What to Expect-Kavell Conner

All week, I’ll be running a “What to Expect” series.  (Hughes, Angerer, Thomas, McClendon, EldrigeMatthews) The goal of this series is to create realistic expectations for the Colts draft picks based on historical performance from similar players.  Too often fans think of young players as ‘busts’ if they don’t produce their rookie years, when the reality is that most rookies don’t produce right away.

Indy’s second 7th round pick was Kavell Conner a linebacker taken with the 240th pick.  Like the Pat Angerer post, we’ll look at the Colts’ Tampa 2 backers, followed by a look at all 7th round linebackers taken in the NFL for the past 5 years.

Tampa 2 Colts Linebackers:

Pick Games Starts tackles INT/FF Sacks
Wheeler 93 16 0 2 0 0
Keiaho 94 14 0 16 2 0
Gardner 69 11 0 9 0 0
Hagler 173 9 0 3 0 0
Thornton 106 15 0 36 0 0
June 198 11 0 6 0 0
Brackett N/D 16 0 27 1 1
Session 136 13 1 19 3 0
LaCasse* 219 12 0 5 0 0

*LaCasse was drafted by Baltimore, but only played for Indy

Underline this in your mind:

Colts’ linebackers don’t start their rookie years.

This list is a nice mix of awful players (Gardner), solid players (Hagler), and good players (Brackett and Session).  What you do see is that the pretty good ones made a few more plays on special teams than the average ones, but none of them played very much at all.

All 7th round Linebackers since 2005

Pick Games Starts Tackles INT/FF Sacks
Oscar Lua 211 0 0 0 0 0
J.D. Folsom 214 2 0 0 0 0
Larry Grant* 214 2 0 0 0 0
Zach Diles 218 11 0 13 0 0
Kelvin Smith 219 4 0 0 0 0
Marvin Mitchell 220 10 0 8 0 0
Hilee Taylor 221 10 0 4 0 1
Tim MacGarigle 221 12 0 6 0 0
Moise Fokou 230 16 4 16 0 0
Alex Hall 231 16 2 18 2 3
Mike Smith 234 6 0 3 0 0
Cornelius Wortham 235 8 0 2 0 0
Brandon Siler 240 15 0 21 0 0
Charles Bennet 241 3 0 1 0 0
Angelo Craig 244 0 0 0 0 0
Anthony Cannon 247 12 0 7 0 0
Kevin Simon 250 0 0 0 0 0
Chad Nkang 251 16 0 15 0 0
David Bergeron 252 0 0 0 0 0
David Vorora 252 8 1 5 0 0

Note: Grant played for a team other than the one that drafted him.

7th round linebackers are the NFL equivalent of cannon fodder.  You draft them to play on special teams.  Only one (Alex Hall) had any kind of impact other than a hand full of tackles.  Of the 20, 4 never played at all, 4 made the roster for 15 or 16 games.  Half of them weren’t on the roster for even half the games.  It’s clear that linebackers taken this late in the draft don’t see the field much.

What to Expect:

If Conner makes the team, that’s a big step.  If he sees the field in half the games, that’s a massive accomplishment.  I wouldn’t expect anymore than 10-15 tackles from him.  Life as an NFL special teams player is rough.  The Colts took him and will ask him to voluntarily slam his body into a wall of giant men.

Doesn’t sound like fun to me.

Conclusion:

Expect:

  • Time on the practice squad
  • A hand full of games on special teams
  • 10 tackles

Anything more than that would be excellent.

 

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