With week two of the preseason here in the National Football League, I continue on with my impact projections for every rookie on each team in the league. The team up is the Indianapolis Colts. Behind quarterback Andrew Luck, the Colts have been kings of the AFC South the past two seasons, and are looking to make a full charge deep into the postseason. This Colts came into this draft process knowing they needed to make the most of their selections after trading their first overall selection for Trent Richardson. Every players impact will be graded on a scale of one to ten, one being a little to no impact player and a ten being an immediate high impact player. The Colts made five selections in the 2014 NFL draft.
Jack Mewhort (Offensive Lineman) – 2nd round (Pick 59)
Mewhort is an incredibly solid all around lineman with great physical tools and unbelievable intelligence. He is capable of playing every position on the line and will likely start off at left guard for the Colts. Word from camp is that he has been excelling in every position and hasn’t had any issues moving along the line. Mewhort plays with a strong drive and passion which will be very welcomed on this team that is lacking an identity. Expect Mewhort to become a staple of the offensive line this year.
Impact Projection: 7 out of 10
Donte Moncrief (Wide Receiver) – 3rd round (Pick 90)
Moncrief has a great blend of size, speed, and overall athleticism. However his hands and route running skills need to be sharpened before he can be relied on as a primary option. Donte has done a solid job on camp of digesting the playbook and impressing the staff. He will likely compete for snaps at third and fourth reciever spots with T.Y. Hilton and Hakeem Nicks on the roster. Moncrief will be a nice surplus to the offense this year.
Impact Projection: 5 out of 10
Jonathan Newsome (Defensive End/Outside Linebacker) – 5th round (Pick 166)
Newsome is a flashy and athletic defensive end with natural ability to get after the quarterback. However he needs to bulk up and build his strength and do a better job of setting the edge more consistently. Newsome will likely rotate snaps with Bjoern Werner this year and needs to make the most of them as Werner has looked solid in camp. Newsome should likely end up as the primary backup pass rusher on this team.
Impact Projection: 4 out of 10
Andrew Jackson (Inside Linebacker) – 6th round (Pick 203)
Jackson is a thumper at the linebacker position. He is built like a house and has incredible lower body strength to drive down ball carriers. His athleticism leaves much to be desired and he is often a heel in pass coverage however. Jackson will need to sharpen his on field intelligence if he wants to get the most out of his career and learn to dissect plays from the middle. Jackson is currently injured, and will be fighting for a roster spot for certain on this team.
Impact Projection: 3 out of 10
Ulrick John (Offensive Tackle) – 7th round (Pick 232)
John is a perfect NFL sized tackle at 6’5” and 288 lbs. He plays with a great drive and passion and is a decent athlete given his size. Ulrick matched up well in the Senior Bowl against bigger competition and is a great locker room presence. However John has had a nagging injury history that has hit him again this season. John will likely be stashed away on the practice squad until the Colts can mold him into a starting caliber tackle.
Impact Projection: 1 out of 10
For the Colts it was difficult to make a big impact in the draft with the limited number of selections that they had. The selection of Mewhort was their best choice bringing in their only true immediate high impact player this season, a guy who will be able to start or fill in any void along the offensive front to protect Andrew Luck. Moncrief will develop and should become quite the solid pas catcher in Indianapolis down the line. The Indianapolis Colts 2014 rookie class was mostly directed at a step towards the future, but expect many of these players to see their fair share of action this season.
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