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Colts Have Undrafted Rookie Running Back To Watch, Says...

Colts Have Undrafted Rookie Running Back To Watch, Says Senior Writer


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Frank Reich

Getty NFL senior writer Nick Baumgardner writes head coach Frank Reich and the Indianapolis Colts have one of the top undrafted rookie running backs to watch.

Many analysts like the 2022 draft class for the Indianapolis Colts. The experts also like the undrafted rookie free agents Colts general manager Chris Ballard has signed since the draft ended.

But NFL senior writer Nick Baumgardner of The Athletic clearly likes Washington State running back Max Borghi the most of all the undrafted rookies the Colts have signed. Baumgardner labeled Borghi as the undrafted rookie to watch for Indianapolis.

“A 5-9, 210-pound bowling ball who rushed for 2,158 yards and had 156 catches as a four-year contributor (including 86 as a sophomore),” Baumgardner wrote about Borghi. “Hello.”

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How Max Borghi Fits with the Colts

2021 All-Pro running back Jonathan Taylor should be Indianapolis’ starter in the backfield for the next several years. The Colts also have running back Nyheim Hines, who is expecting to have a bigger role in the passing game this fall.

Therefore, Indianapolis is looking for running backs who can either compliment Taylor and Hines or simply bring depth to the position. Borghi could do both.

“[Borghi] offers rushing and receiving versatility out of the backfield,” NFL analyst Lance Zierlein of NFL.com writes. “Borghi’s acceleration turns into quality top speed to the perimeter or in the open field.”

Zierlein criticized Borghi’s lack of “short-area wiggle” and “unwillingness to hammer it inside.”

Still, Borghi appears to have backup potential. He produced as both a runner and receiver at Washington State, posting 3,276 yards from scrimmage in 40 games.

He rushed for a career-high 880 yards, averaging 5.5 yards per carry, and 12 touchdowns last season. His best season as a receiver came in 2019 when Borghi recorded 86 catches for 597 yards and five touchdowns.

Colts Have Strong Incoming Undrafted Free Agent Rookie Class

Borghi is his favorite of the bunch, but Baumgardner raved about the Colts undrafted free agent class overall.

“No surprise, but Chris Ballard signed my favorite UDFA class from top to bottom,” Baumgardner wrote. “JoJo Domann, Sterling Weatherford, D’vonte Price and Ryan Van Demark were all draftable players, in my opinion.”

The Colts offered Van Demark a guaranteed contract worth $175,000. Colts Insider Joel A. Erickson of The Indianapolis Star reported that only eight undrafted free agents received a bigger guaranteed contract than Van Demark.

Indianapolis also signed star Clemson linebacker James Skalski and Notre Dame quarterback Jack Coan.

Skalski set and tied records with five ACC championships and 69 FBS games played. Coan played in 35 college games, starting for both Wisconsin and Notre Dame.

In addition to Borghi, the Colts signed running backs C.J. Verdell from Oregon and D’Vonte Price from Florida International as undrafted free agents.

Verdell finished fourth in rushing in the Pac-12 during the 2019 season, but he was fourth in rushing for Oregon last season due to only playing five games.

Those three rookies will be competing for a roster spot with a Duke undrafted free agent running back from 2021 — Deon Jackson. He spent a lot of last season on the practice squad, but in nine games, Jackson recorded 31 rushing yards and a touchdown on 13 attempts.

Source: Heavy

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