Colts address backfield with sleeper pick Marlon Mack


After addressing the defense on Thursday and Friday, the Colts finally bolstered their backfield on Saturday.

Indianapolis selected South Florida running back Marlon Mack with the No. 143 overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft.

Mack bypassed his senior season after setting all-time USF records in rushing yards (3,609), all-purpose yards (4,107), and touchdowns (33) in three years.

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At just over 5-foot-11 and 213 pounds, Mack offers the size, speed and explosiveness to push for playing time immediately.

NFL Network analyst Bucky Brooks recently suggested Mack is the best candidate in this year's class to follow in Bears power back Jordan Howard's footsteps as the late-round pick who will outperform his draft slot as an instant-impact rookie.

"He's my sleeper," one college running backs coach told Brooks in March. "He definitely has the talent to be a big-time guy."

Mack is excellent in the open field, flashing homerun-hitting ability and formation versatility as a receiver. The knock on him, however, is that he tends to bounce runs outside as Cardinals star David Johnson did in college.

"More of a perimeter-space guy," one scout told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "He doesn't run real powerful inside. Kind of a third-downish kind of guy. Doesn't play big."

Don't be surprised if Mack ends up with a significant role in a backfield held down by a declining Frank Gore and speed-challenged backup Robert Turbin.