Khaled Holmes to Colts: How Does C Fit with Indianapolis?

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Khaled Holmes to Colts: How Does C Fit with Indianapolis?
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One round after the Indianapolis Colts took guard Hugh Thornton out of Illinois, they have decided to keep improving their interior offensive line by drafting center Khaled Holmes out of USC. 

The Colts interior line was awful in 2012, as I've discussed in regards to the Thornton pick yesterday. Joe Reitz, Jeff Linkenbach and Seth Olsen were outmatched at left guard, Mike McGlynn was horrible at right guard and Samson Satele was outplayed by his replacement, A.Q. Shipley

With Donald Thomas slated for left guard and Hugh Thornton drafted to compete at right guard, the Colts have taken upgrading the interior very seriously and continue to do so with Holmes. 

It would seem like Holmes would compete for center with Satele and Shipley, but many scouts think that his lack of power and ability to anchor at center would limit him to guard in the NFL

The answer will likely come in training camp, where the Colts will have at least seven potential interior linemen competing for spots. 

Who Khaled Holmes Compares to in the NFL

 

Strengths

Like third round selection Hugh Thornton, Holmes has very quick feet. Like Thornton, he also has a reputation for playing with tenacity and driving blocks all the way through the whistle. 

One of Holmes' most endearing qualities is his intelligence and character. He is a very smart player, which should allow him to quickly adjust to the speed of the NFL and the complexity of the Colts playbook. Holmes has already graduated with a double major in classics and communication, as well as a Master's Degree in communications. 

By all accounts, Holmes is a very good teammate and a tough guy, one who plays through injury and looks out for his fellow players. It's characteristics such as these, as well as his intelligence, that Ryan Grigson and Chuck Pagano love, as has been shown in the last two drafts. 

 

Weaknesses

The biggest weakness for Holmes is a lack of power, which (as mentioned earlier) may limit him to guard in the NFL. Holmes doesn't quite fit the power-running type of player that it was assumed the Colts were looking for in an interior lineman. 

Holmes' lack of power was caused mainly by his frame. He is a taller center at 6'3", which leads to him playing too high too often, losing leverage to power defensive tackles. Unlike Thornton, who has more upper body strength, Holmes simply doesn't have the bulk to make up for his lack of leverage. 

Some scouts thought Holmes would be limited to guard in a zone-blocking scheme due to his athleticism and lack of power. On paper, he doesn't seem like a great fit in Indianapolis. 

 

Overall

While I like that Ryan Grigson continues to address what was a putrid offensive line in 2012, Holmes doesn't seem like a perfect fit. 

But, there is a trend at work for the Colts. Grigson and Pagano love players with a high motor and high character. Holmes looks to have more than enough of both and could contend for a rotational spot on the line in 2013. 

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