The Colts were great at drafting, for most of the Manning era; in six straight years, their #1 picks were Peyton Manning, Edgerrin James, Rob Morris, Reggie Wayne, Dwight Freeney, and Dallas Clark. Morris was a linebacker out of BYU, but (like most Colts linebackers) was shuffled under the bus when their run defense broke down. Poor guy.
Point is, the last few years have added depth with no flash (thank you, Donald Brown) – until 2012. I read an intelligent piece by Michael Marot at the Associated Press, preluding the Tennessee game with a nod to the Colts current rookies this season.
Each has had a major hand in this season's turnaround from 2-14. Brazill and Fleener each caught a touchdown pass in Sunday's comeback at Detroit, Hilton already has had four 100-yard games, Allen needs seven catches in the final four games to set the Colts' rookie record for receptions by a tight end, and it was Ballard's backward, twisting flip that gave the Colts their first road win of the season at Tennessee on Oct. 28.
Andrew Luck isn't the only first-year on the Colts's roster, as they remind us every week. If not for Fleener, Allen, Hilton, Brazill, and Ballard, the Colts wouldn't be nearly as good as they are now.