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The Colts’ Top Players of All Time, According to Approximate Value

Earlier today, fellow Colts Featured Columnist Tyler Brooke posted his top 25 players in Indianapolis Colts history.

Tyler is a friend of Colts Authority, and a good writer, but I did have a few issues with his list, such as the inclusion of Cato June over other Manning-era players such as Antoine Bethea and Jospeh Addai (and I was a huge Cato June fan). 

Another issue is not including players from the Baltimore era. I understand the mentality, and it's no knock on the list, but personally I'd like to see a list that includes players from both eras. 

So, here's a quick couple of lists, based on Pro-Football-References'  Approximate Value, a metric that aims to put a single number on each players' individual seasons. For more information on AV, check out this series of posts on PFR

Obviously this isn't an end-all-be-all list. AV isn't a perfect metric (doesn't measure kickers or punters either), and there are other factors to be taken into consideration. Nevertheless, it's an interesting discussion.

To start things off, here is the top 100 players in Colts' franchise history, based on their total AV during their time in Indianapolis. 

 

Rk Player From To # of Seasons G Pos AV
1 Peyton Manning 1998 2010 13 208 QB 220
2 Johnny Unitas 1956 1972 17 206 QB 205
3 Marvin Harrison 1996 2008 13 190 WR 161
4 Gino Marchetti 1953 1964 12 145 DE 148
5 Reggie Wayne 2001 2012 12 189 WR 142
6 Raymond Berry 1955 1967 13 154 E 132
7 Bobby Boyd 1960 1968 9 121 DB 121
8 Jim Parker 1957 1966 10 132 T 119
9 Lenny Moore 1956 1967 12 143 HB 118
10 Jeff Saturday 1999 2011 13 197 C 117
11 Edgerrin James 1999 2005 7 96 RB 113
12 Don Shinnick 1957 1969 13 159 LB 106
13 Tarik Glenn 1997 2006 10 154 T 101
14 Mike Curtis 1965 1975 11 125 LB 98
15 Art Donovan 1953 1961 9 108 DT 98
16 Bob Vogel 1963 1972 10 139 T 98
17 Fred Miller 1963 1972 10 133 DT 96
18 Dwight Freeney 2002 2012 11 163 DE 95
19 Ordell Braase 1957 1968 12 157 DE 91
20 Alex Sandusky 1954 1966 13 166 G 91
21 Bert Jones 1973 1981 9 98 QB 89
22 Jerry Logan 1963 1972 10 140 DB 89
23 Ryan Diem 2001 2011 11 157 T 88
24 John Mackey 1963 1971 9 126 TE 88
25 Lydell Mitchell 1972 1977 6 81 RB 86
26 Bill Pellington 1953 1964 12 141 LB 83
27 Billy Ray Sr. Smith 1961 1970 10 124 DT 83
28 Dick Szymanski 1955 1968 14 157 C 82
29 Rick Volk 1967 1975 9 123 DB 82
30 Eugene Daniel 1984 1996 13 198 DB 81
31 Tom Matte 1961 1972 12 140 RB 80
32 Dallas Clark 2003 2011 9 115 TE 74
33 George Preas 1955 1965 11 140 T 74
34 Duane Bickett 1985 1993 9 137 LB 73
35 Alan Ameche 1955 1960 6 70 FB 72
36 Jimmy Orr 1961 1970 10 113 FL 70
37 Ray Donaldson 1980 1992 13 184 C 68
38 Marshall Faulk 1994 1998 5 77 RB 67
39 Andy Nelson 1957 1963 7 89 DB 67
40 Art Spinney 1953 1960 8 92 G 67
41 Donnell Thompson 1981 1991 11 147 DE 63
42 Stan White 1972 1979 8 112 LB 62
43 Ted Hendricks 1969 1973 5 70 LB 60
44 Bruce Laird 1972 1981 10 141 DB 60
45 Ken Mendenhall 1971 1980 10 143 C 60
46 Robert Mathis 2003 2012 10 147 DE 59
47 Lenny Lyles 1958 1969 12 125 DB 58
48 Glenn Ressler 1965 1974 10 125 G 58
49 Bubba Smith 1967 1971 5 69 DE 57
50 Jeff Herrod 1988 1998 11 143 LB 56
51 Fred Cook 1974 1980 7 104 DE 55
52 Chris Hinton 1983 1989 7 94 T 55
53 George Kunz 1975 1980 6 49 T 55
54 Don McCauley 1971 1981 11 156 RB 55
55 Marcus Pollard 1995 2004 10 146 TE 55
56 Joseph Addai 2006 2011 6 78 RB 54
57 Roger Carr 1974 1981 8 102 WR 54
58 Barry Krauss 1979 1988 10 136 LB 54
59 Jason Belser 1992 2000 9 141 DB 53
60 Roy Hilton 1965 1973 9 125 DE 53
61 Adam Meadows 1997 2003 7 103 T 53
62 Jon Hand 1986 1994 9 121 DE 52
63 Mike Barnes 1973 1981 9 113 DT 51
64 Carl Taseff 1953 1961 9 91 DB 51
65 Bill Brooks 1986 1992 7 106 WR 49
66 Ken Dilger 1995 2001 7 109 TE 49
67 Jim Mutscheller 1954 1961 8 95 E 49
68 Dan Sullivan 1962 1972 11 140 G 49
69 Nesby Glasgow 1979 1987 9 126 DB 48
70 Gene Lipscomb 1956 1960 5 59 DT 48
71 Robert Pratt 1974 1981 8 118 G 48
72 Raheem Brock 2002 2009 8 120 DE 47
73 Eric Dickerson 1987 1991 5 61 RB 47
74 Antoine Bethea 2006 2012 7 107 DB 46
75 Gary Brackett 2003 2011 9 116 LB 46
76 Glenn Doughty 1972 1979 8 103 WR 46
77 John Dutton 1974 1978 5 68 DT 46
78 Buzz Nutter 1954 1965 12 97 C 45
79 Dennis Gaubatz 1965 1969 5 67 LB 44
80 Raymond Chester 1973 1977 5 69 TE 43
81 Don Joyce 1954 1960 7 81 DE 43
82 Mike Prior 1987 1992 6 86 DB 43
83 Bill Curry 1967 1972 6 81 C 42
84 Bert Rechichar 1953 1959 7 79 DB 40
85 Randy Dixon 1988 1995 8 115 G 39
86 Jerry Hill 1963 1970 8 101 RB 39
87 Willie Richardson 1963 1971 9 90 FL 39
88 Charlie Stukes 1967 1972 6 79 DB 39
89 Dominic Rhodes 2001 2010 10 89 RB 38
90 Bernard Whittington 1994 2000 7 105 DE 38
91 Albert Bentley 1985 1990 6 87 RB 37
92 Curtis Dickey 1980 1985 6 70 RB 37
93 Joe Ehrmann 1973 1980 8 108 DT 37
94 Jim Harbaugh 1994 1997 4 53 QB 37
95 Tony Siragusa 1990 1996 7 96 DT 37
96 Ken Huff 1975 1982 8 102 G 36
97 Tony McCoy 1992 1999 8 102 DT 36
98 Randy McMillan 1981 1986 6 88 RB 36
99 Cliff Odom 1982 1989 8 112 LB 36
100 Ben Utt 1982 1989 8 110 G 36

While total AV is useful, is a player who builds up a large AV sum over a large period of time really more valuable than a player who has four or five elite seasons? 

The answer is probably more of a personal preference than anything else. So, so each of you can make up your own minds, here is the list of Colts again, this time sorted by AV per season (only top 50). 

Best All-time Colts in AV per season
Rk Player Pos AV AV Per Season
1 Peyton Manning QB 220 16.92
2 Edgerrin James RB 113 16.14
3 Lydell Mitchell RB 86 14.33
4 Bobby Boyd DB 121 13.44
5 Marshall Faulk RB 67 13.40
6 Marvin Harrison WR 161 12.38
7 Gino Marchetti DE 148 12.33
8 Johnny Unitas QB 205 12.06
9 Alan Ameche FB 72 12.00
10 Ted Hendricks LB 60 12.00
11 Jim Parker T 119 11.90
12 Reggie Wayne WR 142 11.83
13 Bubba Smith DE 57 11.40
14 Art Donovan DT 98 10.89
15 Raymond Berry E 132 10.15
16 Tarik Glenn T 101 10.10
17 Bert Jones QB 89 9.89
18 Lenny Moore HB 118 9.83
19 Bob Vogel T 98 9.80
20 John Mackey TE 88 9.78
21 Fred Miller DT 96 9.60
22 Gene Lipscomb DT 48 9.60
23 Andy Nelson DB 67 9.57
24 Eric Dickerson RB 47 9.40
25 Jim Harbaugh QB 37 9.25
26 John Dutton DT 46 9.20
27 George Kunz T 55 9.17
28 Rick Volk DB 82 9.11
29 Jeff Saturday C 117 9.00
30 Joseph Addai RB 54 9.00
31 Mike Curtis LB 98 8.91
32 Jerry Logan DB 89 8.90
33 Dennis Gaubatz LB 44 8.80
34 Dwight Freeney DE 95 8.64
35 Raymond Chester TE 43 8.60
36 Art Spinney G 67 8.38
37 Billy Ray Sr. Smith DT 83 8.30
38 Dallas Clark TE 74 8.22
39 Don Shinnick LB 106 8.15
40 Duane Bickett LB 73 8.11
41 Ryan Diem T 88 8.00
42 Fred Cook DE 55 7.86
43 Chris Hinton T 55 7.86
44 Stan White LB 62 7.75
45 Ordell Braase DE 91 7.58
46 Adam Meadows T 53 7.57
47 Mike Prior DB 43 7.17
48 Alex Sandusky G 91 7.00
49 Jimmy Orr FL 70 7.00
50 Bill Brooks WR 49 7.00

But of course, I know that a lot of you are Indianapolis natives, and are much more interested in the Colts' time in Indianapolis than the older Baltimore players. So, here is those same lists, but limited to Indianapolis players (Top 50 and 35, respectively).

Top Indianapolis Colts by Total AV
Rk Player From To G GS Yrs PB AP1 AV
1 Peyton Manning 1998 2010 208 208 13 11 5 220
2 Marvin Harrison 1996 2008 190 188 13 8 3 161
3 Reggie Wayne 2001 2012 189 175 12 5 1 142
4 Jeff Saturday 1999 2011 197 188 13 5 2 117
5 Edgerrin James 1999 2005 96 96 7 4 1 113
6 Tarik Glenn 1997 2006 154 154 10 3 0 101
7 Dwight Freeney 2002 2012 163 142 11 7 3 95
8 Ryan Diem 2001 2011 157 150 11 0 0 88
9 Eugene Daniel 1984 1996 198 185 13 0 0 81
10 Dallas Clark 2003 2011 115 111 9 1 1 74
11 Duane Bickett 1985 1993 137 137 9 1 0 73
12 Marshall Faulk* 1994 1998 77 76 5 3 0 67
13 Robert Mathis 2003 2012 147 82 10 3 0 59
14 Jeff Herrod 1988 1998 143 123 10 0 0 56
15 Marcus Pollard 1995 2004 146 102 10 0 0 55
16 Joseph Addai 2006 2011 78 60 6 1 0 54
17 Adam Meadows 1997 2003 103 96 7 0 0 53
18 Jason Belser 1992 2000 141 126 9 0 0 53
19 Ray Donaldson 1984 1992 127 127 9 4 0 52
20 Jon Hand 1986 1994 121 110 9 0 0 52
21 Donnell Thompson 1984 1991 111 109 8 0 0 50
22 Bill Brooks 1986 1992 106 98 7 0 0 49
23 Ken Dilger 1995 2001 109 106 7 1 0 49
24 Chris Hinton 1984 1989 78 77 6 5 0 48
25 Eric Dickerson* 1987 1991 61 55 5 3 2 47
26 Raheem Brock 2002 2009 120 104 8 0 0 47
27 Antoine Bethea 2006 2012 107 106 7 2 0 46
28 Gary Brackett 2003 2011 116 86 9 0 0 46
29 Mike Prior 1987 1992 86 78 6 0 0 43
30 Randy Dixon 1987 1995 118 110 9 0 0 39
31 Dominic Rhodes 2001 2010 89 31 7 0 0 38
32 Bernard Whittington 1994 2000 105 79 7 0 0 38
33 Jim Harbaugh 1994 1997 53 46 4 1 0 37
34 Albert Bentley 1985 1991 88 33 7 0 0 37
35 Tony Siragusa 1990 1996 96 78 7 0 0 37
36 Tony McCoy 1992 1999 108 73 8 0 0 36
37 Ellis Johnson 1995 2001 104 84 7 0 0 34
38 Bob Sanders 2004 2010 48 46 7 2 2 34
39 Kevin Call 1984 1993 130 87 10 0 0 34
40 Sean Dawkins 1993 1997 77 62 5 0 0 33
41 Charlie Johnson 2006 2010 73 54 5 0 0 33
42 Quentin Coryatt 1992 1997 78 76 6 0 0 33
43 Barry Krauss 1984 1988 64 62 5 0 0 32
44 Cliff Odom 1984 1989 89 69 6 0 0 32
45 Jake Scott 2004 2007 60 57 4 0 0 31
46 Chad Bratzke 1999 2003 79 66 5 0 0 31
47 Ben Utt 1984 1989 85 84 6 0 0 31
48 Ryan Lilja 2004 2009 66 59 5 0 0 30
49 Chris Goode 1987 1993 96 66 7 0 0 30
50 Steve McKinney 1998 2001 60 60 4 0 0 28

Top Indianapolis Colts by AV per season

Rk Player Yrs AP1 AV AV Per Season
1 Peyton Manning 13 5 220 16.92
2 Edgerrin James 7 1 113 16.14
3 Marshall Faulk* 5 0 67 13.40
4 Marvin Harrison 13 3 161 12.38
5 Reggie Wayne 12 1 142 11.83
6 Tarik Glenn 10 0 101 10.10
7 Eric Dickerson* 5 2 47 9.40
8 Jim Harbaugh 4 0 37 9.25
9 Jeff Saturday 13 2 117 9.00
10 Joseph Addai 6 0 54 9.00
11 Dwight Freeney 11 3 95 8.64
12 Dallas Clark 9 1 74 8.22
13 Duane Bickett 9 0 73 8.11
14 Ryan Diem 11 0 88 8.00
15 Chris Hinton 6 0 48 8.00
16 Jake Scott 4 0 31 7.75
17 Adam Meadows 7 0 53 7.57
18 Mike Prior 6 0 43 7.17
19 Bill Brooks 7 0 49 7.00
20 Ken Dilger 7 0 49 7.00
21 Steve McKinney 4 0 28 7.00
22 Sean Dawkins 5 0 33 6.60
23 Charlie Johnson 5 0 33 6.60
24 Antoine Bethea 7 0 46 6.57
25 Barry Krauss 5 0 32 6.40
26 Donnell Thompson 8 0 50 6.25
27 Eugene Daniel 13 0 81 6.23
28 Chad Bratzke 5 0 31 6.20
29 Ryan Lilja 5 0 30 6.00
30 Robert Mathis 10 0 59 5.90
31 Jason Belser 9 0 53 5.89
32 Raheem Brock 8 0 47 5.88
33 Ray Donaldson 9 0 52 5.78
34 Jon Hand 9 0 52 5.78
35 Jeff Herrod 10 0 56 5.60

 

Kyle J. Rodriguez

About Kyle J. Rodriguez

A film and numbers guru, Kyle writes about the NFL and the Indianapolis Colts for Bleacher Report, Draft Mecca and The Football Educator, and is a co-founder and associate editor of Colts Authority. Kyle also is a high school sports reporter for the MLive Media Group in Michigan, covering high school sports across the state.

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