Part two of my 2006 Draft recap now focuses on what I think of the Colts' draft selections. We've read and listened to all the pundits from ESPN, Fox Sports, CNNSI, and NFL.com. Most of these opinions are, of course, meaningless and uninformed. Here is my take on the draft. It might be equally meaningless in the eyes of the Colts braintrust, but unlike Mel Kiper Jr., I know my Colts team. I know what they look for and what they expected to get on draft day.
1st Round - 30th Pick Overall: Jospeh Addai, RB LSU
I said, waaaaaaaaaay back in March, that the Colts would take Jospeh Addai over Minnesota RB Laurence Maroney. Polian scouted Maroney personally, and while I'm sure he will turn into a good runningback for the New England Patriots, Maroney simply wasn't worth trading up for. The Colts didn't necessarily value him higher than Addai either. You had to know the Colts were giddy that Addai was still there at number 30. After the Jets announced their number 29 pick, the Colts immediately submitted their selection. Tagliabue was up at the podium again two minutes after announcing the Jets' pick saying the Colts had selected Addai.
Pundits had Maroney rated higher than Addai, and while Maroney probably has better moves and elusiveness compared to Addai, I'm not so sure he should have been rated higher. Maroney is not faster than Addai. Addai is a better cut-back runner. Addai blocks better, and is a better receiver out of the backfield. At LSU, Addai played wide receiver and fullback before settling in at runningback. This makes Addai the perfect back for the Colts, who require their backs to do more than just take the football and run with it.
Addai is also the best all-around back in the draft. By all-around, I mean he can do everything very well: run, catch, and block. While Reggie Bush is faster, LenDale White stronger, Deangelo Williams quicker, and Maroney more elusive, Addai is the total package. He is also a high character individual. At his Colts press coverage introducing him to the media, he stressed that he will compete with the other backs in Indy for the starting job. Instead of walking in and expecting to start, Addai is all about earning his place on the team.
This pick has potential home run written all over it. The Colts might get Edgerrin James-like production out of this kid at a discount price. With Addai, the Colt offense will score and move the ball with the same high level production that is the trademark of Colts football.