If we’re to believe Robert Mathis, then if the Colts were on the clock two picks earlier in the second round of the 2006 draft, Maurice Jones-Drew would be their problem right now, and not Jacksonville’s.
This comment was of course prompted by the Jaguars’ insistence earlier this afternoon that they won’t be caving to MJD’s contract demands. Before relaying his insider information from his time deep in the Colts’ draft war room six years ago that he completely imagined, Mathis said he hopes the Jags follow through on their promise, and two years from now Jones-Drew moves far away from the AFC South.
Hindsight is always wonderfully and unfairly clear as we look back on drafts from yesteryear. In that 2006 draft the Colts took Joseph Addai 30th overall, and then Jones-Drew came off the board 30 picks later at the end of the second round, two picks before the Colts were due to make their second selection.
If we were to re-do that draft, at minimum those picks would be switched, and Jones-Drew would likely climb much further up in the first round. He’s rushed for over 1,000 yards in three of his six seasons while scoring 72 total touchdowns (rushing and receiving). Addai had a fine start to his career, rushing for 2,153 yards over his first two seasons, but since then he’s struggled to stay healthy. His 2009 season was still adequate (828 yards), but combined he’s had an average of 490.6 yards per season over the other three years since 2008, and he’s also had only 48 total career touchdowns.
Overall the advantage in the comparison easily goes to MJD, although Addai fit in just fine during his rookie year and quickly became the lead runner in a platoon with Dominic Rhodes during Indy’s 2006 championship season. So the narrow draft miss didn’t hurt Bill Polian’s Colts much, and they appeared in the Super Bowl again two years later in a loss to the Saints.
Thinking about whether or not Jones-Drew would have been that extra piece to give the Colts their true dynasty in the Peyton Manning era and push them to another championship or two is what will now be the leading cause of insomnia tonight in Indianapolis.
Picture this offense: Manning, with the tandem of Addai and Jones-drew platooning behind him, flanked by Dallas Clark at tight end, with Reggie Wayne and Marvin Harrison out wide, and Harrison later replaced by Pierre Garcon. Dynasty? Dynasty.