With almost a full week of camp under their belts, the Indianapolis Colts are starting to look like a team again and not just a collection of new/young transplanted players. As expected, Andrew Luck already looks comfortable with a horseshoe on his head completing over 70% of his throws with limited turnovers early in camp. But beyond the obvious, who is standing out so far?
Dwayne Allen – It was interesting to hear him interviewed yesterday. Allen was completely honest when he said he was surprised the Colts drafted him one round after grabbing Fleener and didn’t really see where he fit. Now that he is in camp, he knows exactly where he fits. The Colts are set to resemble (sorry Colts fans) the New England Patriots this year. They will feature a 2-tight end set as their primary formation keeping one (Fleener/Gronk) on the line and moving the other (Allen/Hernandez) all over the field. Allen is a superior blocker to Fleener and can be a great weapon all over the field. So far in camp we have seen him lined up on both sides of the line, in the slot, and in the back field as an H-back. In one week, this guy has learned 4 positions on the fly, shown good blocking ability, sticky hands, and the ability to move after the catch.
TY Hilton – We knew coming in that this kid was shifty and could fly, but we didn’t expect for him to click this quickly. Hilton has shown great explosion, elusiveness, and the ability to get open. Now the Colts secondary is suspect, but Hilton has shown the ability to get behind the defense daily with quick cuts and impressive breakaway speed. I expect to see a DeSean Jackson type of season from him as he looks like a Jackson clone. Will he put up those numbers, probably not, but in camp, he is flashing the same ability minus the attitude.
Lavon Brazill – This could be the steal of the draft if he continues at his current pace. While we have seen Collie lining up on the outside, he is ideally suited for the slot and in the last few days, Brazill has gotten some reps as the number two lined up opposite of Reggie Wayne. Brazill is picking up the playbook quickly and is likely to really challenge Avery and Collie for starter minutes.
Kavell Conner/Pat Angerer – There was some concern about how these guys would look as inside linebackers in a 3-4. Would they be able to contain and play more coverage? Could they co-exist after having a larger range in the 4-3? So far, so good. Both linebackers have excelled at picking up the playbook and look to form a solid pair in the middle of the field. Angerer is the more natural inside man, but Conner has looked great showing good instincts and making quick reads to sniff out the ball.
NOTES: Former Colts DB Kevin Thomas wasn’t cutting it on the outside. After spending the offseason penciled in as the starting left corner, he quickly dropped out of the rotation within days of camp starting. Now he is an Eagle. The Colts made the move to bring in some needed linebacker depth with AJ Edds hitting Injured Reserve. Moise Fokou will be a solid special teams player and is an upgrade over Edds as a backup ILB…….. With an offensive line that lacks leadership, Mike McGlynn has stepped up as the leader of this unit……… Delone Carter is listed as the number two running back on the initial depth chart but don’t hold your breath, Vick Ballard will start the season as number two and Carter might be off the 53 man roster if he isn’t impressive in the Pre Season……… The number two corner spot is one to keep an eye on. Justin King currently sits in the driver’s seat with Cassius Vaughn listed as the nickel back, but this spot will continue to rotate until September. Don’t be surprised to see the Colts bring in some outside help through the waiver wire. This unit lacks experience.