Tuesday, April 29, 2008


Adam Tafralis QB San Jose State (6015, 230, 4.78c): Finally, here’s that athletic quarterback I’ve been begging for! In fact, Trafalis — who rushed for 247-563-7 as a senior — actually played at tight end before he became the team’s starting quarterback. He also had a 32-inch vertical. Trafalis has awesome arm strength, but needs to improve in all aspects of quarterback play, especially reading defenses, checking down under the blitz and avoiding safeties in deep coverage — but at least he’s in the right spot. He’ll battle Josh Betts for the No. 3 spot, if it exists.

Chad Simpson HB Morgan State (5081, 216, 4.42c): Speed, power, wiggle, a nose for the end zone and a lightning-quick first step — what more could you want? Well, vision, route running, blocking skills and soft hands — all of which Simpson lacks. On offense, Simpson could be a moderately successful spot player, especially on draws and stretch plays; but not someone you’d want to expose for very long. More likely, he’ll be given a chance to win the team’s return specialist job, though he may be too much of a long-strider to be effective bringing back punts. On kicks, though, he could be very, very special. He has the ability to be the No. 3 halfback, and could win the return specialist job outright.

Rudy Burgess WR Arizona State (5110, 186, 4.49pd): Look at him as a receiver, and you wouldn’t see a pro prospect. I mean, he does some good things, but really isn’t special enough. But he does have a great deal of ability as a return man. He’s fast and naturally elusive, but will have to prove he can hang onto the ball to take it to the next level. To make the team, he must look much better than the other return prospects.

Charles Dillon WR Washington State (6006, 186, 4.49pd): Dillon never seemed to get into the groove after moving to Washington State after JuCo. But he does have legitimate speed and running ability, and could figure in the return game. I’ve heard that the problem with Dillon at WSU was that he was still concentrating too much on basketball, and not enough on football. If he can straighten that out, he has an outside shot at the roster.

Sam Giguere WR Sherbrooke (5110, 220, 4.35c): Although in an interview with the Canadian Press he didn’t give himself much of a chance to make the team, I wouldn’t be as hard on him. Sure, he played in the equivalent of D4, but Giguere is fast, has good hands and is much stronger than most men his size. He’s gained some bad habits and isn’t the most elusive guy after the catch, but he has NFL ability. A year on the practice squad could help it emerge.

Darren Marquez OT Southern Illinois (6046, 308, 5.02): The story on Marquez is simple: He does everything right, but lacks functional strength. He looks destined for the practice squad. As competitive as he is, he'd hate that, but it's probably the best thing for him.

Dan Davis DT Connecticut (6014, 287, 4.96): Although he never had huge stats, David was a rock for the Huskies, often dominating the line of scrimmage. A hard-hitting mauler, he backs down from no inside wrestling match. Still, he lacks the size and strength to play the way he did in college, Davis will have a shot to flash his speed and athletic ability in Indy. He doesn’t have any real pass-rush moves as yet, but is a strong penetrator against the run. He could make a play for a backup spot.

Colin Ferrell DT Kent State (6005, 293, 4.86pd): Okay, I realize Kent isn’t exactly Michigan, but how many defensive tackles of any size recorded 45.5 tackles for losses, 10.5 sacks and five forced fumbles in just two seasons as a starter? Oh, and did I mention he played nose tackle? Despite facing hordes of blockers, Ferrell was a wrecking crew in opposing backfields, using his quick first step and straight-line speed along with veteran hand use to get by blockers. He could fit very well into the Colts’ interior rotation.

Eric Foster DT Rutgers (6015, 271, e4.85): Quick and strong but undersized edge rusher reminds me a lot of Keyunta Dawson and may well be after his job. He may only weigh 271, but Foster has a low center of gravity, stays low and is bull strong. As long as he doesn’t spend too much time out there, he could be a solid contributor as a pro. He’s a solid citizen and has a non-stop motor. I really think the Davis/Ferrell/Foster/Dawson/Darrell Reid fight for the No. 4 defensive tackle spot will be fascinating.

Curtis Johnson DE Clark College (6025, 242, 4.69c): I know Colts fans will look past his size, marvel at his incredible production and proclaim him a star before training camp opens. But they should consider his so-so tackling, his poor hand usage, his tendency to get fooled on fakes and misdirection and his overpursuit problems. On the plus side of the ledger, he is blisteringly fast for an end and has some natural pass-rush moves. He’s in the right city, but his success is not guaranteed. He’ll have to look great to force his way onto the roster.

Jordan Senn OLB Portland State (5111, 224, 4.53pd): Look at those numbers and you’ll see a strong safety. Look at him on film and you’ll see a Will. Seriously, I think Senn (despite his size) has the ability to play outside linebacker at the NFL level, maybe not as a starter, but definitely as a contributor. Although he didn’t see the greatest competition at Portland State, Senn showed every quality you’d want to see in a linebacker prospect, except size. He’ll have lots of competition, but could make it. With strong special-teams play, he could stick.

Brandon Foster CB Texas (5075, 185, 4.28 pd): Foster was a solid defensive back for the Longhorns, making a name for himself as a big hitter despite his size. He’s pretty good in man and zone coverage, but can be pushed a round by even the meekest receivers. If he does see the field on defense in the NFL, it will most likely be in a special situations. But he does have a real future as a return specialist, even though he did not return kicks or punts in Austin. He does have 4.28 speed and, one the rare times he has touched the ball — 4-115-2 interceptions and 1-20-1 fumble returns, he has been almost impossible to catch. He’s tough, smart (has a degree and is a well-spoken young man) and an all-around solid guy. I’m rooting for him, but with lots of solid cornerbacks ton the team and a lot of competition for the return job, he has his work cut out for him.

Jamie Silva SS Boston College (5103, 202, 4.85c): I’ve seen this guy play and, if you asked me what his 40 was, I would have said 4.60, so I was shocked to see him run a 4.85 at the combine. Polian himself said much the same thing and compared Silva to former Colt Chad Cota, who was a successful player, despite a similar lack of timed speed. Others have compared him to Pat Tillman — and football people are very careful before they drop that name. The kid can flat-out play. He stops the run, he blitzes, he covers, he lays the wood and he makes turnovers. While he may not have the speed to play very often on defense, he could become a special-teams stalwart.

In other news:
• With all the new interior o-line guys on hand, it looks like Charlie Johnson is back at tackle
• Did you notice Colts.com is now refering to "defensive end Ramon Guzman"? Coltplay predicted that move weeks ago.

No comments: