Draft Grader: Indianapolis Colts
The Colts replaced their QB last season, but how well did they lay the foundation for major change in the 2008, 2009 and 2010 drafts?
Draft Grader: Indianapolis Colts
In case you haven’t noticed, we’ve been going back over the 2008, 2009, and 2010 draft class of each franchise and assigning each pick a grade. Up next? Well, that’s the Indianapolis Colts.
Each pick between the 2008 and 2010 draft classes has been given a grade between +2.0 and -2.0 (in 0.5 increments) that depends upon:
• Where they were drafted
• Their performance
• Their contribution (how many snaps their team got out of them)
• Other factors, such as unforeseen injuries and conditions that could not have been accounted for
Let’s take a look at how Indianapolis drafted.
+2.0: You’ve just found Tom Brady in the 6th round
Unfortunately, Curtis Painter didn’t follow in Brady’s footsteps.
+1.5: Getting much more than you bargained for!
These weren’t drafts where the Colts found many steals.
+1.0: The scouts nailed it!
Pierre Garcon, WR (205th overall pick in 2008): While no longer with the team, you can’t deny he was tremendous value in the sixth round of the 2008 draft. His return of 2,519 receiving yards and 16 touchdowns over four years of regular season action showed what a reliable target he was, with his ability after the catch impressive.
Pat McAfee, P (222nd overall pick in 2009): Not just a fine punter, McAfee is an excellent kick off guy who also puts himself out there on special teams (he led the team in special teams tackles in 2011).
+0.5: Never hurts to find a solid contributor
Philip Wheeler, LB (93rd overall pick in 2008): Enjoyed some success on special teams initially, before finding his feet as a two-down linebacker in 2011 where he was our 13th-ranked 4-3 OLB in run defense. Moved on to Oakland where he excelled in an every-down role.
Jacob Tamme, TE (127th overall pick in 2008): Hidden behind Dallas Clark at the start of his career, Tamme exploded with a fine year in 2010 when Clark was lost for the season. There he had our fourth-highest receiving grade for any tight end.
Ricardo Mathews, DT (238th overall pick in 2010): While Matthews has rarely stood out, he’s hung around on the roster and seen his playing time increase year on year. A solid body and a good find in the seventh.
Kavell Conner, LB (240th overall pick in 2010): Not cut out for an every-down role, the 2011 Colts asked too much out of Conner and he responded with our fourth-lowest grade of all 4-3 OLBs. Bounced back in an early downs role in 2012 to show his strength.
Austin Collie, WR (127th overall pick in 2009): How good could Collie be but for those concussion problems? His 2010 season looked like it would establish him as one of the premier slot receivers in the league, instead it’s only acted as a tease as to what could have been.
0.0: It could have been a lot worse
Marcus Howard, DE (161st overall pick in 2008): After playing 69 snaps in 2008, Howard didn’t see a defensive snap again for the Colts.
Tom Santi, TE (196th overall pick in 2008): Not cut out for life in the NFL, Santi lasted 127 snaps which resulted in an atrocious -8.2 grade.
Steve Justice, G (201st overall pick in 2008): When Justice got on the field in 2008 he actually performed reasonably well. Alas, we’d never get a chance to grade him again as that was his only NFL action.
Mike Hart, RB (202nd overall pick in 2008): It never really worked out for Hart in the NFL. Injuries played their part, but when opportunities presented themselves he just wasn’t up to the tasking of taking them.
Jamey Richard, C/G (236th overall pick in 2008): After looking out of his depth as a rookie, the Colts waited until 2010 before putting Richard back on the field for significant action. Unfortunately, he still looked ill-equipped to handle defensive players in the NFL.
Jerraud Powers, CB (92nd overall pick in 2009): The former Auburn cornerback isn’t going to be confused with Darrelle Revis any time soon, but it could be a lot worse. He’s got better since starting as a rookie, though it remains to be seen how he’ll fit in with a new coaching staff.
Curtis Painter, QB (201st overall pick in 2009): Given a chance to step in for the injured Manning, Painter looked every bit the type of guy you’d rather was holding a clipboard than throwing passes in the NFL.
Jaimie Thomas, ST (236th overall pick in 2009): Found himself on the field for special teams and nothing more in a short NFL career.
-0.5: That pick was not put to good use
Mike Pollak, G (59th overall pick in 2008): Floated in and out of the starting lineup after tough rookie year. He did show improvement in 2011, but never enough to make you forget about how bad he was initially. No longer with the team.
Donald Brown, RB (27th overall pick in 2009): After two years in the league, Brown was halfway down the road to Bustville, only to offer some hope for the future with an encouraging (if not spectacular) 2011. Didn’t carry this through into 2012 and looks unlikely to ever be a feature back for the Colts.
Pat Angerer, LB (63rd overall pick in 2010): Don’t be fooled by the tackle counts, Angerer isn’t that good. Missed a lot of 2012 hurt and when he got back showed the same problems getting off blocks and making meaningful tackles.
Kevin Thomas, CB (94th overall pick in 2010): A nothing rookie year, Thomas found himself on the field for considerable action in 2011. Responding poorly, he gave up 68.4% of balls thrown his way, at 15.5 yards per catch and with three of them going for touchdowns.
Jacques McClendon, G (129th pick in 2010): A fourth-round pick who managed just six snaps (as an additional lineman) before the Colts cut their losses.
Brody Eldridge, TE (162nd pick in 2010): A blocking tight end who can’t block. That never works out well.
Ray Fisher, CB (246th overall pick in 2010): Cut before the start of the 2010 season, Fisher was a compensatory pick that didn’t work out.
-1.0: What a waste!
Fili Moala, DT (56th overall pick in 2009): Looked better in the Colts’ hybrid defense, but even so is a player who has failed to make much of an impact despite being handed plenty of opportunities. Earned every bit of his -42.2 grade over four years.
Terrance Taylor, DT (136th overall pick in 2009): You expect a fourth-round pick to make the active roster for the regular season. Taylor was cut within five months of being drafted.
Jerry Hughes, DE (31st overall pick in 2010): You can never have enough pass rushers right? That depends on whether you have two (like say Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis) who you never want to take off the field in passing situations. After holding out initially, Hughes rarely made his presence felt and is something of a wasted pick. Looked better this year, but still a poor choice who has disappointed with two regimes.
-1.5: The scouts failed, big time!
-2.0: You just drafted the love child of Jamarcus Russell and Ryan Leaf!
There were no Russell/ Leaf hybrids to pick from.
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