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)


  • 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


    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.


    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


    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.


    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.


    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.


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