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Is Blair White really a hidden gem for the Colts?

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The Colts are absolutely loaded at wide receiver. I know this next declaration is a bit controversial around here, but as of right now last season's opening day starter at wideout (Anthony Gonzalez) is probably the team's fourth WR on the depth chart. The reason for this is players like Pierre Garcon and Austin Collie have developed faster than Gonzo has, while Reggie Wayne continues to build a potential Hall of Fame resume as a primary receiver for this team.

Factoring in that Dallas Clark is like a wideout in many offensive packages, how the hell can a player like Blair White, an undrafted collegiate free agent from MSU, have any hope at making the Colts 53-man roster?

I think I might have the answer.

Look, let's be honest. Unless there are crippling injuries the receiving corps, Blair White ain't never catching TDs passes from Peyton Manning now or possibly the near future. Reggie Wayne is 33 31 and likely has five more years left in him. Collie and Garcon are 2nd and 3rd year players, respectively. Gonzo is only 25. The receiving corps for this team is set, unless the Colts choose not to re-sign Gonzo at the end of the 2010 season (which seems likely at the moment). So, it's fair to assume that White is probably not cracking this roster as a wideout.

But, what about as a special teams player?

While he was certainly not a good WR, former-Colts 2007 draft pick Roy Hall was a damn fine special teams player. He was tall, fast, and could get down the field quickly as a gunner. Hall was cut from the roster last week, which was also around the same time the Colts were getting their first look at Blair White in a horseshoe helmet. From what I've read about White, he might just be the guy to provide a good special teams substitute for Hall:

White's experience as a special teams player his first two years at Michigan State may also prove valuable to an NFL team. He's shifty enough to return punts and can play as a gunner on the punt unit. Because of his lack of production during his first three years as a Spartan, NFL teams will need to see a lot from him during the offseason. If he can run a good time at the NFL Combine, White could land in the late third or mid-fourth round range in the 2010 draft.

What's interesting about this report is White did run a good 40 time at the Combine (4.50) and at his Pro Day (4.40). Yet, every team in the NFL, including the Colts, passed on him in the 2010 NFL Draft. The Colts scouted White at his Pro Day, and probably liked what they saw, but not enough to draft White. Following the draft, they signed him to a free agent contract. What's interesting about that is White likely had strong interest from other clubs who had more opportunities for him to play as a wideout. For some draft writers, White should have been drafted in the fourth or fifth round. A team like the Titans, the Falcons, or the Browns (all of whom scouted White) could have really used a 6'2, 200 pound receiver who runs excellent routes, plays pretty fast, and is intelligent about the game of football.

So, why did he sign with a Colts team that, in all honesty, has no spot open in their WR corps for him? I'll let White explain, which he does here to's Jeffery Gorman when discussing the decision to sign with Indy:

You know, it was funny, because it was initially not between the Colts [and me]. Between my agent and me, we figured the best situation would be between a couple of other places. But then, I said, "What about the Colts?" Just knowing that it is a quality organization and a great place to play. And [my agent] said, "Well, I think it's a great situation." So, they wanted me, and I wouldn't want to be anywhere else but here. So, I'm excited.

As we noted in an earlier article, Colts General Manager Chris Polian took notice of White at the recent Colts rookie camp. White seemed to catch every ball throw to him, which will go a long way to solidifying a spot on the 53-man roster, or possibly the practice squad. What could pretty much lock him into that roster is his ability to play special teams. If he can field punts, run as a gunner, and be a reliable receiver, it will be very hard not to retain this guy.

When training camp rolls around, we will keep an eye on him.

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