Colts President Bill Polian, Head Coach Jim Caldwell Break Down 2009 NFL Draft
INDIANAPOLIS – All in all, Bill Polian liked what he saw.
Polian, when preparing last week for his 12th draft as the Colts' president, said he didn't yet think that the Colts were a 53-man team, and that better depth was needed throughout the roster.
Two days later, Polian said the Colts are closer to that goal.
The Colts, a day after selecting Connecticut running back Donald Brown with the No. 27 overall selection of the first round and moving up to take Southern California defensive tackle Fili Moala in Round 2, on Sunday selected six more players, including Purdue University quarterback Curtis Painter and West Virginia punter Pat McAfee.
"You want to make sure you're adhering to the criteria, and we did that," Polian said. "We always increase our team speed, because speed is imant to us. We felt like we wanted to be better against the run up front, particularly at the tackle position, and we did that.
"We certainly got better in the running game, and that was an objective."
Colts Head Coach Jim Caldwell, in his first draft since succeeding Tony Dungy as the Colts' head coach, said the team accomplished a pre-draft objective of upgrading the run offense and run defense.
"It's certainly been a productive two days," Caldwell said. "It's been long, but it has been very exciting, particularly for my first one. It's always nice to be able to participate in a well-oiled machine.
"I think we did very well. We certainly were able to fill some needs."
• Third round, No. 92 overall: Jerraud Powers (5-feet-10, 192 pounds), CB, Auburn. A starter in his final two seasons at Auburn, he finished his career with six interceptions, playing in 36 games after red-shirting as a junior. "If you think, 'Same style of play as (Colts cornerback) Kelvin Hayden,' that's him,' Polian said. Polian called Powers, "tough, feisty, hard-nosed, a good cover guy." Polian said Powers played both outside and in the slot. "He was pretty versatile and we felt very good about that pick," Polian said. "He's a 4.44(-second) in the 40(-yard dash), and we felt like we needed to upgrade the speed and coverage ability there. He has good ball skills, but he's a very feisty, roughhouse kind of player."
• Fourth round, No. 127 overall: Austin Collie (6-0, 200), WR, Brigham Young. He caught 215 passes for 3,255 yards in three seasons at BYU, declaring for the NFL Draft following his junior season. He caught 106 passes for 1,538 yards and 15 touchdowns this past season. "If you think (former Colts wide receiver) Brandon Stokley – let's hope he turns out to be as good, but the style at the collegiate level is very similar," Polian said, adding that Collie has "good hands, great routes and is a good, slot receiver." Polian said Collie also has kickoff return ability.
• Fourth round, No. 136 overall: Terrance Taylor (6-0, 319), DT, Michigan. He started three seasons at nose tackle for Michigan, starting 36 games and registering 17.5 tackles for losses and six sacks. He had four tackles for losses and 1.5 sacks this past season as a senior. "He's a wide-body and a guy with explosion," Polian said. "He's a true nose tackle. That's something we felt like we needed to add in terms of how we structure the defense. He's a prototypical nose tackle."
• Sixth round, No. 201 overall: Curtis Painter (6-4, 230), QB, Purdue. He completed 987 of 1,648 passes for 11,163 yards and 67 touchdowns with 46 interceptions in four seasons. He started 41 career games for the Boilermakers, completing 227 of 379 passes for 2,400 yards and 13 touchdowns with 11 interceptions as a senior. "He has all the skills and ability we're looking for," said Caldwell, who coached the team's quarterbacks from 2002-08. "He's also has a great mind and he has the kind of attitude that we look for at that particular position."
• Seventh round, No. 222 overall: Pat McAfee (6-1, 220), P/K, West Virginia. He handled punt, kickoff, extra point and field-goal duties, setting the school record for games played (51), points (384) and extra points made (210). He also finished second in school history in punting average. "We view (him) as a punter," Polian said. "He did all three (kickoffs, placements and punts) at West Virginia and he is a very good placekicker, but we view him as a punter. You will not see any tape of him punting conventionally at West Virginia, because they use that rugby-style punting formation and style, but he can punt conventionally and that's what we're going to have him do. We think he's got a good chance to win the job." He also can hold for placements, Polian said. Polian said the selection of Painter is not a reflection on Jim Sorgi. "This is nothing that has to do with Jim Sorgi," Polian said. "We talked about committing to carrying the third quarterback. We've not done that in the past. That's been a practice squad spot. That's not ideal."
• Seventh round, No. 236 overall: Jaimie Thomas (6-4, 330), G, Maryland. A two-year starter at left guard, Thomas played in 45 career games, starting 23. "He did very well at the East-West (Shrine) game," Polian said. "He did very well at the end of the season. He's a big road-grader type, but he's as athletic as can be."