INDIANAPOLIS – With the NFL Draft pushed back two weeks in 2014, that has shrunk the learning curve for this year’s rookies.
The Colts just wrapped up a three-day rookie minicamp with 45 participants getting a chance to be in the forefront of minds for the team’s personnel department and coaching staff.
Coming out of this year’s rookie minicamp, there are a few storylines to watch as the Colts begin the OTA portion of the offseason a week from Monday.
Position flexibility was one of the major reasons the Colts coveted Mewhort with their first draft selection in 2014.
Mewhort’s intial crack at a position in the NFL appears to be left guard.
Ryan Grigson lauds Mewhort’s ability to play multiple spots but it’s the guard spot that he feels has the highest ceiling for the 6-6, 309-pound lineman.
As rookie minicamp closed on Sunday afternoon, Mewhort and the other rookie lineman were the last to exit the field after getting in some additional drill work.
Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer calls Mewhort a “front of the line” type of guy and in just a week, the Colts have witnessed it.
“It’s everything we expected,” Pagano says of Mewhort’s ability.
“Obviously did our homework on the young man and he’s got a presence about him. It’s not too big for him. Very, very bright, loves the game, loves ball and he’s got the measurables you’re looking for.”
At 6-2 and 221 pounds, Moncrief was an imposing figure out on the practice field this weekend.
He showcased his elite speed and was a part of a Colts rookie receiver group that impressed Chuck Pagano.
“Big, smooth, athletic guy, He just gets behind people, beats people. Catches the ball well, picks things up mentally really good. So, we are happy,” Pagano said of Moncrief.
When watching Moncrief on the practice field, you have to remind yourself he’s just 20 years old.
There might not be a more competitive position on the Colts roster than receiver so it will be interesting to see what Moncrief’s role will be in 2014.
Erik Swoope is playing football at the highest level and yet just wrapped up his first week of playing the game in an organized setting, ever.
How did he do?
“To be able to just break a huddle, get in a stance, run the routes that he ran, catch the balls that he caught, I mean, off the charts, exceeded our expectations way beyond anything that you’d ever imagine for a guy that never played,” Pagano said of Swoope.
“If he continues to work, he’s a bright guy, he’s smart, he picks things up, he looks like he’s got great passion for this. Who knows?”
Swoope is listed at 220 pounds on the roster but that number is likely to increase significantly over the next few months.
On the field, the ability is certainly there for Swoope but Pagano also points to what he’s seeing in the classroom from the rookie tight end.
“Every time I walk by the tight end meeting room, he’s in there watching tape, he’s with (tight ends coach) Alfredo Roberts studying and learning,” Pagano said.
“He’s doing a great job to this point.”
A guy that seems to be forgotten with the Colts offseason approaching OTAs is linebacker Henoc Muamba out of the Canadian Football League.
Muamba was signed by the Colts in February and he took part of in the team’s rookie minicamp this weekend.
“That first walkthrough already got my blood pumping and everything,” Muamba said of an NFL opportunity. “It’s an unbelievable feeling. It’s something that you work so hard for.
“Just trying to control my emotions, but at the same time the reason why I’m here is to learn the system and make the adjustments with the CFL and NFL, and move on from there.”
In 2011, Muamba was the No. 1 pick in the CFL Draft and now he’s hoping to carry the same torch that Jerrell Freeman did a few years back.
“I remember specifically and vividly seeing (Freeman) and noticing him and the reason why I noticed him was because he was able to play special teams very well, be effective and play on defense at a very high level and you notice someone like that,” Muamba said of CFL days.
“So from the time that happened, when he made the transition, it’s definitely someone that inspired me and motivated me to up my game and be that type of player who is able to impact the game in two phases of the game.”