Colts 2010 Draft Recap

Filed in SportsTags: Colts, Draft, Indiana, Indianapolis, NFL

Overall

In the 2010 NFL Draft, the Indianapolis Colts addressed needs regarding depth and the eventual replacement of some aging players. In the first round, the Colts added a third pass-rushing DE to replace the departed Raheem Brock and who may prove to be Dwight Freeney's eventual replacement.  In the second round, the Colts added depth at MLB, with a player who may prove to be Gary Brackett's eventual replacement. In the third round, the Colts added depth at CB to replace the departed Marlin Jackson and Tim Jennings. In rounds four and five, the Colts added run-blocking depth for the offensive line, with an OG and a TE. In the seventh round, the Colts added special-teams depth/developmental prospects at DT and OLB, as well as a potential kick-return specialist/WR/CB/special-teamer.

The first-round pick is a DE in the mold - if not a carbon-copy - of Freeney and Mathis, and was considered to be potentially the best pass-rusher in the draft. The second-round pick is a MLB in the mold of Gary Brackett, and in the Colts' developmental system he should have a year or two as Brackett's understudy. The third-round pick is a CB in the mold of Marlin Jackson and Kelvin Hayden, and should provide an immediate upgrade to the Colts' dime package (along with Hayden, Jerraud Powers, and Jacob Lacey). The fourth-round pick is a depth/developmental prospect as a run-blocking OG. The fifth-round pick is a TE who specializes in run-blocking, and is considered to be perhaps the best run-blocking TE in the draft.

The 2010 draft crop of Offensive Tackles was deep in bodies, but shallow in talent. Thus, the Colts opted not to reach for talent at the one position for which the Colts have a primary need for upgrade. However, the problem with the Colts' 2009 Offensive Line was not at Left Tackle, but rather run-blocking, primarily to the right. The Colts apparently believe their 2010 starting LT is already on the roster, choosing to use their draft picks for rotational depth and developmental prospects.

Given that the Colts have no glaring weaknesses (aside, perhaps, from the OL run blocking, and kick returner - which the team considers to be a "luxury" position), that they lost the Super Bowl last season primarily due to injuries to DE and CB that prevented the defense from stopping the New Orleans offense in the second half, and that the starters in the two critical positions in the Colts' defensive scheme - DE and MLB - are beginning to age, the Colts' draft strategy makes good sense.

Round 1

Summary

Jerry Hughes, DE, TCU

Jerry Hughes, DE, TCU

Jerry Hughes, DE, TCU

Stats:

  • HT: 6'2 / WT: 255 / 40:4.69
  • Career: 139 tackles, 28.5 sacks, 39 TFL, 7 FF, 2 INT
  • 2008/2009 First-Team All-American, 2009 Lott Trophy (Defensive IMPACT player) Winner, 2009 Hendricks Award (Top Defensive End) winner

Overview:

Hughes is a "tweener" pass-rushing DE in the mold of Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis. He is considered to be the best pass-rusher in the draft, and is known for his speed, tenacity, motor, and football intelligence. Many projected Hughes as a Round 2/3 pick who would move to OLB in a 3-4 defense, due to his lack of size at DE (or, in other words: exactly what the experts predicted for Freeney).

Round 2

Summary

Pat Angerer, MLB, Iowa

Pat Angerer, MLB, Iowa

Pat Angerer, MLB, Iowa

Stats:

  • HT: 6'0 / WT: 235 / 40: 4.69
  • Career: 2009 - 135 tackles, 4 TFL
  • 2009 First-Team All American, 2009 Second-Team All American, 2009 First-Team All Big-Ten

Overview:

Most draft analysts projected Angerer to be a mid-round prospect and a solid contributor and eventual starter at ILB. Angerer is a solid-tackling ball hawk who contains well. Excellent run defender and shows speed in covering the field. That the Colts took Angerer in the second round perhaps indicates that the team thinks he has the potential to be groomed as Gary Brackett's eventual replacement.

Round 3

Summary

Kevin Thomas, CB, USC

Kevin Thomas, CB, USC

Kevin Thomas, CB, USC

Stats:

  • HT: 6'0 / WT: 192 / 40: 4.48
  • Career: 1-year starter at USC, 57 tackles, 11 PD
  • 2009 Second-Team All PAC-10

Overview:

Thomas is a quick, physical, if inexperienced, cornerback. His height and weight are reminiscent more of Marlin Jackson and Kelvin Hayden than the shorter/smaller Jerraud Powers, Jacob Lacey, or Tim Jennings. The Colts had a definite need for depth at CB (see: Tim Jennings in the Super Bowl), and have shown the ability to coach up inexperienced players (see: Powers and Lacey). Thomas provides an upgrade and depth as a dime- (or perhaps even nickel-) back.

Round 4

Summary

Jacques McClendon, OG, Tenn

Jacques McClendon, OG, Tenn

Jacques McClendon, OG, Tenn

Stats:

  • HT: 6'2 / WT: 325 / 40: SPD
  • Career: Stats N/A

Overview:

McClendon is a big, run-blocking beast of an OG. Projected as a likely undrafted free agent, some consider McClendon to be a reach for the Colts in the fourth round. However, the Colts generally select OL in the mid-rounds of the draft, and tend to select "project" picks who can be developed in the Colts' system. McClendon fits that mold, and continues an apparent trend of increasing size on the offensive line.

Round 5

Summary

Brody Eldridge, TE, Oklahoma

Brody Eldridge, TE, Oklahoma

Brody Eldridge, TE, Oklahoma

Stats:

  • HT: 6'5 / WT: 261 / 40: 4.85
  • Career: Started at TE, OG, C
  • 2009 Second-Team All Big-12

Overview:

Eldridge is a versatile player on the offensive line, having played Center, Guard, and Tight End; but his primary strength is as a run-blocking Tight End. Eldridge is considered by many as one of, if not the, best run-blocking Tight Ends in the draft. It is highly likely that the Colts drafted Eldridge for precisely that role, as he would be an incredibly small OG, even by previous Colts' standards.

Round 6

(The Colts had no picks in Round 6.)

Round 7

Summary

Ricardo Mathews, DT, Cincinnati

Ricardo Matthews, DT, Cincinnati

Ricardo Mathews, DT, Cincinnati

Stats:

  • HT: 6'3 / WT: 294 / 40: 4.98

Overview:

Mathews is a developmental prospect for the Colts' interior defensive line. His propensity as a run stuffer likely indicates that he will remain at DT, although based on his size Mathews fits the DT/DE "tweener" mold. Adds depth to a generally solid defensive tackle rotation.

Kavell Conner, LB, Clemson

Kavell Conner, LB, Clemson

Kavell Conner, LB, Clemson

Stats:

  • HT: 6'0 / WT: 242 / 40: 4.63

Overview:

Conner is a developmental prospect at WIL for the Colts. His speed and range suit him well for the weakside LB position in the Colts' system. Adds rotational depth to the LB corps and, as a compensatory pick, comes at a very good value for the Colts. Likely special-teams depth in his first year or two.

Ray Fisher, DB, Indiana

Ray Fisher, DB, Indiana

Ray Fisher, DB, Indiana

Stats:

  • HT: 5'9 / WT: 185 / 40: 4.45

Overview:

Fisher was a KR/PR specialist in college who played WR his first three seasons, then switched to CB in his senior season. Likely drafted by the Colts as a potential kick returner, Fisher is a special-teams player who adds potential depth at both CB and WR.

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