Colts Select Mathews, Conner, Fisher in Seventh Round of 2010 NFL Draft
INDIANAPOLIS – The phone rang, and Ray Fisher had a simple message.
Fisher, a cornerback from Indiana University, said when he spoke to officials from the Colts on Saturday during the final hours of the 2010 NFL Draft, he wanted to be sure they knew what he wanted them to do.
"Make the right decision," he said.
As far as Fisher saw it, that's what the Colts did.
Fisher, a cornerback/returner, was one of three players selected by the Colts in the seventh round of the NFL Draft on Saturday, a day on which the Colts focused first on the offensive front before re-focusing on defense throughout the final round.
The Colts, after selecting offensive guard Jacques McClendon from Tennessee in Round 4 and tight end Brody Eldridge from Oklahoma in Round 5, used their first seventh-round selection – No. 238 selection overall – on Cincinnati defensive tackle Ricardo Mathews.
They then used their first compensatory selection – the No. 240 selection overall – on Clemson University linebacker Kavell Conner before selecting Fisher No. 246 overall.
The Colts finished the draft having selected six defensive players, with their three selections on the first two days – defensive end Jerry Hughes of Texas Christian (first round), middle linebacker Pat Angerer of Iowa (second round) and cornerback Kevin Thomas of Southern California (third round) – also coming on the defensive side.
With the draft entering its final phase, each seventh-round selection said there were difficult moments on Saturday.
"My stomach was hurting – everything – a couple of teardrops came out of my eyes," Mathews said with a laugh. "But it's all good."
Mathews, who said he can play tackle or end, moved into the starting lineup as a senior, registering 44 tackles with 3.5 sacks. He had 69 career tackles with 5.5 sacks and a fumble recovery.
"First and foremost, I'm about to bring a character that no one has seen before – I'm confident of that," Mathews said. "I'm never going to do anything to hurt the team. I'm always there to help the team out. I'll change water bottles if I have to."
Conner, who played in the East-West Shrine Game, started 27 of 53 games at Clemson, finishing his career with three sacks and 14 tackles for losses. He had two sacks and seven tackles for losses this past season, when he started 12 of 14 games.
"I was trying not to watch the draft," Conner said. "It gets a little antsy when you get down to the end. It was definitely nerve-wracking, but it's definitely worth it. The Colts are a great franchise – first class. It's definitely a franchise you want to come in and play for.
"All their guys are high-character guys and I feel like I can be a part of that as well."
Fisher, who played wide receiver for three seasons before moving to cornerback this past season, started 19 games at receiver, catching 118 passes for 1,070 yards and nine touchdowns. He is the first Indiana player the Colts have selected in the draft since 1976.
"I love it," Fisher said. "It's right there. I wanted to come here. I wish they had done it earlier."
Fisher, who started six of eight games this past season before sustaining a season-ending knee injury in November, made 40 tackles with a forced fumble and a fumble recovery this past season. He returned 17 kickoffs for a 37.4-yard average as a senior and had a 9.8-yard average on punt returns.
"I bring a lot of excitement," he said. "I know I can bring a lot of excitement to Indianapolis. Not saying they don't have great players, but they haven't had that big impact kick returner. I think I can bring that to the team."
Fisher said he spoke with the Colts leading to the draft, and again Saturday.
"They called me a couple of times and asked me a couple of questions," he said. "I asked them to make the right decision. They called me today twice. They asked me if I wanted to be a Colt. I said, 'Yes.' They had a pick coming up, and I asked them to make the right decision."