2008 Colts Draft Pick: RB Mike Hart

Mike Hart compares to Joseph Addai.
Photo: via sportswrap.berecruited.com

Bill Polian let some of the air out of the Dom to Indy sails recently:

And the possibility of the Colts bringing back running back Dominic Rhodes, who was released by the Oakland Raiders on Monday, has also not been discussed as of yet.

"We didn’t discuss it [Tuesday]. [Head coach] Tony [Dungy] didn’t mention it. I think we’re pretty full at the position to be truthful with you," Polian said.

This leads me to believe the Colts plan to use newly drafted RB Mike Hart more than we expected, because I do not believe that Dungy or Polian feel Kenton Keith is better than Dominic Rhodes; because if they do they are dead wrong.

Of all the picks the Colts made over the weekend, the "sexiest" was Mike Hart. He's a name everyone in college football knows, and some were surprised he fell all the way to Indy in round 6. I'll be honest when I say I am a big Mike Hart fan. I thought he showed tremendous character after Michigan lost to Appalachia State. He seemed more in control of the Michigan team than his coach was. He carried the team on his back, and transformed the 2007 season for the Wolverines from utter disaster to one of respectability.

If you want to know why Mike Hart fell to the 6th round, the answer is simple: He's slow. He ran a 4.7 at the Combine. However, if you go to NFL.com's Combine site, guess who the scouts compare Hart to:

Compares To: JOSEPH ADDAI-Indianapolis...While Hart has a lot more mileage on his tires coming out of college than Addai did leaving LSU, both players are quick, darting runners with the ability to pound out the tough yardage up the middle or hit the cutback lanes. Addai is a better receiver than Hart, but the Michigan product protects the ball and is a physical blocker who plays with lots of aggression. He's shorter than ideal, but runs at a low pad level and has the leg drive to immediately break arm tackles. Had some injury problems as a senior, thanks to over 1,000 carries during his career, but until then, Hart proved very durable.

Hart is also a player who never fumbles. Ever. Despite all the pounding he took at Michigan, carrying that team on his back in 2007, he never gave up the football. Look for the Colts to use Hart near the goal line. His nasty attitude is something the running game has lacked a bit. While guys like Addai slide away from contact in order to gain extra yards, Hart initiates it, looking to punish anyone who tries to tackle him. This will add another element to the Colts running game, which must get better in the red zone.

If you want a theme for the 2008 draft, it seem pretty clear that Polian and Dungy wanted to get better running the ball in the red zone. Thus, they draft three interior linemen and a RB like Mike Hart. One early thing about Hart: The guy has stones. Check out what number he selected for his Colts jersey:

Hart_medium
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