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Previewing the 2013 NFL Combine: Offensive Skill Positions

The Colts loaded up with skill position players in the 2012 draft, but will they take any more in 2013? There's several positions that could use an upgrade.


Skill Positions came a-plenty in the 2012 draft, with the Colts using seven of their 10 draft picks last year. In fact, the three other guys drafted (Josh Chapman, Justin Anderson, Tim Fugger) did play a single snap. That means the Colts definitely won't be in the market for skill position guys in 2013, right? Well, not exactly. The Colts are obviously set at Quarterback, and I think the tight end position is in good hands with Coby Fleener and Dwayne Allen. But the other positions could use some work.

Running Backs:

The Colts Running Back situation is partly set, but partly in flux. Last year we saw rookie Vick Ballard break through and be a really dependable back at the end of the season, picking up big yards and converting first downs. There's little doubt he'll be the starter Week 1 next year. Delone Carter should also be around for some short yardage situations, especially if new Offensive Coordinator Pep Hamilton goes to more power formations.

The part we don't know about is whether Donald Brown will be part of the Colts future. He's in the last year of his rookie deal in 2013, and once again he couldn't make it through a full season healthy. Brown has shown that when he gets adequate blocking, he has the ability to pick up big chunks of yardage. The problem with Brown usually lies when he doesn't have lanes to run through, and unless we see some big upgrades on the Offensive Line, it's going to be more of the same next year. It remains to be seen whether he'll be a part of the Colts going forward.

If the Colts were to take a Running Back, I see no way it'll be with their first rounder (or, put another way, I'll be quite unhappy if it happens), and with them not having a 2nd rounder, I'm only including guys that should be taken from the 3rd round on.

Players to watch at the Combine:

Name School Combine # Round
Jamison, Jawan Rutgers RB18 2-3
Taylor, Stepfa'n Stanford RB31 2-3
Ball, Montee Wisconsin RB02 2-4
Bell, Le’Veon Michigan St RB04 2-4
Gillislee, Mike Florida RB13 2-4
Franklin, Johnathan Ucla RB12 3-4
Ellington, Andre Clemson RB10 3-5
Lattimore, Marcus South Carolina RB21 3-5
Michael, Christine Texas A&M RB25 3-5
Barner, Kenjon Oregon RB03 4-5
Ford, Michael Louisiana St RB11 4-6
Jefferson, Stefphon Nevada RB19 4-6
Ware, Spencer Louisiana St RB34 4-6
Burkhead, Rex Nebraska RB08 5-6
Davis, Knile Arkansas RB09 5-6
Graham, Ray Pittsburgh RB14 5-6
Wood, Cierre Notre Dame RB38 5-6
Harris, Montel Temple RB16 5-7
James, Mike Miami-Fl RB17 5-7
Maysonet, Miguel Stony Brook RB23 5-7
Riddick, Theo Notre Dame RB28 5-7
Stacy, Zac Vanderbilt RB30 5-7


Wait, what? Fullback? Yes, Fullback. If you watched Stanford play at all last year, you'll know their offense had a lot of power formations, usually using one, if not two lead blockers. It's not a stretch to think the Colts will need a big bruiser to clear holes for Ballard, etc., something the Colts haven't really had for over a decade. There aren't many Fullbacks in the draft, but there are several that could be drafted in later rounds.

Players to watch at the Combine:

Name School Combine # Round
Line, Zach SMU RB22 4-6
Bohanon, Tommy Wake Forest RB06 5-7
Boren, Zach Ohio St RB07 6-7
Pryor, Lonnie Florida St RB26 6-7
Wilson, Braden Kansas St RB36 6-7

Wide Receivers:

Daniel gave a brief summary of the Colts current situation earlier today, and I agree with his sentiments. Reggie Wayne can still play at an elite level, T.Y. Hilton will be able to stretch the field for years to come, and after that it's a bunch of questions. Donnie Avery is not the answer for a #2 receiver, but I have a feeling we're going to see another year of him in a Colts uniform. LaVonn Brazill showed flashes last year of being a good receiver, but it's certainly no given he can be counted on consistently. We also learned last week that Austin Collie won't be returning after missing last season to a knee injury.

This draft isn't exactly ripe with big-time receivers, and there's a possibility that we won't see a receiver taken in the first round. I haven't included any of the small, quick burners (like Tavon Austin), as the Colts already have that guy in Hilton. Like RB, I can't see the Colts taking a WR in Round 1, due mostly to too many other holes and players much better filling those holes, but I guess you can never say never.

Players to watch at the Combine:

Name School Combine # Round
Allen, Keenan California WO01 1-2
Hopkins, Deandre Clemson WO15 1-2
Patterson, Cordarrelle Tennessee WO24 1-2
Hunter, Justin Tennessee WO16 1-3
Rogers, Da’Rick Tennessee Tech WO27 1-3
Williams, Terrance Baylor WO37 2-3
Woods, Robert Southern California WO39 2-3
Hamilton, Cobi Arkansas WO12 2-4
Patton, Quinton Louisiana Tech WO25 2-4
Wheaton, Markus Oregon St WO36 2-4
Davis, Marcus Virginia Tech WO07 3-5
Mellette, Aaron Elon WO21 3-5
Swope, Ryan Texas A&M WO33 3-5
Wilson, Marquess Washington St WO38 3-5
Boyce, Josh Texas Christian WO05 4-6
Dobson, Aaron Marshall WO08 4-6
Vernon, Conner Duke WO35 4-6
Harper, Chris Kansas St WO13 5-6
King, Tavarres Georgia WO19 5-7
Lemon, Alec Syracuse WO20 6-7
Moore, Tracy Oklahoma St WO23 6-7
Smith, Rodney Florida St WO30 6-7

What do you think? Any sleepers you like in the late round?