The former Miami Hurricanes basketball player, Erik Swoope, was signed by the Colts shortly after the NFL draft. He entered the draft this offseason, and due to his rawness, he went un-drafted. The Colts then came along and signed him, giving him a shot at the NFL.
As Colts GM Ryan Grigson specializes at, the Colts have found another potential gem from a weird spot. Swoope played college basketball, not football. He's never really played in an organized football setting before. However, Swoope has been showing some promise lately.
To start, he's 6'5" and 220 lbs, showing that he has a good frame to build on. Second, he can play basketball effectively, meaning that he can jump and that he can grip a basketball, or any ball. His potential is high due to his athleticism. The question, however, is whether or not he can contribute it to the football field.
According to head coach Chuck Pagano, Swoope has been playing well lately.
"To be able to just break a huddle, get in a stance, run the routes that he ran, catch the balls that he caught, I mean, off the charts, exceeded our expectations way beyond anything that you'd ever imagine for a guy that never played," Pagano said, via the team's official website. "If he continues to work -- he's a bright guy, he's smart, he picks things up, he looks like he's got great passion for this -- who knows?"
"Every time I walk by the tight-end meeting room, he's in there watching tape, he's with (tight ends coach) Alfredo Roberts studying and learning," Pagano added. "He's doing a great job to this point."
Now, there are two things to consider with Swoope. The first is that he's drawing similarities to Jimmy Graham of the New Orleans Saints. Both are former basketball players who are based off of size and physicality. Obviously Swoope has a long ways to go before reaching that caliber of play, but he definitely has potential.
The second thing to consider is that he may be buried under TE depth on the Colts roster. Indy drafted TE's Coby Fleener and Dwayne Allen in the 2012 draft, and both are proven starters. If they stay healthy, which has been a problem in Allen's case, then Swoope may not see much playing time in the upcoming season.
If he progresses to be something more than the Colts could have imagined by the start of the season, then expect TE Erik Swoope to catch a lot of balls from Andrew Luck this season. But until then it's all speculation.