Colts GM Chris Ballard has regularly stated that his philosophy is that you build teams through the draft. That makes this time of year critical to the Colts’ long term success. So in the lead up to this year’s draft, I wanted to do something to honor some of the meaningful draft picks that the Colts have made in their time in Indianapolis. These players have helped to tell the story of the Colts franchise we love. Every day leading up to the draft, we’ll drop a story about a different player from Indianapolis Colts draft history.
Today we’re talking about the Colts’ most prolific all around tight end, Dallas Clark. Drafted 24th overall in the 2003 NFL Draft, Clark was the unsung hero of a star-studded offense. His nine seasons in Indianapolis saw him rack up 46 receiving touchdowns, the most of any Colts tight end.
What’s more, Clark really turned it on in the postseason. He ranks 2nd behind only Reggie Wayne in both postseason receiving yards and touchdowns for the Colts with 847 yards and 4 touchdowns. In the most important games of the year, Clark was a major factor.
Despite making just one Pro Bowl and one First-Team All-Pro, Clark was a legitimate threat and a well-rounded player who added a dynamic to the offense that was needed to both take pressure off of Manning and help eliminate the need for Reggie Wayne and Marvin Harrison to carry the passing game.
While we think of the tight end position now as being a clear part of the passing game, Clark was among an age of evolution at the position and helped to redefine how it could be used. In his best season, he had 1,106 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns, but even when his time in Indy ended, he remained a productive player for two more seasons.
His short stints in Tampa Bay and Baltimore yielded similar production, and he retired ahead of the 2014 season, signing a one-day contract with the Colts so that he could retire wearing the horseshoe.
Clark helped the Colts to a Super Bowl win, and became a fan favorite along the way.
What’s your favorite Dallas Clark memory?