The Indianapolis Colts drafted Kevin Thomas with a specific role in mind. He was to come in and provide support behind Kelvin Hayden, Jerraud Powers, and Jacob Lacey, the only returning cornerbacks from last year’s Super Bowl team. Unfortunately, it looks like that support won’t come until 2011.
The Colts announced on Friday that Thomas suffered a knee injury during Sunday’s rookie mini-camp, and that it will require surgery, forcing him out for the entirety of the 2010 season. The exact nature of the injury wasn’t revealed. Thomas, who started 17 games for the Trojans and was voted Second-Team All-Pac 10 his senior season, has an extensive history with season-altering injuries. He broke his foot before his sophomore year at USC, and then suffered a season-ending shoulder injury the next season.
The Colts also drafted DB Ray Fisher out of Indiana University, but he only has one-year of college experience under his belt at the defensive back position (he was a wideout his first three seasons). He was brought in to compete for the job as a return specialist and to be a developmental fifth corner. He won’t be ready to contribute on the defense in 2010.
So what are the Colts options? They could attempt to trade for a veteran player (not likely), they could sign a player still floating around in free agency (again, not something the Colts are known for doing), or they can hope that one of the undrafted free agents Bill Polian signed becomes the next Lacey. Since Indianapolis prefers to build internally, the undrafted free agent route is the one they’ll likely go. Let’s take a look at some of the contenders who will be in camp.
Thad Turner, 5’11”, 188lbs — DB, Ohio University
Turner is another converted wide receiver who struggled in adjusting to a new position in college. He made impressive strides over his final two years in college though, and wowed scouts at his Pro Day before the draft. Turner showed off his well-rounded athleticism by posting a 4.46 40-yard dash, a 41-inch vertical leap, and 14 reps of 225 lbs on the bench press. Similar to Thomas, he has the ability to press a receiver at the line, and cover in man-to-man, both requirements of Larry Coyer’s defense.
|Highlights of Thad Turner|
Brandon King: 5’11”, 192lbs — DB, Purdue University
The former Boilermaker has good size, and is physical in defending the run. Purdue played a lot of man-to-man last year in the Big Ten, experience that will help him immensely when training camp gets underway. King started over 30 games for the Boilers, and led the team with three interceptions his senior season. Speaking on 1070 The Fan‘s Dan Dakich Show, Chris Polian cited King as a player who performed well in teams rookie mini-camp, a positive sign that King could earn a spot in Indy this season.
|Highlights of Brandon King|