The Colts went into last season with a bunch of question marks behind Joseph Addai but that’s not the case this season as Dominic Rhodes, Kenton Keith and rookie Mike Hart are now behind him. Joseph Addai stepped up last season and it made the offense even more potent than when Edgerrin James was the main back because of his speed. Addai can score from anywhere on the field and he’s tough enough to run between the tackles. He also has soft hands and is a solid receiver out of the backfield. Addai played in 15 games (all starts) last season for the Colts and he carried the ball 261 times for 1,072 yards (4.1 ypc) with 12 TD runs. He also caught 41 passes for 364 yards (8.9 avg) with 3 TD grabs. Look for Addai to even have better numbers in 2008 for the Colts. Addai has now played in 31 games (15 starts) in his NFL career and he has carried the ball 487 times for 2,153 yards (4.4 ypc) with 19 TD runs. He has also caught 81 passes for 689 yards (8.5 avg) with 4 TD grabs.
Dominic Rhodes is returning to the Colts after signing on as a free agent. He still runs the ball hard and he should be fresh as he was in the Raiders’ Dog House last season. He played in 10 games (2 starts) for the Raiders last season and he carried the ball 75 times for 302 yards (4.0 ypc) with 1 TD run. He also caught 11 passes for 70 yards (6.4 avg). Look for Rhodes to get more action than that this season unless Kenton Keith steals some of his playing time away. Rhodes has now played in 81 games (29 starts) in his NFL career and he has carried the ball 625 times for 2,576 yards (4.1 ypc) with 20 TD runs. He also has caught 101 passes for 719 yards (7.1 avg) with 1 TD grab.
Kenton Keith came out of nowhere last season and he played well for the Colts as Joseph Addai’s caddy. Keith will have to battle Dominic Rhodes to get his job back as the #2 RB on the Colts in 2008. Keith played in 16 games (1 start) for the Colts last season and he carried the ball 121 times for 533 yards (4.4 ypc) with 3 TD runs. He also caught 13 passes for 77 yards (5.9 avg) with 1 TD grab.
Rookie Mike Hart was a big time player at Michigan but he slipped into the 6th round for some reason. He could challenge Keith for the #3 job at running back. He averaged 1,260 yards rushing and 10.3 rushing TDs per year in 4 seasons with the Michigan Wolverines. Hart has a nice upside.
Clifton Dawson will have a hard time making the roster this season despite being the #3 RB last year for the Colts. Dawson played in 11 games (0 starts) for the Colts last season and he carried the ball 30 times for 64 yards (2.1 ypc) with 1 TD run. He also caught 2 passes for 15 yards (7.5 avg). Don’t look for him to make the team unless the Colts suffer injuries ahead of him on the depth chart.
PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE 2008 SEASON: A-