Tuesday, March 9, 2010

A pick that makes sense

Some weeks ago, I asked my 12-year-old son who the Colts would draft in the first round. He didn’t even take a second to think about it. “Iupati,” he said, as though it had already happened. I asked him why. “Didn’t you watch the Super Bowl?” he answered. And that was that.

And, you know what? The kid might be right, at least if Iupati lasts that long. He’s a natural left guard (the spot recently opened after the cutting of Ryan Lilja), but has the long arms and footwork to succeed at left tackle. He’s huge (6051/331), tough and strong and has a defensive player’s mentality. I watched him in the Senior Bowl, and he was dominant at left guard, but a little less so when asked to play on the right side.

Iupati is exactly what the Colts need, but it may just be too obvious a pick for Bill Polian.

In other news, the Colts signed a defensive end named JD Skolnitsky (6052/263/4.74pd).

Don’t worry if he’s under your radar. He played at a small school, James Madison, and was declared ineligible for his senior year (2009) because he was caught with a banned substance. As a junior defensive tackle, he stood out with 61 tackles, 10.5 tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks, 3 PBU, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery He signed with the Redskins out of college, and played fairly well for them in preseason at end. He was released by the new regime, and was claimed by the Colts.

He’s quick and strong, but doesn’t project as a top-of-the-line pass-rushing prospect. Instead, his best fit would be as a Raheem Brock-style base end who can slide inside on third down.

Skolnitsky, because he missed his senior year and is still thought of more as an undersized DT than a big DE, is as stealth as a prospect can be. But still, he’s got some decent raw material to work with, and is definitely worth keeping an eye on.

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