So far in our Who the hell will they draft 2008 series, we've profiled 3 offensive linemen, 3 defensive ends, 1 defensive tackle, 1 tight end, 1 wide receiver, and 1 running back. With the draft 4 weeks away, that gives us plenty of time to round out the positions of need with several quality players who fit what the Colts are looking for. Since we've spent so much time profiling linemen on both sides of the ball, I thought it time to go back to one of the "skill" positions; in particular runningback.
We profiled Chris Johnson several weeks ago, and DraftTek.com still thinks he will fall to the Colts in the second round. I'm not so sure. If he does, it is likely because another team (like Philly) thought more highly of Tulane's Matt Forté. Forte is a name that has popped up on several Colts mock drafts, and the more you look at him the more likely he could get picked with Indy's second round pick.
Yep, that's right. It's very possible Forté will get picked late in the second round by the Colts, despite Indy's need for pass rushers and WRs.
Before you blow a gasket and scream, "WE NEED PRESSURE ON THE QB, NOT ANOTHER FRIGGIN' RB! POLIAN, DO SOMETHING!" hear me out and listen to reason. Despite all the praise Tony Dungy heaps on Kenton Keith, we all know the guy simply didn't get it done last year. Tossing the ball to K2 is like throwing a racket ball at a trampoline. The ball ricochets all over the place, and eventually gets intercepted.
RBs in the modern NFL have got to catch the ball. Running well is simply not enough anymore, which is why a guy like Matt Forté is considered "one of the hottest names in the 2008 NFL Draft class." Forté was a solid contributor during his first few years at Tulane, but it was his senior year when he absolutely exploded onto the scene and went out of his mind. Forté scored an astounding 23 rushing TDs in 2007 and averaged nearly 6 yards a carry. At one point during the college season, he ran for over 200 yards in five straight games. Allow me a moment to say "HOLY F*&KING SH*T! THAT'S ONE HELLUVA BACK!"
We all know that adding a compliment to Joseph Addai is important for Indy's offense to thrive. The 2006 offense was money in the red zones, scoring more TDs there than anyone else. Last year, the Colts offense left a lot of TDs out there, opting for FGs far too often than we are used to. Injuries are part of the reason, but another part was not having another RB option to punch the ball in the endzone and catch TDs out of the backfield. Much like Chris Johnson, drafting Forté would add a totally new dimension to the Colts offense. Unlike Chris Johnson, the new dimension would be something other than speed.
Matt Forté is a big man, and unlike RBs like Reggie Bush he actively looks to make contact. And, when he does make contact, he hurts the tackler more so than the tackler hurts him. Forté is 6'2 and 217 pounds, but unlike other tall RBs who run too high, Forté has a low center of gravity. He has powerful legs and gets down low when running the football:
The negatives I read about Forté are mixed. NFL Draft Countdown lists his negatives as:
Toughness / Durability: Has played through many carries and bumps. Doesn't sit out many plays. Is a strong and durable runner. Only one injury during his career.
I know the Colts have other needs, but I would not be surprised (or disappointed) if Matt Forté were taken with Indy's first pick in the draft.
For more insight into Matt Forté, check out this Tulane sports blog: Wave Sports.