Tuesday, May 17, 2011

NFL Draft Team Grades-Indianapolis Colts

The Colts, despite their fall to the Jets, are still one of the class teams in the AFC, and a return toi the playoffs is a given. This draft class was going to be small, and so max value, especially early, was a must. Let's see how it breaks down...

Round 1, Pick 22
Anthony Costanzo, OT
Boston College

Costanzo was graded out as the best available tackle in this draft, but yet was not the first one taken. His slide to 22 was a gift that the Colts could not look away from, and he gives the Colts a tackle that could pick up the mantle of blocking Peyton Manning's blind side right away. He is a dominant tackle, and he should be a franchise cornerstone for many years to come.
Grade: A+

Round 2, Pick 17 (From Jaguars and Redskins)
Ben Ijalana, OT

Ijalana is a rare talent and was a 4 year starter at Villanova. He blocked in a quirky offense for the Wildcats, but he is the future heir apparent to the right tackle spot. Expect him to possibly start out inside at one of the two guard positions before eventually entrenching himself outside at tackle opposite Costanzo. The rebuilding of the line has begun.
Grade: A

Round 3, Pick 23
Drake Nevis, DT

Nevis finished the 2010 season with 13 TFLs from his tackle spot. He has 24 for the last two seasons, so he does have some ability to penetrate into the backfield and make plays. He is not exceptionally big, however, and he may have a more difficult time getting it done at the next level, and some scouts say that he is not going to see work as a starter, and may be a situational player only. The Colts seemingly reached a bit early on this pick. A huge question mark at this point.
Grade: C

Round 4, Pick 22
Delone Carter, RB

Carter, while solid, is a bit one dimensional as a RB. He basically is a run only back. He is not used to pass blocking, or working as a receiver, which may limit him to a situational role on this football team. He will be tasked to learn these things, but his overall value is determined as to how hard he is willing to work to revolutionize his overall game. Rushed for 1233 yards and 9 TDs last season for a rejuvinated Syracuse squad.
Grade: C

Round 6, Pick 23
Chris Rucker, CB
Michigan State

Comes with some baggage, and some maturity issues that comes with that. Has had some off-field trouble, and does not always seem focused on the immediate game around him. High risk player, and is not especiall strong, nor does he possess great cover ability. Drafted a round too soon, and he may never get it enough to contribute, or even make the team.
Grade: F

Player That May Surprise

Player That May Flop

Sure To Be a Star

Sure To Be a Flop

2.4...mid to lower C range
Other than the selections of Ijalana and Costanzo, there is limited or no value here. 60% of this class qualifies as a project of sorts, and while the Colts have enough talent to cover for it, it's never a great idea to invest so much roster spance to project players, especially when so much value was on the board late this season. Costanzo and Ijalana simply saved this draft from being a failure.

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