ROUND 2 pick 34: COBY FLEENER, TE – STANFORD
What? Holy crap they did it!! Ever since the combine concluded this was how I hoped our first two picks would go. Fleener was the top tight end on every draft board I saw. We had a glaring need at TE with the release of Dallas Clark and the free agent defection of Jacob Tamme. I think Brody Eldridge was our only guy left and although an adequate blocker, he is not what I would consider a threat as a receiver. In the days leading up to the draft, it didn’t look like Fleener would be available when we picked on Day 2. Most draftniks had him going to San Francisco to reunite with his college coach, Jim Harbaugh, at the end of Round 1. I was ecstatic Thursday night when the round ended and he was still an option. I thought it was meant to be. It just made too much sense. In addition to his talent and abilities, Luck already has rapport with him both on and off the field. I kept hearing all the ESPN and NFL network guys saying we would take Courtney Upshaw, the LB from Alabama, or a big space eating DT to help the new defense. Those picks would have been hard to argue with. I’m glad I don’t have to. I think this was the best option and it shows Andrew Luck that the front office is committed to making him successful as early as possible.
ROUND 3 pick 64: DWAYNE ALLEN, TE – Clemson
This is the first pick I had to think about for a minute. I really thought they would address the need for a second CB and draft Trumaine Johnson out of Montana, whom Saint Louis ended up taking him with the very next pick. So instead we choose the consensus second best TE in the draft? Yeah, I guess I’m good with that. I was honestly hoping to snag Rueben Randle, the WR from LSU who many thought would go in the 20’s but slid until the end of Round 2, but the Giants picked him right before us. With the first two picks of Day 2 the Colts TE position went from a weakness to a strength. Allen won the John Mackey Award last season as college football’s best tight end. He is not as tall or fast as Fleener but might be more balanced overall. New offensive coordinator Bruce Arians likes to use two TE sets and he now has the ability to do just that. I think this also brings the Colts back to their roots of having two game breakers at the position. The media likes to credit the Patriots as being the first team to have success with two tight ends in Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez. Screw the Patriots. If my memory serves me correctly, I seem to remember Dilger and Pollard- Pollard and Clark- Clark and Tamme. Seems to me like we did well enough in that arena long before those guys from New England came around and I hope our young nucleus at the position can make some noise of their own this fall.
ROUND 3 pick 92: T.Y. Hilton, WR – Florida International
We traded this year’s 4th round pick and next years 5th round pick to draft Hilton at the end of the 3rd round. This guy is fast. I mean, really fast. Maybe the fastest in this draft. He reportedly ran a 4.36 40-yard dash into the wind and a 4.28 with the wind at his back during his pro day this spring. He said his best-recorded time ever was a 4.24. Um…. yes please. We can work with that. I’m not sure my car can do 40 yards that quickly. I heard an interview with his college coach, and he said this guy is ready to contribute Day 1. He is not that big at only 5’9 180lbs, but as a slot receiver they can move him around in formations and create mismatches off the snap. I’m excited to see the kind of game breaking speed I’m not sure we’ve ever seen here before. He was also a prolific kick and punt returner in college and that is an area that I have prayed we would address for years. He also has some experience running ‘wildcat’ type plays from the QB position, which could keep opposing defenses on their toes. If he can stay healthy he should really open up the field for our young offense in a variety of ways.