On the Clock is going to be a new series of articles that examines players that are knocking on the door of being labeled a bust. Basically, these players are on the clock and its time to act because time is running out for them to capitalize on their potential.
Player: Donald Brown
Team: Indianapolis Colts
Position: Running Back
Draft History: 2009 NFL Draft, No. 27 overall
Thoughts: Heading into the 2009 draft the Colts were looking for a few pieces to help them get over the top. As usual, the Colts were selecting at the bottom of the round which made it difficult to find elite players. Due to their draft position, Indianapolis usually went for the best player availabe and this year it was running back Donald Brown.
Brown was a tough runner with some good speed. He represented a different running style than current starter Joseph Addai. The Colts felt that the combination of Addai and Brown would make it difficult for defenses to sit back in pass coverage. The hope was to free up some space for Peyton Manning to continue his dominance. However, Brown and Addai have yet to excel as a team.
Read the rest of my thoughts after the Jump
Both backs have had trouble remaining completely healthy often missing time or limiting action. Brown has also struggled to pick up consistent yardage only averaging 3.8 yards a carry for his career. Last season, Brown was able to gain nearly 500 yards but only 2 touchdowns. This year will be a make or break year for Brown as he will be expected to live up to his 1st round billing.
The Colts will likely consider making a move at the position if Brown is unable to improve. This year could be his last opportunity to become the full time starter before a replacement is brought in. Brown needs to watch out for rookie 4th round selection Delone Carter. Everyone is familir with the short life of running backs and the fact is Indianapolis can't wait for Brown to make an impact only to have him on the downside of his career.
With all that being said, Brown is still young enough to turn things around and become an impact player. He is only 24 years old but another missed opportunity could put him in the bust category.