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 Colts running back Marshall Faulk. Perhaps best known for his role as a part of the “Greatest Show on Turf,” Faulk got his start with the horseshoe in the 1994 NFL Draft, when the Colts selected him 2nd overall.
Right away, the Colts saw marked improvement in the running game. As a rookie, Faulk came just 6 yards shy of matching the team’s total rushing yards from the prior year on his own, and finished the season with 1,804 yards from scrimmage. For a team lacking offensive firepower, Faulk was a huge asset.
Along with the addition of Jim Harbaugh to the roster, Faulk’s production as a rookie helped propel the Colts to an 8-8 season, doubling their prior year’s win totals. In his 5 years with the Colts, Faulk made 3 Pro Bowls and 3 Second-Team All-Pros.
Combining incredible speed with great vision and cutting ability, Faulk was a major boon to the Colts, and a big win for Bill Tobin in his first year working as the team’s GM. Unfortunately, he was unable to match his rookie season rushing yards again until 1998, when he finished the season with 1,319 rushing yards and lead the league in yards from scrimmage with 2,227.
However, even in his “down” years, his worst production was still 1,015 scrimmage yards and 7 all-purpose touchdowns. In what was somewhat a golden age of running backs, Faulk sometimes gets lost in the shuffle, but his game-changing ability certainly made a big difference for the mid-90s Colts, and he was there for the Colts’ major transition from irrelevant transplant team to the dominant force it would become.