Indianapolis Colts Draft UConn Halfback Donald Brown in the First Round

Ryan MichaelSenior Writer IIIApril 25, 2009

With the 27th selection in the first round of the 2009 NFL Draft, the Indianapolis Colts drafted UConn halfback, Donald Brown.

At a point in the draft where many predicted they might move in the direction of Linebacker James Laurinaitis or Defensive Tackle Evander Hood, the Colts felt that Donald Brown was too solid a prospect to pass up.

I'd be the first person to agree with them.

There can be no question that the team needs support in both the line-backing core and the defensive tackle position. I personally feel that these are areas that would be better suited to be attended to in later rounds.

My feeling is that the potential of a quality back like Donald Brown will benefit the team far more than support in other needy areas.

Perhaps the fact that Colts' Quarterback Peyton Manning won the league MVP award has overshadowed the complete and utter lack of production within the running game.

A great deal of that was likely due to the injuries sustained to the offensive line. However, when your running game ranks 31st in the entire league, that is more than enough to warrant a first round draft selection that could help rectify the situation.

Even during Joseph Addai's Pro Bowl season in 2007, I was of the opinion that he did not appear to be a back capable of being an effective full-time starter.

In this day and age, the running-back by committee system has proven to be quite effective and I just do not feel that the Colts had enough talent at the running-back position to assure me that they would be in capable hands by giving the majority of the carries to one back.

The addition of Donald Brown instantly gives the Colts' running-game a dose of stability.

That might appear to be a bit of a bold statement to make prior to Brown having had a single carry in the NFL, but I feel confident after watching his play at the University of Connecticut that the Colts are in capable hands.

During his time at UConn, Brown became the school's All-Time leading rusher by totaling 3,800 yards and 33 touchdowns over the course of only three seasons.

His 2008 season stood out as his most dominant.

On 367 carries, Brown gained 2,083 yards (leading the entire NCAA) and scored 21 rushing touchdowns. He also had 48 receptions for 276 yards and an additional two touchdowns.

He earned Player of The Game honors in the 2009 International Bowl. He totaled 261 yards (208 of those yards coming in the first half).

If the last action he saw at the collegiate level is any indication of what he might bring to the table in the NFL, I would have to say that the Indianapolis Colts have drafted themselves one heck of a player.

A surprise to many was the fact that the Colts drafted Donald Brown ahead of Ohio State's Chris Wells whom many thought to be the best back available in the entire draft.

The move by Indianapolis however does not surprise me. It struck me as a similar situation to when they drafted Anthony Gonzalez in 2007 ahead of more established receivers.

The true value in Brown that I see is his intelligence. He impressed me more than any other draft prospect in terms of the way he spoke. He appears to have a fantastic attitude and enthusiastic work-ethic. The combination of such attributes should combine to make him a fine player in the NFL.

With the selection of Donald Brown in the first round of the 2009 NFL Draft, I give the Indianapolis Colts my full endorsement.