The Indianapolis Colts are a team that surprised the entire league with their 11-5 overall record and finishing 4-2 in the AFC South. Not only did the Colts make a comeback after being the worst team in the league during the 2011 season; they also made a playoff appearance with a rookie quarterback, and a rookie head coach that was fighting cancer all season.
Now with Chuck Pagano back healthy ready to run his team, here is the draft class he put together this season to ensure the success for his young team this season.
Indianapolis Colts 2013 Rookie Class
1st Round: Bjoern Werner – Defensive End
3rd Round: Hugh Thornton – Offensive Guard
4th Round: Khaled Holmes – Center
5th Round: Montori Hughes – Defensive Tackle
6th Round: John Boyett – Free Safety
7th Round: Kerwynn Williams – Running Back
7th Round: Justice Cunningham – Tight End
Rookie Free Agents
Sheldon Price – Cornerback
Daxton Swanson – Cornerback
C.O. Prime – Linebacker
Dan Moore – Fullback
Rodrick Rumble – Wide Receiver
Lanear Sampson – Wide Receiver
Brandon McManus – Kicker
Denodus O'Bryant – Running Back
Emmett Cleary – Offensive Tackle
The majority of the Colts rookies this season will be adding depth to a team that is loaded with young talent. The Colts major moves this season have come through free agency, and making trades with other teams.
Wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey is fitting in nice with Andrew Luck as his quarterback, and the wide open offense the Colts run. This is the fifth offense Heyward-Bey is learning in his five years as a pro.
Along with the multiple offenses, Heyward-Bey has also had 6 different quarterbacks throwing him the ball. Now with Luck on his side; Heyward_Bey should catch 63 passes for 737 yards, and 7 touchdowns.
Heyward-Bey is the perfect compliment to Reggie Wayne for a deep threat to help free Wayne of some of the double coverage he draws. Now Wayne will be able to get open on shorter routes, and make plays on his own to move the offense.
Look for Wayne to catch 104 balls for 1321 yards, and 7 touchdowns in his 12th season of playing all 16 games.
The other big free agent coach Pagano was able to land was running back Ahmad Bradshaw after many talks that ended in dead ends. Bradshaw signed a one year deal that will pay him $250,000 this season, and a $1.1million signing bonus.
Bradshaw will be a big addition to a running game that ranked 22nd in the league last season. He will be the power compliment to the speed back the Colts already have with Vick Ballard in the backfield.
Look for Bradshaw to rumble along this season with 138 carries for 607 yards, and 5 touchdowns. Bradshaw should also work out well as a dump off receiver for Luck. He should catch around 22 balls this season for 191 yards.
Ballard should see the majority of the work with 233 carries for 932 yards, and 8 touchdowns on the ground. He should also make a nice catch around 33 Luck passes this season for 261 yards, and 3 touchdowns.
With the moves that the Colts have made this off season, there is a good chance coach Pagano will have his team back in the playoffs once again. This team should post a 12-4 overall record and, 5-1 back on top as kings of the AFC South.