WESTFIELD, Ind. — It's been impossible to miss Mike Strachan at Colts training camp over the last 10 days. And not just because the 6-foot-5, 225 pound wide receiver is one of the tallest and longest players on the field.
Strachan, a seventh round pick of the Colts in May, has flashed in almost every one of the Colts' eight practices at Grand Park. He's used his speed to get open. He's used his size to haul in jump balls. He's shown a certain savviness as a route runner that's allowed his physical gifts to shine.
And he has not looked the least bit like someone who's struggled with the transition from Division-II Charleston (West Virginia) to the NFL.
"We thought coming from a small school he'd be rawer than he is," offensive coordinator Marcus Brady said. "He's actually pretty intelligent as far as how he's trying to set up routes."
During a one-on-one red zone rep in Friday's practice, Strachan got an outside release on cornerback Xavier Rhodes, then was able to use his size to his advantage before flipping his hips and making a spectacular one-handed back-shoulder catch in the end zone.
That Strachan, who last played competitive football in 2019 and did it at a lower collegiate level, has handled the speed, physicality and talent of an NFL camp well. And there he was on Friday, winning a rep against a veteran corner who's established himself as one of the best players at his position over the last few years.
"It's a mental thing, coming out and having that dog mentality," Strachan said. "My coach (Mike Groh) talks about it all the time, playing like a big guy. And it's just mental."
There's still plenty of aspects to the Colts' offense for Strachan to pick up, and Brady noted he's seen him play a little slower on plays he's "fuzzy" on.
But, Brady observed: "You could tell when he knows what he's doing, he looks really good."
With more reps — especially like the one he had against Rhodes on Friday — Strachan will continue to grow in the Colts' offense. And if he continues to develop through next week's joint practices with the Carolina Panthers and the Colts' three preseason games, his size and length could be an asset to this team's offense in 2021.
Especially in the red zone.
"That's what we need him for," Brady said. "With his size, he's definitely a weapon. He creates mismatches with little corners. Even corners his size, he's able to use his body whether it's positioning, just his length to be able to extend, we're going to need that from him."
The Indianapolis Colts hit the field for their eighth practice of training camp.