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Indianapolis Colts

Scouts' Take: Inside Linebacker Antonio Morrison

Intro: What went into the Colts selection of their eight draft picks in 2016? Hear from the scouts who have dissected these prospects from all over the country.


INDIANAPOLIS – A handful of NFL scouts, with more than 90 years of experience, chatting about the team's draft picks?

That is what had earlier this offseason in a roundtable with five Colts' scouts.

The five names listed below (titles at time of draft) traveled all over the country scouting college prospects last season. They have seen these draftees several times throughout their college seasons, at games, school visits and at Pro Days.

T.J. McCreight (Director of College Scouting)

Todd Vasvari (Assistant Director of College Scouting)

Matt Terpening (National Scout)

Dave Razzano (Senior Scout)

Jamie Moore (Area Scout)

What were your thoughts on fourth-round pick Antonio Morrison (Florida)?

McCreight: "On his visit, he got us. He's a fiery competitor. He dealt with adversity. He's a tough cat."

Moore: "I saw this kid play three times this fall, Ole Miss, Georgia and then at the end of the year against Florida State. I got three exposures to this guy live. They play a very physical rugged brand of football down there at the University of Florida and this guy is the ringleader. He's the alpha dog. He's the leader. Back-to-back 100-tackle seasons. Overcame adversity. A lot of grit. A very smart football player. Allows himself to get a jump on plays. A personal favorite of mine. I'm just really excited he's going to be wearing the Horseshoe and representing the organization. As much as anything, he's going to bring a demeanor and a level of ferocity to our defense that will make opponents pretty uncomfortable."

Vasvari: "At his Pro Day, he had a stint and was trying to recover from the infection that he had. I even went up to him at the Pro Day and I said, 'Are you sure? You want to work out?' He just wasn't having any of it. He was so dialed in and so serious. I think that's the way he was when he came in for the visit. The Pro Day he didn't run well, but we go based off what we see on tape and we think the guy plays fast. He's a warrior out there. He just loves to hit. He's just super competitive."

Terpening: "His passion for the game, I had a chance to interview him at the Senior Bowl, and when you sit with this guy one-on-one, you can see it in his face, how much he prepares, how much he loves the game. He's a pro."

Razzano: "We interview players and we ask who's the best player you faced? I was interviewing a running back from South Carolina down at the NFLPA game and he thought about it for a while and said, 'No. 3 for Florida.' I said, 'Why?' He said, 'He plays so hard for every snap for four quarters. A guy like that just brings it 110 percent on every play.' That's the way it looks on tape."

Vasvari: "There was buzz about him in the fall. Did you see the linebacker at Florida? Once his Pro Day hits, people kind of wanted to jump on him for not running fast. That's where we went back to the tape and we said, 'This guy is just a really good football player.' That's the one position where your instincts and maybe a little bit of lack of speed you can make up for that with your instincts and your competitiveness. Those two things for him are very high."

McCreight: "This player is a football player, not a guy who is going to test."

Vasvari: "It seemed like every (coach/scout who analyzed him) weren't concerned with the speed. They just saw what they saw on tape. This guy can play. I don't care what he runs."

Moore: "You are talking about a guy who had two different surgeries, operated on the same knee, just a very traumatic injury to a position that requires your feet. His ability to heal and come back so quickly is a testament to obviously not only to his own genetics and work ethic, but his own makeup. This is a guy who is going to beat the trainers into the room to get his rehabilitation done, while at the same time, on his iPad. Just to give you an idea of the type of work ethic he's going to bring on a daily basis. To me, factor in all those things with what you see on tape, you are really getting a guy who can contribute some unique toughens, dedication and really a passion for the game to your football team. It's indescribable how fast he came back (from the injury). Obviously part of that is genetics and part of it is dedication. He literally beats the trainers in every morning. As they are doing his rehabilitation, he's able to watch film at the same time. That's something he takes pride in to be the best player he can be. We all feel good about that position, inside linebacker, you've got to be really smart and instinctive. This is a guy who's going to be really smart and prepared to bring it on Sunday's."

Vasvari: "We were trying to set up a private workout through the agent. The agent said, 'I told the kid I don't want him to workout. He's not going to be prepared.' He just said Antonio wasn't having any of it. He's a competitor. He's going to be out there to support his teammates. That was one thing at the Pro Day that stuck out to me, too. He seemed to lift everybody up. He was rooting for them. They were rooting for him. You could see that his teammates are really passionate about him as a player."

Moore: "That speaks to his leadership. He is the alpha dog. They've got some really good football players, some his age, some younger, but he is the alpha dog. He's the leader. I was flying home after the draft, happened to get into the Jacksonville airport, ran into another scout with another club. Talking about who we took from our area and he said, 'Wow, that kid, (speaking about Antonio) is going to make the culture of your defense. He's going to raise it up, which is good.'"

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