The Washington Times-Herald

Indianapolis Colts

December 21, 2012

Rookie class, the gift that keeps on giving


INDIANAPOLIS — *Luck has completed 308-of-564 passes for 3,978 yards, 20 touchdowns and 18 interceptions. He has thrown for the most yards in a single season by a Colts' rookie quarterback. With 74 passing yards, he can break the NFL's rookie record for passing yardage today at Kansas City or next week at home against Houston.

*Hilton ranks third on the team in receiving with 44 receptions for 716 yards and six touchdowns. He has recorded four 100-yard receiving games this season, which is a franchise rookie record. Hilton needs one more touchdown reception to tie John Mackey and Austin Collie for the third-most by a Colts rookie. He also has 25 punt returns for 281 yards and has a 75-yard return for a touchdown to his credit.

*Ballard has rushed for 667 yards in 14 games and has made 10 starts. He needs 33 rushing yards to reach 700 for the season.

*Allen is fourth on the Colts in receiving with 40 receptions for 482 yards and three touchdowns. He needs three receptions to surpass Ken Dilger for the most receptions by a rookie tight end.

*Fleener ranks fifth in receptions despite missing some playing time with a shoulder injury. He has registered 24 receptions for 278 yards and a TD. Fleener needs six catches to pass Dallas Clark for the fourth most by a rookie tight end.

*Brazill, in limited duty, has caught 11 passes for 186 yards.

That's pretty good production for a draft class selected by a first-time general manager (Ryan Grigson) and a first-time head coach (Chuck Pagano).

Interim coach/offensive coordinator Bruce Arians, who has been around some pretty good draft classes when he was in Pittsburgh and was with the Colts when the 1998 class was selected, has been impressed.

"We’ve had that many [rookies] on the roster. But to have an active role every Sunday, no this is by far the most [first-year players making major contributions]," Arians said recently, adding that there's a common denominator as to why this rookie class has been this good so quickly.

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