Indiana

Posts filed under Indiana

Colts 2009 Draft Recap

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

OVERALL

The Colts addressed several needs, and did so without reaching and without giving away the farm in up-trades. The Colts added a viable #2 RB to replace Dom Rhodes, two big run-stuffing DTs, a project CB to add depth, a project slot receiver/potential kick returner, a value-pick late-round QB, a punter to replace Hunter Smith, and another value-pick, late-rounder OG.

The Colts made only two, very minor draft moves: trading up in the second round to get DT Moala (which cost the Colts their fifth-rounder), and trading their 2010 sixth-rounder to get P/K McAfee.

The only mildly surprising omission from the draft slate is LB. Either the Colts didn't like the value at LB at their selection points, or else the team is satisfied with the current linebacker corps. Either way, it is difficult to argue for an LB over any of the Colts' picks (except perhaps QB Painter - though he could easily prove to be a much cheaper #2 QB than Sorgi, and equally effective).

ROUND 1

Summary

With the 27th overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft, the Indianapolis Colts take:

Donald Brown, RB, UConn
Donald Brown, RB, UConn

Donald Brown, RB, UConn
(HT: 5'10" / WT: 210lbs / 40: 4.51s)

The Colts have a tendency to draft skill position players on the first day of the draft, and in the first round in particular. Thus, a RB selection isn't surprising. Polian has indicated that Brown was drafted not as Addai's replacement, but rather as Dom Rhodes' replacement (whom the Colts lost to free agency in the off-season). While the Colts have a young offensive line that led to much of the team's rushing problems in 2008, it is also clear that the Colts - like most of the teams in the league - are moving away from a feature-back system to a two-back system. Thus, the Colts need a solid back like Brown to fill that second-back role.

This pick addresses an obvious need (solid #2 running back) with a player who should be well-suited to the Colts' system, wasn't a reach, and saw the first-round pick used for a relatively safe RB selection.

ROUND 2

Summary

With the 51st overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft, the Indianapolis Colts take:

Fili Moala
Fili Moala, DT, USC

Fili Moala, DT, USC
(HT: 6'4" / WT: 305 / 40: 5.16)

Note: The Colts traded their 61st pick in the second round along with their 5th round pick, for the 56th pick in the second round from the Dolphins.

The Colts gave up a fifth rounder to move up five spots in order to nab Moala - a solid DT that should fit perfectly into the Colts' defensive line. Moala's skills appear to be well-suited to a one-gap system such as the Colts'. Moala was knocked for being unable at times to shed double-teams in college; however, if he can draw double-teams with the Colts, then his job is already done, since if he is being double-teamed, then either Freeney or Mathis will be singled up on the ends. Moala provides a big, run-stuffing body on the interior line, and has a frame that could allow him to bulk up even more.

This pick also addresses an obvious need (beefing up the interior DL) with another player who should be well-suited to the Colts' system, and didn't cost the Colts much to trade up to get.

Round 3

Summary

With the 92nd overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft, the Indianapolis Colts take:

Jerraud Powers, CB, Auburn
Jerraud Powers, CB, Auburn

Jerraud Powers, CB, Auburn
(HT: 5'9" / WT: 188lbs / 40: 4.49)

The Colts needed depth at corner, and Powers should be a good fit at nickel. Powers is possibly a project pick, but may prove to be an upgrade over Tim Jennings sooner rather than later.

Round 4

Summary

With the 127th overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft, the Indianapolis Colts take:

Austin Collie, WR, BYU
Austin Collie, WR, BYU

Austin Collie, WR, BYU
(HT: 6'1" / WT: 200 / 40: 4.63)

With the departure of Marvin Harrison, the Colts needed depth at WR. The emergence of Gonzales last season as a legitimate outside receiver, coupled with the team's young, talented TE corps will give the Colts plenty of options in the 2 TE set. However, the Colts are at their best with a true slot-receiver option. Collie will fit in perfectly in that role, and could play immediately. Also, Collie could be used as a returner on special teams.

With the 136th overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft, the Indianapolis Colts take:

Terrance Taylor, DT, Michigan
Terrance Taylor, DT, Michigan

Terrance Taylor, DT, Michigan
(HT: 6'0" / WT: 306lbs / 40: 5.39)

Note: compensatory pick

The Colts have had a long-standing need for stability on the interior defensive line, especially in running situations, and Taylor should be a player who can step in immediately and contribute. This pick resembles a typical Polian mid-rounder value pick, and should make Colts fans quite happy. Taylor and Moala appear to be direct responses to the Colts defense's glaring inability to get off of the field in short-yardage situations last season.

Round 6

Summary

With the 201st overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft, the Indianapolis Colts take:

Curtis Painter, QB, Purdue
Curtis Painter, QB, Purdue

Curtis Painter, QB, Purdue
(HT: 6'3" / WT: 225lbs / 40: 4.87)

This pick is a prime example of Polian's draft philosophy of taking the best player available at the given pick. The Colts still have depth needs at LB, and need a punter, but Painter could at least challenge Jim Sorgi for clipboard duty behind Peyton Manning.

Round 7

Summary

With the 222nd overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft, the Indianapolis Colts take:

Pat McAfee, K, West Virginia
Pat McAfee, K, West Virginia

Pat McAfee, K, West Virginia
(HT: 6'1" / WT: 221lbs / 40: 5.0)

(Note: The Colts traded their 2010 6th Round pick for the 222nd pick from PHI.)

The Colts needed a punter to replace Hunter Smith, whom the Colts lost to free agency. McAfee was both a punter and a place kicker at WVU, and showed ability both to force fair catches and to land punts inside the red zone. McAfee also has Hunter Smith's size and tackling ability, which has been important at times in the past for the Colts punt-coverage unit.

With the 236th overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft, the Indianapolis Colts take:

Jaimie Thomas, OG, Maryland
Jaimie Thomas, OG, Maryland

Jaimie Thomas, OG, Maryland
(HT: 6'4" / WT: 323lbs / 40: 5.42)

The Colts add a value pick in the seventh-rounder Jaimie Thomas, who has shown good skill at left guard. Thomas is just the sort of late-round, low-risk pick that may very well shine under the tutelage of Howard Mudd.

2009 NFL Draft – Colts: Round 7

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

With the 222nd overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft, the Indianapolis Colts take:

Pat McAfee, K, West Virginia
Pat McAfee, K, West Virginia

Pat McAfee, K, West Virginia
(HT: 6'1" / WT: 221lbs / 40: 5.0)

(Note: The Colts traded their 2010 6th Round pick for the 222nd pick from PHI.)

Analysis:

  • ESPN.com

    McAfee has excellent leg strength and accuracy; he was our top-rated place-kicker in this year's draft.

  • NFL.com

    Positives: Good, not great, leg strength. ... Can get 4.5-second hang-time on punts of 40 yards or longer to force fair catches. ... Capable of placing the ball inside the 10. ... Handles poor snaps. ... Strong last line of defense; has a stout build, can get the angle and is aggressive in tackling returners in the open field. ... Snaps his hips through the ball on placements, part of his soccer background. ... Holds a full follow-through after placements.

    Negatives: Has a slow three-step delivery (1.4 seconds) when not using a rugby style. ... Doesn't get a spiral or turn over most punts. ... His longer punts are limited in hang-time (around 4.3 seconds). ... Limited directional-kicking ability. ... Must get placement kicks in the air more quickly to prevent blocks. ... Missed two field goal tries of reasonable distance in the 2007 loss to Pittsburgh at home which cost WVU a shot at the national championship. ... Was not accurate from 40-plus yards before 2008, making only 11-of-25 attempts over his first three seasons. ... Most of his kickoffs do not reach the end zone; must sacrifice hang-time to get it there.

  • Fanhouse

    When teams start trading up for kickers, you know you're close to the end. McAfee has great leg strength, but is inconsistent. A dome might help.

  • NFL Draft Countdown

    Strengths:

    Excellent size and bulk...Has a very strong leg...Handles pressure pretty well...Serious and focused on the field...Intelligent...Can also kick off... Versatile and can punt in a pinch ...Team leader and captain.

    Weaknesses:

    Inconsistent...Not super accurate and missed his fair share of attempts...Had a major breakdown and missed two short field goals against Pitt in 2007...Needs to work on refining his mechanics and technique...Might be a bit of a jack-of-all-trades but a master of none.

With the 236th overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft, the Indianapolis Colts take:

Jaimie Thomas, OG, Maryland
Jaimie Thomas, OG, Maryland

Jaimie Thomas, OG, Maryland
(HT: 6'4" / WT: 323lbs / 40: 5.42)

Analysis:

  • ESPN.com

    Thomas has a quick first step that helps him get in strong initial position. He lacks lower-body strength and could struggle to anchor against bigger interior defensive linemen.

  • NFL.com

    Positives: Good upper-body strength. ... A bit high with his hand placement, but keeps his feet chugging and can pop, turn and pancake his opponent to clear a hole. ... Good first-step quickness to get to the second level. ... Aggressive. ... Looks to hit someone and keeps his head on a swivel to help teammates when not covered up. ... Good effort downfield to block. ... Three-year starter.

    Negatives: Carries some unnecessary weight around the middle. ... Marginal lateral quickness. ... Struggles laterally in space, losing his balance when asked to make blocks in the open field or when helping with unexpected blitzes. ... Requires a medical check on right leg; missed half of the 2007 season due to a broken right fibula.

  • SI.com

    POSITIVES: Large, strong blocker who moves well on his feet. Displays footwork in space, shows above-average ability blocking in motion and gets movement run blocking. Quickly gets off the snap, drives defenders off the ball, and can adjust to linebackers on the second level. Effective position blocker who seals defenders from the action, and fights with his hands throughout the play.

    NEGATIVES: Inconsistent in his game, and stands to develop a nasty streak. Must improve his blocking balance. Has off-the-field issue that could raise flags.

    ANALYSIS: Thomas possesses outstanding size and has the ability to be a starter at the next level. He must iron out the rough edges of his game and show that he is willing to play hard for 60 minutes, but he offers a good degree of upside.

  • NFL Draft Countdown

    Strengths:

    Excellent height and bulk with long arms...Physical and aggressive...Is stout at the point...Gets a good push in the run game...Decent lateral agility...Strong hands...Great awareness...Good motor...Experienced.

    Weaknesses:

    Average athleticism and quickness...Is not real strong...Doesn't always play with proper leverage...Limited range...Struggles in space...Can improve his hand use...Conditioning issues...May lack a killer instinct.

  • Fox Sports

    Though physical and athletic, some scouts have noted that Thomas' lack of balance, particularly in the open field, could hurt him in the draft. Teams may also be hesitant to select him due to a broken right fibula that forced him to miss half of the 2007 season. However, Thomas could be an attractive selection for teams looking for a drive-blocking guard, as he excels at attacking in short areas and creating holes.

2009 NFL Draft – Colts: Round 6

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

With the 201st overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft, the Indianapolis Colts take:

Curtis Painter, QB, Purdue
Curtis Painter, QB, Purdue

Curtis Painter, QB, Purdue
(HT: 6'3" / WT: 225lbs / 40: 4.87)

Analysis:

  • ESPN.com

    Painter has excellent size and a live arm to make all the NFL throws. However, he locks on to his No. 1 receiver too much and must do a better job with his overall decision making.

  • NFL.com

    Strengths: Good size and bulk for the position. Durable four-year starter from a system that produced starting NFL QBs Drew Brees (Saints) and Kyle Orton (Bears). Quick set up and delivery. Legitimate NFL arm strength and accuracy. Can make every NFL throw, showing the zip, touch and deep accuracy necessary to attack every level of the defense. When given time in the pocket, shows very good accuracy. Can hit the moving target, giving his receivers the opportunity to take advantage of their abilities to run after the catch. Not particularly athletic, but can roll out, square his shoulders and throw accurately on the move.

    Weaknesses: Struggles with pressure. Fails to feel the pocket collapsing around him and too often either absorbs hits or forces the ball into coverage. Will stare down his primary target and trusts his arm strength to put the ball into extraordinarily tight windows. Simply hasn't made the improvements throughout his career expected of a four-year starter. Has struggled in big-game situations. Missed time as a senior with a separated right shoulder that requires a medical check.

  • SI.com

    POSITIVES: Nice-sized passer with an erratic game. Patient in the pocket, displays a good knowledge where his receivers are on the field, and goes through receiver progressions. Displays zip on the short and intermediate passes. Gets outside the pocket and then makes the throw on the move. Stands in the pocket and takes a hit in order to get the ball away.

    NEGATIVES: Changes his point of release, which adversely affects his accuracy. Struggles hitting receivers in stride, scatters passes, and usually high of the mark when he tries to put extra zip on throws. Puts the ball up for grab and tosses the pass in to covered receivers. Holds the ball too long and gets antsy under the rush. Rarely came through in the big game for Purdue.

    ANALYSIS: After looking like an NFL prospect early in his Purdue career, Painter has struggled to capitalize the past two seasons. He possesses average arm strength, less-than- desirable accuracy, and makes poor decisions. Painter has the tools to work with, and he showed positive signs at the combine. He must get his game back on track and learn to play in a disciplined NFL passing system to have a career at the next level.

  • Fanhouse

    Bryan Hoyer has officially fallen off the draft's metaphorical cliff. Painter's a marginal prospect at best.

  • NFL Draft Countdown

    Strengths:

    Terrific height and bulk...Arm strength is more than adequate...Solid mechanics...Quick delivery...Good anticipation and timing...Has a lot of big-time experience...Very productive...Decent program pedigree.

    Weaknesses:

    Not a great athlete...Can be wildly inconsistent...Lacks great accuracy and touch...Makes too many bad decisions...Tends to stare down his targets...Isn't very mobile...Footwork will have to be tweaked...Did not play in a pro style offense..Leadership ability has been questioned.

  • Scout.com

    STRENGTHS: Pocket Awareness, Release, Size

    AREAS FOR IMPROVEMENT: Accuracy / Consistency, Decision-making

    Painter has ideal size and possesses strong mechanics. He stands tall in the pocket and displays good awareness. He has a quick release and is accurate hitting his receivers in stride. He’s a tough competitor who buys time for his receivers and will stay in the pocket until the very last moment to complete a pass. He has the ability to escape the pocket and make throws on the run.

  • Fox Sports

    While Painter has good size for the position, possesses some speed, a legitimate arm and comes from the program that sent Drew Brees and Kyle Orton to the NFL, prospective teams could be scared off by the shoulder injury. In the right situation, and if his shoulder checks out, Painter could be a steal in the middle rounds.

  • Football's Future

    Strengths

    Painter is a very good pocket passer that has shown the ability to sling the football all over the field, racking up amazing numbers in the process. He has a strong frame and the toughness to sit in the pocket until his man gets open. Painter also shows a very good arm, and should not have any problems getting the ball to his receivers at the NFL level. He also has a knack for being able to elude the rush and buy time to make things happen.

    Weaknesses

    The big issue with Painter is the issue all Purdue QB’s face, and that is the system. It is favorable to posting very good stats for the QB, but more importantly, has the QB lining up in shotgun formation. Painter will need to learn to take the snap from under center, and learn to start reading the action dropping back instead of getting the ball in position to see the entire field. The progress he displayed as a junior was halted as a senior, where he looked more like he did during his first two years in the program. He was getting flustered in the pocket and forcing bad throws down the field.

    Future

    Painter was arguably the top senior QB entering the season but like his main competition for that title, Cullen Harper, he struggled. He took a step back and is now a late round pick at best. He has some tools to develop so someone may take a flyer on him but Painter has a tough road ahead of him and will have a long wait on draft day.

2009 NFL Draft – Colts: Round 4

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

With the 127th overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft, the Indianapolis Colts take:

Austin Collie, WR, BYU
Austin Collie, WR, BYU

Austin Collie, WR, BYU
(HT: 6'1" / WT: 200 / 40: 4.63)

Analysis:

  • ESPN.com

    Collie runs precise routes and consistently creates separation coming out of his breaks. Combined that with his reliable hands and you have one of the better chain-moving wideouts in this year's class.

  • NFL.com

    Positives: Legitimate NFL build. Muscled up athlete. Faster on the field than his rather pedestrian 40-yard dash time would indicate. Good initial quickness off the snap. Good hand usage and lateral quickness to gain a quick release against press coverage. Sharp, savvy route-runner. Varies his speeds and can sink his hips to generate separation. Good burst laterally. Works his way back to the ball if he sees his quarterback in trouble. Soft hands. Snatches the ball out of the air and is quick to put it away. Can track over either shoulder. Good elusiveness to make the first defender miss and strength to run through arm tackles. Good vision and will cut it back inside. May lack elite deep speed, but good early acceleration. Averaged 26.5 yards per kick return from 2007-08.

    Negatives: Questionable deep speed to challenge over the top. Will be older than most NFL rookies (24) due to his LDS mission. Questionable level of competition. Statistics inflated due to BYU's scheme and defenses keying on TE Dennis Pitta.

  • SI.com

    POSITIVES: Reliable, sure-handed pass catcher with natural receiving skills. Quickly releases off the line, sells routes, and plays with excellent balance and body control. Makes good use of the sidelines, knows where he is on the field, and displays good focus at all times. Makes the reception running laterally without breaking stride, looks the ball into his hands, and quickly transitions from making the reception to running after the catch. Consistently extends and catches the ball away from his frame. Tough, fights to make the reception, and uses his frame to shield away opponents. Consistently finds the open spot in the defense, or follows the quarterback across the field to make himself an available target.

    NEGATIVES: Marginal speed and cannot separate from opponents down the field.

    ANALYSIS: Collie is an active receiver who displays outstanding pass-catching skills and football instincts. One of the more sure-handed receivers in this draft, he will be effective for a timing or West Coast offense that requires him to run a lot of underneath routes.

  • Fanhouse

    The prototypical Colts receiver -- good hands, great route-running, true passion for the game.

  • Yahoo Sports

    Collie lacks ideal athleticism, but he is a good route-runner who knows how to high point the ball and is a great fit in the Colts' offense.

  • NFL Draft Countdown

    Strengths:

    Very good height and bulk...Soft, reliable hands...Good focus and will make the spectacular catch...Excellent route runner...Nice ball skills and body control...More quick than fast...Tough...Good strength...Is not afraid to work in traffic...Intelligent...A hard worker...Productive.

    Weaknesses:

    Doesn't have the speed you look for...Isn't explosive...Won't get much separation...Isn't a vertical threat...Not real elusive...A bit older than the normal prospect..Has short arms..The product of a spread offense.

  • Scout.com

    STRENGTHS: Hands and Concentration, Route-Running Skills, Toughness

    AREAS FOR IMPROVEMENT: Downfield Threat, Speed

    Collie is a physical receiver who plays much faster than his timed speed. He has good size and strength and gets a great release off the line. He’s a solid route runner who has tremendous hands. He’s aware of his surroundings and consistently finds openings within a defense. He’s not a burner, but is deceptively quick and has the ability to get vertical. He’s strong after the catch and doesn’t go down easily.

  • Fox Sports

    Plays faster than his 40-yard dash time. Makes up for lack of speed with soft hands, good vision and quickness. Uses his hands and agility to separate from press coverage. A smart route runner, often baiting defenders by starting his routes slower than usual. Good bulk, has the strength to run through arm tackles. Has some value on special teams.

With the 136th overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft, the Indianapolis Colts take:

Terrance Taylor, DT, Michigan
Terrance Taylor, DT, Michigan

Terrance Taylor, DT, Michigan
(HT: 6'0" / WT: 306lbs / 40: 5.39)

Note: compensatory pick

Analysis:

  • ESPN.com

    Taylor possesses a squatty build that allows him to generate good leverage on the interior. However, he is a bit undersized and is going to have problems anchoring against double-teams at the NFL level.

  • NFL.com

    Positives: Prime NFL nose tackle candidate. ... Plays with good leverage, keeping his pad level low and square and getting his hands high and inside. ... Does not move much against double teams, holding his ground against the run. ... When fresh, he gets off the ball and pushes the center into the backfield to blow up inside runs. ... On occasion he can quickly knife through the A-gap to get pressure on the quarterback. ... Will chase downfield at times. ... Plays with a mean streak. ... Voted team captain in 2008.

    Negatives: Short and not in great shape. ... Does not shed blocks when straight-up on his man, but makes plays when lined up on the shoulder of the center or guard. ... Better conditioning could help him get off the ball and collapse the pocket consistently. ... Doesn't get his hands up often enough to break up passes. ... Exposed a bit at the East-West Shrine Game for being a bit of a one-trick pony. ... Makes piles in short-yardage situations but does not stay on his feet consistently enough to stop the runner.

  • SI.com

    POSITIVES: Strong, wide-bodied defensive lineman tough to move off the point. Built low to the ground, plays with leverage, and gets underneath opponents. Possesses a thick lower body, tough to handle on the inside, and holds his ground. Displays good first step quickness, fires through the gaps upfield or bulrushes opponents off the line. Constantly doubled or focused on by opponents.

    NEGATIVES: Inconsistent in his play and effort. Does not overwhelm lesser opponents, and too easily locked up at the point by a single blocker. At times seems intimidated on the field. Slow locating the ball. Must develop more moves with his hands.

    ANALYSIS: Taylor is a prospect who came into this season with high grades, and much was expected of him. Like many of his predecessors from Michigan, (Allan Branch and Gabe Watson) Taylor failed to deliver and is watching his draft stock tumble. He has the build and strength to handle the duties as an interior lineman or play nose tackle, yet he must start to play with a sense of urgency for 60 minutes or he'll be looking for a new line of work.

  • Yahoo Sports

    Taylor is a big, physical defensive lineman who can eat up blockers and clog run lanes. The Colts needed to add size inside and he certainly fits the need.

  • NFL Draft Countdown

    Strengths:

    Good bulk...Super strong...Plays with great leverage...Excellent run stuffer...Is able to occupy multiple blockers...Stout at the point of attack..Can collapse the pocket...Nice instincts and awareness...Tough and nasty...Durable...Has a lot of experience against top competition.

    Weaknesses:

    Short and squatty...Not much of a pass rusher...Has an inconsistent motor...Range is pretty limited...Doesn't pursue well...Struggles to get off blocks..Poor stamina...One-dimensional...Questionable work ethic.

  • Fox Sports

    Taylor is a prototypical, run-stopping defensive tackle. He takes up a lot of space in the middle of the line and almost always warrants a double team. He was a power lifter in high school, which prepared him well for the gridiron. If he's lined up off the shoulder of an interior lineman, he can shoot the gap and wreak havoc in the offensive backfield. Taylor needs work on his pass rush and may become a run-only type of defensive tackle in the NFL. If he is blocked straight up, he tends to not shed the block and lose his effectiveness. He does not tip many passes, and he also has trouble staying on his feet to make plays. Taylor is strong enough to possibly play nose tackle in a 3-4 defensive scheme, as he has a wide body and is tough to move. He has great football instincts and gets to the ball quickly. He will be a solid pick for a team that needs some beef in the middle of the defensive line.

  • Football's Future

    Strengths

    Taylor is a classic nose tackle. He is built low to the ground with a wide base, and is very difficult to move off the line of scrimmage. His thick build and natural strength allow him to hold his ground and clog running lanes. Taylor does supply some penetration ability because he does have some quickness. He comes off the snap quick, and once he is moving upfield he is difficult to stop because of his power and momentum he has built up.

    Weaknesses

    Although he has some quickness to slip into the backfield, Taylor is strictly a run stopper in the NFL. He will only fit teams that are looking for a nose tackle. His size suits him well at that spot but should limit him in any other role.

    Future

    Taylor is a very good run stopper and is going to make some team happy in April. He should be one of the top nose tackles available, and could hear his name called in the third round and provide a run stuffing boost to his new team.

2009 NFL Draft – Colts: Round 3

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

With the 92nd overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft, the Indianapolis Colts take:

Jerraud Powers, CB, Auburn
Jerraud Powers, CB, Auburn

Jerraud Powers, CB, Auburn
(HT: 5'9" / WT: 188lbs / 40: 4.49)

Analysis:

  • ESPN.com

    Powers does a good job staying low in his backpedal and does an adequate, but not great, job of opening his hips when he's forced to turn and run. He's also strong enough to re-route receivers at the line of scrimmage, but he doesn't always play with enough of an edge.

  • NFL.com

    Positives: Short, but has a legitimate NFL build. ... At least adequate deep speed. ... Flashes an aggressive initial hand punch at the line of scrimmage. ... Good hip swivel to turn and run with receivers. ... Good agility and quickness out of his breaks to close on the ball. ... Peeks back at the quarterback and is willing to gamble. ... Can adjust his body in space to make the athletic interception. ... Rides receivers throughout the route and isn't intimidated by bigger receivers. ... Reliable open-field tackler who flashes some pop. ... Good agility to avoid blocks.

    Negatives: Might be too short to handle working on the outside. ... Good open-field tackler, who flashes some pop, but his physicality hasn't translated into forced fumbles. ... Can be too aggressive. ... Has a tendency to bite on the fake and lacks the elite burst to recover when beaten initially. ... Fought a nagging hamstring pull as a junior.

  • SI.com

    POSITIVES: Athletic cornerback rarely challenged by opposing signal callers. Fluid flipping his hips off the line, possesses a burst of speed, and displays a nice break to the throw. Works hard to get off blocks and comes up the field to defend running plays or screen passes. Strong at the point of attack.

    NEGATIVES: Very quick out of his backpedal. Just average height, which may cause matchup problems.

  • Fanhouse

    Not really spectacular at anything, Powers will rely on fitting into Indy's system more than blowing anyone away.

  • Yahoo Sports

    Powers is an immature corner, but possesses good ball skills and is comfortable in space. He is a nice fit in the Colts' Cover 2 scheme and does a nice job closing on the ball and playing the run.

  • NFL Draft Countdown

    Strengths:

    Above average athleticism...Okay speed...Quick with a burst...Smooth with fluid hips...Great hands and ball skills...Decent leaping ability...Is technically sound...Good footwork and uses his hands well...Physical and aggressive...Sufficient instincts and awareness...Solid production.

    Weaknesses:

    Does not have the ideal height or bulk that you look for...Isn't very strong...Not a great tackler...Struggles to get off blocks...Won't offer much in run support...Takes too many chances...Durability concerns.

2009 NFL Draft – Colts: Round 2

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

With the 56th overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft, the Indianapolis Colts take:

Fili Moala
Fili Moala, DT, USC

Fili Moala, DT, USC
(HT: 6'4" / WT: 305 / 40: 5.16)

Note: The Colts traded their 61st pick in the second round along with their 5th round pick, for the 56th pick in the second round from the Dolphins.

Analysis:

  • ESPN.com

    Moala looks the part of an interior defensive lineman in a one-gap scheme. He's an excellent athlete who moves well laterally movement and can be effective getting down line in pursuit. However, he'll need to get stronger in order to consistently anchor against the double team on the interior.

  • NFL.com

    Positives: Moala lacks sudden closing speed, but shows good lateral quickness and above average footwork, along with the agility and balance to change direction and flow down the line. He is strong on the inside gap charge and can dominate with his hand swipes. He has a nice combination of power and quickness to stack and shed. Moala might lack sprinter's legs in pursuit, but shows good body control working in space. He is a normal-to-short strider who has a good short burst to gain penetration. He still looks lanky, despite being 300 pounds and has the frame to carry at least another 20-25 pounds of additional bulk. He is quick to recognize blocking schemes and locate the ball.

    Negatives: He needs to improve his overall strength and hand usage. He lacks the foot speed to make opposite field tackles, but shows relentlessness in his play and will make the second effort when his initial move fails. He just needs to play under better control, as he does get frustrated when stood up by the blockers, but that is his own fault, as he will get too tall at times and lose leverage. He will need to add bulk and strength to compete at the next level, but does respond well to hard coaching.

    Compares To: BARRY COFIELD, New York Giants -- Like Cofield, Moala can't be judged on personal statistics, but needs to be reviewed based on the success of the team because he is a classic mauler in the middle of the field. His constant double-team battles led to USC's linebackers having great success being freed to wreak havoc in the backfield. He is quick to get position, redirect and extend his arms to stalk, wrap and secure the ball carrier in run containment. He reminds a lot of the Cofield because of his lateral agility, change of direction and dominance when he slides down and plays over the center. He still needs some technique refinement, but if he can improve his overall strength base, he will be a solid supporting role player for a defense looking for someone to handle the inside trash.

  • SI.com

    POSITIVES: Athletic defensive lineman who displays the ability to force the action. Moves well on his feet, makes plays laterally, or knifes to the inside of blocks and gets penetration up the field. Displays an explosive first step off the snap, keeps his feet moving on contact, and shows a burst of closing speed. For the most part, plays with good lean and pad level.

    NEGATIVES: Must improve his hand technique and do a better job protecting himself. Occasionally plays tall and makes himself an easy target for blockers. More of a first move lineman who must beat blockers off the snap.

    ANALYSIS: Moala has flashed dominance the past three seasons, and he is a lineman who takes over games. He must improve the details of his position, add bulk to his frame, and develop more moves with his hands to have any chance of impacting at the next level. Moala could develop into a productive starter at the next level if the pieces fall into place.

  • Fanhouse

    The Colts wanted a guy to help anchor their defensive front, and Moala should help at least add depth up there.

  • Yahoo Sports

    Moala is an big, explosive interior lineman who will give the Colts some much-needed help inside. He possesses a good first step for his size and knows how to push the pocket, but really struggles moving laterally and wears out quickly.

  • NFL Draft Countdown

    Strengths:

    Excellent athleticism...Very quick and agile...Good speed...Adequate size with long arms...Has a big frame with room to grow...Active and does a nice job in pursuit...Good range and mobility...Can penetrate and slice into the backfield...Productive pass rusher...Decent instincts and awareness...Versatile...Good bloodlines...Great program pedigree.

    Weaknesses:

    Inconsistent and disappears for stretches...Plays too tall at times and doesn't always use good leverage...Has some trouble getting off blocks...Does not use his hands well...Needs to get stronger...Is not overly stout at the point...Some minor durability and character issues.

  • Scout.com

    STRENGTHS: Athleticism, Hand Quickness, Size

    AREAS FOR IMPROVEMENT: Pass Rushing Skills, Techniques and Moves

    Moala is a versatile defensive lineman who can play inside or outside, depending on the scheme. He has a great frame and could add more bulk, but he’s a strong performer. He’s quick off the line and uses his hands extremely well. He’s durable, plays with a high motor and gives maximum effort. He’s not a pass rusher and lacks explosion. He plays too high and doesn’t play with leverage.

  • Fox Sports

    Successfully capped his career with the Trojans by earning AP All-American third- team honors. Moala offers rare size, strength and surprising effort downfield. Originally signed with USC out of high school in 2003, but Moala did not qualify academically and instead attended Cypress Junior College, before transferring back to USC in 2004. Was since a consistent member of the Trojans' defensive line rotation, starting every game for the Trojans over the past two seasons, and 38 games overall. A more valuable contributor than his yearly average production (26 tackles, 7.5 tackles for loss and 3.0 sacks) would indicate, Moala isn't going to fill the stat sheet, but his presence inside forced opponents to double-team him often, opening up opportunities for his playmaking teammates.

  • Football's Future

    Strengths

    Moala is a solid all around tackle, having the ability to impact the game in a variety of ways. He has a great frame, with the room to get bigger and stronger. He plays with good leverage, and shows the ability to hold his ground at the point of attack and clog running lanes. Moala also shows the burst off the ball to get into the backfield to disrupt the action. He flashes a mean streak on the field and can be unblockable when he does.

    Weaknesses

    Moala has had some success and has had a lot of talent around him on the defensive line while at USC, but has never dominated at any point. He doesn’t toss lineman around to make the tackle, and he isn’t going to blow through the interior line of every snap to be a major disruption. He does have a tendency to get complacent on the field which causes him to disappear at times, so he will need work on playing with a more consistent motor on the field.

    Future

    Fili Moala is a good defensive tackle that can do a few things very well, but does not dominate in any one aspect. He was a victim of the hype machine, entering the year as a top ten pick on many boards. That type of hype was unwarranted, and led to a lot of people labeling him overrated. He is a solid prospect and his potential would make him a very good second round selection.

2009 NFL Draft – Colts: Round 1

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

With the 27th overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft, the Indianapolis Colts take:

Donald Brown, RB, UConn
Donald Brown, RB, UConn

Donald Brown, RB, UConn
(HT: 5'10" / WT: 210lbs / 40: 4.51s)

Analysis:

  • ESPN.com

    There's a fine line between patience and hesitation for running backs and Brown does an excellent job of straddling that line. He reads his blocks extremely well, hits holes as they open and reads the flow of defenses well. There are some questions about his pass-catching ability but we believe he's going to develop into an excellent receiver, especially after watching him catch and track the ball during UConn's pro day.

  • NFL.com

    The elusive runner from Connecticut has outstanding speed, quickness and vision. He excels at running between the tackles and is an ideal fit in the Colts' zone-based running game. With Joseph Addai suffering from durability issues, Brown could blossom as a rotational player.

  • SI.com

    POSITIVES: Well rounded ball carrier with a versatile game. Displays outstanding vision, ball carrying instincts and patience. Waits for blocks to develop, immediately finds the running lanes and displays terrific open field running skills. Creates his own yardage, makes defenders miss and displays terrific footwork with the ability to sidestep or avoid piles. Runs with a compact style, outstanding balance, body control and tough to knock off his feet. Flashes power on the inside with the ability to breaks several tackles and pick up yardage off initial contact. Effectively uses a straight arm to keep plays alive and shows the ability to pick up the tough yardage. Easily turns the corner, cuts back against the grain and loses little momentum when he must immediately alter his running angle. Solid pass catcher out of the backfield.

    NEGATIVES: Never really carried the load until his junior season. May not have the size or ability to be used as a short yardage runner in the NFL.

    ANALYSIS: Brown has been very productive in college showing steady progress and an all-around game. He can be used in a variety of systems at the next level and his versatility makes it difficult to characterize him as a specific type of ball carrier. He may start his career as a rotational running back yet could quickly grow into a teams prime ball carrier.

    PROJECTION: Second/Third Round

  • Fanhouse

    Maualuga and Ziggy Hood are still on the board, but Bill Polian thinks enough of Brown to take him here. The former UConn star had a great Senior Bowl, and the Colts have a pretty good track record with first-round picks.

  • Yahoo Sports

    Colts RB Joseph Addai has struggled staying healthy of late and Brown makes some sense here. Brown does a nice job attacking the line of scrimmage and catching the ball out of the backfield. However, I still think the Colts would have been better served going with a DT like Ziggy Hood.

  • NFL Draft Countdown

    Strengths:

    Natural runner with great vision and instincts...Very patient...Terrific balance...Excellent feet and is elusive in the hole...Quick through the line...Shifty with some wiggle...Moves well laterally...Has the ability to break tackles...Soft hands and a good receiver out of the backfield...Is intelligent with great awareness...Made a lot of big plays...Proved he could be a workhorse...Hard worker with top intangibles...Productive.

    Weaknesses:

    Just average size and bulk with a maxed out frame...Not a blazer and isn't going to run away from people in the pros...Isn't real strong or powerful...Not a great short-yardage runner...Not overly elusive in space... Has room to improve as a blocker ...Only one year as a starter.

  • Scout.com

    STRENGTHS: Elusiveness, Power, Tackle-Breaking Ability

    AREAS FOR IMPROVEMENT: Blocking Ability

    Brown is a strong, compact runner who’s tough between the tackles. He has the ability to get on the edge, but he’s at his best running North-South. He’s quick through the hole, shifty in the open field and has the quickness to be elusive in the open field. He has great vision and balance and falls forward when being tackled. He has good hands out of the backfield, but has to work on his blocking.

  • Fox Sports

    Positives: Compact build. Runs with a low center of gravity. Good speed to and through the hole. Best attributes might be his vision and stop-and-start ability. Shifty runner who can slide in and out of the hole at the point of attack and hit the seam before it really opens. Deceptively fast once he gets to the second level. Good balance to appear to lean one way to deceive the oncoming safety, only to bounce the other. At least adequate straight-line speed to gain yardage in chunks. Soft hands out of the backfield and an alert receiver. High effort player.

    Negatives: A bit narrow in his shoulders and might lack the frame to add much weight. Might lack the bulk and leg drive to be a true bell-cow runner at the NFL level. Lacks elite speed to breakaway from NFL defenders. Marginal size and strength as a pass blocker. Struggles of past Connecticut backs to translate their collegiate success to the NFL will force some teams to pause on draft day, especially considering the role left tackle William Beatty -- himself a first-day prospect -- had on Brown's success.

  • Football's Future

    Strengths

    Brown is a well rounded back that can a bit of everything. He has good quickness to and through the hole, and the speed to break off big runs when in space. He is elusive and can make defenders miss, and quickly get up the field. Brown runs bigger than his size indicates, as he is a tough kid that will fight for extra yards at the end of the run. He has shown the ability to carry the load and continue to pick up yardage later in games. Brown has also shown some potential as a receiver, and even has experience returning kicks in college.

    Weaknesses

    While Brown is a solid all around back, he doesn’t standout physically in any area. He has average size, which could bring about some questions about how well he can handle carrying the ball inside on a full time basis. He also may lack the true blazing speed to consistently hit the corner and run away from defenders.

    Future

    Brown is a very solid prospect and appears to have everything it takes to be a productive pro running back. He had an excellent all around combine performance, and elevated his stock into the top 50 of the draft. Brown was among the leaders in pretty much every category, but the 4.51 40 and 41.5 inch vertical are the numbers that truly stood out for him. Brown has improved his stock, and could possibly be the third back selected in the draft.

Draft Eve Colts News

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

In what will be a relief to Colts fans, the Indy Star is reporting that Dwight Freeney is now beginning running drills, and expects to be ready to play by opening day. Hearing of his progress is great news, because while Bob Sanders may be the soul of the Colts defense, Dwight Freeney is the heart:

There's no debating Freeney's value to the Colts, who signed him to a six-year, $72 million contract last July. They were able to get by without him during the seven regular-season games he missed at the end of last season, but a Freeney-less pass rush was a major factor in the Colts' postseason loss to San Diego.

"I'm not sure there is another defensive player that has had as big an impact on a team as Dwight Freeney the last few years,'' said former Houston Texans general manager Charley Casserly. "He makes the whole defense better in Indianapolis.''

In what will be perplexing to Colts fans, the Patriots have signed 36-year-old, former Colts TE Marcus Pollard. Living in Rams land, I saw way too many Seahawks games last year. I have to say, I'm not all that impressed with Pollard's skills these days. He's not the same player he was for the Colts. I really have no idea what the Patriots are thinking with this move.

(H/T: 18to88)

Kenton Keith Arrested

Filed in SportsTags: Colts, Indiana, Indianapolis, NFL

Indianapolis Colts' second-string RB Kenton Keith was arrested outside of an Indianapolis bar early yesterday morning [emphasis added]:

Police officers and security guards were attempting to clear the parking lot after the club closed when they noticed that Keith, 27, 6700 block of Echo Lane, and other men with him were not leaving. According to the police report, the men ignored several requests to leave and began to dance, yell and lean into cars in the parking lot.

After telling the men several times to leave, police told them to put their hands on a vehicle. Keith initially refused and tried to pull out a cell phone to record the incident, according to the report. He eventually was handcuffed while officers sorted things out.

According to the police report, Keith "kept hollering that he was a Colts player, he wasn't doing anything wrong, and he would leave when he was ready."

Keith was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct, resisting law enforcement, public intoxication and contributing to the delinquency of a minor, as another man with him was 19.

The Colts organization doesn't take too kindly to this sort of behavior. Did you catch that part in the middle?

Keith "kept hollering that he was a Colts player, he wasn't doing anything wrong, and he would leave when he was ready."

Perhaps not for long, KK. The Colts don't like players who catch rap sheets better than passes from Manning.

(H/T: 18to88)

Brownsburg Bulldogs: 2008 4A Basketball State Champs

Filed in Personal, SportsTags: Indiana

Just a quick congratulations to the Brownsburg Bulldogs for winning the Indiana Class 4A boys basketball state championship last night, beating Marion 40-39.

(According to the article, the game was the lowest-scoring state championship since Milan beat Muncie Central 32-30 in 1954 - which most people would recognize as the inspiration for the best basketball movie ever made: Hoosiers.

While I graduated from Shelbyville High School, several of my cousins went to Brownsburg, which is where many of my relatives live - including my parents, who moved to nearby Pittsboro after retiring. My aunt and uncle have stayed involved with athletic and other activities in the school system, so I am especially happy for them that they get to enjoy the Bulldogs' run to the state championship.

So, congrats, Brownsburg Bulldogs!