addicts out there. It's a good distraction when all the fumbles in Madden 08
get to me.

Goal Line Blitz

Free to play. There's an option to put down some money to boost your player or create more players, but I'm doing fine without giving them money. I'm currently playing DB for a South American minor league team. Check it out. I like it and it's no investment in money and very little required in time.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Mock Draft Breakdowns

Here is where the players I expect the Colts to target are predicted to go in the seven latest 3 round mocks on Hail Redskins Mock Draft Database.

OLB Xavier Adibi
3rd/#74/CAR 2nd/#52/TB 2nd/#59/IND 2nd/#62/NE
3rd/#83/TB 2nd/#63/NYG 2nd/#40/NO

DT Trevor Laws
2nd/#40/NO 2nd/#53/PIT 2nd/#52/TB 2nd/#50/ARI
2nd/#36/NYJ 2nd/#55/TEN 3rd/#68/ATL

RB Chris Johnson
2nd/#50/ARI 2nd/#50/ARI 2nd/#44/CHI 2nd/#45/DET
2nd/#50/ARI 2nd/#50/ARI 3rd/#66/KC

DE Cliff Avril
2nd/#54/TEN 2nd/#51/WAS 2nd/#54/TEN 3rd/#86/SEA
3rd/#75/SF 2nd/#59/IND 2nd/#58/JAX

RB Matt Forte
3rd/#67/CAR 3rd/#86/SEA 3rd/#76/DET Not in 3 round mock,
2nd/#6o/GB 3rd/#93/IND 3rd/#87/DET

DE Marcus Howard
Not in 3 round mock, 2nd/#60/GB 3rd/#88/PIT Not in 3 round mock,
Not in 3 round mock, 3rd/#88/DET

TE Martellus Bennet
3rd/#78/NO 3rd/#97/CIN 2nd/#47/MIN 2nd/#55/SEA
Not in 3 round mock, 2nd/#55/SEA 2nd/56/GB

TE John Carlson
2nd/#62/NE 3nd/#72/BUF 2nd/#60/GB 2nd/#56/GB
3rd/#94/NE 2nd/#57/GB 3rd/#71/BUF

Times available at #59/Times available at #93. Out of 7
Laws 1/0
Johnson 1/0
Avril 3/0
Bennet 3/2
Adibi 5/0
Carlson 5/1
Forte 6/2
Howard 7/3

So this gives a general idea of the availability of these players.

* Some of the pick #s will be off +/- 1 because some mocks count the Patriots forfeited pick in the numbering and some don't

Friday, April 4, 2008

Draft Tek, why hast thou forsaken me

I write a post pimping them

and in their next sim they piss me off.

They have the Colts passing on Chris Johnson and Cliff Avril to take TE Dustin Keller. Keller is a nice player but not a need like Avril and won't have the impact of Johnson. If the Colts take a TE early to replace Utecht, he has to replace Utecht. Utecht was a blocker first and then a safety valve for dumpoffs. Keller is a receiving TE. He's a bulked up WR. The Colts don't need a TE that duplicates what they already have in Clark and Fletcher. If the Colts are going to stick with a two TE set as the base the other TE must be a blocker or else they might as well put Gonzo in instead of the second TE.

Johnson and Forte both come off the board before the Colts 3rd round pick as does Avril. Because they passed on a RB they then take Kevin Smith in the 3rd passing on Bruce Davis and Marcus Howard who are going within 6 picks. To fill the DE need they reach for Tommy Blake causing them to miss out on Arman Sheilds, Rudolph Hardie and Jacob Tamme (who a now like less after thinking about the problems with the Keller pick).

So to get Keller, they miss on the two ideal backs, don't get one of the targeted pass rushers and can't take the best late round guys. If they are going to take a TE in that situation, take Cottam, at least he's gigantic and a solid blocker. I would hate that pick significantly less.

Hate it, Hate it, Hate it.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Colts Draft by DraftTek.com

Probably my favorite mock draft site, even more so since they've had the Colts getting Chris Johnson for a solid month now. They simulate the draft by using a program that uses team needs as given by correspondents representing each team and a big board with the top 293 players, as ranked by various draft experts. Each level of team need has a specific priority and amount the team will reach down the big board to fill the need. This gives a full draft simulation that is usually realistic for nearly every team. Check It Out, I love it.
Here's the draft the Colts bring in in their most recent sim:

2. (#59)Chris Johnson RB East Carolina
3. (#93)John Carlson TE Notre Dame
4. (#127)Geno Hayes LB Florida State
5. (#161)Keenan Burton WR Kentucky
6a. (#196) Rupolph Hardie DE Howard
6b. (#201) Matt Spanos C Southern Cal
6c. (#202) Letroy Guion DT Florida State
6d. (#205) Thaddeus Coleman OT Miss Valley St.
7. (#236) Marcus Walker CB Oklahoma

Here's where other potential Colts targets fell

2nd round:
42. (DEN) Trevor Laws DT Norte Dame
46. (CIN) Xavier Adibi OLB Virginia Tech
3rd round:
65. (STL) Cliff Avril OLB/DE Purdue
77. (CIN) Matt Forte RB Tulane
79. (HOU) Marcus Howard OLB/DE Georgia
91. (GB) John Greco OT Toledo
95. (NYG) Bruce Davis OLB/DE UCLA
5th round:
139. (DEN) Doug Legursky C Marshall
140. (KC) Robert Felton OG Arkansas
141. (CAR) Harry Douglas WR Louisville
142. (CHI) Drew Radovich OG Southern Cal
150. (MIN) Kory Lichtensteiger OC Bowling Green
156. (PIT) Arman Shields WR Richmond
6th round:
171. (NYJ) Jacob Tamme TE Kentucky
7th round:
203. (PHI) Jacob Hester FB LSU
239. (KC) Bernard Morris Marshall
Titus Brown DE Miss State
Jalen Parmele RB Toledo

I (and hopefully the real Colts) would have taken DE Bruce Davis over TE John Carlson in the third. After missing out on Avril and Howard, Davis is the last of that tier of pass rusher. OLB Geno Hayes is a fit in the Colts system, but I'd rather have OG Robert Felton in the late 4th. Jacob Tamme over teammate Keenan Burton in the fifth. In the sixth round Guion the DT has good size and can penetrate, but is raw, inconsistent and missed FSU's bowl game due to an academic violation (failing or skipping out on classes) I don't like him, I'd take Jacob Hester to add a true fullback to the now crowded Colts backfield. Bernard Morris is a far more sexy pick than a no-name CB, I like sexy.

My Draft from players available at Colts pick:
2. RB Chris Johnson
3. DE Bruce Davis
4. OG Robert Felton
5. TE Jacob Tamme
6a. Rudolph Hardie (I really like this guy after reading his profile. Big guy at 270-280, but has speed and sack production, 21.5 in the last two years. Teammate of Bethea's at Howard)
6b. C Matt Spanos
6c. FB Jacob Hester
6d. OT Thaddeus Coleman
7. QB Bernard Morris