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  1. Sounds like he is a pretty tough kid... maybe he should have not played through all those injuries and took time to fully recover. Sounds like he's got some upside, and with Doyel and Ebron, he probably isn't being brought in with expectation to do much off the bat (if ever). Swoope seems to be developing nicely as a receiver, but also has had some durability issues. Either way, sounds like we got a high-character guy who can come in and compete for a spot on the roster.
  2. ColtsFanMikeC

    right tackle

    He may be our best athlete along the OL... more of a learning thing than an athletic thing, I think..
  3. ColtsFanMikeC

    right tackle

    Smith will likely be a day 1 starter, IMO. I also think Turay and Lewis will be part of a rotation on the DL... Turay, I think may get into a starter role, the guy has freakish talent if he can learn the game at the pro-level and keep healthy. While I don't expect them to start, I expect at least 1 of our 2 RBs to contribute significantly and among Zaire Franklin, Matthew Adams and Skai Moore I expect at least 1 of them to make significant contributions in certain packages (I would actually bet Zaire has a very good shot at winning the starting MIKE spot). Also, unless we sign Dez or someone at WR, I expect at least 1 of the 2 WRs to see significant time on the field. We have to wait and see, but I think we had a solid draft. Reich likes to exploit match-ups on offense. Nyheim Hines at 5'8" is the fastest RB from this years draft class, and he can catch out of the backfield... I imagine Reich will try to utilize him like Darren Sproles. Wilkins is also an interesting prospect -- over 10% of his runs last year went for >15 yards and he averaged over 7 ypc against SEC competition. In terms of LB, you are right in that we lack talent there. It seems like Sheard is definitely going to move to DE and verdict is out on Simon. Zaire Franklin I think has a very legit shot at winning the MIKE spot, he was 3 year captain at 'Cuse and although he's a little short he's very strong (30+ 225 lbs reps on bench) and fast (4.58 forty). If Luck is fully healthy, we have a very legitimate shot at the AFC South title. I think Watson is going to have a hard time getting back to full force (that is his second major injury to the same knee). Jax has a stout D, but I don't think Bortles is a franchise QB. The AFC South is much better now than it was in Luck's rookie year, but with Luck back on the field there is a good chance this is not a 'rebuilding' year -- there is no reason why we cannot be competitive to win the AFC South again.... that doesn't mean we will beat the Pats or some other powerhouses in the playoffs, but it's a clean slate if we make it there.
  4. ColtsFanMikeC

    right tackle

    Hah, maybe.. I don't know... When Clark came out of college a lot said it'd take 3 years from him to be a pro-bowl kind of guy.... I think he's got the highest ceiling of those who will battle for RT, but I think Haeg has shown to be most consisent. Regardless, Ballard addressed a major need in this draft and we at least have a solid position fight on that right side.
  5. ColtsFanMikeC

    right tackle

    Personally, I was shocked to see us go guard again with our #3 pick, but the more I think about it... the more I like this draft. In Nelson, I think we have a 10-12 year all-pro at one guard spot. I think Smith can also be a pro-bowl caliber guy. If Kelly can stay healthy, we have 3 pro-bowlers on the inside of our OL (and all are young!). Right now, our OL went from being our weak link to perhaps being one of our top 3 strong points. We are set for at least a few more years with an above-average and solid player in Castonzo at LT. If healthy, we have a stalwart at C in Kelly. I think we have 2 extremely talented Gs around him in Smith and Nelson. I like our interior depth with Mewhort, Slauson, Bond, Vujnovich and others (Haeg,Good can also potentially sub at G). Now, our remaining question on the OL is 'Who is going to step up at RT?' I imagine this will be a battle between Haeg, Good, Clark and Mewhort. If I had to guess right now, I think Haeg is going to be the one to step up and win the position. I am not sure though, Haeg, Good and Clark have all shown flashes but have also shown inconsistencies. I think Haeg's biggest knock was he needed to get used to NFL strength and bulk up a little. This should be interesting, at least we have 4 abled bodies at the RT side.... and who knows, maybe we'll be able to keep Luck upright and get some sort of running game going with the interior line Ballard just brought us during this draft! Haven't been excited about our OL really since the Tarik Glenn days.... this, to me, was a fantastic draft and gives optimism that what has been a long term weakness may actually turn into a strength of this young team!
  6. ColtsFanMikeC

    Projected Colts Starters

    I think the big thing is health and depth.... we only have a few glaring holes (ILB is the biggest one in my opinion) and we don't know how some young guys will develop (on the OL, Haeg, Goode, Clark have all showed flashes but have been inconsistent.... on DL, Ridgeway and Stewart have shown flashes as well... at WR, it'd be nice to have someone to be a true #2/1a to TY but Rogers and Grant may well be up for it, especially if we are running lots of 2 TE sets and Ebron and Doyel do well). Our secondary has potential to be very, very good (if healthy). A fully healthy Luck plus heath around the rest of the roster and this team is only a handful of additions away from contending for AFC South again.
  7. I think we have multiple players on this team who are a very good fit for a 4-3, cover 2 scheme and am fairly convinced Ballard was planning for this last year. These include: Q. Wilson... a big physical corner that should thrive an a zone scheme (especially if we have any pass rush). M. Hooker... should be excellent in this scheme as a center fielder (if he can stay healthy). P. Desir... like Wilson, a big physical guy who should thrive on the outside in this scheme. N. Hairston.. I think he'll just improve as a nickel. H. Ridgeway.. he's a gap-shooter, and I think ideally suited as an interior DL in a 4-3. J. Sheard... I think he'll see improvement from last year, and I thought he was our best LB last year (not saying much). T. Basham... still needs to develop, but he's much better off in a 4-3 as an edge-rusher than as an OLB in a 3-4. D. Autry... I see him being a key contributor on our DL, and if I had to guess now, would pencil him as a starter opposite Sheard. The ones I think may struggle some: A. Woods... I think he'll be OK, but he's a big fatty that I think is better suited in the middle of a 3-4. G. Stewart... I don't know if he's going to be athletic enough to excel in the middle of a 4-3, but I don't think this scheme kills him. J. Simon... I think he could do OK as a rush DE on passing downs and a SSLB otherwise. I don't think this move kills him, but I'm not sure it benefits him like some of the guys above. H. Anderson... I like that he's losing some weight.. I think he'll do better in the middle of this DL, especially on passing downs, but I imagine he can rotate across the whole line. A. Walker... I think this is a good move for him, I just don't know he's got the skills to be a 3 down LB in the NFL. The ones I think are the most screwed: A. Morrison... he was pretty much screwed anyway, but this is not a good fit for him. M. Hunt... maybe he'll shock me, as he did seem just like an overall better player last year than at earlier points in his career, but I don't see him being a very good fit in this scheme. K. Moore II... he improved as the year went on last year, but I just don't see him being a great fit in a cover 2. The ones I don't know what to think about... TJ Green... I could see this being a good move for him, especially if he can transition to CB -- he's big and fast and a zone scheme may be what saves his career. Pretty much everyone else. I think it's pretty clear we need some help at LB and potentially along the DL. However, if healthy, I think our secondary is the strength of the team this coming season.
  8. ColtsFanMikeC

    Projected Colts Starters

    Well, hopefully Chicago, Miami or Buffalo is ready to give us a lot to move up to #6. I feel like with a first rounder and 4-5 second rounders plus 3 third rounders we could bring in 3-4 guys to start off the bat... However, I think we're OK on the DL with Anderson and Woods in the middle and Basham/Sheard/Hunt/Autry at DE (obviously, we could use some improvement and we don't know that Anderson will keep himself healthy, but I don't think we're too bad there. I just really hope we give Luck the protection he needs to avoid being the most sacked QB in the league again... Then many positions we are OK/Good in if we can stay healthy but seem to lack depth (e.g., safety should be very good, but Geathers and Hooker both have an injury history). I think we should be OK at CB (though Desir and Wilson both had their share of injuries last year). Even on OL, with Mewhort, Slauson and Kelly all healthy we are pretty good in the interior and solid at LT... but Mewhort Slauson and Kelly all have recent injury worries.
  9. ColtsFanMikeC

    Most impactful Colts' rookie over the past 20 years

    Yes, 9 FFs and 1 fumble recovered... he was a complete monster and wound up changing the game (paving the way for undersized edge rushers like Mathis, etc.).
  10. ColtsFanMikeC

    Most impactful Colts' rookie over the past 20 years

    If we're just talking the past 20 years.. the top 3 (only considering rookie seasons) are hands down Edge, Freeney and Luck. Edge had one of the best seasons ever for a rookie RB. Coupled with Peyton maturing and finding his rhythm with Marv, Edge made our offense nearly unstoppable. Helped with one of greatest (I think it is still the biggest turn-around in NFL) seasons in sports history from 3-13 to 13-3. Edge had a bit of talent around him on this team. Freeney had 13 sacks as a rookie and really got our D started on the track to being a fast D which could hit the opposing QB. We did go from 6-10 to 10-6 that year and Freeney's pass rush was a big part of it. Luck had one of the best seasons ever for a rookie QB. Took our team from 2-14 to 11-5 and almost seemed like he was doing it single-handed at times. I'd have to rank them Luck, Edge, Freeney... in large part because I think Luck did the most with the least. The only other guys in the past 20 years who had a season worth talking (positively) about as a rookie was Joseph Addai who had >1,000 rushing yards, Malik Hooker who was having a great year before injury and Ryan Kelly who was very good aside from injury (Costanzo on the other hand kinda stunk it up as a rookie). Even guys like Dallas Clark, Reggie Wayne, Bob Sanders, etc. weren't very good as rookies. Jeez, I hope Ballard improves our trends and success rates on first round picks... while many of them didn't play great as a rookie guys like Wayne, D. Clark, B. Sanders, Costanzo went on to have solid careers for us... but jeez we had Addai, Marlin Jackson and Donnie Brown who were both pretty much average/below average for us... and then guys like Hughes, Werner, Dorsett, A. Gonzalez who were complete busts. Rob Morris was OK for a year or 2 later in his career but awful at the beginning and Mike Pollak was never more than just average for us either. I am not counting Kelly or Hooker yet because they're too young... but about 50% of our first round draft picks in the past 20 years have been busts, below-average or teetering on average players for us. We have about 20% who have been studs (Edge, Freeney, Wayne, Luck), and then about 30% who were good players for us but not great (with exception of Sanders who got his career/seasons within career cut short by injury).
  11. ColtsFanMikeC

    Malik Hooker

    Supposedly Grigson was the one responsible for many 'favorites' playing: T-Rich, Satele, etc., etc... Not only did Wilson have some injury issues last year, there was a lot of talk in training camp, preseason and early in the season that he was lazy on the practice field. Not that I wish he didn't play more, but I don't think that was necessarily a case of 'favoritism.' I don't think Pagano did a lot of 'favoritism,' though I am pretty sure Grigs did more than his fare-share of it. He was ranked as best defensive rookie before his injury. The scary thing (for rest of league) is he was getting better every single week. If he can stay healthy, the young man has a very bright future in this league. His knocks coming into the league were he wasn't a great tackler, he was very raw, struggled against the run and he had an injury history. From his NFL Draft Profile: "Hook(er) is still so raw and you see him making all of those plays. He's a player who will come in and look bad his first year and then be an all-pro by his third year. I think that's his arc. No short-cut for experience." -- Personnel director for AFC team To be honest, I thought he came in and looked like a top 5 FS in the league in his first year. I had very little issue with his tackling ability, didn't think he had major issues against the run (in his highlight reel he makes several very nice plays against the run). I didn't think he looked all that 'raw' or like a rookie (he had a few mistakes, but for the most part he played like a vet). His strengths from Draft Profile were: STRENGTHS Outstanding instincts help him work ahead of the play despite average speed. Always probing quarterback's eyes for clues. Quick to process and is decisive in action. Flows hard to where his instincts lead him. Has fluid movement of a basketball player in space. Leans and bends into his turns for greater body control. Always active and in constant on-field search for optimal positioning. Hyper-aware of incoming targets to his area. Just as comfortable from "robber" spot as high safety. Mirrors quarterbacks eyes to challenge the passing lane. Very rarely takes a false step. Has loose hips for sudden stop-start to cover in space. Great ball skills. Earned most of his seven interceptions in 2016. Can range over the top to challenge the deep ball. Chooses path to the football over path to the man. Strong hands at the catch point lead to takeaways. Can disguise coverage and hustle back into position. Will strike receivers with some force to jar throws loose. I think all of those were very much on display throughout most of his rookie season. The good thing, IMO, about his injury was that it was kind of a freak accident (getting rolled over on) and one that he can recover from... he seems like a pretty hungry kid, so I imagine he's rehabbing properly and is ready to come back and continue improving.
  12. ColtsFanMikeC

    Rashaan Melvin

    Agreed.. he was pretty good for us in most games he played for us last year, but I don't consider him a legitimate '#1 CB' or 'lockdown' or anything like that.. I remember when Mike Peterson signed with Jacksonville for a massive contract and Polian said 'He's good, but he's not great,' as the reason we didn't match Jax's contract. Then we drafted Cato June and didn't seem like our D missed a beat.. Even with the CBs we have on current roster, I don't think we're going to be missing a beat without Melvin (well, unless 1 or 2 of them get hurt, then we'll be signing guys off the street). I'm sure we'll address DB in the draft to boost our depth, but frankly, I think we'll forget about Melvin by the time the season starts rolling.
  13. ColtsFanMikeC

    Colts have Signed Former Eagles LB Najee Goode

    I think I trust Reich's opinion of bringing in players from the Eagles more than I did Grigson's..
  14. ColtsFanMikeC

    TJ Green

    What @Steamboat_Shaun says below... The dude has played defense for 3 years and is 22 years old. Instincts come natural to some (Hooker) and don't come at all to others, most are somewhere in between and need practice, repetition, muscle memory, film watching, coaching, making mistakes, and reinforcement when things are done right to really get it down. Green has shown some flashes of being able to make plays (even if he has often screw ups). He has also been surrounded by a pretty poor group of players and played a defensive scheme system which just didn't seem to work for most in the system.