Indianapolis Colts: Report Card Grades for Draft Picks Through Preseason Week 2
The Colts drafted 10 players back in April, and with so many long-time Colts leaving in the offseason, they really need these rookies to step up and contribute right away.
With two weeks of preseason football in the books, I’m handing out report card grades for each of the Colts’ draft picks. Here we go.
Andrew Luck: A
Andrew Luck had a near flawless performance in Week 1 of the preseason against the Rams. He was 10-for-16 for 188 yards and two touchdowns while leading three touchdown drives in four possessions. He scrambled away from pressure and seemed to be in total command of the Colts offense.
His Week 2 performance in Pittsburgh was a different story, but showed why this guy is going to be great. He started off a little shaky against Dick LeBeau's Steeler defense. He made a bad pass to Reggie Wayne that was undercut by Ike Taylor and taken to the house for six.
What he did after that keeps his grade at an A and shows me that he's going to be great. Luck led the Colts on a 10-play, 80-yard touchdown drive. The Colts probably would've scored a touchdown on the next drive, but T.Y. Hilton bobbled a pass from Luck that resulted in an interception. If Hilton hangs on, he very likely could've scored. The next drive, Luck led another 10-play, 80-yard touchdown drive.
Then, right before the half, Luck got the Colts in position for an Adam Vinatieri field goal. Luck showed he can respond to adversity, and he responded very well.
Coby Fleener: B
Coby Fleener had a quiet Week 1 of the preseason with just one catch for five yards and a dropped ball. He was a little more productive in Week 2, as he had a couple of good blocks to go along with three receptions for 33 yards.
The thing that jumps out at you with Fleener is how good a blocker he really is. Yeah, he can still improve in that area, but he was known much more for his pass-catching abilities coming out of Stanford.
Dwayne Allen: B+
Speaking of tight ends who can block, Dwayne Allen has flat pancaked defenders in the first two weeks of the preseason. He's not too shabby when he has to run routes and catch passes either.
He didn't have a catch the first week but hauled in two for 19 yards in Week 2. With great blocking, good route-running and even better hands, Allen is showing why he will be a weapon in this offense.
T.Y. Hilton: C+
He's had a couple of drops the first two weeks (including one that resulted in an interception) and has looked tentative on punt returns. Still, he's got electric speed, and despite those drops, has very good hands.
He had three catches for 25 yards in Week 1 and two catches for 37 yards in Week 2. He had a great catch along the sideline in Week 1 that resulted in a first down. He came back with two good catches (one for 29 yards) after the bobbled interception in Week 2. We just need to see more consistency with him.
Vick Ballard: B+
Vick Ballard has had two good weeks in the preseason. He went for 28 yards on six carries and added one catch for 11 yards in Week 1. He followed that up with 34 yards on 10 carries in Week 2. The one that sticks out from Week 2 was the 11-yard gain that included a nice spin move and stiff arm.
The guy is showing his potential and could very well sneak past Mewelde Moore and Delone Carter for the No. 2 spot on the running back depth chart.
LaVon Brazill: B+
Like fellow rookie, T.Y. Hilton, LaVon Brazill has got speed for days and looks like a potential standout on special teams. He also brings some explosive receiving ability with him. He went for 38 yards on three catches in Week 1. One of those catches was a great one-handed snag that kept a drive alive.
Brazill had two catches for 25 yards in Week 2 and could be in for an even bigger role with Austin Collie missing time. While he's not on Collie's level yet, he has shown he is capable of holding his own.
Chandler Harnish: C+
Mr. Irrelevant Chandler Harnish has shown some good (touchdown drive in Week 1) and some bad (interception in Week 2 that led to the eventual game-winning drive by the Steelers).
The bottom line: He is what he is, for a rookie quarterback picked in the seventh round. He’s a third-string quarterback. That’s what he’s shown. Still, I think if he would’ve been on the team last year, he would’ve started.
Josh Chapman, Justin Anderson, Tim Fugger: INC
Chapman, Anderson and Fugger get an incomplete. All three have been injured. I think Chapman is safe, but Anderson and Fugger might not have a roster spot when the Colts trim their roster to 75 on Monday.
Follow Brian on Twitter @coldy4goldy.
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