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2010 NFL Draft: Inside the Numbers - Colts TE/FB Brody Eldridge

One of my favorite plays from the 2006 AFC Title Game was when big Dan Klecko snuck out of the backfield, into the flat, and scored a TD in the 3rd Quarter, pulling the Colts within 2.  It's one of those plays that come pretty unexpectedly, especially when it comes to the Colts.  You can't really call it a "trick" play, but for the Colts it would be.

Since this great game, the Colts have used several other DT/LB at the Fullback/H-Back position in short yardage situations (Eric Foster and Cody Glenn, most recently).  However, at a certain point, the Colts need to have a guy whose full time job is to blow up that blitzing LB on a 3rd and short, or a guy who you don't have to hold your breath when the ball is thrown to him.

Enter Brody Eldridge.

Looking at just the receiving numbers for Eldridge, you'd never know he was one of the more valuable players on the Oklahoma team the last few years.  He only had 13 career catches over his four years, but most of them were pretty important catches.  Eight of the 13 catches were for a First down (1 TD), and over the past 3 seasons, it was 8/10.  Eldridge was the guy Oklahoma looked for to convert key 3rd downs.  Think that might happen over the next few seasons?

While Eldridge was called upon to make some key catches for OU, it's pretty obvious the Colts drafted him for his ability to block (I'm really going out on a limb here).  That 3rd and 1 from 2 years ago I think still haunts Bill Polian, and drafting Eldridge will hopefully curtail that situation again.  It'll be very good having a guy who doesn't have any other responsibilities lining up with Joseph Addai / Donald Brown to pick up those short yardage First downs, or slipping into the flat to make a catch.  While it's cool to see that big DL make that catch, I feel much more comfortable with a guy, possibly the best guy in CFB last year, lead blocking and making those game changing catches.