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Indianapolis Colts 2010 NFL Draft Class: Jerry Hughes

The 2010 NFL draft has been completed, and the Indianapolis Colts will get an up-close look at their new additions this weekend when they hold a rookie-only minicamp at their 56th street training complex.  Unfortunately for Indianapolis sports fans who passionately follow the team, the minicamp is closed to both the public and the Indy media, so there won’t be too much known about how the rookies fare under the watchful eye of Jim Caldwell and his coaching staff.   That won’t come until the team opens up their four-week organized team activities (OTAs) on May 18.  In the meantime, here’s a breakdown of the Colts latest crop of incoming talent.

Jerry Hughes:  6’2″, 255lbs — DE, Texas Christian University

Everything about Hughes screams COLTS.  He was a highly productive, two-time conference defensive player of the year for the Texas Christian Horned Frogs, the nation’s 5th ranked defense during Hughes’ senior year.  By all accounts, he’s a humble, intelligent guy — he could have left school after his junior season and been a first round draft pick, but he came back for his final year in order to fulfill a promise to his parents that he’d earn a college degree.

The only knock on him is that he’s undersized, which obviously hasn’t stopped Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis from being the most feared sack duo in the NFL.

Hughes will fit right in.

And with the sack masters teaching him all the intricacies of playing the position as a smallish speedster, it won’t be long before Colts fans are clamoring to see him in a starting role.  First things first though, he’ll serve as a spot rusher and understudy this season, and will likely be a major contributor on special teams (much like Mathis was during his first couple of years).  If when either Mathis or Freeney gets nicked up and has to miss a game or two, Hughes will be expected to seamlessly step in and continue the pressure, a luxury the Colts haven’t had in, well, forever.

What the scouts said (from Scouts Inc. at ESPN.com:

“Elite combination of quickness and closing speed…uses hands to keep blockers off frame and showed a wide variety of pass rush moves…extremely effective setting up tackles to the outside before ripping/spinning inside…exceptionally high motor and relentless in pursuit. Diagnostic skills are above average. Disciplined. Stays at home against misdirection and closes down cutback lanes…Lack of prototypical size and strength…”

Highlights of Jerry Hughes


Pat Angerer | Kevin Thomas | Jacques McClendon | Brody Eldridge| Ricardo Mathews | Kavell Conner | Ray Fisher |

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