Few people in this business are as respected as NFL Films' Greg Cosell. His uncle Howard was known by just about everyone with a television set back in the day, but in today's world of online media, Greg is carving out his own niche. He is one of the best at writing about draft prospects for the simple reason that he A) watches lots of tape, and B) knows what to look for when he does so.
Recently, Cosell was a guest of Doug Farrar's Shutdown Corner podcast, and the topic of conversation was the AFC South teams and the players they took in the 2012 NFL Draft.
Regarding the Colts, both Farrar and Cossel agreed that the changes and tweaks new coordinator Bruce Arians will make to the Colts offense will be both interesting and exciting. Expect lots of bunch formations, lots of multiple tight end sets. These were the types of things Arians loved doing in Pittsburgh when he was the offensive coordinator there, working with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.
This type of offense will not be all that much different (in terms of formations and pre-snap motion) than what Andrew Luck ran at Stanford. Here's Cosell on the podcast:
I think they are going to try and run a very similar type offense, keep Andrew Luck comfortable, and I think that's a very good move.
Beware of something else: [Steelers quarterback Ben] Roethlisberger last year, out of multiple tight end sets, was absolutely phenomenal. He completed over 70% of his passes out of multiple tight end sets, and 9 of his 21 touchdowns. That was their stock play, personnel package, two and three tight ends on on the field, where they really took their shots down the field. And, I believe the Colts will see exactly the same thing.
Cosell also had some very positive things to say about Coby Fleener, Dwayne Allen, T.Y. Hilton, and Josh Chapman. The underlining traits of all these players: Speed and quickness.
Yes, even Chapman.
Cosell on Coby Fleener:
I think he's going to be a good player. He's primarily a movement player -- that's what he did at Stanford. He did block on occasion, because clearly that's the nature of their offense, and he'll probably do that with Indianapolis. But for the most part, I think he's a detached player. You line him up on the outside, or flex or in the slot, and I think that's what he does best.
Cosell on Dwayne Allen, who (often forget) played H-Back in college as well as tight end:
He's pretty versatile in where he can block.
I think there similarities in his receiving game to Brandon Pettigrew. Pettigrew is a better blocker though.
On T.Y. Hilton:
Quick as can be. Obviously, because he played a Florida International, he played all over the place. I think he's a slot guy, and I think he can be a dynamic slot guy. How quickly that occurs, who can say? But, I think ultimately that is what he position will be in the NFL. He's only 5'9, 185 lbs, but he is dynamically quick.
On Josh Chapman:
I think he's got some versatility to him. I think he can be a nose and I think he can also be a gap player if you use more four-man principles. He's a lot quicker than what his size would indicate. Now, he's not a pas rusher, obviously, but I think he's got some quickness on the inside in the run game, and I think he's a tough inside player with better athleticism than his stumpy build would lead you to believe.
I guess it's worth noting that Cossell did not like what he saw out of Colts 7th rounder Justin Anderson when we watched tape of him. That's understandable. There's a reason Anderson feel to that round.
Overall, it seems Cossell really thinks the Colts draft class, which makes people like me excited to see them all in action. T-Miss 38 days until training camp, and counting...