Fifth-round running back Vick Ballard could gain ground on the likes of Alfred Morris and Doug Martin in 2013, after the lesser known Indianapolis Colts‘ running back burst onto the scene as a rookie in 2012. He began stealing carries quickly from Donald Brown and proved a versatile element that must see the field down the stretch, as NFL.com notes averaging 92 total yards per game over the season’s final five contests.
With Gosder Cherilus and other major offensive line improvements made this offseason, suddenly the Colts’ featured back spot has some luster to it. You can point to his touchdown catch and run in overtime against the Tennessee Titans to see what kind of element he brings to the offense.
“It’s always nice to have a couple guys, a change of pace guy,” Colts Coach Chuck Pagano said in May, via ESPN. “But certainly at the end of the year with Donnie hurt and the way Vick came on and the way he was running, he was getting the lion’s share of the snaps. At this point, yeah, he’s sitting there as the lead guy. But Donnie’s in great shape and healthy and looks fantastic to this point in the offseason program.
“Can Vick be an every-down guy? Yeah. Can Donnie be an every-down guy? Yeah. … Vick is a solid, solid guy; Donnie is a home run hitter. If he gets the edge and hits a crease, he can take it the distance. For Vick, look at that last drive of the regular season against the Texans: We got the ball with 9:46 on the clock, we ran 12 plays, 11 runs, and we ended up taking a knee. Vick took the lion’s share of carries on that drive. He just keeps getting stronger, the more carries he has the better he gets.”