ANDERSON – Sporting some altered hairstyles, the Colts rookie class has wrapped up their first NFL Training Camp.
The Colts five-man draft class includes some players who will be playing a variety of roles for this team come September.
How did the 2014 draft picks perform in Anderson?
Offensive Guard Jack Mewhort
* *-Mewhort's Quote to Note: "I mentioned it before, but the whole game just speeds up. I don't know if it particularly has to do with changing up positions (left tackle in college) as much as just transitioning to the NFL. Everything clicks so much faster and with a quarterback like Andrew (Luck), things are moving fast out there so you always have to have your mind ready to go, ready to adjust. I think that's one big adjustment from college to the NFL."
-Chuck Pagano's Thoughts on Mewhort: "He doesn't flinch whether we play him at tackle, guard or center. He can play all the spots and plays them well. We would like to settle him in but unfortunately we're going to have to work with him at different spots. The guy is unflappable, he's a tough guy, nothing seems to bother Jack. Again, he has a lot of attributes that you can point to that make him a good football player and a great football player down the road."
-Outlook: It's clear that Mewhort is a staple of the Colts future along the offensive line, no matter where he lines up in 2014. Left guard seems to be the likely spot for Mewhort. After getting his right knee scoped after the team's minicamp, Mewhort has been in and out of practice in Training Camp. He's taken some snaps at center and looks to be the emergency fill-in guy if Khaled Holmes is down for a substantial amount of time. The other Colts offensive linemen have praised Mewhort's intelligence, which obviously allows the Colts to feel comfortable moving the second-round pick around. Andrew Luck says Mewhort plays "a little angry" which should be music to the ears of the Colts running backs.
Wide Receiver Donte Moncrief** -Donte Moncrief's Quote To Note: "The playbook, the playbook is huge. You got to learn the playbook. Without learning the playbook, you can't get on the field. Just getting in that playbook every night talking to Reggie (Wayne), T.Y. (Hilton), and Hakeem (Nicks), helps with the small things of what to learn about the playbook in every position. If you know every position, that's the quicker you get on the field."
-Pep Hamilton's Thoughts: "Moncrief is a guy that has been showing little flashes of his potential and everyone is very excited for the kind of player that he can be someday, and we joke around a lot but he has done a really good job for someone his age coming in and plays one position at wide receiver all OTAs. We moved him recently and he has done a great job of picking it up and does a great job of making plays when the ball is in the air."
-Outlook: The recently turned 21-year old rookie seems to have a great grasp of the Colts extensive playbook. Hamilton mentioned how Moncrief played the "X" position during OTAs/minicamp and now the Colts have moved him to the "Z" during Training Camp. Ryan Grigson has mentioned that he's been impressed with the way Moncrief conducts himself as a pro and goes about his business in a "yeoman" type of way. Andrew Luck hasn't shied away from finding a receiver with "great body control." Moncrief's impact might not be completely felt in 2014 but it's going to be hard to keep him off the field this year.Defensive End/Outside Linebacker Jonathan Newsome
-Chuck Pagano's Thoughts: "The criteria for playing well and playing well at that position, number one, you've got to be able to set the edge and he's shown that in practice. (Number two) rush the passer. He can rush the passer. He's got a skill set, he's got the slipperiness to him. He's got a bag of tools as a pass rusher that we need and we're going to need early in the season, missing Robert (Mathis) for those first four games and then he understands coverage. He's going to make a mistake or two here and there like all first-year players, all rookies do but he's tough, he's hard-nosed and he fits the criteria of what we're looking for at that spot."
-Outlook: Newsome has impressed with his pass rush ability but every time his name gets brought up to Chuck Pagano or Greg Manusky, they mention setting the edge with the rookie from Ball State. Manusky points out the development of Bjoern Werner, in how much different he looks like in his second season as an edge player, in trying to temper the expecations for the Colts fifth-round pick. Newsome is going to get meaningful snaps early on in the season and any pressure he can bring during the month of September would be monumental for his first year in the NFL.
Inside Linebacker Andrew Jackson
-Outlook: In limited action this camp, you clearly see, and hear, the punch that Jackson brings with his hits. It's almost a different sound when Jackson makes contact with an opposing player. Unfortunately, a hamstring injury during special teams drills has sidelined the Colts sixth-round pick for more than a week. Getting a complete understanding of the Colts defensive system is a must for Jackson as he operates from the inside linebacker position.Offensive Tackle Ulrick John
-Outlook: The Colts offensive line got even thinner during the preseason opener when John went down with a lower leg injury in the second quarter. Chuck Pagano said over the weekend that doctors were still evaluating John's MRI to decide the course of action for the Colts seventh-round draft pick. With Xavier Nixon and Joe Reitz ahead of John as backup tackles, immediate playing time was going to be difficult in 2014 for the offensive tackle project. He always seemed like a prime practice squad prospect while growing into the frame built for an ideal NFL tackle.