Monday, March 24, 2008

Two the Colts need, one they like

The Colts looked at another three players — two at positions of obvious need, and one who could well muscle his way onto the roster:"

Thomas Brown HB Georgia (5083, 204, 4.51c/4.42pd): Back in 2006, when the Colts were looking for Edgerrin James' replacement, I gave Jospeh Addai his props, but the back I really wanted was Maurice Jones-Drew. While Addai did everything competently, MJD had the crazy magic very few backs are blessed with and — even better — so much strength that he was a better inside runner than all but a few backs 25 pounds heavier. Brown is just like MJD, but not quite as strong, or as fast, or as talented. Still he is a greatly talented back with NFL skills. Super-quick with deep speed, Brown is hard to catch and strong and determined enough to be difficult to bring down once he is caught. And, like MJD, he almost as good in the passing and return games as he is on the ground.

If size was the only strike against him, Brown would be a sure-fire first-day pick, but scouts worry a great deal about his durability. At Georgia, he played in 40 of 48 possible games (starting just 27 despite having his best season as a frosh), suffering from a wide array of injuries. Right now, I see Brown as a fifth-rounder. Why he'll never be able to drag a team behind him, he'll be a great third-down, change-of-pace halfback and return specialist (33-749-1 in college, a 22.70 average) — if he can stay in one piece.

Kerry Brown G Appalachian State (6053, 308, 5.38): Around draft time, people ignore guards and when they do think about the position, all they really look at are failed tackles, projecting them inside. But Brown is a real live, guard and a good one. Although he lacks truly quick feet — as evidenced by his play at tackle in post-season games — he understands pass-blocking and uses his hands and arms well. He's smart and a hard-worker who understands the importance of finishing his blocks. He has some nice pop, moves well laterally and can be a monster on the second level. He'll need some coaching up, but is a legitimate prospect who may well find himself waiting by the phone when the seventh round opens.

Bernard Morris QB Marshall (6030, 223, 4.68c/4.61pd): Despite his obvious athletic ability (he was also a great basketball player), Morris was a walk-on who did everything he could to win the starting quarterback job at Marshall. While there, he showed a strong arm, running ability, great vision, intelligence and courage. Too bad he also showed little accuracy (especially on deep balls), a penchant for streakiness and a shocking lack of pocket presence. While some of those thing can be coached out of him, Morris probably doesn't have the tools to be a starting quarterback in the NFL. Still, he could be a very good back-up. He's one of those guy who can rally a team and will things to happen. There has been some talk of converting him to wide receiver or safety, but I wouldn't put too much stock in it. Check out the Hula Bowl tapes, and you'll be a fan. He's a second-day pick.

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