Welcome to "What to Expect 2013". For the next week or so, I'll be looking at the positions the Colts drafted relative to their historic counterparts.
The goal of this series is to set reasonable expectations for the new draft picks based how similarly drafted players in the past decade performed.
This allows us to create fair baselines by which to judge players. The purpose of this series is not to predict performance. The goal is merely to fairly judge rookie seasons
The Colts drafted UT-Martin defensive tackle Montori Hughes in the fifth round. They traded a 2014 fourth-round pick for the rights to select him.
Since 2007, there have been 30 defensive tackles taken in the fifth round. About half of them (13) played in at least half their team's games in their rookie season.
Only eight of the 30 earned a start, however, and only two started more than six games.
The best performance of the bunch came from Pernell McPhee in 2011 who had six sacks.
Of the 30, only about five or six have had what you'd call successful NFL careers.
Aubrayo Franklin and Mookie Johnson both fall in that category. You can also throw in Brian Young who played nine years and had 22.5 career sacks for the Rams and Saints. Rocky Bernard is an 11-year vet with 33 sacks. McPhee has only been in the league two years, but has 7.5 sacks.
The best player of the bunch might be Kyle Williams, the only one to make a Pro Bowl. He's had 18.5 sacks in seven seasons in Buffalo.
So, Indy's odds of getting a Pro Bowl player stand at less than five percent and their odds of getting a decent Mookie Johnson level starter are around one in five.
With Josh Chapman, Franklin and Johnson, Indy has three of the 30 players on their roster currently (Note: Johnson has been released). Since 1984, the Colts have had 56 rookie defensive tackles taken from any round (including undrafted free agents). 30 of them played in at least 8 games in their rookie season. Nine of them started at least eight times.
Jon Hand had the best rookie season of the crew, posting five sacks and 82 tackles in 15 starts. 25 of them had at least one sack and 23 had 10 tackles.
Eight games played, one start, one sack and 10 tackles would put Hughes in the top 10 for tackles drafted in the fifth round.
Really, any contribution at all would be a big plus for Indianapolis. Event those modest numbers would easily place Hughes in the top half of all rookie tackles to play for the Colts since 1984.
Long term, there's little change Hughes becomes a Pro Bowl-caliber player, and the odds are low that he becomes a regular starter. However, given the fact that Indy already has two such players on their roster, perhaps he landed in the right place.