Born: 9th of April, 1986
Hometown: Syracuse, NY
College: University of Michigan
Draft: 6th round, 202nd overall – 2008 (Indianapolis Colts)
Height: 5 feet 9 inches
Weight: 206 lbs.
40-yard Dash: 4.67 seconds
3 Cone Drill: — seconds
20-Yard Shuttle: 4.33 seconds
Bench Press: 23 reps
Vertical Jump: 32.0 inches
Broad Jump: — inches
Mike Hart was a four-year starter at the University of Michigan, who missed numerous games in both his sophomore and senior years due to multiple injuries. Hart lacks the size of a power back, and the speed of a feature back, leading many teams to overlook him in the draft despite a constant high level of production.
What led many teams to pass on Hart, attracted the Colts. The fact that Hart was small, but showed great strength made him an attractive option for the Colts, who were looking for a power back to improve the running game on short yardage situations.
Hart also excelled as a receiver. While he did not see a lot of action as a receiver late in his Michigan career, it was not for lack of ability. Even though Hart lacks average speed for a primary back, his natural feel for the game and great vision allows him to make smart decisions and capitalize on developing holes and wrinkles other rushers may miss. Hart uses these weapons to pick up yards that he would otherwise be unable to, due to what he lacks in size and strength run through tackles.
As a Colt, Hart has disappointed, infuriated, and intrigued. While only being the fourth RB on the depth chart, the few instances when Hart has gotten to play, he hasn’t exactly risen to the occasion. Hart had a season ending injury halfway through his rookie season. This injury came on the heels of a serious ankle injury at the end of his senior year, and joins the list of hamstring, shoulder, thigh, hip, and ankle injuries. Since returning during the off-season last year, Hart has stayed healthy, and with the release of Dominic Rhodes last year, and Chad Simpson this year, Hart is the experienced depth behind Addai/Brown.
Editor’s Note: Jake and I differ in our opinions about Hart’s success since he joined the Colts. While I find it unfortunate and frustrating that he blew his ACL during his rookie season, in my mind, all of his efforts up to that point were actually rather impressive, beyond what people would expect. I would mention that he ran probably the most impressive short-yardage run I’ve ever seen against Baltimore in 2008, and even picked up solid yards on the pass along the left sideline when he got injured.
I would also say that generally when he had opportunities to play in 2009, he looked good. He had a number of runs late in the regular season where he made defenders look foolish and picked up extra yards. He also proved himself so much that he was given carries in the Super Bowl, even in the infamous “final drive” of the first half. Some may blame Hart for coming up short on that play, but it seems clear that Polian (and I) think the failure there had everything to do with Ryan Lilja blowing a blocking assignment.
Either way, I think Jake’s profile is very good but would have felt remiss if I failed to mention my opinion on Hart.