Take a quick search around Colts message boards and comments around the internet and it becomes clear: a great number of Colts fans want the team to draft running back Tevin Coleman. And it makes perfect sense, too, since Coleman is an Indiana product and the Colts are located in Indianapolis - just over an hour away from where Coleman played football in college for the Hoosiers.
As is his custom each year, NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock held a conference call for media before the Combine, and on Monday Mayock talked for close to three hours about the Draft and prospects. For a 28-page transcript there wasn't a lot of Colts talk, but one thing Mayock was asked about was the possibility of Tevin Coleman to the Colts. A local reporter asked Mayock about some of the local players, including Coleman, and whether the running back made sense for the Colts in the second round.
"I've got a second round grade on Coleman," Mayock said. "I think I mentioned earlier that he reminds me a little bit of a Darren McFadden. Up right style runs angry, tough. His deal is kind of if he gets a seam, he hits it and he's gone. His speed is phenomenal when he gets a seam. I'm not sure he's quite as patient or as natural a runner at some of the other guys, but his speed, toughness, aggressiveness, et cetera, he's a difference maker. He's a home run hitter and I have a second round grade on him. I think he makes a lot of sense there."
I think that most fans, if Coleman was available in the second round for the Colts, would jump at the opportunity to take the running back. It's a good year to draft a running back and it's likely that there will be a good option for the Colts in the second round if that's the avenue they wish to go, and Coleman would certainly be one of the most recognizable names. In his junior season in 2014, Coleman rushed for 2,036 yards and 15 touchdowns, averaging 7.5 yards per carry. The 6-1, 210 pound back won't work out at the Combine, however, due to a foot injury but will be ready to go at his Pro Day.
Running back is a need for the Colts, but most want the team to address the defensive side of the ball in the first round (which is exactly what they should do). But, as Mayock notes, Coleman would make sense for the Colts in the second round if the running back is still available (which probably isn't too likely).
A few other notes from Mayock's conference call that might interest Colts fans:
- Though he didn't say it this bluntly, Mayock essentially said that Bjoern Werner was a bust. When asked about the difficulties in scouting and drafting pass rushers, Mayock looked at the first round picks from the past few years and, when listing those from 2013, noted that Ziggy Ansah worked out, but then the other four didn't: Dion Jordan, Barkevious Mingo, Bjoern Werner, and Jarvis Jones. "So that's maybe 1 for 5 in 2013," Mayock concluded. He didn't say it this clearly or succinctly (because that wasn't the focus of the question he was asked), but Mayock essentially said that Bjoern Werner was a bust for the Colts. Which is accurate.
- Mayock was also asked about a prominent former Colt in Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning and was asked if he thought Manning could come back to play at a high level in 2015. "I would suspect, if he made the commitment to come back, that he'd be ready to play at a high level again," Mayock said. "I'd be surprised if he didn't." Mayock also noted that, while Manning doesn't have the arm strength he used to, "he throws with more anticipation and timing than anybody in football."