Colts cut Dante Hughes, Steve Justice, and Nick Graham

Dante Hughes, right, never lived up to expectations after a stellar career at Cal. He was cut today as the Colts trim their roster down to 53 active players. Photo:

Special thanks to jumunjis for posting the link to Mike Chappell's Indy Star report. The first cuts towards the 53-man roster have been made, and on the chopping block are 2007 third round pick Dante Hughes, 2008 sixth round pick Steve Justice, and Nick Graham. As jumunjis astutely points out, Hughes is yet another victim of the curse of the third round pick. Former Colts tackle Quinn Pitcock was the other third rounder the Colts took in 2007. Now, both he and Hughes are former-Colts after just two years.

When you look back at the 2007 draft for the Colts, it had so much promise. I even called it "one of the best drafts Bill Polian has ever presided over in Indianapolis." Shows you how much I know.

From that 2007 draft class, only Anthony Gonzalez, Clint Session, and Keyunta Dawson remain (and Dawson is in danger of cutting cut himself). Dante Hughes, Brandon Condren, Michael Coe, and Roy Hall were all drafted by Indy that year, and all of them were cut this off-season. DT Quinn Pitcock quit football last year prior to training camp. That's five picks from just two years ago that are gone. And to top it all off, Indy's second round pick in 2007, Tony Ugoh, was just recently benched. Indy traded a first rounder in 2008 for Ugoh, and now it looks like he is going the way of all the other trash drafted in 2007.


The 2008 Draft for Indy isn't shaping up to be much better. Mike Pollak, a center out of Arizona State who Indy has converted into a guard, isn't setting the world on fire, or anything. Jamey Richard, who played center at Buffalo, is a quality back-up, but that's about all we can ever really expect from Richard. And now, Steve Justice, the third center the Colts drafted last year, has been cut.

Now, before people freak out, it's important to know that many of the players we were hoping Indy would draft from previous years have also recently been cut. The Broncos cut Kory Lichtensteiger and Carlton Powell today, two players we thought the Colts should have drafted in 2008. Kevin O'Connell was also cut recently; another player we wanted Indy to take in 2008.

The draft isn't an exact science, folks. And even future Hall of Fame personnel people, like Bill Polian, are not perfect.

Still, Polian was able to find quality starters like Anthony Gonzalez and Clint Session in 2007, and players like Jacob Tamme and Marcus Howard offer a lot of promise from the 2008 draft. Also, in 2007, Polian found and signed Melvin Bullitt as a rookie free agent. So, it's not like 2007 didn't give the team anything. It just didn't give the team the kind of talent we are used to seeing.

The cutting of Steve Justice likely means free agent Kyle DeVan will remain on the active roster, but we'll see.

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