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Colts Authority Rookie Watch – Week 1

The Colts' 2013 Draft class hasn't exactly got off to the best of starts. Hugh Thornton and Khaled Holmes missed considerable time during training camp and preseason games, Kerwynn Williams and Justice Cunningham were cut before making the practice squad, and safety John Boyett was cut after being arrested last week.

Each week I'll be taking a look at how each of the Colts' rookies has fared in the previous game, so we'll start with Sunday's matchup with the Oakland Raiders.

BJOERN WERNER

Werner, as expected, didn't start on Sunday, instead coming in for 29 of the 67 defensive snaps. The first round pick didn't impress, finishing the game with a -3.0 grade from PFF. When Werner did get pressure – on a beaten up Raiders offensive line – he struggled to wrap up and finish plays. PFF gave him just two QB hurries on Sunday, leaving him with a -1.5 grade for pass rush efficiency.

Terrelle Pryor posed problems for the Colts defense throughout the game with his strong running, as the outside linebackers failed to set the edge. Werner, along with Erik Walden and Robert Mathis, struggled to contain Pryor, and PFF gave him a -1.6 grade for his play in run defense.

There's only so much the stats can tell you of course, but Werner was visibly disappointing on Sunday. It's very early days for the German, who is transitioning from defensive end to outside linebacker, but Chuck Pagano will be hoping for better from the 24th overall pick.

HUGH THORNTON

Despite impressing in preseason, Thornton did not start the game against the Raiders and played just three snaps as Mike McGlynn (somehow) continues to start. McGlynn surprisingly only finished up with -0.8 by PFF's grading, which is actually a marked improvement from his shambolic 2012.

It seems the staff are going to ease Thornton into the team, which is sensible having just come off an injury. McGlynn is most certainly not the long term answer at right guard, and hopefully by the season's end, we'll see Thornton starting there.

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The rest of the class didn't give us much to talk about. Centre Khaled Holmes and defensive tackle Montori Hughes were inactive, Williams and Cunningham are on the practice squad and Boyett left wondering over his future in the NFL. It's a disappointing start from the entire class. It is only the first game of the season though, and the impact of the rookies should be more noticeable as the season goes on.

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