The "diamond in the rough" named Brody Eldridge

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Last week, Pro Football Weekly posted this little nugget about rookie tight end Brody Eldridge:

The Colts could have a "diamond in the rough" in fifth-round TE Brody Eldridge, according to team insiders. "He was really impressive in the OTAs," said one daily team observer of Eldridge, whom the Colts are counting on primarily as an in-line blocker in short-yardage situations. "For a big guy, he is really athletic and showed a lot as a receiver. If teams forget about him, he could be a factor."

The insider info on Eldridge was repeated, nearly verbatim, by Brett Mock at Coltzilla. This leads obsessive, football-starved morons like me to come to only one clear cut conclusion: Brody Eldridge is going to kick serious ass for the Colts in 2010.

The news out of OTAs was that Eldridge really surprised coaches with his pass catching ability. He was drafted, mainly, as an in-line blocking tight end, or H-Back in the Colts system. It's a role one-time Colts tight end Ken Dilger performed masterfully way back in the pre-Dungy days, and the Colts have tried (in vain) to find an adequate replacement since they FedExed Dilger his walking papers after the 2001 season.

In case you are too young to know what I'm talking about, the rumor was that right before the Pro Bowl for the 2001 season, Bill Polian FedExed tight end Ken Dilger a certified letter informing him that he was cut. Dilger was named to the Pro Bowl for the first time in his under-valued career, but for some odd reason Polian was pissed at him and wanted him off the team. Dilger went on to play for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2002, and won a Super Bowl. He retired following that season. I will always remember him for his rookie season in 1995 with Jimmy Harbaugh and the Cardiac Colts.

Since Dilger's departure, the Colts have searched for a reliable H-Back. Some thought Gijon Robinson might fill the void for H-Back, but he has not played consistently enough. If he had, the Colts likely wouldn't have drafted Eldridge. With Eldridge, the Colts get a 265 pound blocker who was forced into playing center at Oklahoma because of injuries.

That's right. Our new blocking H-Back as experience playing center in the (old) Big 12!

I don't think there will be many people questioning Brody's toughness. NFL Network's Mike Mayock called him the "best blocking TE in the entire draft." That's a nice compliment, but it kind of suggests that he is pretty worthless as a receiver. If you go by his numbers at Oklahoma, he caught a total of 13 passes for 98 yards and 1 TD during his four years at OU. Last season, he caught only two passes.

Yet, from what the rumor mill is feeding us from Colts OTAs, it seems like ole Brody is not as incompetent catching the ball as some suggested he was coming out of college. So, yeah, a 265 tight end who has experience blocking interior tackles but can catch the football and run good routes. Out of high school, he was a defensive end.

Already, I like him. Sounds like a real football player. Sign me up for the fan club.

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