I've been unabashedly pushing for the Colts to take Jerry Hughes for weeks now, so obviously I'm thrilled with how the night turned out. After I first got turned on to him via mock draft, I've grown increasingly enamored with him. I've been calling Demond everyday, breathlessly saying, "Do you think we can really get Hughes?". When the pick was announced, I danced around the room happily. It made my night.
Here's why Hughes was the right pick for the Colts:
1. Hughes is a difference maker. Polian loves using first round picks on dynamic players. I knew Hughes was exactly the kind of guy the Colts would love because of his freakish speed in rushing the quarterback. He's Freeney/Mathis 2.0. He even wore 98 in college.
2. Freeney and Mathis had a hard time staying on the field last year. We already lost the Super Bowl twice now thank to injuries to Freeney. Mathis barely played for a long stretch in the second half of the season. Does anyone remember the Houston game at Houston? The first three quarters at Jacksonville? Trust me, we needed another DE.
3. As far as a lineman goes, 31 is too low for a certain sure fire franchise LT, too high for anything else. We know the Colts O line is weak, but guess what? Unless you are convinced that a franchise left tackle is available, you can't take an offensive lineman in the first round. The Colts believe that guards and centers are basically fungible. By taking Hughes they Colts got a guy that will alter games. Most offensive linemen are essentially interchangeable. They couldn't go for a LT unless they were 100% sure it was a franchise guy.
4. Freeney is due a HUGE pay jump after this season. He is going to be 31 after next season. I'm not saying, I'm just saying. If you think you have the next Freeney, now is the time to take him.
5. Hughes screams "COLTS PASS RUSHER!" His size and height are dead on identical to Mathis Freeney. He is exactly the kind of player other teams would have no clue what do with, but the Colts know just how to use him. Talent wise, this was a top tier player who fell to 31 because of size. In two years, he'll be one of the top 5-10 players to come out of this draft.
6. Everyone on the Colts defense is basically expendable to some degree or another except for the DEs and the MLB. We need to find a new MLB soon, but DE should be covered for the time being.
7. Hughes was a big time producer in college. Polian loves guys that actually put up numbers in the college game. Hughes doesn't just have potential, but he has a track record of production.
This was an A+ absolutely perfect fit kind of pick. From the moment I laid eyes on his profile, my eyes lit up.
We finally have depth at DE.
Bring on 2011. Jerry Hughes is a Colt.
I can't wait.