Monday, March 10, 2008

The next set of Colts?

New Era Scouting, a very reliable source of predraft news, has reported that the Colts have "shown interest" to the following eligible players:

Justin Beaver HB Wisconsin-Whitewater (5081, 196, 4.41) is a small-but-speedy back who was ridiculously productive at the Division-III level. As a senior, he rushed 444-2,552-15 and caught four passes for 12 yards. Still, "The Beav" didn't get much media interest until his Pro Day, at which he ran a 4.41 forty, a 3.96 20-yard shuttle (better than any back at the Combine), the cones in 6.72 and hoisted the bar 24 times. Since he was so dominant running, he didn't catch the ball much in college (8-41-0 career), but looked good in drills and is said to be a give-his-all-style blocker. He reminds me a lot of Dominic Rhodes at the same point in his career.

Jalen Parmele HB Toledo (5114, 224, 4.47) is another highly productive back who will be drafted well before the books say he will. A standout on a so-so Toledo team, Parmele put up big numbers (276-1,511-14 rushing, 17-157-1 receiving and 20-560-1 kick returns) and was a reliable option in any number of situations, showing good burst and awareness. A big load, he's hard to stop between the tackles and is a very good blocker. The knocks against him have been a lackluster work ethic and a lack of natural receiving skills.

John Greco T Toledo (6046, 305, 5.31 (1)) is one of the guys you'll actually see in draft books. Toledo's left tackle since Nick Kaczur became a Patriot, Greco says he models himself after his predecessor — that's a pretty good thing. A strong pass protector and the guy Parmele usually ran behind, Greco is a much better football player than he is an athlete. While the draft guides will probably recommend a move to guard (which could work), I prefer him at his natural position, right tackle — where he played as a frosh and in the Shrine Game. A solid citizen with a strong work ethic and a team-first mentality, don't be surprised if he's drafted earlier than the guides project.

Jonna Lee (2) LB Charleston Southern (6011, 243, e4.85) is another small-school talent who has received little media attention. After three solid years with the Bucs, (3) he was expected to have a huge season, but missed all but five games to injury. But he delivered in those five (21 tackles, 27 assists, 5-21 tackles for loss, 1-7 sack), looking like he was gathering strength and shaking off the rust in each. A big guy and punishing hitter, Lee will probably play inside in the pros where his lack of foot speed will be less of a problem.

Jeremy Geathers DE UNLV (6021, 256, 4.97) is a college defensive end many teams will project to outside linebacker. (4) Quick and athletic, Geathers’ dad Jumpy, uncle Robert and cousin Robert all played defensive end in the NFL. This Geathers was fairly productive at UNLV (6 TFL, 5 sacks in 2007 and 9.5 TFL and 5.5 sacks in 2006), but showed some flashes of greatness with a strong burst and very good use of his hands and arms. Even teams like the Colts would have to protect him on running plays, though.

Jack Williams CB Kent State (5090, 186, 4.43 (5)) is a feisty little corner who plays far beyond his size with aggressiveness, efficient blitzes and hard hits. I’ve watched this guy play and he does everything you want in a cornerback (70 tackles, 23 assists, 6.5-17 tackles for loss, 3-48-0 interceptions, 8 pass deflection, 2-0-0 fumble recoveries, 1 forced fumble as a senior), only he does it a few inches below where you’d expect. That may limit him to playing the slot, but with the emphasis on three-receiver sets these days, he could prove valuable. Oh, and he can return kicks (12-252-0 career) pretty nicely, play special teams and even block the odd kick, too.

1. Ran a 5.16 at his Pro Day
2. New Era spelled his first name "Jona," but it's actually Jonna, just like the Swedish singer or the TV actress.
3. He had to sit out another because of academic problems, but bounced back and became a good student.
4. A terrible mistake it would be, too.
5. Ran a 4.32 at his Pro Day.

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