2010 NFL Draft: What do the Colts themselves think of their picks

So, now that the 2010 NFL Draft is over, how do the Colts envision their picks working into their offense, defense, and special teams? You don't draft a player (unless they are an obvious project) and not see him working his way onto the active roster for next season.

Here is what Colts President Bill Polian and Head Coach Jim Caldwell had to say at their draft press conferences about the players they picked in the 75th NFL Draft.

 

Jerry Hughes - DE - Round One, Pick 31

  • Polian thinks Hughes works well as a down rusher (hand on the ground) or as a stand-up "Joker" rusher.
  • Because of his versatility, Hughes will likely be used as a back-up DE and as a roaming linebacker that rushes. Raheem Brock did a lot of this the last two years. When asked if Hughes fills the void left by Brock's release, Polian answered "Yes."
  • Hughes will not be used as a tackle. So, in that capacity, he does not replace Raheem Brock.
  • The Colts suggested they plan to create special defensive packages for Hughes.
  • He will play on special teams.

Pat Angerer - LB - Round Two, Pick 63

  • Based on Polian and Caldwell's comments, Angerer is seen as Gary Brackett's back-up, not as a replacement for Philip Wheeler at SAM.
  • They hope he will play a bit in the nickel, which suggests they aren't too happy with Clint Session in that package.
  • He will play on special teams.

Kevin Thomas - CB - Round Three, Pick 94

  • Polian sees him as someone who can play right now. So, despite the well-documented negatives in Thomas' game, the Colts view him as a player who can come in and contribute on defense immediately.
  • He's considered as a player that fills a major need in the secondary. He can supposedly play press coverage and man-to-man.
  • Viewed as the nickel corner, possibly replacing Lacey (who Polian compared him to, only Thomas is taller).
  • He will play on special teams.

Jacques McClendon - OG - Round Four, Pick 129

  • Colts expect McClendon to come in and play at the same level as a rookie other lineman drafted in Round Four have done in the past.
  • McClendon has the tools of Jake Scott, a guard the Colts have not been able to replace since he left via free agency after the 2007 season.
  • He will compete for the starting job with Andy Alleman, Jaimie Thomas, Jamey Richard, and Kyle DeVan.
  • He will stay as a guard. He is "too short" to play tackle, according to Polian.

Brody Eldridge - TE - Round Five, Pick 162

  • He will not be developed into an offensive lineman even though he played guard in college.
  • Viewed as a good in-line blocker.
  • They have little interest in his ability to catch the ball. See him as a short yardage H-Back or fullback.
  • Plan to create packages utilizing him in short yardage situations.

Ricardo Matthews - DE - Round Seven, Pick 238

  • Polian called him a "power defensive end." This suggests he will be used on the d-line during rush downs, which was a role Raheem Brock used to fill.
  • He will be utilized at both defensive end and defensive tackle.
  • Colts plan to create a specialized role for Matthews on the defense.

Kavell Conner - LB - Round Seven, Pick 240

  • Polian compared him to Clint Session. A real "fly around, run-and-hit guy." 
  • Considered a back-up for WILL backer spot, meaning Freddy Keiaho probably won't be back.
  • He will play on special teams.

Ray Fisher - CB - Round Seven, Pick 246

  • Colts want to use him as a duel returner on punts and kicks. Polian said he did not want to use Jerraud Powers as a punt returner.
  • Fisher also viewed as a back-up at CB. "He can play corner," Polian said. "Even though he is on the small side, he's a good cover corner." This means T.J. Rushing will not be back.
  • Will be used as a gunner on special teams when he is not returning kicks or punts.
  • Colts do not view him as a potential starter at corner, but like his coverage abilities.

After watching all the press conferences, and reading as much as I can on these picks,it's pretty clear to me that Raheem Brock, Freddy Keiaho, and T.J. Rushing are gone for good. In addition, it's likely that Keyunta Dawson, Gijon Robinson, and possibly Jacob Tamme are likely not going to make the final roster in August. I also think Mike Pollak and Jamey Richard are in deep do-do as well. McClendon, Thomas, and Alleman all fit what the Colts are looking for with their new offensive line philosophy.

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