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Time and time again Andrew Luck Jersey White , wide receivers have been drafted higher than their original projections just because of a blazing 40 yard dash."There is a common misconception among NFL pundits that “speed kills”. This mantra has often resulted in wide receivers being drafted significantly higher than their original projections, simply because they put up eye-popping numbers while running in a straight line, without pads. I took the liberty of compiling a chart listing the top 15 forty times for wide receivers since 2013, followed by some analysis on how their careers went. Fastest Receivers (since 2013)/////////////////////////40 Yard DashTouchesYardsYards/TouchTouchdownsGPRound Drafted/////////////////////////40 Yard DashTouchesYardsYards/TouchTouchdownsGPRound DraftedOf the 6 speedsters selected in the first round, only Brandin Cooks seemingly has fulfilled his potential, as he is now a top 10 receiver in the NFL. The rest of the list is filled with busts. Will Fuller has developed into a dangerous vertical threat for the Texans, but he is overshadowed by DeAndre Hopkins, and he benefits tremendously from “Nuk” drawing double-teams on every play. Tavon Austin has adapted into a dangerous kick returner, and a receiver/running back hybrid, but he is nowhere near the game changer he was predicted to be. John Ross, Kevin White, and Phillip Dorsett are flat-out busts, as Dorsett and Ross are on the roster bubbles for their respective teams. Kevin White, after struggling with injuries his entire career, has recently signed a 1 year Youth Margus Hunt Jersey , $1.5 million “prove it” deal with the Cardinals.Of the other 9 receivers, there are some solid established play makers, like Marquise Goodwin, J.J Nelson, and John Brown, two promising young players in Valdez-Scantling and Samuel, and the rest are busts with no real value. One exception to that, perhaps, is D.J Chark who was a rookie last year, and still has time to build a career.The reason why teams fall in love with speedy wide receivers might have to do with the proliferation of spread offenses in the NFL in recent years.Teams reach for explosive athletes that fit the physical requirements of the scheme, and thus a receiver whose only top trait is speed ends up being drafted as a #1 receiver, when in reality they might be much better-suited as a third option, or a slot receiver, positions which can be often found in the later rounds.To contrast my first list, I compiled the NFL’s top 15 receivers’ forty times Andrew Luck Jersey , and the results serve as further proof that speed does not necessarily make an elite receiver in the league.UntitledTop 15 Receivers40 yard dashTop 15 Receivers40 yard dash* Hill and Thielen’s results taken from the athlete’s Pro DayOf the 15 top receivers in the NFL, only 4 posted a 40-yard dash below 4.40. This is the reason why D.K Metcalf, or Parris Campbell are not as high on my draft board as they are on others. Some so-called “experts” are calling Metcalf “The next Calvin Johnson”, while in my opinion he is much more likely to be the next Kevin White. Don’t get me wrong, being fast helps, but it’s not the sole predictor of whether a wide receiver will produce in the NFL or not. The Colts, in my opinion, should stay away from Metcalf (if he slips all the way to #26), and should be wary of guys like Parris Campbell or Terry McLaurin. My personal favorite receiver of the entire class is Stanford’s J.J Arcega-Whiteside, and, in my opinion, he is toe-to-toe with N’Keal Harry. My late-round prospect to watch is Ole Miss’ Damarkus Lodge. Arcega-Whiteside, Harry, and Lodge all have traits that are significantly more important for success at the position than speed alone. Polished route-running, crisp releases and surefire hands are Margus Hunt Jersey Stitched , in my opinion, indicators that these receivers will be much better pros down the line than guys whose primary skill is running quickly in underwear. A bruised and battered Colts team was simply no match for the New England Patriots in Foxborough. The Colts defense spent the first half getting carved up by Tom Brady and the bevy of pass-catchers in Bill Belicheck’s aerial attack. It clearly hurt not having Darius Leonard in the game to wreak havoc or to potentially put some pressure on the quarterback. It was also clear that the secondary continues to struggle without key contributions from Kenny Moore.Somehow though, not all was bad. Consider that Nyheim Hines continues to work his way into being one of the primary weapons on offense, catching 7 passes for 45 yards and rushing 15 times for another 45 yards. Consider that Jordan Wilkins averaged over 6 yards per carry and generated 39 yards on ground. If he didn’t have the ball stripped away on one of his runs, he had an impressive day. Consider that even without primary weapons on offense, Andrew Luck targeted 9 different players throughout the game. He completed nearly 65% of his passes for 365 yards, 3 touchdowns, and 2 interceptions — and tallied 59 passing attempts. His shoulder looks fantastic and he threw some incredible passes that were dropped by his receivers.Even the defense showed heart in the second half by clawing its way back into the game. It is clear that Matt Eberflus made some important second half adjustments that started to slow Brady down. Back-to-back second half interceptions gave Indianapolis a chance to get back in the game and there was a time where the momentum had completely swayed in the Colts direction. Safety Matthias Farley was key to both interceptions in relief of Clayton Geathers.Ultimately, missed opportunities, dropped passes, and mistakes cost the Colts a chance to beat New England on the road. The dropped passes are an epidemic that must be cured for the team to have a chance to win football games. Zach Pascal had one reception on 7 targets. Chester Rogers had a strong game, except for an open field drop that would have gone for a huge gain and another shot at a touchdown that he couldn’t bring down in the end zone. Eric Ebron managed 9 receptions for 105 yards and 2 touchdowns but he was targeted 15 times and had multiple drops of his own. Injuries. It is hard to quantify the impact this is having on the Colts season. The team started with key players either sitting out due to injury or players who have not fully recovered from key injuries and who are clearly shells of themselves at this point in the season. A hamstring injury has kept starting left tackle Anthony Castonzo out of the first 5 games. The second most relied upon receiving target in the offense and one of the most well-rounded offensive weapons on the team, Jack Doyle has missed the last 3 games and only has 9 receptions for 80 yards on the season. T.Y. Hilton was unable to dress for the Patriots game dealing with injuries to his chest and hamstring after getting pummeled on a couple of plays against the Texans on Sunday. One of the team’s other most rounded and talented offensive linemen, Joe Haeg is on injured reserve and will have to wait until late in the season to be eligible for a return. Second year running back Marlon Mack has played in only 1 game, missing 4 others this season and was the presumed starter in a backfield committee. Starting cornerbacks Kenny Moore and Quincy Wilson have suffered concussions and missed time this season. Defensive rookie of the month for September Youth Al Woods Jersey , Darius Leonard was unable to play against the Patriots.The team is currently being held together by medical tape and it is certainly making it really tough to win football games. More than anything else, this team needs to get healthy.Big Games from Small NamesNyheim Hines followed up an impressive 2 touchdown performance against the Texans on Sunday by remaining a focal point for Andrew Luck in the offense. He was targeted 9 times in the passing game and carried the ball 15 times, which is easily the largest offensive workload of any player on the team. If he continues to expand his role in the offense and can manage to stay healthy, it is starting to look like he can be a legitimate receiving weapon out of the backfield.Erik Swoope caught three passes for 44 yards and a touchdown. Swoope nearly had a second touchdown but his knee went down just before the ball crossed the goal line. Eric Ebron ended up poaching the score on the next play. Either way, he was sure-handed and made difficult catches in traffic and showed impressive body control to adjust to the pass he caught at the goal line. It’s difficult to understand how he has shown flashes so much when he has been given the opportunity but is the first player to be overlooked when roster shuffling happens.Pressure BradyThe Colts ended the game with no sacks and only three quarterback hits. Health on defense certainly played a role here and the score didn’t help either. Once the Patriots got into the second half with a comfortable lead, Belicheck and Brady were able to open up the playbook and stay very balanced. It is difficult not to notice that Kemoko Turay regularly gets very close to a sack but has been unable to land hits on the quarterback by only a matter of inches. It will be interesting to monitor if he manages to start landing some of these close calls as the season progresses and as he continues to develop.No TurnoversAll three Colts turnovers were entirely avoidable. Andrew Luck’s first interception was embarrassing. He panicked with pressure in his face and didn’t even look before releasing a pass toward Nyheim Hines. While Luck knew Hines would be there, he had no clue if a defender was in the area and simply threw it to Patrick Chung.Jordan Wilkins had the ball stripped as he was attempting to rip through a tackle and gain extra yards. It is hard not to appreciate that he was willing to make the extra effort but these are the kinds of plays NFL defenders make. Wilkins needs to know when to get down and take what he can out of the play. It was a nice gain already that turned into a disaster.Luck’s second interception came on a pass to Zach Pascal that would have otherwise kept a nice offensive drive going during a key part of the second half. Pascal managed to muff the catch and allow it to get batted into the air for a back breaking interception.Limit Rob GronkowskiHonestly, the Colts did very little to limit Gronkowski. It seemed entirely clear that he wasn’t full speed and was still dealing with an injury. Still, whenever Brady needed a big play he turned to Gronkowski, who hauled in 6 passes for 75 yards. I suppose the Colts can feel good that he didn’t take over the game or get into the end zone but, honestly, he didn’t have to.Offensive BalanceGetting behind early in football games is a recipe for imbalance. The Colts pass to run ratio was 3:1 with 59 passing attempt to only 21 rushing attempts. There were signs that the Colts ground game was actually rather effective. In fact, Hines and Wilkins combined for a 4 yards per carry average. Still, a three touchdown lead going into half time means you can’t afford to run the ball and it also means the defense can put themselves in optimal position to slow you down.
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